Reliability of remote start system? (1 Viewer)

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Hey all and thanks for the support in this community,

I recently obtained a rig ('04 LX470, 150k miles) and have been putting a good bit of time and money into baselining it (power steering rack, valve cover gaskets, radiator, all low pressure power steering lines, u-joints on the rear drive shaft, etc.). I was trying to chase down a rear light failure warning light in the cluster when I encountered something I was not expecting. It appears one of the 2 PO's put in a remote start system that I was unaware of. It wires into the controls for the running lights which I think is why my rear light failure warning light is on (despite all lights being in working order). It is a Avital 1-way remote start from what I can tell. I have no idea how this affects the reliability of the ignition system, but it definitely doesn't improve it. I was hoping for this to be an overlanding rig for my family (nothing crazy but remote parts of the Western US for sure).

It has started reliably to date for me (~4 months and probably hundreds of starts). I've put in a photo from under the dash on the DS. It doesn't appear to be horribly installed for what it is.

How unreliable do you feel this system being in place is? Would you have it removed for reliability? Would you consider it reliable even after removed? Who would you trust to do that and restore it correctly? Uh, not a good start to the day.

Thanks all for your advice.

under the dash.jpg
 
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That picture basically looks like a Rorschach test to me, so I'm going to be no help other than a bump.

My 99 has a problem with the security system, and I don't know if it's stock or if some PO messed with it. I was planning on taking mine to a local stereo guy and see if he can tell me what's going on, and if it's possible to deactivate the stock system altogether and replace it with an aftermarket alarm system. If I were you, I'd take it to a good local car audio shop. They almost always do alarms and remote starts and stuff as well.
 
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Tough question. Certainly more reliable without the system. However, removing it could also cause confusion. It might be best to learn how to troubleshoot the setup if & when issues arise. Maybe a connection gets knocked loss and you are able to fix it.

Though I’m not familiar with remote start systems and maybe a trip to a specialty shop for an analysis is a good idea.

In the end, chances of a flat tire or dead battery are probably more likely than failure of that system.
 

Sandroad

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Well, since it has already caused one problem (warning light) and these aftermarket systems are notorious for causing starting problems if not installed correctly, I suggest getting a pro to look at it and give you advice. If it was my truck, I would definitely remove it and have the wiring reconnected by someone who knows what they are doing. Maybe start with a call to Cruiser Outfitters down in Murray and see if they can give you some advice and/or help? If nothing else, make sure you are carrying spare fuses for those added fuse holders and get and carry the owner/installation manual for the system for when you need it someday.
 

ramangain

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That looks like a whole heap of crimp connectors in a very tight spot. I actually don't see how that was done without removing that wire loom from the truck, wiring in things on the bench, then snaking/shoving everything back into place and reconnecting the connectors. I've done my share of wiring on cars and complex lasers, and I wouldn't touch that without the full wiring diagrams of the alarm system and EWD for your rig.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
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Hey all,

I really appreciate your input. It seems 50/50 to me that the effort of removing the system will cause as many problems as it solves. I've gone so far as to consider selling the rig and looking for a similar one to replace it with that I would be less concerned of reliability issues in. But, given PO's usually don't keep up rigs like 'MUD' owners... it's pretty likely I could just run into another issue on the next rig.

I'm going to get a quote and some advice from a local shop and get the wiring diagrams as suggested... leaning towards just keeping an eye on it and hoping for the best. Better keep that sat phone handy.

Well, since it has already caused one problem (warning light)
I think the warning light is a side effect and not indicative of an ongoing issue. The computer of the car is detecting unexpected resistance which is likely due to the remote start system interrupting the wires for the tail lights. I'll double check with the shop I go to that represents this system manufacturer, but I don't believe it to be an active issue.

Thanks all!
 

gregnash

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So two things I have come to find out with having my remote start installed.
1. The reliability is only as good as the installers work and your starter, and
2. See first part of number one...

I have had my remote start installed for a good few months now. Had issues with it that were due to my starter giving up the ghost, once that was remedied I have not had any false starters other than a few times (less than a handful for basically daily usage).
I had a CompuStar/iDataLink system put in as that is what my installer did, however I have come to find that they did a rather s***ty job of the install and I am likely going to have to go back through and correct some things. However, the BIGGEST thing is what I found out AFTER finally talking with someone at CompuStar.

These immobilizer systems DO NOT like being hijacked. So what I mean by that is that if you plan to use the system to do anything other than remote start, like me where I wanted it to also control door locks, the immobilizer security system DOES NOT like that and likely will cause massive issues like I had (and am still messing with). I have disconnected the door lock functionality however I believe that I have two issues going on that you can read about in my build thread.

So, long story short... I would take it to a REPUTABLE remote start and security system auto installer and have them rework the system for you or at least give you an evaluation of it. For the warning light, can you get ride of the code via a OBDII scanner?
 
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For the warning light, can you get ride of the code via a OBDII scanner?

