Remote Starter kit for 02 Forester?

Discussion in 'Subaru Forester' started by Mike, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Anyone added a remote starter to a Forester? I have seen some kits
    advertised on but I have no idea if any of these would
    work on my forester.
    Mike, Sep 24, 2003
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  2. Mike

    TG Guest

    I used the Bulldog unit available at Walmart for $42.88----if you have a
    transponder key you will also have to order the kit for that at about $19. I
    also suggest Bulldogs "T" harness. TG
    TG, Sep 24, 2003
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  3. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I forgot to mention that I have a manual transmission - I have seen
    some mention that its illegal to install a remote starter on a manual
    trans in some states. (I am in WA state)
    Mike, Sep 24, 2003
  4. Mike

    WRXtreme Guest

    I would have to recommend Compustar, Avital or Crimestopper in regards to
    good remote starters. Bulldog is JUNK, Autocommand is Ok, Viper/DEI stuff
    is good, Astrostart is very good but harder to install. I have been
    installing remote starters for over 10 years and this is just my opinion of
    what I like, others may disagree with me, that's fine. Just make sure you
    get a unit that is designed for manual transmission, otherwise there will be
    liability issues should it accidentally start in gear.

    Here is a list of which wires may need to be tapped for the starter to work,
    as always test all wires before making final connections, having said that,
    I remove myself from all liability for improper installation of this device.

    Vehicle Color Location
    Start Wire: (Power while cranking ONLY)
    White/Black Ignition Switch Harness
    Ignition #1: (Power while cranking & when in ON position)
    Yellow Ignition Switch Harness
    Ignition #2: (Same as Ignition #1)
    Green/Orange Igntion Switch Harness
    Accessory: (Power when in on position, NOT while cranking) Green
    Ignition Switch Harness
    Brake Wire:(+12 Volts when brake pedal depressed)
    White/Black Switch Above Brake Pedal
    Tach Signal: (AC Pulsed output when motor is running)
    Blue 3 Pin Plug at Ignition Coil
    Parking Lights: (+12 Volts when parking lights are on)
    Purple 10 Pin White Conn in Drivers
    Kick Panel
    Constant +12 Volts:
    White Ignition Switch Harness
    OEM Horn (-12 Volts when horn depressed)
    Yellow Blue 28 Pin Conn. Abover
    Steering Column
    Power Lock (-12 Volt Signal when Lock button depressed)
    Red/White In 10 pin Connector in drivers
    kick panel
    Power Unlock (-12 Volt Signal when Unlock button depressed)
    Yellow/Red In 10 pin Connector in drivers
    kick panel

    I am not sure what color the clutch bypass wires are, but they will be on a
    switch above the clutch pedal. You will probably also have to have the
    parking brake wire hooked up as a bypass, again I am not sure of the color,
    but there should be a single wire coming from the parking brake handle that
    while go from an "open" condition to a -12 Volt (grounded) condition when
    the parking brake has been applied. Another thing to consider is if the
    vehicle has a factory alarm system, in which case the -12volt "OEM Alarm
    Disarm" output from the remote starter can be used to trigger the UNLOCK
    wire thereby temporarily bypassing the alarm and allowing the vehicle to
    remote start, the remote starter will then automatically relock the doors
    (assuming you have that function programmed to do so, read your instruction
    manual for further information).

    Feel free to contact me in this NG if you have any questions regarding the
    installation or any other remote start applications, I will be happy to try
    and assist
    WRXtreme, Sep 25, 2003
  5. Mike

    TG Guest

    I live in Montana and have no idea what is legal in your state. However if a
    remote starter was illegal here I would have one anyway. TG
    TG, Sep 25, 2003
  6. Mike

    TG Guest

    OK, my $42.88 Bulldog is "junk" I don't want to argue but why is it junk?
    Works great and was easy to install plus had the features I wanted (it
    remotely starts the car) for a great price. Been working for 2 years...WHY
    is it junk? TG
    TG, Sep 25, 2003
  7. Mike

