Common Problems With The Chevy Remote Start System & Fixes

By now, almost all of us have gotten used to starting our Chevys with the click of a button. This feature is called remote start and is one of the most useful automotive innovations in recent years. However, some Chevrolet owners have reported issues with this feature. Is your Chevy remote start not working? Then, you have come to the right place.

Today, we’ll explore all the culprits behind Chevy remote start problems. Not only that, but we’ll be taking a look at the fixes for this issue, and some preventative maintenance tips.

It is safe to say that dead batteries, high coolant temperature, valet mode, incorrect use, and signal interference are a few of the most common causes of Chevy remote start failure. If you are the proud owner of one of these machines, make sure to keep an eye out for the things we discuss here.

Chevrolet Remote Start

How to Use Remote Start on a Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac | Digital  Trends

Chevrolet and its parent company – General Motors, were one of the first American car manufacturers to offer remote start as a feature in their vehicles. You can activate this feature by pressing the remote start button on the key fob. In most models, the remote start logo takes the shape of a curved arrow.

Similar to the lock and unlock buttons we all are familiar with, you should be relatively close to your vehicle for the remote starter to work. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when starting your Chevy with the remote.

First and foremost, make sure the vehicle is locked before pressing the remote start button. You can ensure this by pressing the “Lock” button on the key fob. Pressing the remote start button once or even twice won’t do anything. Instead, press and hold the button for around four seconds – that will do the trick!

But, the engine won’t keep running forever and burning off precious fuel when you fire it up using the remote starter. Instead, it will shut itself off after running for 15 minutes. If you want to keep the engine running for longer, you can simply restart it by pressing the key fob button once again.

In contrast, you can turn off the engine by pressing the “curved arrow” button on the key fob as well!

Most Common Chevy Remote Start Problems

Now that we have the basics of Chevrolet’s remote start system out of the way, let us focus on the problems owners have with it.

Some of the most notorious Chevy remote start problems include,

  • Complete remote start failure
  • Battery drain
  • Reduced range
  • Key fob programming issues

Many causes lead to this array of problems. In the next section, we will take a look at the most common ones.

Common Reasons for Chevy Remote Start Not Working

Digital Debunking: Using Your Head to Extend Your Car Remote Range

Are you a Chevrolet owner facing any of the aforementioned issues with your remote starter system? Then, here are some probable reasons that deserve your attention.

  • Incorrect Use
  • Too Many Attempts
  • Dead Battery
  • Valet Mode
  • High Coolant Temperature
  • Mechanical Issues
  • Signal Interference
  • The Car Is In the Wrong Gear
  • Hazard Lights
  • Doors Are Open

Incorrect Use

We have seen some Chevy owners complain about the remote start system without realizing that they are the ones to blame. You see, unlike the lock/unlock buttons, simply pressing the remote start button won’t fire up the engine.

As we mentioned earlier, you have to lock the car before starting it remotely. Once you press the lock button, keep holding the remote start button until your Chevrolet roars to life.

Keep in mind that for the remote start to work, the key should be located outside the vehicle. Although, we can’t understand why someone would want to remotely start the car from inside the cabin!

Too Many Attempts

Raise your hands if you have been locked out of a device because you tried to unlock it with the wrong code too many times. You already know both my hands are up!

Similarly, if you try to use the remote start feature over and over again in quick succession, it will automatically deactivate. You’ll have to stick the key into the keyfob, turn the engine ‘ON’ and then ‘OFF’ to get the feature working once again.

Dead Battery

Chevy key fobs house CR2032 lithium cell button-type batteries, and when they die, it causes a whole host of issues. There is a high possibility of a dead key fob battery being the cause of your remote start troubles.

If you suspect this is the case, simply replacing the battery is enough to solve the issue. A replacement battery typically costs less than $10, and you can perform the repair in the comfort of your garage.

To replace the battery, first, take off the battery cover using your fingers or a screwdriver. Then, carefully remove the dead battery, ensuring that it doesn’t get jammed. After that, put the new battery in its place, close the cover, and you are good to go!

Valet Mode

As you might already know, the valet mode is designed to be used when you hand your car over to another party – be it a valet, technician, or car mechanic. In this mode, some vehicle systems are disabled as a precautionary safety measure. Remote start is one of these features.

In this case, turning off the valet mode is all you have to do to re-enable remote start. You can do this by pressing a specific key combination, which can be found on the vehicle owner’s manual.

High Coolant Temperature

When the coolant temperature is too high, the ECU will disable the remote start feature as a safety procedure. The same happens when the oil pressure is too low.

In this case, we recommend letting the vehicle cool down for a few minutes. When the temperatures and pressures return to normal, remote start will once again be enabled automatically. While letting the vehicle cool down, it is also a good idea to check the coolant reservoir and top it off if the level is too low.

Mechanical Issues

Just like the previous cause, mechanical problems with your vehicle can result in the ECU disabling the remote start feature. For example, if any warning symbol (like the “Check engine” light) is illuminated, the remote starter simply won’t work.

Signal Interference

Not all remote start problems are caused by your vehicle. Sometimes, outside interference from the likes of radio frequencies and RFID tags can prevent the remote start signals from reaching the vehicle. We recommend keeping RFID-emitting items away from your key fob to prevent this from happening.

The Car Is In the Wrong Gear

Your Chevy must be in “Park” for the remote starter to fire up the engine. If your car is already in “Park” but the system still won’t function, retry pressing the button after disengaging and engaging the gear once more.

Hazard Lights

Chevrolet models can be picky with their remote start process, and this is another example of that. When the hazard lights are on, starting the engine by pressing the button on the key fob will be a futile effort. Turn off the hazard lights, and the remote starter will work like a charm.

Doors are open

To start your Chevy remotely, all doors must be locked. So, before pressing the remote start button, ensure that all doors are properly closed, and all windows are fully rolled up.

In the next section, we’ll give you some tips on how to prevent Chevy remote start problems.

Preventative Maintenance Tips To Keep Chevy Remote Start Working Properly

Want to ensure that your remote starter works as intended for a while? If so, here are some things you should do.

  • Keep an eye on the cooling system
  • Watch out for mechanical issues
  • Replace the key fob battery on schedule

Keep an eye on the cooling system

Low coolant levels, a faulty radiator fan, a clogged water pump, ruptured coolant lines as well as a failed thermostat can all lead to overheating and high coolant temperatures. As we discussed earlier, either of these problems is enough to render your Chevy’s remote start system useless.

We recommend inspecting all components of the cooling system regularly to prevent any unexpected cooling-related problems.

Watch out for mechanical issues

Although Chevrolets are known to be pretty reliable, they still suffer from a fair share of mechanical issues. Some areas to keep an eye out for include the catalytic converter, spark plug wires, O2 sensor, and mass airflow sensor (MAF)

Replace the key fob battery on schedule

All batteries have a limited lifespan, and the same goes for the key fob battery as well. Ideally, it should be replaced every three to four years. You can prolong the key fob battery life by storing it away from your vehicle when not in use.

After going through all these factors, it is safe to say that many reasons can lead to the Chevy remote start not working. Make sure to use what you learned here today to reap the maximum benefit of your remote start system.

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Mahir Ahmed


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