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A remote start is a helpful feature, especially in extremely cold or warm weather, as it lets you prepare your vehicle before you enter it. For example, you can use it to activate your window defrosters or turn on your A/C remotely. But like other advanced features, a remote start might not work due to various reasons.

Why Is My Remote Start Not Working?

The remote start can fail due to different reasons, like a dead battery and a faulty hood pin. Coolant and oil pressure problems can also disable it. Let’s discuss the 11 possible causes why your remote start won’t work.

Dead Battery

The remote starter is equipped with a battery that can drain over time. If your car remote is not working, the battery might not have enough energy to power it.

car key fob with drained battery
The remote starter is equipped with a battery that can drain over time.

Fortunately, many aftermarket remote and key fob batteries are available on the market, so it’s easy to find one for your ride.

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Incorrect Use

If your remote start isn’t working, you might not be using it correctly. Check the manual, and make sure you’re doing it correctly.

If you bought a new one, remember that different remote starter brands have different controls. For example, some remote starter buttons need to be pressed several times, while others work with one press.

Vehicle Is On Valet Mode

Most vehicles equipped with a remote start have a safety feature called “valet mode.” This mode allows drivers to disable all system features except lock and unlock.

If your vehicle has a valet mode, it might be activated if your parking lights flash when locking or unlocking your ride. The remote start won’t work until you deactivate it.

Vehicle Not In Park

Remote start is disabled when your ride’s gear is set to “Park.” When the vehicle’s transmission is set to “Park”, its wheels wouldn’t turn because it’s locked. The feature is helpful when the vehicle is on a hill or slope.

Key Fob Is in the Vehicle

Remote start won’t work if your key fob is in your vehicle, so make sure you take it with you when you leave your ride. Otherwise, you might get locked out of your car.

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Too Many Attempts

Using the remote start feature several times consecutively can disable it. To fix the issue, get in the vehicle and manually turn on your ignition. Then, turn it off, get out of your car, and use the remote start feature again. If it still doesn’t work, seek the help of a professional.

Unlatched Hood

Your vehicle might have a safety feature that disables remote start when it detects that the hood is unlatched. Make sure your hood is secure and inspect it for damage. Broken pins or tilted switches can also cause remote start issues.

Hazard Lights Are On

The remote start won’t work while the hazard lights are on, so you’ll need to turn them off to use the feature. Hazard lights alert other drivers that your vehicle has turned into a temporary traffic hazard. For example, you need to pull over because of a blown tire.

Coolant and Oil Pressure Issues

High coolant levels and low oil pressure can cause various vehicle issues—including a non-functioning remote starter.

If a warning light on your dash is on, check your ride’s coolant and oil pressure. If they’re not at ideal levels, fixing them might make your remote start working again.

Starter Switch Is Off

Some remote starters have a switch that can disable it. It’s usually in a fusebox or under the dash. If it’s off, simply flip it “on” to activate the remote start.

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Reprogramming Needed

Your remote starter and key fob must sync with your ride’s data module. They must also be programmed with vehicle-specific software.

car remote starter need reprogramming
Your remote starter and key fob must sync with your ride’s data module.

If something goes wrong in the installation process, your starter might not work. In some cases, the data module could lose its programming data, disabling remote start and causing other problems.

Can I Replace My Remote Start Fob?

Yes, you can replace your remote start fob, but make sure the replacement is compatible with your ride’s system.

A short-range non-luxury car remote start fob costs between $250 and $400. That can increase due to installation and programming costs, which can vary depending on the rates in your area. Taxes and related repairs can also affect the price.

If you’re unsure about anything, consult a trusted mechanic. You can also visit your dealership to know more about what remote starter fits your ride.

About The Author
CarParts Research Team Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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