    WRXtreme Guest

    I have attempted to install several of these (admittedly over 3 years ago so
    things may have changed) and had major problems with range of operation, and
    overall quality (I had to return it 3 times before I finally got one that
    worked, all the others were dead on arrival.) The one I did put in that
    worked has worked for three years (with about 150 foot range of operation),
    so maybe I just had bad luck, but I know of several other shops in ND that
    won't touch them with a ten foot pole due to the headaches that they have
    had with these. Like I said before, just my opinion based on my
    experiences. Others out there hate Crimestopper, some dislike Avital,
    Me...well I don't like Bulldog or Astrostart (astro is just a pain to
    install IMHO)

    For a novice to install a remote starter Autocommand (Designtech) and
    Compustar may be the route to go (for manual transmissions, I would
    recommend Crimestopper for ease of installation in an auto transmission.)

    Autocommand is the only one I know of that has online tech support for free
    (ok, you have to "register as a dealer" at, but you
    don't have to order anything from them to get access to the wiring guides)

    I wasn't trying to pick a fight with you TG (actually if I had read your
    post before I submitted my reply to the original, I wouldn't have called it
    junk, just would have put it on my not preferred list or something.) The
    electronics industry is just like the car industry, you will find people
    that like all sorts of different makes and models, me I don't like Chevy,
    had bad luck with every Chevy vehicle I have ever owned (3 new ones, 2 used
    ones), however Chevy must have some fans out there, they are still in
    business. And don't get me started on the Dodge Neon....LOL (2 motors, 1
    transmission, 2 ECU's, 13 O2 sensors, 1 crank position sensor 2 nights
    stranded along the side of the Highway (2000 miles and 19000 miles on
    odometer) in the middle of North Dakota in the winter and 1000 CEL's in less
    than 36,000 miles)

    WRXtreme, Sep 25, 2003
  8. Mike

    Mark Guest

    I have another suggestion. The purpose of a car starter is to warm the
    car up so when you get in it in the winter, it's nice and warm and
    ready to drive. The problem I have is idling a car for long periods is
    not good for it.

    I used to own two Dodge trucks and the last house I owned only had a 1
    car garage that was to small for the trucks. So I installed a engine
    heater. It's a little device that installs into the engine block and
    warms the radiator fluid (and also the oil in the pan) around the
    block. At night I would plug it into the electrical outlet in the
    garage. In the morning I would get into the truck and within 2
    minutes it was toasty warm. They are easy to install (I did it
    myself) and the cost was about ~$50 - $75ish for the device.

    I believe this device is better cause it keeps the engine oil warm so
    on startup it does not starve the upper valves for oil. A remote
    engine starter does not do anything to fight the cold effects of the
    engine starting on a cold winter day. Plus, you can add a battery
    blanket (wraps around the battery) to keep it nice and warm.

    I'm sure someone will say "A remote starter also helps defrost the
    windows". Well, What I did was buy a bottle of spray defrost
    antifreeze and sprayed it on the windows (when I got home as well as
    the morning) and that took care of that problem. The engine heater
    allowed the engine to remain warm all night and took no time for the
    defroster to do it's magic in the morning.

    Hope this helps!
    Mark, Sep 25, 2003
  9. Mike

    WRXtreme Guest

    A remote engine starter does not do anything to fight the cold effects of
    Not necessarily true, they can be set to start when engine temperatures drop
    below a certain point, some can also be programmed to start your vehicle
    every 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours and run the motor for 5 minutes (depends on model
    of starter) to help keep the motor warm and battery charged. I agree that
    idling for long periods of time can be hard on your motor, but 3-5 minutes
    isn't that bad on them. I run my company van (Gasoline Chevy Astro Van) for
    8 hours straight during the coldest days of winter and we get over 120,000
    miles on them with no problems...and this is Chevy (see previous post about
    my hatred/bad luck with Chevy)
    WRXtreme, Sep 26, 2003
  10. Mike

