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Remote Car Starter Problems


MotorCityRemotes Remote Starter Car Alarm Troubleshooting BLOG


Read about common and not-so-common problems experienced with remote starters, car alarms and keyless entry systems.

Having a problem with a remote starter installation? Purchased a vehicle with an existing system and having some problems with it? Need a little direction or advice? Report your situation to us and we will be happy to try to help! With 30 years of installing car alarms and remote starter systems, there's a good chance we have seen the same problem before and can provide some recommendations and/or the fix you're looking for.

Troubleshooting Remote Starter

Saturday, April 29 2023
TECH TIP #77: Does my Ford Super Duty have factory remote keyless entry?

SITUATION: "I just recently bought a used 2007 Ford F-250 Super Duty Diesel and it did not come with any factory keyless entry remotes. I was wondering how I can find out if it came with remote keyless entry from the factory so I could just buy new factory replacement remotes and program them to the truck, or do I have to install an aftermarket keyless entry system?"

ANSWER: To test to see if your 2007 Super Duty came with factory remote keyless entry, get into the truck, close the door, keeping your foot off the brake, first press the power unlock switch on the driver's door, then begin with the ignition OFF, turn the ignition ON (do not start the vehicle) and OFF 8 times within 10 seconds, ending with the ignition ON on the 8th time...if the vehicle was equipped with factory remote keyless entry, the vehicle's power door locks will respond automatically by cycling from unlock to lock. Now, turn the ignition OFF and order some new remotes: Call at 1-866-244-8004 today.

Posted by: D.Weber AT 04:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 05 2023
SITUATION: "The battery in my truck died and after replacing it with a new one, now nothing works with my keyless entry/remote start.  The remote is on and when I push the remote start button the antenna signal is displayed in the top corner. It will not lock or unlock my truck either.  I have tried replacing the battery in the remote and still nothing.  Is there a way to reset everything and try re-programming?  Any assistance is appreciated."
ANSWER: Normally, but depending on the specific vehicle, just swapping out a vehicle's car battery could only affect the remote starter feature of the system, you should still be able to remotely lock and unlock the vehicle's doors, flash the parking lights, beep the horn, etc. Has anything else been done to the vehicle? Do both your remotes do the same thing? For further diagnosis, you may want to call our tech support line while you're in the vehicle for further troubleshooting assistance.
Posted by: MCR AT 01:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 16 2022

SITUATION: "I have a CAT1LR Code Alarm in this Altima I just bought, the car ran good then my boy messed with the button when I drove it later it was sluggish and really felt like I was taking off in 5th gear. Is this an issue as far as protection? I'm really confused and just want to disable it if so. I need help plz."

ANSWER: The Code Alarm system CAT1LR does not have the ability to cause the problems you report having with your vehicle. The button on the system's remotes can only activate the remote starter or shut down the remote starter when it's running by the remote starter...

And if it's the button on the antenna of the system you're talking about, that button is only active when the ignition is on, and can only be used to program new replacement remotes, place the system into valet mode (turn off the system), and change system settings (like remote start run times, etc.). There are no settings in the system that can affect how the vehicle runs after being started normally with the key. Wrong system settings would only cause the remote starter system itself not to work properly, but again, the system cannot cause the vehicle to run "sluggishly" or cause shifting problems...

So, that being said, nothing your Son did with either of the systems buttons, caused the problems you're having with it, it's definitely just a coincidence. I recently had this question presented to me before on the phone, and I basically said the same thing, fortunately, the gentleman called me back several days later just to let me know that he later found out it was a bad fuel injector. Hope this helps!

Posted by: D. Weber AT 05:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, July 31 2022
TECH TIP #74: Resetting a FLRS Series Flashlogic Remote Starter:

TOPIC: "How to Reset my Flashlogic FLRS Series Remote Starter System?"


STEP 1: Unplug all the connectors away from the Flashlogic module in any order BUT, you MUST unplug the BLACK 20-PIN plug LAST!

STEP 2: Now, PRESS AND HOLD in the module’s small black push-button that's on the Flashlogic module while plugging back in the BLACK 20-PIN connector:

STEP 3: Wait and few seconds while still holding the button in and the LED on the Flashlogic module should start FLASHING RED: Soon as you see the LED flashing RED, release the button:

STEP 4: After the release of the button, the LED should turn on solid RED for a few seconds then turn OFF: Module reset is now complete: Next, you must reprogram the module to the vehicle following the vehicle-specific programming procedure which differs from vehicle to vehicle. Only the reset procedure is the same no matter what year, make, and model the vehicle is.

Posted by: MCR AT 06:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 20 2022
TECH TIP #73: My remote doesn't work anymore. I replaced the battery and still no luck.

