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MotorCityRemotes Remote Starter Car Alarm Troubleshooting BLOG


Read about common and not-so-common problems experienced with remote starters, car alarms and keyless entry systems.

Having a problem with a remote starter installation? Purchased a vehicle with an existing system and having some problems with it? Need a little direction or advice? Report your situation to us and we will be happy to try to help! With 30 years of installing car alarms and remote starter systems, there's a good chance we have seen the same problem before and can provide some recommendations and/or the fix you're looking for.

Troubleshooting Remote Starter

Monday, July 19 2021

TOPIC: 2011-2014 Ford F-150 Remote Start Programming Problem on Fortin THAR-FOR4 module: Ignition stays ON between key changes during the programming procedure:

ANSWER: In this case, disconnect the red plug from the module and go through the reset-reprogram procedure without plugging in the red connector until after the 1st key is used the 2nd time and the module confirms successful programming; door locks will cycle, and when the LED on the module is seen quickly flashing blue, turn ignition off and remove the key. Then the LED will momentarily light yellow. Now, plug in the red connector.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, July 15 2021


ANSWER: First, of course, you have to have a remote starter specifically designed to be installed on a vehicle with a manual transmission. These systems have what they call a safety “remote start ready mode”…basically meaning the vehicle could not be remote started if left in gear. Then, basically, it’s installed exactly like if the vehicle had an automatic transmission with a few additional connections. Which commonly are one more connection to the vehicle’s parking brake (or e-brake), one to the vehicles' clutch activation wire, and one to the drivers’ door pin-switch…How it works: While the engine is still running with the keys, after you park, you set the parking brake, put the vehicle in neutral, and then press the remote starter activation button on the systems’ remote. The vehicle’s dash lights will flash and the horn will beep once indicating that the vehicle has entered the “remote start ready mode”. Then, when you turn off the ignition and remove the keys the vehicle will remain running…then you exit the vehicle, shut the door, and press the remote start button on the remote again. This will shut down the vehicle, now the vehicle is ready to be remotely started.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 02:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 12 2021


ANSWER: When you have to press a button on any remote several times to activate the function, and it still gives you the same problems even after putting a fresh battery in it (also if you have a 2nd remote that doesn't give you the same problem), then the button(s) that you have to press several times on the remote is just starting to wear out and the remote needs replacing before it stops working altogether (especially if it's the only remote you have). 

Posted by: D. Weber AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, July 02 2021


QUESTION: "Recently had my vehicle serviced and now when I go to activate my remote starter, instead of activating, it just flashes the parking lights 7X. It's my understanding that the remote starter system lost its tachometer signal programming...can I somehow reprogram it myself, and if so how, or do I have to take it into a shop?"

ANSWER: On all current and "not so current" Code Alarm, Prestige, and Pursuit remote starter systems you can re-program the tach signal to the system yourself. Each step has to be done rather quickly, here's what you do: Turn the ignition ON (Do not start the vehicle) and release the button on the systems' antenna 3X...then immediately turn the ignition OFF, Now, press and hold the button in on the antenna, and while still holding the button in, start the vehicle with the key...within a few seconds, while still holding the button in, the vehicle's dash lights will begin to flash 1X every few seconds...keep holding the button in for at least 6 flashes...the flashes mean that the system is reading the vehicle's tach signal...after 6 flashes are seen, release the button, the dash lights will turn ON solid for 2 seconds and then shut OFF (some systems may even beep the horn 1X). This is the indication that the system has learned the vehicle's tachometer signal. Now turn OFF the ignition, remove keys, and test remote start activation.

TECH TIP #55 UPDATE: Report of just 6 Flashes instead of remote starting: 6 flashes indicate a change in the vehicles' tachometer signal that the system is not recognizing. Re-programming the tach, as indicated above, should also fix the problem.

