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Whether you live in an area where it snows in the winter or gets really hot in the summer, being able to remote start your car is a luxury. With the simple push of a button, you can easily start your car and get it up to operating temperature while pre-conditioning the cabin. It’s a convenient feature, for sure, but could a remote starter actually be bad for your car’s engine?

Remotely starting your car has the same effect on the engine

Remote start for the Kia Seltos
Remote start for the Kia Seltos | Kia Accessories

Before we get into whether or not remotely starting your car is bad for the engine, we have to first realize that there are two different opinions about idling your car in the first place.

According to Reader’s Digest, some automotive experts believe that remote starting your car in the Winter and letting it idle while you get ready for work can put a lot of stress on the engine since it’s working harder to warm up.

Technically speaking, it’s far better to drive your car lightly after starting it as that is a more efficient way to get it up to the proper operating temperature. On the other hand, some automotive experts believe that the added benefit of pre-conditioning the car’s cabin while you get ready for work outweighs any strain that the engine might go through.

In any case, remote starting the car is the same as starting it when you’re sitting inside of the car, so technically, the feature itself wouldn’t have any negative effects on the engine.

Can remote starting a car be bad for its battery?

A car being remotely started in the snow
A car being remotely started in the snow |

Remote car starters also get blamed for causing premature wear on car batteries. But just like we mentioned above, remote starting a car has the same effect a starting the car from inside of it. That being said, your car’s starting will undergo the same amount of use that it would if you didn’t remote start it.

However, Reader’s Digest goes onto explain that if your car came with the remote start system as a factory-installed option, then you don’t have to worry about it taxing the starter or the battery. The OEM manufacturer has likely set the system up to work well with the car and be reliable.

But if you add an aftermarket remote starter to your car, then it is possible that it could be taxing on the car’s battery or starter depending on how it was installed.

Adding remote start to your car

If you do want to add an aftermarket remote start system to your car, then you can do it yourself, if you have some automotive electrical experience. With some kits, it’s as easy as relaying a few wires to the ignition.

However, the process can be more difficult depending on the car that you’re working on. If you need help, then there are many qualified car audio installers that can assist you with the process. Installing a remote start system incorrectly could lead to bigger problems with your car’s electrical system later on.