    Tony Hwang Guest

    You can even program how long the idle is going to be if you remote
    start and don't drive it away. Also it is quite standard, it'll try
    total 3 times to start the engine if it does not start on first try.
    Quite handy option to have in cold weather. I live in Alberta where
    winter can be VEeeee...ry cold indeed.
    Anyhow I park inside garage at home and at work. But when out shopping
    or car is left outside long hours during the day or night, what a
    convenience. Useful in summer too to cool inside the car before you
    drive away.
    Tony Hwang, Sep 26, 2003
  11. Mike

    Mark Guest

    Hello.... 90% of engine wear occures during startup and the first
    minute. So, everytime you start your car during winter places a lot
    of friction on the engine. I would NEVER recommend starting a car
    every few hours in winter time to keep it warm. Anyway, what's wrong
    with getting into a hot car in summer or a cold car in winter? I've
    done it thousands of times. I think using a remote starter to *only*
    warm up the car in the winter or cool it down in the summer is the
    sign of a lazy driver (sorry, don't mean to be that harsh. But you
    get the gist of what I'm saying).

    So, if your reason for a remote starter is to make the car comfortable
    for you so you never sweat in summer or get a chill in winter, then I
    guess a remote starter is the way to go. This is why they make them,
    to pamper the driver by place more stress on the car.

    However, if you want your car to last a long time and don't want to
    abuse the engine, then a block heater/battery blanket is the way to
    go. The only draw back to this method is if you park in an area that
    does not have an electrical outlet (mall parking lot, work, apartment

    I have flown a lot of airplanes in winter and can tell you that the
    stress of starting a cold engine in winter is bad. In fact, if the
    temp is below 20degrees, we always pre-heat the engine with a kerosene
    heater and duct work into the engine compartment. Why? Because oil
    starvation on a cold day will take many hours (miles in car terms) off
    the life span on an engine.

    I would like to hear the opinion from our friends in Canada or Alaska.
    Which would you use?
    Mark, Sep 26, 2003
  12. Mike

    Bobby Guest

    Get a block heater and battery warmer if your going to be able to use it (if
    there are places to plug in where your car will be parked most of the time).
    Remote starters are completely up to the driver, but I'd never use it to cut
    on/off to keep my car from freezing.

    I recently moved up to Anchorage and while I know plenty of people who have
    a remote starter, almost all of them have block heaters too. I've decided
    to go with neither. I rarely see a working electrical outlet at work and I
    have a heated garage.
    Bobby, Sep 26, 2003
  13. Mike

    Fuzzy Logic Guest

    (Mark) wrote in
    Block heaters are pretty standard in most of Canada. I typically plug in
    the car if the temperature is going to drop below -20C.

    A side note on remote starters. I was asking a lady at the gas station how
    she liked her '02 Outback Sport. She said she loved it, 'when it starts'.
    She has nothing but problems since installing a remote starter. I think
    there can be serious issues on standard transmission vehicles.
    Fuzzy Logic, Sep 26, 2003
  14. Mike

    TG Guest

    Remote starting a car and letting it run 2-4 minutes before you get in on a
    cold MT winter morning places NO extra stress on the car.

    "This is why they make them,
    to pamper the driver by place more stress on the car."
    TG, Sep 26, 2003
  15. Mike

    Todd H. Guest

    TG, I see you have a pattern of unsubstantiated negative responses to
    things some people say on this group.

    Would you care to enlighten us with the wisdom and reasoning behind
    these ejaculations, or should we just write you off as a jaggoff?

    Best Regards,
    Todd H., Sep 26, 2003
  16. Mike

    WRXtreme Guest

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Mark" <>
    Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 8:53 AM
    Subject: Re: Remote Starter kit for 02 Forester?

    Nothing, unless you have bad arthritis/joint pain/back pain, a small child
    that will be riding with you, or a cold or other illness.