Posted by: MCR AT 09:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 30 2021


QUESTION: I recently bought a 2004 F-150 lariat that has a Code Alarm remote start CA-430 system. I don't see any programming switch or valet switch. If you press the lock button on the factory remote the vehicle goes through the process of lighting up the dash and turning on the ignition but gets to the point where it should start but doesn't and then the system tries automatically to remote start over again but with the same result. Noticed today that if I try it by pressing the button and slide the key into ignition it starts, any advice is appreciated."

ANSWER: When any brand or model of remote starter system stops working, but it will remotely start if you leave a key in the ignition (with the ignition OFF), this is a for-sure sign that the system's momentary anti-theft key bypass interface has either lost it's programming to the vehicle and needs reprogramming (a common occurrence after a vehicle has had some service done that required disconnecting the vehicle's battery), or is faulty and needs replacing, or depending on the type of bypass interface, just some adjustment. On the majority of Fords' since 1999, Ford vehicles have what is known as a PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System) transponder key system. This is where a transponder chip is embedded in the head of the vehicle's keys and when the vehicle's ignition is turned ON, an antenna ring mounted around the vehicle's ignition cylinder sends out a wireless signal that causes the chip in the key to vibrate or radiate at it's specific operating frequency which has been programmed into the vehicle's anti-theft system. When the vehicle's anti-theft system picks up and recognizes this pre-programmed frequency from the key, it turns off the anti-theft system and allows the vehicle to start. A transponder key bypass interface (like the Flashlogic FLTB1) is basically programmed to the vehicle as if it was a spare key which is turned ON by the remote starter when it's activated and basically "tricks" the vehicle's anti-theft system that it's being started with a key.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 04:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, June 27 2021

No Parking Lights Flashing Indication:

QUESTION: "Hello I bought a used truck about four years ago it's a 04 f150 fx4 it had an ultrastart brand u1250 model remote start/ keyless entry system, it worked perfectly until about three weeks ago. When I go to unlock/ lock the doors the parking lights no longer flash if I'm in the truck and try I can hear the clicking which it does when the lights were working, also when I use the remote start the dash lights and parking lights no longer work again if I'm in the truck and remote start I hear the clicking it would normally do. I checked the inline fuses that I found 2 30 amp and 1 10amp and they all were fine. I checked for bad connections and none found, I looked at the module itself (the brain) no damage to the outside opened it up, and no burns or damage to the circuit board. I've got the user manual but it has no advice on what the problem is, the only thing I found online was that it could be a bad output to the lights which I have no idea is or how to fix it. Any help would be great thank you". From Semper Fi

ANSWER: OK, First, because you can hear "clicking" coming from the module when you use the remote means, "maybe" that one of those clicking sounds is coming from the systems' parking lights relay, meaning it may not be a bad output...the first thing you have to do is to get an automotive test light...nothing fancy, because your only testing for a +positive parking light output...first find where they connected to the vehicles parking lights...which will be a Solid BROWN wire in the vehicle and they either connected the systems' parking light output wire to the vehicles' Solid BROWN parking light wire right behind the vehicles' headlights switch OR at the trucks' trailer connector harness near the OBDII diagnostic connector (some even connect to it in a harness that runs towards the rear of the vehicle behind the drivers' side left kick panel)...then, connecting your test light to a CHASSIS GROUND, probe the vehicles' Solid BROWN parking lights wire...while the probe is connected, press lock and/or unlock on one of your remotes'...see if it lights the test light when you use the remote (probably, it won't) so, now move the probe over to the systems' parking lights output wire that's connected to the vehicles' Solid BROWN parking lights wire...and test it the same way...if the test light lights when you use the remote, all you have is a bad connection...if it doesn't, you have a bad parking lights output from the system...because you already checked the fuses. (If you don't have a test light, we have the perfect ones for your situation, and for any remote car starter, alarm, or keyless entry installation, click here: to order one).

Posted by: D. Weber AT 09:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 24 2021

QUESTION: "I have heard that if you’re worried about additional wear and tear on your engine, then installing a remote starter is something to avoid?" Is this true?
Thank you, from Amanda.

