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My Rant about automatic car starters.

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My Rant about automatic car starters.

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Old 12-17-2005, 09:22 AM
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Default My Rant about automatic car starters.

Two weeks ago we went to the Misses company Christmas party. She won an automatic car starter from a spot dance - we were pleased, more so her because it was for her car and she wanted one for Christmas.

Now if I wasn't with broken ribs and this dumbed up shoulder I would have installed it myself, but as it was I agreed to pay $150 to have it installed (plus 7% taxes). Now when I get to the shop to have it installed they tell me the 150 doesn't include the wiring for the door locks or trunk functions to be hooked up, that's another $75 - I was pissed at their company's policy of not being up front on the phone the other day - I had asked explisidly, "is there any other expenses associated with installing this unit"? I was told no!

Well given that the temperature is below freezing and I don't have a heated garage to work in and all the work needed to be done is under the steering column and dash I reluctantly agree to the $225 plus 7% taxes.

Then the guy turns around and says, "do you have a universal module"?

No I said, "what's that"?

Well he said, "blah, blah, blah.

My bottom line was it was another $49 plus 15% taxes. Now I'm really unhappy for two reasons. One: how this guy sprung the additional 75 bucks on me and two is the cost of this ''free" gift that the Misses won.

Either way I reluctantly say to the guy, "ok put one of them in".

He in turn says to me, "do you have a spare ignition key"?

I say, "yah but it's at home, why"?

"well we need it for your universal module" he says.

Ok so I drive home to get it. In the meantime as I'm driving I'm thinking about this free gift that is costing me 150 + 75 + 49 + a spare key and an extra trip. Needless to say I'm not happy but I'm holding fast to the notion that I didn't have to buy the car starter for a 100 bucks.

Then just when I figure I'm out of the water and dried off at $274 plus taxes (about $300) I find out that the cost to replace the spare key is going to cost me at least another 100. So this darn frigin' free gift is going to cost me over $400 just to use the darn thing. Now how free is that????

Oh I don't think I mentioned that when the shop had the car they killed the battery. Oh sure I knew the battery was weak, but it was very usable. I have been told by the shop that the automatic car starter does draw power from the battery even though the vehicle is shut off. Therefore the use of this unit has forced my hand on the replacing the battery - another $80.

So if any of you are concidering giving a car starter as a Christmas or any other event gift you might want to re-think this.

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Old 12-17-2005, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

Next time buy her a car with a standerd, can't put'em in those.

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Old 12-17-2005, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: My Rant about automatic car starters.

" The gift that keeps on......taking"
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

There's nothing like a car starter during the winter. I'd pay my wife $400 if she'd warm up her own car. The money is cheap compared to the extra minutes in bed next to your forever grateful wife on those cold snowy mornings.
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Old 12-17-2005, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

A heated garage is better. Of course it does not work when your away from home.
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Old 12-17-2005, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

Isn't it funny how "free" stuff usually isn't.



Now the most important part, Does it work?
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

I had a similar experience, not as bad as yours though, with Circuit City...I bought the unit with installation as a gift for my wife. I didn't have her car so I took the unit and they said she could bring the car in any time to have it installed. She went on a week day, they couldn't do it, too many people ahead of her. So she called the next day to make an appointment, the person on the phone told her "we don't make appointments, it is first come first served".
We went the next saturday, got there 15 mins before opening, there were a couple of other people there. The guy left us in about 7 degree weather outside the door till EXACTLTY 8am. Got inside 2 people ahead of us signed in, my turn I say "I bought this starter a few days ago I would like to have it installed. By this time a few other people came in, he says I am not sure we can do it, there are a few people ahead of you with appointments! WHAT!!! you don't make appointments??

I went beserk, I slammed the starter on the counter and said either this F***ing thing is being installed today or I want my money back now!!!!!!!!! It got installed, he tried to hit me for another $30 cause it was a Suburu with factory alarm. I said you don't even want to go there, he backed off. Bottom line, my wife loves it, that's all that counts.
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Old 12-17-2005, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

I bought a Pursuit car starter for my wife....250.00 my cost, 500.00 list....When buying anything electronic you get what you pay for...You wouldn't buy cheap electronics for your boat and your car or truck is no different...I installed it myself...when it came to the part about the spare key..I measured the resistance of the chip in the old key and bought a 1.00 resistor a Radio Shack of the same resistance. I then installed this in the wiring instead of the "universal" module...It has worked flawlessly and is by far the best 250.00 I spent on my wifes car....

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Old 12-17-2005, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

Mist-Rest - 12/17/2005 2:02 PM

A heated garage is better.
Yah and a heated driveway and walkways. .....maybe one day when I'm rich.

Lobuks - 12/17/2005 4:35 PM
I measured the resistance of the chip in the old key and bought a 1.00 resistor a Radio Shack of the same resistance.
Ok.......now in one of my last jobs I did 19.5 years doing electronics, how are you measuring the resistance when there is only one metal piece?
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

Hey, since your in Canada doesn't that work out to about $20 American?

My brother in law installed one on his powerstroke. When the temp dropped below a certain temp it kept starting by itself in the middle of the night. Since it was hooked to the alarm, that kept going off too. They had to go out at 2 am to unhook the battery.
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

This particular model of GM had an external resistor in the key...so in reality it was 2 pieces of metal and 2 pieces of plastic...some later models do require another key and are a little tougher ...Generally these vehicles will also have to return to the dealer to have the new key programmed into the vehicle security module..

The point is this should have been all laid out up front and not an add on... It's like a legal form of bait and switch...not against the law but it should be.....

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Old 12-18-2005, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

I HAD A UNIT INSTALLED FOR $200. IN MY 2005 F-150. I NEEDED AN OTHER KEY. ORDERED ONE ON EBAY ,,,$15 . WHEN YOU HAVE IT INSTALLED THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS, LIKE THE LOW TEMP AUTO START. IF THE ALARM IS GOING OFF THEY DIDNT HOOK IT UP CORRECTLY.
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

Lobuks - 12/17/2005 11:00 PM

This particular model of GM had an external resistor in the key...so in reality it was 2 pieces of metal and 2 pieces of plastic...some later models do require another key and are a little tougher ...Generally these vehicles will also have to return to the dealer to have the new key programmed into the vehicle security module..

The point is this should have been all laid out up front and not an add on... It's like a legal form of bait and switch...not against the law but it should be.....

Lobuks
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All I can say is, "you lucky dog you"

darn straight it should be ilegal to bait and switch like they did to me. You know when I was there to pick up my car there was another guy on the phone doing the exact same thing to someone else - boy did he ever get an earful from me when he got off the phone.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

For this very reason is why we had KIDS~ So THEY can go start the car on cold mornings!



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Old 12-21-2005, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

If it's not installed by a dealer it can void your warranty. I read of a dealer refusing to do electrical work on a car with an after market self-starter until it's removed and the wiring returnned to original configuration. This was in one of those ask the mechanic columns and I havent heard/read of that happening to any one else but the reponse was that the dealer was in their rights and it does happen.

Anyone considerring one of these devises might want to check with their dealer-ship about an OEM version. Then parts and labor will both be coverred by the same shop.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: My Rant about automatic car starters.

Although I didn't ask with Honda I do know that Ford does a factory install at the dealership. A girlfriend of ours is having one installed in her new SUV. The price out the door will be somewhere around the $700 mark.
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