SITUATION: "My remote doesn’t work anymore. I replaced the battery and still no luck. Is it possible to replace them?

ANSWER: With most automotive remotes yes, it can be replaced. You just need to provide us with the FCC ID off the back of the remote with the number of buttons on the remote, or, what brand and model of the system you have installed in your vehicle, and we can assist you with what exact replacement remote you need. For phone assistance, you can call our "Tech-Direct" support line at 1-586-315-4005 M-F: 9am-7pm, Sat: 9am-5pm, and Sun: 9am-3pm, Eastern Time.

Posted by: MCR AT 05:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2022
TECH TIP #72: Replacing the Battery in a Code Alarm, Prestige, and Pursuit Remote:

TOPIC: "I have a Prestige remote starter remote and I need to replace the battery inside but I don't see any screws on the back of it to take out? How do I take it apart?"

ANSWER: They just snap apart. If you look around the side edges of the remote you should see a small rectangular slot where you can put a small flat head screwdriver in, and then slightly twist the screwdriver clockwise which should snap that spot apart. From there, you can just use your fingernail to slide down the open slot to completely separate the back of the case away from the front.

Posted by: MCR AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2022
TECH TIP #71: Door Lock & Unlock Chirps ON, Chirps OFF:

SITUATION: "Have a new used vehicle with a Pursuit 095BPR remote start, keyless entry, and alarm system, and the system sounds the siren every time I use the remote to lock and unlock the doors. Is there an easy way to turn this off so it will silently lock and unlock the doors?"

ANSWER: Yes, on most systems that have the Prestige 095BP or the Pursuit 095BPR remotes, try turning the ignition ON (do not start the vehicle), and within 10 seconds, press and release the button that's built into the system's antenna that's commonly found mounted on the windshield in the top center on the glass directly behind the rear-view mirror, 3 times: The system will sound 2 short pulses for CHIRPS OFF. Now, just press and release the lock then the unlock button on the remote and it should stop and just silently lock and unlock the doors. If you wanted to turn them back ON, just repeat the same procedure, and the system will this time sound just 1 short pulse for CHIRPS ON. On a technical note, if for whatever reason you have to disconnect the vehicle's battery, you may have to go back and repeat this procedure after you reconnect the vehicle's battery.

Posted by: MCR AT 07:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, April 30 2022
TECH TIP #70: Programming Button Broke:

PROBLEM: "I went to program the Ford remote part number 2W7Z-15K601-BA that we ordered from and come to find out, the systems little programming button is broken (there's no button, just a silver piece with a hole in the middle)... is there a replacement remote programming button available? and if there is, is there any other way I can program it while I'm waiting for the new programming button to be delivered?"

ANSWER: Yes, and yes: You can order a new programming button through our website by clicking on HERE. And in the meantime, if you have a small metal eyeglass type Phillips screwdriver that fits snugly into the hole of the programming button's silver base where the hole is (where the buttons spring and button cap went in), substitute where the programming instructions say to "press & hold the programming button in" with sliding the screwdriver into the hole where the button assembly was...your simply wanting to "short" the two small brown wires that are seen running into the back of the button mounting base together...then, whenever the instructions indicate to release the button, simply remove the screwdriver...

Now, if you don't have a screwdriver that fits into the hole, you'll have to cut the wires away from the back of the programming button's mounting base and instead strip&twist them temporarily together when the programming manual indicates to "press & hold the button in"...then separate them when the programming guide indicates to "release the button".

Posted by: Derek AT 06:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, April 24 2022
TECH TIP #69: Erasing Lost or Stolen Remotes:

TOPIC: "My keys were lost or stolen and they had my Code Alarm remotes on them, is there a way I can erase the remotes that were lost or stolen after I get my new set of remotes"?

ANSWER: YES! And it's easy. Code Alarm, Prestige, and Pursuit Brand systems can work with up to 4 remotes at the same time (as with most other brand name systems also). Following your specific systems remote programming procedure, if you have 2 new remotes, simply program each remote two times, if you have just one remote, program it 4 times in a row, 3 remotes...program 2 remotes once and one remote twice.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 07:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, April 23 2022
TECH TIP #68: How to Turn OFF Alarm without a Working Remote?

TOPIC: "How do you turn off the car's alarm when your key fob transmitter battery died?"

ANSWER: On factory-installed alarm systems, you should be able to turn off the alarm when your key FOBs are dead by turning the driver’s door key cylinder to the unlock position with a key. On aftermarket alarm systems, they have an emergency override button installed somewhere under the driver’s dash, but it's in no specific spot, it depends on the model of the vehicle and the installer's preference where he puts it. But, they are all found on the driver’s side under the dash area.

