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    Savantster Junior Member

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    Hey all.

    My remote starter didn't want to start the car this morning. It's been working fine up until today when the temperature dropped to 5-F last night. I sat in the car and used the remote start to see what was going on, and it fired up the motor for a second or so, then it shut down again right away. My in-car test was the 3rd start attempt.. When I pushed the in-dash start button, the car started just fine..

    Any insights as to why the remote starter doesn't seem to like the cold? The entire reason I purchased that option was to avoid going outside when it was that cold.. and if that's when it doesn't work.... :mad:
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    Judgeless Senior Member

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    I have used my remote start to start the car when it was sub -2 F. I has always started.
    1 people like this.
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    Then a call to the dealer it shall be.

    Oh, was it the OEM one or the one that circumvents the auto-shutoff-with-door aftermarket? That might make a big difference.. (and no, despite my replies in other posts about starters, I mean no snark.. it's an honest and pertinent question :)
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    Judgeless Senior Member

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    It is a Toyota OEM unit.
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    Excellent, thanks. I guess I'll call them and see if they know of a tweak, or if they can check it out.
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    RRxing Active Member

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    I might be a day late, but be sure that all of the doors and the hood are closed. Also, the engine will stop if you press the engine start/stop button or if the brake pedal is pressed.
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    nah, it's the starter itself, I'm sure. From in the house (so nothing being pushed in the car), it happened again this morning.. started and stopped right away. Unfortunately, I had the lights on (I leave them on for DRL and let the car shut them off after 30 seconds), so when I saw them light up, I presumed the car was running. 4 minutes later when I went out, lights off and windows still iced over. Tried the remote standing next to the car, same thing as before with 1.5 seconds max running before shutdown. Getting in the car and pressing the button started the car.

    As noted above, the first time this happened I got in the car (door closed tight, no pedals pressed) and tried the remote start to the same end.. quick start and quit. Definitely the remote start, and not operator error :cool:
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    RRxing Active Member

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    So, did you take it to the dealer yet? If so, what was the problem?
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    In true "we're smarter than you because .. uh.. we said so" form, the dealer suggested that "if the FOB is too close, the remote start won't work". He was offended when I said "that's not true, I've used the FOB while sitting IN the car to start the 'remote start', so that's no the problem". He asked that I prove that for him.. /sigh

    I suggested he contact a Toyota Engineer since this seems a "rare occurrence" and he assured me they have had no complaints of any other starters they put in.. he hasn't contacted an engineer to find out what part/s are the likely culprit. He was also supposed to find out how long the "black box" holds data for since I suggested that if the engine "cut off" for some reason, some sensor not being pleased, knowing that might help and the computer might have it logged... but he's not bothered to find out over the last two days how long of a window we had to get the car to him. Now it's been seven days since the last failure, I'm guessing we're probably too late to read the black box for insight.

    So, at this stage, we're waiting on a "cold weather report" to try and schedule a drop-off where they can check the car first thing in the morning at "single digit temps".. and I'm guessing the high-school dropout mechanic they tell to check it will press the power button and drive it into the work bays before he uses the FOB, and will ruin the test.

    So, currently, no new information as I engage in the typical "we want to reproduce your issue" dance with the dealer. :rolleyes:
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    RRxing Active Member

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    Yeah, dealers. You have my condolences.

    Hope you do get it fixed, though.
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    Thanks :)

    Once they find out what's wrong (presuming they can actually track it down to a faluted part and not play the guessing game), I'll post it back here so others might find a possible course of action if they find themselves in the same boat. -- given how I have to wait near a week to even hope to have weather to test in, this could take some time :cool:
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    UPDATE:

    Well, just got off the phone with the dealer. Yesterday they figured they would try replacing the auxiliary battery (Toyota Techs apparently suggested it, telling me the guys as the dealer didn't adequately explain the problem).. Obviously, that didn't do anything since the car "works normally" in all other contexts, it's just that it shuts down right after starting if the remote starter is used (in very cold temps).

    The only good news is apparently "someone else" seems to have the same problem (not at my dealer, but the Toyota guys noted a second case of it) so the Toyota guys are supposedly looking into it.