ANSWER: Don't know why someone would tell you this or if you read it on the internet, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Let's answer with a little "common sense" and "logic"; First off, jumping into a vehicle, starting it up, and immediately driving off (especially in colder weather) is not the best thing to do. Even though newer vehicles get the vehicles' fluids flowing faster throughout the engine (and the warmer the weather the faster), you want to give the vehicle a minute in warmer weather and at least 5 minutes in colder climates for the vehicles' fluids to flow and evenly lubricate throughout the engine before taking off (again, especially in colder weather). That being said, immediately driving off, compared to having the vehicle idle for a minute or two, could cause slightly additional wear & tear than not warming up the vehicle at all. So, what would be the difference between starting the vehicle up with a key and letting it warm up or letting it warm up with a remote starter? NOTHING. Well, yea, there is one big difference, and it has nothing to do with "extra wear & tear" on the motor...with a remote starter, you don't have to go out into the cold to warm the vehicle up! (or cool the interior down). Fact is, vehicles are engineered and designed to "idle". The smoother the better! At least 1/3 of an engine's life is spent idling. Additional "wear & tear"? I don't think so. You're already pre-warming the engine with the key anyways. Where's the "additional"?

Have a different opinion or further insight? Feel free to comment below.

Posted by: MCR AT 06:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 21 2021

"I bought a used 2010 Ford F-150. It has power door locks but didn't come with any OEM keyless entry FOB's. How can I find out if it originally came with the factory remotes or if I have to have an aftermarket keyless entry system installed?"

ANSWER: To find out if your truck has a factory-installed remote keyless entry feature (most models did come with it), First, close all doors, then press the UNLOCK switch on the driver's door...Next, turn the ignition to ON (the last position it can go into without starting the vehicle) to OFF 8X ending with the ignition ON on the 8th time...if the vehicle is equipped with the RKE feature (a.k.a. Remote Keyless Entry), on the 8th time ending with the ignition ON, the vehicle's door locks will cycle from unlock to lock 1X indicating that the vehicle is in "remote programming mode". Now, turn the ignition OFF. Done. If the door locks cycled, then the vehicle is equipped with RKE and you can buy some remotes and program them yourself using the same procedure (after the door locks cycle, you would just press the lock button on each new remote, one after another, and the door locks will cycle after each remote's lock button is pressed indicating that you just successfully programmed the remote). For new Ford remotes with a 1-year new remote replacement warranty, click HERE. See the programming video below for a demonstration of how the programming procedure is done (a hard copy of the programming procedure is included in with our remotes).

(Video courtesy of & brought to you by

Posted by: MCR AT 06:46 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, June 05 2021

"I have the old code alarm remote CRCX3 with the FCC ID: GOH-MM6-101890, and having problems trying to program it"

ANSWER: Click here for programming and troubleshooting tips (Adobe PDF.) for both the Code Alarm CRCX3 (a.k.a. GOH-MM6-101890) and the PT4 (the 4 button version of the CRCX3): If you still have programming problems call us at 1-866-244-8004.

Posted by: MCR AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 24 2021

"How to RESET my Flashlogic or iDatalink module?"

ANSWER: Most Flashlogic and iDatalink bypass/interface modules reset the same matter if it's a Flashlogic FLDL1, FLTB1, or FLCAN...same with the iDatalink's ADS-DL or ADS-TB, etc...and as long as you found the Flashlogic/iDatalink bypass/interface module in the vehicle you should be able to reset the module back to the state it was in when it was first installed into your vehicle (no need to pay a tech to do it, but you still have to reprogram it after resetting it)...The first thing to know is that it's a 50/50 chance that an aftermarket remote starter will not work after having your vehicle serviced...any service that required disconnecting the vehicle's battery could do it, IT'S NOT YOUR MECHANICS FAULT! He is NOT responsible for any aftermarket system installed on your vehicle that doesn't work after they repaired your vehicle just by disconnecting your vehicle's battery...the best analogy is blaming your mechanic for having to reset your preset radio stations on your radio after it being serviced (LOL)...Now, after that said, after you have found your bypass/interface module and read off of the module what model it is go to or and put in your year, make, and model of will show you several bypass/interface kits that are compatible to your on the one that has your same part number, open the PDF. go to the back of the manual and under "reset" perform the reset procedure and then go to the "programming" module procedure...if the bypass/interface module was the problem, the vehicle will remote start.

