Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

GSM Car Starter (Start the car with a cell phone)

Status
Not open for further replies.

barjebus

New Member
Hi all! New member here. About a year ago I cracked open my remote car starter key fob and wired it to a GSM controlled relay switch. I connected the GSM device to my 12 cigarette outlet in my truck to keep continuous power to it and stowed it under the dash. Now I can start my vehicle from anywhere in the world!

I would like to start performing this service for others where I live (for a fee of course), and would like to simplify the process. Currently I'd have to track down their exact type of key fob remote and try to get one on ebay (buying them new is just too expensive) and then wire it up and try to make up for any timing problems or sequencing problems that their remote starter may have (i.e. having to press other buttons first or pressing the start button twice).

So my question is, has anyone cracked open their car starter brain before? I would love to wire my GSM controller in directly to whatever pin gets activated when a wireless signal from the key fob is received. Do you think such a thing is possible? It would be awesome to just buy a bunch of really cheap remote car starters that have crummy key fobs and just wire the GSM controller in directly and never have to use the key fobs ever again.

Anyways, any thoughts or information you may have would be awesome!
 

MikeMl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member

barjebus

New Member
My apologies. I'll clarify that this thread is more interested in finding out whether anyone has cracked open remote car starter brains before to take a look at the guts.
 

rfs100

New Member
Just getting key fob remotes is a hell of a lot more difficult than what you think. Most have to be programmed at the dealership, and most have to all be reprogrammed at the same time. Usually this programming/reprogramming service is fairly expensive..my Kia dealership quotes a $75.00 minimum charge to program remotes, and thats if you have 1 or 100. As well, a lot of cars now have "Smart Keys" that actually have rfid info built into them that does not allow operation of the car, unless the key is placed in the ignition. Long gone are the simple days when car starters simply used a relay to short across the ignition contacts.
Car starters are now integrated into incredibly efficient, complicated anti-theft systems, right from the factory.
 
Last edited:

barjebus

New Member
Agree'd rfs100, things are becoming more difficult. It definitely depends on the car starter you have as you said. The ones I've come across so far are all programmable by the user. The two most common ways I've found for pairing key fobs is to either press the hood pin down multiple times (the remote starter manual will tell you in what sequence) and then press a specific combination of keys on the fob. This will assign it to the remote starter.

The other (and more difficult way) is to directly depress a button on the side of many remote starters. This sometimes isn't possible though due to the placement of the car starter brain. The guy who installed my car starter unfortunately didn't hook up the remote starter to the hood pin, and so I had to pull a panel off the inside of my dash and reach in and blindly fumble with the button while trying to sync my key fob. I was very lucky with mine (its a cheap model) and was able to pick up an extra fob for $20 off ebay, but its only a single way one with no lcd screen or anything fancy like that.

I would say the first step for anyone looking to fiddle with remote starts is find the manual for your model online! There's tons of neat tips and tricks that most car starters have as standard features that I had no idea about until I read my manual.
 

rfs100

New Member
I recently inquired about a replacement KEY from my dealer....mind you this is a KIA, not a Lamborgini, and they wanted $55.00 FOR THE KEY...and ANOTHER $25.00 to PROGRAM IT!!!!...THATS $80.00 BLODDY DOLLARS FOR A CAR KEY!!!!!. They 2 button remote is $75.00, plus $25.00 for programming.
So I asked, I found a place on the internet that will sell me my KIA key, and will cut it, all for about $15.00...so how much to program it...."that'll be $75.00 to program a non-KIA key, sir". And thats for a standard key, and a very basic fob, no lcd screen, just 2 buttons, one for the door, 1 for the trunk.
If the key is not programmed the car will not start, and the doors will not open, so all you have is a nice funny-shaped piece of metal with a cool rubber coating on one end if they dont code it.
So dont worry...manufacturers have you both coming and going.
So if my crappy $5000.00 KIA has such a sophisticated system..its all uphill from here.

That being said, I did see an ad for a "upscale" vehicle that did allow you to call it with your cell, punch in your secret code, and it wll let you in the door, and start the car. It may take a while for such a item to be included in low-end cars like mine.
 
Last edited:

cobra1

New Member
this sounds like what the high end cars have, bentleys and such. If you loose your keys etc, you can get in the car push a button and an operator will take a secret code from you, and if its correct they start your car up for you. Magic
 

barjebus

New Member
Ah, I understand what you mean now (i.e. keys integrated with wireless remote start capability). My only experience has been with key fobs, not integrated units such as yours. I have no idea how they program them or sync them with the vehicle...but I'm betting its some simple process that is obscured from the public such that we remain in the dark and end up having to pay their exorbitant fee's!

I really wish I could create a reliable GSM based remote start system, which is why I would love to crack open existing remote starter brains and just wire in my own GSM device and then possibly sell that to people. I'm sure there's a market for wanting to start your car from your cell phone or by sending a text message. Currently the best I can do is find out what model of car starter it is and try to tracking down a the proper key fob on ebay for cheaps and create this frankenstein system that I've got going.
 

shokjok

Member
The situation gets worse if you have GPS. Tamper with that system and you could lose your coverage, warranty and/ or vehicle. OnStar may have this disabling feature, or forbid this action.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

Top