• Jan 20, 2010
There are a lot of reasons for invention that goes beyond necessity, and pure want is right up there at the top. A clever gent named Dave tired of making the 15-minute walk to his freezing cold car, so he built a long-distance remote starter from a prepaid cellphone.

To make it work, Dave removed the vibrating mechanism that would signal a call after receiving pulses from the phone's circuit board. Then he wired the phone to send those pulses to the remote starter's switch, and voila: two rings and the car starts up. He is no longer limited by proximity when using the remote start; as long as the phone gets a signal, he'll have a warm car whenever he gets there. Clever, no?

Total cost of the hack was $71.03, but that doesn't include the remote starter unit you'll need to buy and install in your car. And speaking of installing, should you try this out you might want to conceal your handiwork. These probably aren't the safest days to have someone coincidentally poking under your hood and finding a cell phone wired to your engine...

[Source: Dave Hacks via Engadget]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm so gonna try this...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have just bought a new system called GSM-AUTO and you can remote start the vehicle without the additional remote starter kit.
      It is a GSM Quad band unit and has 2 output relays and controlled via a phone call,which activated both relays in a set sequence to suit the vehicle.
      Relay 1 activates the Ingnition for the period you want the vehicle to run say 15 minutes and relay 2 starte the vehicle via the starter relay for the optimum required and known period i,e 4 turns is normal and that is say 6 seconds and the Relay is programmed to just activate for that 6 seconds and drop out.
      What is unique about the GSM-AUTO is that I got the upgrade that will recognise the 12 volts output from the alternator for at least 10 seconds which proves the vehicle is running and the unit will call you up and you know the vehicle s running.
      If it does not call you back you can call it again until it starts,but I have had no problems,the GSM-AUTO works every time.
      The link i bought my system from is http://www.gsm-auto.com and I paid $199.00 incuding shipping
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wait a second...

      For this hack you need a remote starter installed in your car... to make a remote starter?

      The only advantage then would be the increased range you get by using a cell phone...
      • 4 Years Ago
      This just seems like one of those bad ideas that will not end well. lol
        • 4 Years Ago
        yup, these seams a bad idea to me.

        the starter motor hook's in while driving.
        lol
        besides, i don't see how this is possible on new cars, if the key aint in the lock, the antenna can't read out the keycode.
      • 4 Years Ago
      God, I hate remote starters. How freakin' hard is it to wear a coat and gloves, start your car, and drive? Your car will warm up just as well in 5 minutes of normal driving as it will in 15 minutes of idling in your driveway. Exception: maybe someplace insanely cold, like North Dakota in winter. Even then, you're better off with a block heater than a remote starter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What good is a block heater gunna do to the ice on the windshield? You still have to start the engine to melt the ice. Would you want to drive around blind while the engine heats up?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Its also not good to put load on your engine with cold oil and 'shrunken' cold metal. Tolerances in aluminum will relax greatly when its 5F as opposed to at normal operating temperature, leading to more wear and tear on the car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        kitko:
        You forgot the step where you unplug your car!

        But the 5 minutes is the annoying part there, it'd be nice to be rid of it and with a remote starter, you can do so.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Remote starters were invented for use in Arizona where they wanted A/C to cool their car down.

        Maybe if you have your block heater on a timer you come out ahead, otherwise idling for a few minutes could easily use less energy (and cost less) than heating your block for many hours.

        Guiltily, I used my remote starter this morning for the same thing as Mitchell Scott mentions. I started it, then picked up my bag, phone, etc and walked to the garage where it was idling (garage door closed!) waiting for me, it had been running maybe 40 seconds. It was a frigid 50F this morning, brrr!

        I used a remote starter on a rental HHR in Dayton, OH to much better effect once. It was before 5AM and I started it before taking a shower (I take short showers, GM's system will shut the car off after 10 minutes idling, so it was less than 10 mins total), I had set the heater to heat the night before and it was nice getting into a slightly warm car instead of into one that was -10F (serious cold snap!).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I use mine all the time when I'm home for the summer (Jamaica) especially if the car's been sitting out in the sun for a while. Start it, let it cool down a bit & then get in. Trust me, it's either that or unlock it, sit on the edge of the seat, start it, roll all the windows down, turn the air on (and do your best to avoid that first blast of searing hot air to come out of the ducts) and wait for it to get to a temp. where you're not actually afraid you'll cook yourself alive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In Alberta, the people without remote starters just leave the car running all winter..
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ giislander
        1. Open the car.
        2. Start the engine.
        3. Adjust your air-con (you don't have to actually switch it on, just boost up airflow) so it blows to your windshield (every unit has an "app" for that).
        4. Remove snow from the windshield.
        5. Wait
        6. After 5 minutes use ice-scrapper to remove the ice - it would come off easily since the glass would have already warmed up.
        7. Use wipers to remove residual ice particles.
        8. Drive away
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dude, you are so right. It's completely absurd. You said it all, really.
      • 4 Years Ago
      its cool, nice mod

      let me know when I can have it start up, get my coffee and bagel and pull up to my door.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "These probably aren't the safest days to have someone coincidentally poking under your hood and finding a cell phone wired to your engine..."

      yes. we should all live in fear. all the time. and be suspicious of everything.

      who is winning this so-called war on terror again?

      no one should be "coincidentally" anywhere near my car with the hood up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ""These probably aren't the safest days to have someone coincidentally poking under your hood and finding a cell phone wired to your engine..."

      yes. we should all live in fear. all the time. and be suspicious of everything.

      who is winning this so-called war on terror again?

      no one should be "coincidentally" anywhere near my car with the hood up. "

      Who here actually thinks a remote car starter is hooked up anywhere near your engine? For crying out loud, it's hooked up to the ignition under the dash.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I enjoy the remote starter in my 2004 Malibu. For those of you griping about letting the car sit there and idle, my car at least burns a metric ton of fuel if I try to hit the road on a stone cold engine. My average fuel economy INCREASES if I use the remote starter or wait 5 minutes while the car warms up in my driveway.

      I'm happy GM was smart enough to make it default to a temperature (around 76F) and automatically determine if the car needs to run the defrosters, heater, or a/c. On cold days it'll shut down the engine once it has reached operating temp and will not remote start unless the engine is below a certain temp. On hot days it seems like it'll run as long as you care to let it to keep the cabin cool. I haven't cared to sit around for 10-15 minutes to see if it times out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All good ideas are SIMPLE! It's great!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want one so I can jump in and haul ass right away. I throughly hate babying the car when I could be BEATING it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Even if you let your car sit and warm up, only the engine is warm. The rest of the car still isn't, especially those other components that move - like the gears in your transmission or your tires and brakes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why does the pic show two relays while the project uses an optoisolator?

      Also, with no snubber diode across the relays, the points won't last.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freewheeling_diode
        • 4 Years Ago
        So that's where I went wrong...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Most proper schematics don't include a picture of a cell phone or a remote starter either.
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