Posted by: MCR TECH AT 03:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 23 2020

"I have an old Code Alarm Elite 1100 system installed in my car, can I still get the same complete system to replace it?"

ANSWER: Unfortunately no, that system hasn't been manufactured for over at least 17 years. The only part that is still available is the remote controls for the system which are the CRCX3 remotes. Click here for replacement remotes:

Posted by: MotorCityRemotes Tech AT 06:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 16 2020

"I have a horsepower tuner flashed to my ECM. Will this affect a remote starter install or visa-versa?"

ANSWER: No, it will not interfere at all with each other.

Posted by: MotorCityRemotes AT 03:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, August 19 2020

"Hello, I have a question about programming my prestige remote. I have a 5BCR14SP remote and had to order a replacement. I didn't find your site until after I ordered it. Thanks for the help in advance."

ANSWER: Turn ignition ON, press & release the button on the system's antenna 3X (the system will sound) then press the LOCK button on the remote (the system will sound again), then turn the ignition off. Done.

Posted by: MCR AT 03:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 27 2020

"My vehicle will remote start fine but then it immediately shuts down exactly like as if someone stepped on the brake pedal although no ones in the vehicle. What could cause this?"

ANSWER: The two most common problems that can cause this situation is #1 (which is the most common) Somehow the remote starter's bypass interface kit lost it's programming and will need to be reset and reprogrammed to the vehicle (how this is done depends on the model of bypass/interface kit the installer used when he installed the system) or #2 the remote starter system's "tachometer input signal" need to be reprogrammed to the remote starter system (this procedure also depends on the brand and model of remote starter system).

Posted by: MCR AT 12:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 08 2020


We receive continuous calls from vehicle owners which either had a Code Alarm system installed into their vehicle several years ago and now the company that installed it are either out-of-business or no longer sell & service Code Alarm systems, or purchased a vehicle with the system already installed, and are now either having issues with the system after the vehicle was serviced or looking for general information about the system. To contact the Code Alarm company to either answer questions about a current system or to locate a service facility in your area call: 1-800-421-3209 M-F 9am-5pm ET. 

Posted by: MCR AT 07:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, February 02 2020


Read each step before performing to familiarize yourself with the procedure. Each step has to be done within 5 seconds of the next step:

Turn the ignition ON (DO NOT start the vehicle): Press & release the systems programming button on the antenna 3X:

The system will flash the vehicle’s dash lights and beep the vehicle’s horn 1X:

After this is seen/heard, turn the ignition OFF then ON again: The system will sound 1 long and 2 short pulses:


After this is seen/heard, turn the ignition OFF then ON once more: The system will sound 1 long and 3 short pulses:

Next, leaving the ignition ON, slowly press and release the button on the antenna 5X in a row: The LED on the antenna will flash in a 5 flash/pause/5 flash pattern indicating you are in the ENGINE DETECTION MODE:


To change the setting, press and release the LOCK button on one of the systems remotes (or the one button on 1-button remotes) until the system beeps/flashes the same number of times as the desired setting below:


1 BEEP/FLASH = TACHOMETER INPUT (Must program tach signal after setting change)

2 BEEPS/FLASH = TACHLESS (Must start the vehicle 8X letting the vehicle rung for at least 10 secs. each time after setting change)




Once the desired setting is chosen, turn the ignition OFF, wait, the system will sound with a long pulse. Setting change is complete.

Posted by: MCR AT 11:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 21 2020

How to turn Up or Down your Prestige "Z" or APSRS Series Remote Start Run Time:

Tech Note: You have 5 seconds to perform each step, not all the steps within 5 seconds but each step to the next. 

