Are Remote Car Starters Worth The Cost?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This winter has so far been mild, but drivers will once again have to wait for a freezing car to warm up.

If you’re considering a remote car starter, there are a few things to keep in mind. Units at Best Buy range in price from $160 to $400 depending on the different features.

“Some (units) will give you two-way feedback,” said automotive technician Dan Enfield at Best Buy in Eden Prairie, Minn. “Some will have key-less entry.”

Best Buy charges $119.99 to install a unit and there may be some additional charges for extra parts.

“There will always be additional parts that you will need for your specific car. Those can range from $15 to maybe $200 at the max,” said Enfield.

If you’re thinking of having a remote car starter installed, the techs at Best Buy are pretty busy this time of year, but should be able to get you in within a few days, maybe the next day. They say it’s best to call ahead for an appointment.

Since the key isn’t in the ignition, the techs at Best Buy say there’s no need to worry about someone stealing the car.

  • olaf

    Best Buy commercial? They are not the only place that sells/installs remote starters.

    • FYI...

      The absolute lowest total price you will get one installed for is $400 for an American car, foreign cars (Infiniti) can be a base price of $850.

      Starters are worth every penny, both winter and summer.

      Mach 1 in Hopkins is awesome, and I have had excellent success with them multiple times. The downside is it’s in Hopkins.

  • Heide

    My remote car starter worked for a short time and then quit communicating with my car. I now leave the controller at home. Twice I have come ou.t from a store or restaurant. to find that someone else’s remote car starter has not only started my car but either locked or unlocked the doors and on one occasion, popped my trunk hood!

  • what!?!

    ABSOLUTELY worth every dime. But pay a few bucks more to purchase a GOOD one – you get what you pay for!

  • Army

    The article does not even answer the question or really discuss it for that matter.

  • home mechanic

    Be careful,some cheaper aftermarket brands can have issues like trying to start your car while it’s running or continuing to crank the starter for extended times. These will cause damage that is more expensive than what you would pay for a better starter. Research,research,research!

  • Gina

    Remote car starters are definitely worth it but not from Best Buy. I have heard only bad things from people who got them there. Faulty systems and awful customer service when something goes awry. I got mine from a local business and couldn’t be more happier with the product, price, service and supporting a local business owner in Richfield.

    • mannex67

      I love mine too. Good for warming it up and also allows me to leave the car running without fear of it being driven off.

    • Gina

      Communications Center is the business in Richfield.

  • Rich

    TOTALLY AGREE!!! NOT a car starter report but an an for Best Buy.
    My wife has had a car starter (Yes we bought a GOOD one NOT A CHEAPIE)
    for 10 years and absolutely loves it. Never have had any issues with it AND we had it removed and placed in a different car we bought.
    I now have one in my truck that was a gift from her —- SWEET!!

    • mannex67

      I read this article (best buy) to learn about (best buy) remote car starters. (best buy) Now I wonder (best buy) where I can take my car (best buy) to have one installed?

  • Finish Tech

    skip best buy and go to mach 1 support small business!

  • kate

    This really sounds like an ad for Best Buy and doesn’t even address what the headline asks.

  • Taylor J

    Horrible BestBuy commercial.

  • Dingus Mcgee

    What a bunch of wimps! No one needs a remote starter.

    • K.

      I agree! What is wrong with you people? Seriously? You need to have a remote starter? No wonder we have an obesity epidemic!!!

      • mannex67

        What’s this got to do with obesity?

        • jld

          I was wondering the same thing? I know many elderly or handicapable people that have remote starters so their vehicles are warm and comfortable for them…it has nothing to do with an extra trip to the car or whatever. @K. think before you speak and look outside your narrow box of possibilities.

          • K.

            Well……..I happen to be handicapped myself (I have the plates on my car and the card to hang on the mirror to prove it) as I have some paralysis in one of my legs and can have some difficulty walking (I use a cane as needed). I don’t need a remote starter. If you’re too handicapped to start the vehicle yourself, then maybe you shouldn’t be driving at all.

            • @ K

              You’re a crabby old person. get over yourself.

  • do do

    FYI. Best buy paid a “KICKBACK” for this artical to appear, just so you know….I have gone 31 years in minnesota without one, so i will not throw away $1000 to have the monster installed……..

  • kardster

    Bait and switch headline?

    • Tiss

      Ha! They did change the headline to look a bit less like they are in bed with Best Buy.

  • Jane

    Yes on remote starters. But buy them as part of the car, not aftermarket. Had a remote stater installed on car I bought new in 2002 that did not have that option available (used dealer recommended place so I didn’t violate warranty) and had nothing but trouble. New car I bought in 2077 had remote starter built in, works great, no problems at all. As to the posters who think they are dumb, not needed, wait until you are older, with arthritis and see what you say then. Heated seats are great too.

    • 2077

      Hey McFly, you bought it in 2077? Does it work on your DeLorean?

      • Typo Prone

        I am glad you are perfect and have never made a typo. I believe others reading this post understood that it was suppose to be 2007. I’m sure the writer apologizes for not walking on water as you think you do. Your post has nothing to do with the topic and added nothing to the discussion.

  • Common Cents

    150 for aftermarket starter from Best Buiy
    150 to have aftermarket starter installed by Best Buy
    —2 months later —
    150 to have car towed to dealer becuase it won’t start
    800 to have tech hand me a box with what was left of the remote starter unit.

    When these cheapo remote starters fail, your car will not start, not even with the key…. be aware, if you need one, get either the factory installed one or a really really good aftermarket from someone willing to support it.

  • Lovemycarstarter

    I would NEVER have another vehicle without one. It IS the gift that keeps on giving, well worth the $$!!!

  • Service My Car

    I really agree with your blog.I have heard only bad things from people who got them there. Faulty systems and awful customer service when something goes awry..Thanks
    Service My Car

  • ann

    Love my remote start, use it mostly in the morning, when i might have frost on my windows. I would put my car car in the garage but my husband called dibs on that, to park his new gearhead car.
    ALSO I would never buy from Best Buy–Not even a DVD, let alone a high price item.
    By the way, are remote starters worth the money?

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