Can you put a Remote Start on a Hybrid? Remote Starter Guide

Having a remote starter on a hybrid is necessary for a cold climate since it is always nice to get into a warm car instead of one that is freezing cold. It is not crucial for the functioning of a hybrid to have a starter for the winter. Many people wonder if a starter will work in a car that has two motors: an electric motor and a gas motor.

Can you put a remote start on a hybrid?  You can put a remote start on a hybrid since the devices work on many different types of vehicles, even vehicles that have a diesel engine.  You will need to check the instructions of the remote start since some starters will have a special function that has to be turned on to work in a hybrid car.  Nevertheless, it will functions as it does with a normal gas engine. 

Something that I wanted to note is that if you have a hybrid with a push-button start and you had turned on the engine using the remote start, the car will stop once you open the door.  You will then have to push the start button to restart the car.  This is the way that it works with most hybrids.  If you have a remote start that is preinstalled, it may be set up differently so that the engine does not stop as you open the door.

I have read certain companies that sell hybrid will allow you to sign up for a service that activates the remote start for you.  The cars already have the ability but it has to be controlled by software and there is a fee to make that happen.  I feel that they should have had that feature already activated, but I guess that it is a way to increase their earnings.  Plus, they will have to pay programmers to keep the software running properly which is not free.

I found a few indications of the cost of such a service.  In 2019, Toyota was charging around $80 per year for a subscription to Remote Connect. Nevertheless, some other manufacturers had the service included if someone were to purchase one of the higher-end vehicles or more expensive trims.  For instance, the following companies have remote start included:

  1. Honda
  2. Nissan

Can you put a remote start on a Toyota Prius?

Yes, you can put a remote start on a Prius.  Owners online suggest that you have it installed by a dealership since it is not user-friendly.  I could find any indication that it is a feature that is included with a Prius. That would have been the simplest solution, just to activate it using a subscription service remotely.

There are many choices of remote starters that will work with a Toyota Prius. You do have to ensure that the starter that you get does not have a ton of bad reviews.  The devices are small but they have a lot of internal coding and components.  If you were to get one that was aftermarket, there is a just that it will not smoothly.  Using a cheap remote starter would cause many headaches if you were to depend greatly on having your car defrosted so that you could drive away quickly without having to scrape windows for hours each morning.

Once you have the right remote start sourced and purchased, now is the time to find a dealer that will install it for you.  You may run into a few Prius mechanics that will state that they cannot install a remote start into a Pruis because it uses a continuously variable transmission.  This is 100 percent true,  a Prius uses a non-typical CVT.  It has a device called the Power Split.  A planetary gear connects both the gas engine and the electric engine, so there is no shifting.  In other words, is not a true CVT so installing a remote start is fine.

Although it is advisable to have the remote start for a Prius installed by a professional, there are owners that are doing so themselves.  Just remember that if were to cut away at wires and then remove the remote start later on, there would be traces that you had altering something which could put your warranty at risk.  For instance, if a part is under warranty and was noticed that you had cut wiring elsewhere, perhaps you would end up buying for parts that should have been covered.   Certain components can be costly.

Nevertheless here are few steps that people are taking to install a remote start on their own in a Prius:

  1. Have to set it up so that node 0 of the carpc v2 is in the on position.  When node 0 is on, you will need to ensure that you have the car turned on at least once every 8 days.  If not, you will need to shut off node 0 and reboot the car.
  2. I am not convinced that fooling around with the node is a good plan.  You could be opening up the node to car hackers that might be able to turn on your car through a node and take it away.
  3. Other owners are using an immobilizer bypass to use a remote start. You can install a universal one, but that would require that you tinker with a fob to remove its transponder. Buying another FOB is expensive.
  4. Another owner accomplished a bypass using idatalink.  Apparently, the idatalink ADS-TBSL-KO is the one to buy.  You can purchase it on Amazon from idatalink by clicking here.
  5. One big drawback of using idatalink for the bypass in a Prius is that when in use, it deactivates the alarm system.  This means that you have to install another alarm system if you live in a questionable area.

Does the RAV4 Hybrid have a remote start?

If you have a RAV4 Hybrid that was made before 2020, the remote start is not included.  The model 2020 and beyond does have this feature depending on the model.  For instance, if you have a RAV4 LE Hybrid. you will not have access to remote start. One way of quickly determining if you have remote start included is by the size of your screen. If you have an eight-inch screen you will have the feature. You will need to have the audio plus upgrade to have the feature listed.

Turning on the feature for your RAV4 Hydrid is simple.  I will outline the steps for you:

  1. Even though it is easy to activate the remote start, you do have to try it out a few times before it becomes second nature.
  2. With the FOB, press the lock button twice, and then hold in the lock button for about 5 seconds.  You may hear some clicking noises signaling that it starting the vehicle.
  3. Something else that happens is the yellow lights in the front will start to flash just before the electric motor is started.
  4. The hybrid starts the electric motor first, so that is why it is hard to hear that the vehicle is being started.  Nevertheless, wait another few seconds and the gas engine will turn on.  You, of course, will be able to hear the vroom of the gas motor. You have now been able to start the vehicle using the remote start that is built-in.
  5. There is a chance that you will be able to start your hybrid by Toyota by using your Toyota application.  Just install it on your phone and go to the function that is called ‘remote connect’.  The function will have an image of the car and a large green button at the bottom of the screen that must be pressed and held to start the engine. You can also lock or unlock that car using the same screen,

Here is a video of a guy that is testing different Toyota models,  including RAV4s,  to see if the remote start is included:

Does the Ford Fusion Hybrid have a remote start?

You need to have a ford fusion hybrid that is able to have Fordpass.  Fordpass provides remote access to your vehicle, which includes the remote start feature.

Here are a few listed versions that I found that have the ability to use Fordpass:

  1. Ford Fusion Hybrid 2019
  2. Ford Fusion Hybrid 2020

In order to use remote start, you need to activate the sync connect that is part of the Fordpass System.  Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Download the app for fordpass from the app store for iPhone.
  2. Install the app
  3. You will need to add your vehicle via the VIN by clicking on ‘my vehicles’, and ‘add vehicle’
  4. You can find the VIN by looking on the inside of the driver’s door.
  5. There will be a confirmation message that appears so that you can agree that the VIN is right.
  6. Now click on ‘finish’
  7.  Click once again once you have noticed that your car has been added.
  8.  Now you will have access to the remote commands for your hybrid.
  9. You will be able to unlock your car doors and start your vehicle remote.

If you have a Ford Fusion Hybrid from 2014-2018, you can buy a plug-n-play device that will provide your vehicle with remote start.  It is a kit that has the firmware preloaded and it includes all of the necessary wiring.  Click here to view the MPC Remote Start Kit for the Ford Fusion Hybrid on Amazon.

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