Viper is an iconic brand known worldwide for their remote start systems. And just like the dangerous reptile they are named after, viper remote starters are known for their precision.
But, that is not to say these remote starters are without their issues. So today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most common reasons behind Viper remote start not working, and the best fixes for them.
Dead key fob batteries, broken hood pins, and programming faults are a few of the main reasons why your Viper remote start might not be working. And if your car comes equipped with a remote starter from Viper, remember to keep a vigilant eye out for these potential troubles.
Viper Remote Start Systems
Let’s start off the discussion by taking a look at the history of Viper remote starters. Viper is a subsidiary of Directed Electronics, which is a frontrunner in vehicle security systems. Although the parent company launched in 1982, it took seven more years for the Viper brand to make its first appearance.
With the launch of their SmartStart technology in 2009, Viper was the first to introduce the “connected car” concept to the world. In an era where the smartphone was still in its infancy, this system allowed drivers to control and locate their vehicles using this new piece of cellular technology.
Being an innovative brand and a trailblazer in the vehicle security market, Viper offers their customers several remote start and car alarm systems. As of 2023, their product catalog includes,
- 2-Way Plus
- 1-Way Plus
- Enhanced 1-Way
- LED 2-Way
Looking for a remote starter that offers Bluetooth control on top? If so, look no further than the Viper DS4. The DS4 allows drivers to lock, unlock and remotely start their vehicles directly through their smartphone. Furthermore, you can use these features from up to 150 feet away via Bluetooth, or anywhere around the globe as long as there is cellular connectivity.
The 4115V 1-Way is one of the smallest remote starters Viper offers. It has a range of up to ¼ mile and is compatible with the SmartStart feature. The 4115 offers separate ESP2 and D2D ports and an auxiliary channel.
This small-yet-innovative remote starter allows you to unlock your car up to 1 mile away. It has an LED flash for confirmation and allows you to perform a variety of control functions, like flashing the parking lights, honking the horn, and controlling the defroster.
Based on the system we discussed earlier, the 1-Way Plus system by Viper offers drivers 5 buttons to control various functions of their vehicle. This system is compatible with all types of cars, including ones with manual transmissions. It offers several advanced functionalities like timed start, run-time start, and smart start, on top of the ½ mile operational range.
As the name suggests, this system enhances the feature set of the 1-Way model. Some of the most notable additions include keyless entry, SmartStart compatibility, and the inclusion of two 1-Way remotes.
In addition to its impressive 1-mile range, the most eye-catching feature of the Viper 4806V LED 2-Way remote start system is the inclusion of a rechargeable battery. It is built with one-handed operation in mind, made evident by the bright LED bulbs which light up to confirm each operation.
Worried about battery life? Don’t sweat it! You can fully recharge the LED 2-Way remote in less than an hour. And once you do, that charge will last more than 6 months. Hopefully, that puts your mind at ease.
Now that you know all about the most popular Viper remote start systems, let us shift our attention toward the common issues they suffer from.
4 Most Common Viper Remote Start Problems and Causes
Having trouble with your Viper remote start system? Here are some common problems and the potential culprits behind your headaches.
With almost all Viper remote starters having more than one button, inadvertently triggering valet mode is a real possibility. As the name suggests, Valet mode is intended to be used when handing over the keys to a valet or a third party. By doing so, it disables some key features for additional safety.
If only the “Remote Start” button on your Viper remote does not work while the “Lock” and “Unlock” buttons function as normal, it indicates that the valet mode is on. You can easily turn the valet mode off by pressing a specific combination of keys on the remote.
To turn off the valet system, all you have to do is press and hold the trunk release and lock buttons at the same time. Once the valet mode turns off, the parking lights will flash twice as a confirmation. After that, you can continue to enjoy the Viper remote start feature as you please.
If your vehicle does not respond to any button on the Viper keyfob, there might be an internal programming issue. This can happen when mechanics disconnect the battery during service, or if the keyfob has run out of battery.
Viper remote start systems have an integrated controller board that includes both the ignition and starter relays. If the issue lies with this module, you’ll have to get it replaced at an authorized Viper or Directed Electronics Inc. dealer.
As you might have guessed, troubleshooting remote starter programming issues is not cheap. Luckily, this issue is not common, and you’re less likely to encounter it compared to the other problems we’ll be discussing in this article.
Broken Hood Pin Switch
Similar to other remote start systems on the market, Viper also employs a hood pin switch to ensure that the car won’t start remotely while someone is working on the engine. Over time, the hood pin switch can fail, leading to remote start malfunction.
Dead batteries are the most common cause behind Viper remote start system failure. Although these batteries are designed to last several years, frequent use and sub-optimal operating conditions can significantly reduce their lifespan.
Some Viper remote starters come with built-in low battery indicators. For example, the Viper 5301 emits groups of beeps and flashes the remote’s LED when it is close to running out of battery power.
However, keep in mind that the indication mechanisms may vary depending on the type of Viper remote start system you have.
Viper Remote Resetting and Resyncing
If you are facing issues with your Viper system, resetting the remote just might do the trick. There is a dedicated button on the keyfob specifically for this purpose. Keep pressing this button until the remote LED turns solid as a confirmation.
On the other hand, resyncing the remote might help to alleviate any synchronization issues between the device and your vehicle. To resync the remote, open the door and turn the key to the “ON” position in the ignition. Next, press the antenna button on the remote, and keep holding it. The pairing process will start once you hit the lock button.
Preventative Maintenance Tips To Make Viper Remote Start Systems Last Longer
Want to enjoy your Viper remote start system to the fullest? If so, here are some maintenance tips you should follow.
Replace the Batteries
Viper recommends replacing the keyfob battery once a year to ensure reliability. Depending on the model, Viper remote starters can have a variety of batteries, including CR2016 and CR2032.
Replacing the battery is a straightforward job that requires only a screwdriver. All you have to do is simply remove the screw which holds the remote casing in place. After that, swap out the old battery with a new one, and you are good to go.
Look After the Hood Pin Switch
As we touched upon the importance of the hood pin switch in an earlier section, you might be interested in learning how to improve its lifespan. Due to its location, the hood pin switch is frequently exposed to rain and moisture, which leads to rust formation.
The best way to prevent this is by spraying the hood pin switch with a rust inhibitor at regular intervals. Additionally, make sure to check this switch frequently for misadjustments.
Check the Oil Pressure
If everything with your Viper remote starter seems well, but the vehicle still refuses to start, an engine issue like low oil pressure might be the one to blame. On these occasions, the onboard ECU temporarily disables the remote start feature to prevent extensive engine damage.
In addition to low oil pressure, extreme coolant temperatures can also lead to this situation. In this case, letting the engine cool down before trying to remotely start the engine is the best course of action to take.
If you are the proud owner of a Viper remote start system or planning to get one installed soon, make sure to keep what you learned here today in the back of your mind. You never know when you might need it!