Step 1: Turn the vehicle's ignition ON with a key (do not start the vehicle): Press & release the button on the system's antenna 3X slowly: The system will respond by flashing the dash lights and/or beeping the horn 1X depending on the model of system: After this is seen/heard:

Step 2: Turn the ignition OFF then ON again: The system will respond with 1 long pulse and 2 short pulses and/or 2 flashes: After this is seen/heard:

Step 3: Turn the ignition OFF then ON again: The system will respond with 1 long pulse and 3 short pulses and/or 3 flashes: After this is seen/heard:

Step 4: Next (leaving the ignition ON) Press & release the button on the system's antenna 3X slowly: The system will respond by flashing the LED built into the system's antenna in a 3 flash/pause/3 flash pattern indicating you are now in the "remote start run-time adjustment mode": 

Step 5: Now, press & release the LOCK button on the remote (or the 1 button on 1 button remotes) until the system responds with the number of flashes/beeps corresponding with the desired setting below:


Step 6: Once your at your desired setting, turn the ignition OFF. Wait, within a few seconds, the system will sound/flash. DONE.

Posted by: MCR AT 03:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 04 2019

How to determine if your vehicle is equipped with an OEM factory installed alarm system:

Step A: Roll down the driver’s door window: OEM alarms are set one of three ways depending on the model of vehicle:

#1 Close all vehicle’s doors and lock the doors using the factory remote or #2 press the power door lock switch in the vehicle while the driver’s door is open then close the door or #3 close the driver’s door and turn the driver’s door key cylinder to the lock position with a key.


Step B: After locking the vehicle's doors using one of the three procedures above, wait at least 1 minute then reach in through the open window and manually open the driver’s door from the inside (some vehicles may require pressing the power unlock switch first). If the vehicle is equipped with a factory alarm system the vehicle’s horn will start pulsing all most immediately after the driver’s door is opened.

Posted by: MCR AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 26 2019

How to Activate a Code Alarm and Prestige Remote Starter System:

To activate the remote starter, slowly press and release the CIRCLE ARROW button 2X (or key icon on some versions) within 3 seconds (if you have problems, try pressing the button 3X, if it activates after 3 presses it means your not pressing the button the 2X in the proper amount of time, either to fast or to slow)

When you enter the vehicle, turn the ignition key to the ON position (Do not crank the vehicle), then when you step on the brake pedal to shift into gear, the remote starter will automatically shut OFF but the vehicle will remain running because you turned the ignition on first...

So, if you step on the brake pedal before you turn the ignition on, the remote starter system will shut down and you will have to restart the vehicle with the key.

Posted by: MCR AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 29 2019

Programming Older Code Alarm & Chapman Remotes:

Many calls come in regarding problems with programming older Code Alarm and Chapman system remotes. It seems that either they can get the system into remote programming mode but can't get the system to accept the new remote or can't get the system into remote programming mode at all. Here's a couple of tips that have helped hundreds of customers in the past get their remote programmed:

#1 in the step where it states that after the system responds with 3 pulses/flashes release the programming button and then press the LOCK/ARM button on the remote, instead don't release the programming button after the 3 pulses/flashes are heard and while stile holding the programming button in, press the LOCK/ARM button on the remote and the system will respond with one pulse/flash indicating the remote has been programmed, then release the programming button and turn the ignition off...

#2 for systems that get no response at all, in the step where it states to press & hold the system's programming button in, instead close the vehicles doors and wait until the interior lights turn off then turn the ignition ON and turn the vehicle's dome light switch ON/OFF 3X (ON - OFF - ON - OFF - ON - OFF), if this is your type of system, your power door locks will cycle up and down 3X and/or flash the dash lights 3X indicating that you're in remote programming mode. Then quickly press the LOCK/ARM button on the new remote and the door locks and dash lights should cycle one more time, indicating that the remote was just programmed successfully. Turn ignition off and test remote.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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