    How about an opinion from North Dakota? I have a block heater as well as a
    remote starter. I personally do not use the preprogrammed start (every hour
    or 2 or 3...etc..) unless it is VERY cold (-50 degrees Farrenheit or colder)
    and I will be away from my car for a day or so. I do however use it to
    warm/defrost my cars for about 3-4 minutes as I am getting ready to leave
    the house. I have had 7 cars in the past 10 years that have this feature on
    them and have had ZERO problems getting them to 100,000 miles+ with no major
    problems (My neon that I listed in an earlier post never had a remote start
    on it just for the record.) I wouldn't use a starter to run the vehicle
    more than 10 minutes or so, but I will use it to start the motor and get
    things going for a couple of minutes before I drive off. I also use the
    "idle-down" feature on mine to act as a turbo timer.

    As I stated before, I have installed them for over 10 years and have
    installed well over 2000 units on various different vehicles and haven't
    seen any bad effects on the motors of these vehicles yet, and trust me my
    customers would let me hear about it if there was even a hint of a problem
    (I've had people accuse me of affecting the ride characteristics of a
    vehicle due to the installation, been accused of signal lights not working,
    and decrease in gas mileage.....the gas mileage one is the only one I
    consider real, the more you idle, the less mpg you get) Of course this is
    all just my opinion based on my experiences, I would never "force" someone
    to get one, but I sure wouldn't advise against it either.
    WRXtreme, Sep 27, 2003
  17. Mike

    WRXtreme Guest

    I think he was right on line with what he said, I don't think 2-4 minutes is
    any extra stress on the motor. I would think that living in MT he probably
    does have a block heater as well as a remote starter. MOST people in the
    upper midwest that I have personally talked to/know (and I think over 2000
    installations of remote starters somewhat qualifies me as know what a lot of
    people in this area of the world think) let their vehicles run for 5 minutes
    or so before driving them anyway so a remote starter just prevents their
    asses from freezing to the seats while the car warms up. If you are going
    to let it run anyway, there is no difference between remote starting it and
    key starting it except that if eliminates the cold walk to the car in the
    morning, then the cold walk back inside, followed once again by the cold
    walk back out to the car five minutes later.
    WRXtreme, Sep 27, 2003
  18. Mike

    Tony Hwang Guest

    Voice from Alberta. I have remote starter on all 4 vehicles in my family
    which I installed myself. Hmmm, getting into cold car in cold winter?
    Like from N. Dakota, this guy may never have lived in real cold winter!
    We need all the help we can get. Battery blanket, block heater(two if it
    is V8), remote starter.... We park the cars in the garage at home but
    many places don't have parkade parking. Just open parking lot.
    Who cares about little tear and wear on engine. Car is consumable.
    When it gets used up, buy another new one. Let the ecconomy circulate.
    P.S. In 1970, I started my car, Plymouth Fury Sports with 383 V8 in cold
    winter night after X-mas party to come home. Car started alright,
    timing chain got partially damaged making hell of clanking noise.
    needed new chain the next day.
    Tony Hwang, Sep 27, 2003
  19. Mike

    al gu Guest

    people in alaska sometimes let gas engine cars idle all night during minus
    45 temps
    some diesels run for 3 weeks at a time
    al gu, Sep 27, 2003
  20. Mike

    Mark Guest

    I do agree that in this part of the country, the coldest we usually
    see is around zero degrees F. So i'm sure people that see real cold
    weather knows how to deal with it.

    I've always have done what's best for the car engine. I always try to
    pamper my car to get the most out of it. This is why I don't like
    remote starters. However, I can see in some circumstances it might be
    the best choice.

    Usually the coldest time comes at night. And at night I'm usually home
    and have access to an electrial outlet. During the day we usually ONLY
    see temp in the low teens. So when I'm at work and leave for the day
    and it's this cold. I start the car and let it idle for a few minutes
    to get the oil circulating, then drive using low RPM's as possible
    until the car starts to warm up.

    I can't image really cold temp like people see in Canada. My goal in
    life is to live somewhere where the only ice I see is on the mug of my
    beer. ;-)
    Mark, Sep 27, 2003
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