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Is it worth it to install a remote starter in the 3rd gen models?

Discussion in '3rd Gen - 2007 - 2017' started by 07navi, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Shantheman73

    Shantheman73 Full Access Members

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    The guy at my Best Buy has been installing them for years. It’s not hard to do your homework to ensure it’s not a teenager trainee.

    I got mine on sale and it was $199 installed. Darn good price for it...and one of the remotes is two way (it gives me feedback after pressing the button to tell me if it started, locked, etc.)


    2007 Ford Expedition Limited
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  2. Aspen03

    Aspen03 Full Access Members

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    You'd be surprised at the amount of training required for an autotech at bestbuy. When I first started doing it a few years ago I spent almost 3 months with a master certified tech who had nearly 15yrs experience before I was allowed to do much more than sit in a vehicle and observe. Thered also the MECP exams that are required to pass and keep your job. They're the equivalent to an SAT in length. Couple hundred questions. I assure you if they also aren't minimum wage hacks, more like triple what you're thinking. I've known a few techs making over 60k.

    As far as install go there are typically very few "interrupts" where an installer would physically cut a wire, 98% of the time it's either a military splice or military splice and solder if it's a data connection which anymore is about 1/3 of the wiring w the keyless entry systems and CAN/OBD interface that's needed on modern vehicles. The only interrupts I've really ever done are for parking light control when called for (typically by honda and toyota) which realistically aren't "required" technically but are used to know the vehicle is running and to obtain diagnostic codes for troubleshoot and programming. The exception would be if you did insecurity add on that has a starter interrupt feature. That's pretty well impossible unless you interrupt the starter wire.

    The basic remotes that compustar and viper offer on the DC3 and DS4 systems are very small, smaller that the head of your key. Half the time a t harness is involved anymore which usually handles the ignition and obd connections vastly limiting the amount of wire to wire connections that need to be made, ironically though I've seen several bad harnesses that are pinned incorrectly, loose, faulty connectors, etc, far more than I have an installer actually doing the job incorrectly.

    Cost wise expect 3-350 installed unless you catch a sale. I'm going to do my own here next week most likely and can snap some pics showing the process. I have an 03 so it wont be the exact application but same idea...yours would actually be less involved because the t harness does more in terms of connectivity on the 3v vehicles since they are heavily invested in CAN control.
     
  3. JExpedition07

    JExpedition07 Marinized Member Supporting Member

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    In addition as another idea to bounce I forgot to mention maybe check for Audio shops near you. Many know their stuff, my dad always had the local audio shop install remote start and alarm systems on his work vans and never had issues. They also have done some killer stereos lol.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  4. Trainmaster

    Trainmaster Old School Member

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    The aftermarket stuff has always been a mixed bag. I've installed all kinds of cheap modules and "enhancements" with mixed results. Usually they work well, though sometimes for only a few months and sometimes only sort-of. What bugs me most is taking the care to do a proper installation with soldered wires, good routing, tie-wrapping and all that stuff and then the thing breaks after a week.

    I dealt with this all the time when I was a kid, and it didn't matter much; I had lots of time and no money. But I also had lots of patience and wonder. These days I buy the best I can find because the novelty of work has long worn away and I don't want to do it twice.
     
  5. Shantheman73

    Shantheman73 Full Access Members

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    Not many. They did a great job. Took a few hours though.


    2007 Ford Expedition Limited
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  6. MrSticker

    MrSticker Full Access Members

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    When I bought my 2003 (new) I had the Dealer add Ford Remote Start. It cost about $550 which was OUTRAGEOUS but I wanted it and I wanted it not messing up the vehicle warranty so I bit the bullet. I think it was a hack job ... blue wire runs from under dash through firewall and eventually makes it to injector #1. That connection was an insulation displacement tap which is Amateur Hour. It eventually loosened up and caused the vehicle not to run. That cobb job splice also hung off the injector wire with no strain relief which eventually caused that connection (at injector) to become unreliable (a million wiggles back and forth). Luckily I figured it out and easy fix. Other people on this Forum have had similar problem.

    I also find (and its just my opinion obviously) Remote Start to be practically useless unless its 20 below and/or I just want to run the Expy for an extra 10 minutes. I have to actually drive the vehicle to get it to heat up. Just one man's opinion.
     
  7. JExpedition07

    JExpedition07 Marinized Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah I don’t like to idle my truck for 20 minutes just to get the cab to heat up so I don’t really even use it much unless it’s insanely cold out. It heats up much faster if I just hop in and drive a minute after starting. Don’t forget if you have the key code pad you can start the truck turn the heat on and lock the door until you return.
     
  8. Aspen03

    Aspen03 Full Access Members

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    That sounds like an issue w the installer which realistically could happen anywhere. I'd say more likely so at a dealership or mom and pop because you have a guy rushing to beat book which means scotch locks all over the place or just fast, subpar work. Any under hood splice needs soldered and shrink wrap if you're adhering to any sort of accepted standard.

    At least w most audio shops and bestbuy they are hourly, half of the skilled guys take their time because they can. Anyone who's been in it for a few years can likely install any remote start in 60-90min, my personal best was about 40 on a simple install and a little over an hour on something hardwired but didnt require tach signal from the engine bay. Expy aside from 4th gen which you probably never do an aftermarket system on will book out at roughly 3hrs.

    The firewall is usually only penetrated to run a hood pin and to get tach signal from an injector. Depending on the module used it may be required. The two I mentioned before have a virtual tach setting that 9/10 worls just fine. I always default to that unless there are starting issues but that can usually be solved with a few millisecond increase in crank time in most modern vehicles as it usually only presents a problem when its extremely cold.

    One nice option from Viper that works with the DS4 is the DS4WS wireless siren module. It just needs power obtained from under the hood and it communicates w the in car module through low energy bluetooth to transmit tach, hood pin status reporting, and also has shock/tilt sensors and a siren with battery backup for alarm if applicable. You'll spend a few bucks w that option but if you want to eliminate going through firewall it's an option. FWIW its common practice to use the existing grommet to engine bay rather than just drill holes. That usually only happens w large guage power wire runs for amp or inverters.

    20min in most cases isnt necessary unless you're trying to be lazy and not scrape ansible spec of ice from a window. The newer modules have custom programming and you can generally specify in 1 min increments for your run time. Usually a min of 3-5 and as much as an hour with the option to restart up to 3 times if insufficient. The ds4 has a cabin temp sensor and paired w the viper smart start app can show you before you even go outside.
     
  9. MrSticker

    MrSticker Full Access Members

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    I must say ... when Remote Start comes in handy , it comes in very handy! Like this morning about a month ago in Rock Springs WY. I could start it (from inside in the warmth) and let it run long enough to heat r up and melt the iceberg so I could easily go out and finish the job. I think that took 2 cycles. I'm glad I have it for those odd times its needed.
    GPAY3797.JPG
     
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  10. akacolonel

    akacolonel Member

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    I installed a Fortin remote start on my 2014 expy. Cost $99 for module, and $ 40 for flash tool. Works off existing remote. You hit lock button 3 times. I installed myself. Works great. Glad I did..
     

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