Remote start has changed a lot over the years, but many Volkswagen and Audi owners were still left in the cold.
Until now, they had to give up an expensive car key to be permanently placed behind the dash in order to complete a remote start solution. And that key could cost between $200 and $300.
Now that’s changed as two remote start companies–Automotive Data Solutions (ADS) and Fortin are introducing in October the first remote start modules that don’t require you lose a key for many VW and Audi models.
To explain, back in the 90’s many car owners were out of luck when it came to adding a remote start. But aftermarket engineers got the idea of burying one of your car keys in the dash in a way that would transmit the key codes during remote start. It basically tricked the car into starting.
The system however left the car more vulnerable to theft. And who wants to give up a $300 key?
Then came new data modules starting around 2005 that could digitally trick the car into remote starting using digital override codes. These overrides work in most cars, but VW and Audi vehicles have remained some of the last holdouts.
ADS’ new VW remote start system works with select standard and push-to-start VW/Audi vehicles for model years 2006 and up. Fortin said its system will work with about two dozen VW/Audi models starting at the end of the month, followed by additional models.
You get two choices under each system. You can simply use your factory key to remote start the car by pressing 3X on the lock button for start and then again to remote stop the car engine. We tried it with the ADS system and it worked instantly.
Or you can add a separate keyfob to your key chain for remote start. This also gives you the option of getting a confirmation that the car has started. And you can remote start the car from a longer distance (3,000 feet or more). But now you have another bulky keyfob to carry around.
Actually, there is third method–remote starting your car from your smartphone. With this you can remotely start your car from anywhere you have cellphone service. It’s great for travelers who want to warm up the car from the airport so they can return to long term parking and a toasty car. Also if you work a far distance from where you park each workday, you now have a remote start solution.