Can A Remote Starter Be Switched To Another Vehicle?

“When I get a new vehicle can we move the remote starter into another vehicle?”  It’s a question that we are asked all the time.  It’s a great question but one without a simple answer. Lets look at all the things that need to be considered.

Removal

There is a cost associated with removing a remote starter. Depending on the original complexity and the quality of the installation, this can vary but is usually 1-2 hours of labor. Our shop currently charges $75 for this type of work so you will have $75 -$150 dollars for removal.  Our facility will not re-install remote starters if we did not also perform the removal from the original vehicle.

What Is The Starter Coming Out Of / Going Into?

This is the most important question. Remote starter installs varies greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Most newer vehicle will need some type of transponder bypass/interface to allow the remote starter to do its job. If the old and new vehicles both take the same interface, all is well. If they do not then you will need to buy a new bypass at a cost of 75-150 depending on the vehicle.

Reinstallation Harness Kit

Some shops might say that you don’t need this. And they are correct…. You don’t NEED it. But trust me you want it. When we install a remote starter into your vehicle, all wires are cut to custom lengths. We don’t coil up wires and you don’t end up with a rat’s next. The downside is that this harness is not going to fit properly in any other vehicle.  To re-use this harness would mean patching it up and extending this wire and that wire. It is not a good solution. The correct solution is to buy a reinstallation harness kit. This kit consists of the same harnesses that came with the original starter. We can now start over from scratch and custom cut every wire leaving a clean and tidy installation. Cost = $30-$70 (We now charge $50)

Reinstallation

This is a real hard one to gauge without knowing what vehicle it is going into. Assuming a super simple and straightforward install, our guys would be able to do the job in about 2 hours (This is soldering every connection and completing the job to our high standards). Other vehicles may take as long as 5 or 6 hours (Before all the “experts” jump on this, we do things to a very high standard at Mobile Edge. And yes it takes us longer to meet this standard. We don’t apologize or make excuses for this). It is important to keep in mind that it would take just as long to install a new unit so the cost here is kind of a wash… Cost = $150-$450

Warranty

Most remote starter manufacturers will only warranty the unit in the vehicle that it was originally installed in. Removing the unit from one vehicle and installing it into another essentially ends the warranty. Our vendor is no different. HOWEVER… Since we are a unique shop, we do things a little differently. If you have us handle the entire project from removal to reinstall and use a reinstallation harness kit, we will extend your warranty to your new vehicle.

Convenience

Many times, buying a car is a spur of the moment thing. You are “just looking” but we all know how that can work out. Next thing you know you are sitting at the F&I guy’s desk. If you want to transfer the remote starter, you’ve got to coordinate the removal and it just becomes a hassle. Sometimes a good approach is to use the starter as a negotiation tool. Ask for a couple hundred extra on your trade because of the remote starter. In many cases if you tell the dealer that you will make the deal today if they give you extra for the remote starter, they will.

Conclusion

We’ve provided you with the information you need to make an informed. Taking a look at the best case scenario, properly reinstalling a remote car starter into another vehicle may be as little as $250. I can tell you from experience that this is rarely the case. It is not unusual to need a different interface and labor is typically 3 hours or more. In most cases, if the remote starter in question is a lower cost unit, it generally isn’t worth the trouble. On higher end units, you can save a good deal of money by transferring the remote starter into your new vehicle.  Hope this helps!

About Mitchell Schaffer

Founder of Mobile Edge.... Technology geek.... Author.... Ethical Businessperson... Avid landscaper.... Master of 2 Basset Hounds, 1 Beagle and 2 cats.... Big picture kind of guy....

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