I've scanned it with my BlueDriver and the scanner doesn't find any codes to clear, so I don't believe it is capable of clearing the light unfortunately. Let me know if there is some better way to possibly clear the light with a more advanced OBD tool. Thanks for your input, I'll review your build thread and see what the certified dealer for Avital says with that in mind.
 

gregnash

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If you have a laptop that you can utilize, check out the How to Techstream in 5minutes thread. This will offer a bit more functionality than a standard OBDII scanner and will give you capabilities to talk to the toyota ecus for things like the AHC to do maintenance on that.
 
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I just removed one in my 80 series. It's annoying but not difficult. Most of the wires are spliced into the harness so you should be able to cut them out. A lot of security systems have a starter disable relay, I removed mine and had to re solder my OEM starter signal wire.
 
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Once you look closer into everything you should be able to work it out. Don't go to the extent of selling the car lol

Search the net for this system and a wiring diagram for similar systems, should help you refine what wire is for what.

Interesting however, how the remote starter interfere's with other electronics. I've always wondered if they were easy to install. Seems the wiring would need to be flawless. Oh also, the starter pulses/technology RPM detection I would think.
 
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Final decision:

rs1.jpg
rs2.jpg


By the way, if you're in SLC and need some good electrical work both @cruiseroutfit and StateAutomotive recommended Legend4x4. I would give them a call if you need anything, highly recommended. They have a focus on Land Cruisers and wiring. Expert stuff and really great to work with. Hard not to just hang out at the shop and talk about Cruisers.
 

gregnash

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Yeah unfortunately, many shops that do remote start installs are more about turn-around time than actually doing a good job. So the applicable rats nest that is found afterwards is always "enlightening".

I am at some point going to have to go back through and rewire my stuff, much like yours, most of it is just zip-tied up under the dash.
 
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Final decision:

View attachment 2337785View attachment 2337786

By the way, if you're in SLC and need some good electrical work both @cruiseroutfit and StateAutomotive recommended Legend4x4. I would give them a call if you need anything, highly recommended. They have a focus on Land Cruisers and wiring. Expert stuff and really great to work with. Hard not to just hang out at the shop and talk about Cruisers.
That is absolutely unprofessional, a hideous mess.

Wire taps are just not suitable for this type of installation , and I doubt even the products wiring instructions advocate the use of it. You would absolutely need soldered connections.

For stuff like switches and lights yeah (but sometimes not even that). I have had obvious issues with stuff like dash illumination wire tapping being finicky with how the tap is positioned (moving it around) to whether the light comes on. Wow, I'd argue this was not even done by a shop.
 

gregnash

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That is absolutely unprofessional, a hideous mess.

Wire taps are just not suitable for this type of installation , and I doubt even the products wiring instructions advocate the use of it. You would absolutely need soldered connections.

For stuff like switches and lights yeah (but sometimes not even that). I have had obvious issues with stuff like dash illumination wire tapping being finicky with how the tap is positioned (moving it around) to whether the light comes on. Wow, I'd argue this was not even done by a shop.
Unfortunately, this is all too common in the US. My truck accessories shop, that is owned by friends and I worked at for a short period a number of years ago, uses wiretaps like this on a regular basis. And did so on mine, hence why I was saying I need to go back through mine and redo it.
 
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Unfortunately, this is all too common in the US. My truck accessories shop, that is owned by friends and I worked at for a short period a number of years ago, uses wiretaps like this on a regular basis. And did so on mine, hence why I was saying I need to go back through mine and redo it.
ARB here installed most of the bullbar / spots lights / fog lights . All wire taps . Only thing I have left to fix in my rig is the IPF HID spot lights.

WHICH, are currently not working bcos of the fact that I need to pop the hood and move the old wire taps a bit and to check that they are working first before they function lol. Thank god they created piggy backs for those these days. I'll be getting LED spots at some point in the future, then they gone
 

gregnash

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Yeah if used properly wire taps can be good. But lots of times they use the wrong size and then they just easily spin on the wire. This is part of my problem, which then causes shorting issues.
 
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I'm glad it's out after seeing how poorly it was installed. That thing was just waiting to fail. Even if it does fail now because of hack job taps I can logically track down issues with an EWD. Legend 4x4 made good solders and heat shrunk everything he could.

Anyway, removed the tap from the tow wiring that was running the car tail lights after the remote start was taken out and NO MORE WARNING LIGHT.... however, no more tail lights either (haha). At this point I figured it was pretty simple volt chasing so I did the work myself.

Good power out of the fuse box to the first junction (Ia1: lowest junction box and closest to the engine bay that is attached to the body ECU at left kick panel). Pin #10 is the tail lights for the car and #1 runs the tail lights for the trailer connector (I could have that backwards! Trailer is the larger one, ~16g). No power out of that junction for the tail lights but trailer power for tail lights was good. Spliced a direct hot wire to the male connection (downstream) Ia1 pin 10 and everything worked great. So the female connector was not making contact with the male pin.

For the life of me could not get the female pin out (released the top gate and tried to push down and up forever to release the tab with a pin release tool and got nowhere). Eventually gave a ~5° turn to the male pin and some dielectric grease now everything is working. Might try to take it back to Legend and see if he can release that pin and if he would have a replacement pin just to know it is done correctly.

This saga was too long my friends.
 

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