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MotorCityRemotes Remote Starter Car Alarm Troubleshooting BLOG


Read about common and not so common problems found with car alarms, remote starters 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 and can provide some recommendations and/or the fix you're looking for.

Troubleshooting Remote Starter

Monday, April 08 2019

Reported Problem: Car will not Start. Is it my Car Alarm causing the problem?

Tech Tip: Another very common call we get in is when someone's vehicle won't start either because their remote is defective and they can't disarm/unlock their vehicle remotely or they bought a used car (and don't have a remote) and after having to replace the vehicle's vehicle's battery (or any service that required disconnecting the vehicle's battery) all the sudden they discover the vehicle is equipped with an aftermarket alarm and now it's triggering and/or preventing the vehicle from being started normally with the key after the vehicle's battery is re-connected.

But first, as a side note, many times even when someone has a system that triggers an alarm when the vehicle's battery is connected and the vehicle won't start, as long as the vehicle's starter motor is cranking over or at least "clicking" at the starter motor, it's more than likely not the alarm system causing the problem. Why? Because aftermarket alarm systems with an anti-theft (a. k. a. Kill-Switch) feature completely stops the power from reaching the starter motor. So, it's only possible that it's the system causing the no start issue is when as soon as you turn the ignition on, everything on the dash would light up as normal (including all accessories, chimes etc.) but when you go to crank the vehicle, no power at all would reach the starter motor. If it cranks, it's not the system.

Now, let's say it's the system causing the no crank issue; all aftermarket systems have a way to emergency-override the system. The procedure commonly involves a push-button or with some systems a small ON/OFF toggle switch. Most manufacturers describe these switches as either an e-override button, valet or programming switch/button. Depending on the brand and model of system these switches are commonly installed by the installer in several different places in the vehicle:

They can be found mounted under the driver's dash either through an existing hole on a factory dash bracket, on a right-angle bracket the installer provided or they drilled a small 1/4" hole in the driver's side left kick panel (this is the panel that curves up to the left from the driver's side door sill-plate to the left of your left ankle when your sitting in the driver's seat. On most vehicles, the panel to the left of the emergency brake lever). I have even found a lot mounted on the bottom of the steering column. And finally, most systems with a remote starter feature, this button is found built into the system's antenna found mounted in the top center of the windshield behind the rear-view mirror or in the upper left corner.

OK! Now that you found what you think is the override button, what now? Well, that too depends on the brand and model of system, but here are the most common procedure possibilities that could emergency override your system:

Enter the vehicle (while the alarm is going off) and turn the ignition ON with the key. Either press and release the button (or flip the toggle switch in the opposite direction) OR press & release the button 3X. If it works, the alarm will shut off almost immediately. Now, quickly try to start the vehicle. If it starts your done, if not, turn the ignition back off, go back to the push-button and press & hold it in and while still holding it in, try to start the vehicle. If it still won't work (maybe the system is defective), the next thing I would do is permanently bypass the system's anti-theft circuit, but that procedure is for another post!

Hope this helped! If it did, please leave a comment, if it didn't, send us your questions!

Posted by: D. Weber AT 01:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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