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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remote Start Season and the Internet

It should be getting colder here in the Northeast any day now, and that can mean only one thing- Remote Start Season begins! (straight from the Dune Buggy post- sorry) Folks will be thinking about toasty warm cars while the reality is that most installers will be overwhelmed with appointments very shortly- so please plan ahead if you'd like this valuable feature installed in your vehicle.

This product really is NOT a DIY project for most vehicles- It doesn't matter that you're the engineer in a nuclear power plant- have you ever looked under the dash at the wiring of a modern car? OK- you can't see anything because of all the plastic covers and impact protection systems in place- we'd better start with a mechanical engineer just to expose the wiring! And- unless you drive a 1995 Honda Civic, you may be very surprised by the mass of wiring that lurks within.

Like everything else in our lives, modern cars are controlled by a network of computers, from engine management to "body personality"- not kidding. Your window switches and heater controls probably pass through a highly sophisticated controller before the desired action takes place. So the old days of wiring a lead directly to the ignition key for example are long gone. Enter DATA and the CANBUS.

The end user will still get a new "clicker" to start and stop the vehicle remotely, and maybe opt for the smart phone app that lets them control the car from anywhere in the world (not so new-Alpine had this in the 80's) but think about the installer. The technician will have to work around layers of factory installed security systems, interface with various controllers and adjust the timing of signals to integrate smoothly with the vehicles data bus system. It may take over an hour of research to prepare for the installation in a new vehicle, not including time spent programming the needed interface modules via a computer. And you'll want a top notch installer, since data signals are much more susceptible to errors due to poor wiring practices. PLEASE be sure that you're chosen installer is prepared to solder all connections in your vehicle!

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