Posted by: Derek AT 05:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 20 2022
TECH TIP #67: Wrong Remote Programming Procedure?

TOPIC: "Older 5 button Prestige and Pursuit model remote (example remote models: 07SP and 08SPR) not working properly after programming it to the system. After a successful programming procedure, only the LOCK button on the remote works. The UNLOCK and the remote start buttons don't do anything. And if I press the LOCK button 2 times, it will also UNLOCK the doors."

ANSWER: With the older higher-end Prestige and Pursuit systems, the newer standard Prestige and Pursuit remote programming procedure where you turn the ignition ON, press the systems valet/programming button 3 times, then press the LOCK button on the remote, and then turn the ignition OFF doesn't apply. The older systems don't have 1 button programming. They have separate channels for each button on the remote that need to be programmed independently. This is what you do: Same beginning as the 1 button programming, turn the ignition ON, press and release the systems valet/programming button 3X (the system should sound in response), leaving the ignition ON, press the LOCK button on the remote, again, the system should sound in response. Next, press and release the systems valet/programming button just 1X (now you are in channel 2 programming) press the UNLOCK button on the remote and the system will sound again, press and release the programming button to go to channel 3 and press the button with the TRUNK/KEY icon...and finally, press and release the programming button again to go to channel 4 and again press and release the same remotes TRUNK/KEY button: Turn the ignition OFF and now test the remote (additional buttons marked 1 and 2 are not mandatory to program).

Hope this helps!
Derek W. General Manager

Posted by: Derek AT 06:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 15 2022
TECH TIP #66: Car won't Crank, How to Emergency Bypass the System?

PROBLEM: "I have an 06 Ford Explorer I bought used and come to find out it has a car alarm system in the vehicle and I have no remote keyless entry remotes to the vehicle. The red light on the alarm system flashes when I turn the vehicle off. Then when I try to start it now that red light flashes 1000 times and it's stopping me from starting the vehicle. On the Code Alarm module, it says CA–530. Is there somehow I can bypass the system to get my vehicle to start? Thank you.

REPLY: Just so you know, there are replacement remotes available for a CA-530 system, you can order them by clicking on HERE...If it is the system causing the vehicle not to "crank over" (because if the vehicle does crank over but doesn't start, it's not the system) you can bypass the system by putting a jumper across both the Solid PURPLE wire and the PURPLE w/RED TRACE wires coming from the center plug, then pull the 5A fuse out from under the access panel on top of the module. After this is done, if the vehicle still doesn't start, it wasn't the system preventing the vehicle from's something electrical or mechanical with the vehicle itself. By the way, a CA-530 system is not an alarm system, it's a remote starter with keyless entry and with a built-in starter-kill/anti-grind feature (which is the part of the system that could prevent the vehicle from cranking without having any remotes to the system).

 TECH TIP : Also, if you don't want to totally bypass the system, or are unable to do the work, thE two thin Solid BROWN wires also coming from the center plug should lead you to a small black push-button switch at the end of them. This is the system's "new remote programming button" and the system's "emergency bypass button"...if you press and hold the button, then while still holding the button in, crank the vehicle, and it should start (again if it's the system causing the problem) then release the button after the vehicle starts. But, without getting a new remote for the system or permanently bypassing the system as indicated above, you will have to press this button every time the vehicle won't start.

Posted by: MCR AT 11:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2021

TOPIC: "My Code Alarm 2-way remote will only lock and unlock my doors...and the screen on the remote keeps displaying "Zzz" on it...I think this means "sleep mode"...but I don't know how to take it out of this mode?

REPLY: Try: turn your ignition ON (do not start the vehicle), look up at the systems' antenna (which is probably mounted at the top center of the windshield on the glass behind the rearview mirror)...see if the LED light that is built into the antenna lights up solid when you turn the ignition ON (not flashing)...if it is, press and hold the button that is also built into the antenna until the LED turns OFF then release the try activating the remote starter. Maybe, somehow, your system was put into valet/service mode.

Posted by: Derek AT 03:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 11 2021
TECH TIP #64: 1st and 2nd Ignition Outputs from Remote Starter System:

QUESTION: "I'm installing a remote starter system and I have 2 wires from the system that indicate main ignition 1 and ignition 2 and I'm finding 2 wires in the ignition harness that show power when the ignition is turned on, are these the ignition wires I need to connect to and which one is the main ignition and which is the 2nd?"

ANSWER: A "main" ignition wire (or a.k.a. "true" ignition wire) is always the wire that shows NO +12VDC power as soon as you probe the wire with the ignition OFF, and then it immediately shows +12VDC power with the ignition ON and during start/crank (the +12DC power does not drop out when your turning/moving the ignition from ON to start/crank). This is a vehicle's main ignition wire. Now, many, many vehicles have 2 ignition wires that will test exactly the same as just described, meaning that the vehicle basically has 2 main ignition wires, and it would not matter which 1st or 2nd ignition output wire from the system you used to connect to the 2 ignition wires that tested the same in the vehicle. And both these wires must be connected to when installing a remote starter system or you may find that the ignition will turn on when you go to test the remote starter installation, but the vehicle either won't crank or cranks but doesn't start.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 08:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 09 2021
TECH TIP #63: Remote Starter Run Time:

TOPIC: "I just bought a used vehicle with a Code Alarm CAT1 remote starter in it. I would like to know if there's a timer for how long the vehicle will stay started. Will the vehicle turn off after a certain amount of time or remain running until I enter the vehicle"?

ANSWER: No matter what brand or model of a remote starter system, all remote starters will automatically shut off if the vehicle is not entered within a specific amount of time...the common run time is 15 minutes. Some may run longer (or even shorter), but all of them will automatically shut down when the vehicle is not entered within the pre-programmed run time.

Posted by: Derek AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 05 2021

QUESTION: Bought a 2003 Ford Explorer with a Code Alarm system in it. The car battery died, put a new battery in, and still, the car won't start. Just makes 1 click noise but no crank no nothing...?

ANSWER: If it's clicked at the starter motor then it's not the Code Alarm module causing the problem. The system can only completely stop all power from reaching the starter motor, you wouldn't even hear a click at the starter if it was the Code Alarms built-in kill-switch. Sounds like you may have additional problems like a bad or corroded ground wire or a bad starter motor. But, always press the unlock/disarm button on the Code Alarm remote before you try to start the vehicle.
Posted by: MCR AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 15 2021
TECH TIP #61: Remote starter doesn't work at all:

"I bought a vehicle that came with a code alarm CA421 remote starter installed in it and the light on the antenna does not come on and has not worked since I got the car. What should I look for or where do I start to troubleshoot it? Please help!!"

Troubleshooting and diagnosing most remote starter problems can be a long process, especially when trying to use the internet to get some answers. And most of the time it's usually not something that can be easily fixed. Even if you installed the system yourself or you're a remote starter technician, contacting professional tech support by phone is the only efficient way of diagnosing the possible causes (which can be several). And if you’re not the installer or a technician, rarely is the fix a “DIY” situation. First, you need to know the make and model of the system that is installed in the vehicle. Then not only having the proper tools on hand, which includes some type of 12VDC test probe or digital multimeter, and 90% of the time you will need to locate where in the vehicle the systems’ main control module was installed to make any of the needed tests and/or check some connections (and that's the easy part). Basically, it can get a little extensive with the troubleshooting process.

Posted by: Derek AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 02 2021

QUESTION: "My remote stopped working so I changed the batteries in it and it still won't work, so I need to know how to reprogram the remote to my remote starter system. It's a Code Alarm system that I had installed back in 2016." THX!

ANSWER: Code Alarm systems do not lose their ability to work with the system if the battery dies and you change the batteries. Matter of fact, no brand of automotive remote loses their programming after just changing the batteries in them. Unfortunately, this usually means there's something wrong with the remote and you probably need a new one.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 31 2021
TECH TIP #59: No

TOPIC: "Why isn't there a plug and play remote starter kit available for my vehicle?"

ANSWER: Mainly because older vehicles', and not-so-older vehicles', have a more conventional ignition/starting circuit where the vehicles' ECM or BCM (electronic control modules) isn't totally controlling the vehicle when started...for example, after you start a vehicle with the key that has a "conventional" starting circuit, and you were to turn the ignition to the start position again while the vehicle is running, the starter motor will grind against the flywheel. On vehicles with totally controlled ECM starting systems, this would not happen because no matter how long you were to hold the ignition in the start/crank position, all your doing is sending a momentary signal to the vehicle's ECM which actually controls the starting of the vehicle. You can look at it as the conventional ignitions are "analog" and the ECM-controlled ignitions are "digital".

Posted by: MCR AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 19 2021

TOPIC: 2011-2014 Ford F-150 Remote Start Programming Problem on Fortin THAR-FORT4 module: Ignition stays ON between key changes during the programming procedure:

ANSWER: In this case, disconnect the red plug from the module and go through the reset-reprogram procedure without plugging in the red connector until after the 1st key is used the 2nd time and the module confirms successful programming; door locks will cycle, and when the LED on the module is seen quickly flashing blue, turn ignition off and remove the key. Then the LED will momentarily light yellow. Now, plug in the red connector.

Posted by: D. Weber AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email


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