    I'll probably end up getting my car back until Toyota tells the dealer of the next potential fix (unfortunately, that doesn't seem to include the next logical step of replacing the remote start motor/computer/bits). So I'm going to have to keep on them about this, and if the weather turns decent and it doesn't get overly cold till spring gets here, I'll be waiting until next winter to deal with this again..

    bleh.
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    Judgeless Senior Member

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    Someone in a different thread about remote starts posted that the remote start will not start the car below a certain temp. They posted it a couple of days ago. There are way too many threads on this topic. I wish there was a way to make them all one big thread.
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    edit: found the other thread.. thanks! .. directed him here.
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    Savantster Junior Member

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    I don't know that I buy that there is a sensor blocking the starting (not on purpose). Others have said their OEM remote starter works fine in single digit (f) temps and below. If there is a sensor that is upset about it being too cold to "remote start", then they need to adjust the software/firmware because that's just stupid. .. my car actually fires up and you can hear combustion going on for just over a second before it cuts out. It runs fine with the button push.. clearly there is no good reason for the remote to not start it when the vehicle is capable of running "normally"..

    I will call my dealer (who now said Toyota mentioned someone else with the "problem", but hasn't offered a solution yet) and see if what you were told came from Toyota or your dealer (who probably doesn't know any better, or is making things up to try and sound smart).

    I've already told my dealer that I didn't pay $600 for something meant to keep me from having to go out in the cold to start the car if it only works when it isn't cold out. I'm sure they want to keep that money, so they will push for a fix (or replace parts until it works).
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    incognito New Member

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    Well, every body have right to have they’re opinion about reason for Prius Three not starting (running) with Remote Engine Starter in cold weather.
    In places, which the temperature dropping down easy to -50C (-58F) (you know, we live in Igloos here in Canada eh) we develop a practice how to handling problem with starting the car (truck or diesel). We know, if we starting it in that low temperature or even little warmer, we need to be present inside to assist and check the instrument parameters, warning lights, lessening to the motor, etc. We also know so that will effect the live of the motor, fuel consumption, pollution, battery and other assisting components.
    Toyota Canada has big influence on developing functionality, criteria and education in cold weather driving condition. For every vehicle, if the outside temperature is below -15C (5F), one of the practice is to plug in the block heater (don’t know if yours Prius is equipped in such). Prius Three software is set with the same criteria. It will need your presence if you attempt to start the motor in very low temperature with out block heater plugged.
    If the fuel sensor (inside the motor) register the critical temperature (-15C) or not depends of car time expose, humidity and wind speed (wind chill factor). Also fuel temperature will drop if it is decompressed (with excessive consumption). So in some occasions, if you lucky, might start normally with -20C (-4F) on your window thermometer. That is way the critical temperature differs.
    And yes, this information about Prius behavior in critical motor temperature for factory remote starter comes from my Toyota Canada dealer Hybrid Technician.
    I and my wife, we bout have remote starters in our vehicle. We use almost every day for half year. Even if they are plugged and is very cold (-30C) I going to the vehicle and turn on my selves.
    With my opinion the fuel sensor in Prius is appropriate engineering approach to the cold weather temperature condition and owners incompetence. The approach to Remote Engine Start subject is deceived. There is nothing wrong with the car. I will oppose to Savanister idea to “adjust the software†and I don’t think it is “just stupid…â€
  17. Offline

    Savantster Junior Member

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    Not sure why you felt the need to take on an aggressive/abusive tone, but whatever.

    I've talked with my mechanic at the dealership and he has talked to the Toyota Engineers. The Prius is designed to "remote start" down to -22F, so it not starting at 10F is clearly "not by design". The Engineers are looking into this to find out what might be causing MY Prius not to start at 10F since the Engineers from Toyota have stated it should be starting down to -22F.

    I understand your point about it possibly being "too cold" and needing someone to keep an eye on the system while it starts, and that is probably the reason behind the -22F cutoff for remote starting. Personally, when it's -20F out, I don't go out unless it's an emergency (I take off work or work from home), so the remote start isn't a concern to me in those situations. 10F, however, is not "that cold".

    And a block heater is not a viable option for everyone. I have no external outlets at my house and no garage. To hook a block heater to my car I would need to run an extension cord out of my window (very bad for energy consumption in your house to have open windows when it's below zero, don't you think?) and contend with an extension cord in the snow (which could lead to water and shorts or fire). None of that should be required at 10F with modern technology. And it is all immaterial when other people are saying their remote start is working down to -5F with no issues.

    But thanks for your input.
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    incognito New Member

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    Yes, I see your point and I agree.

    Just a few more thoughts.
    Like I mentioned before, for Canadian version the temperature for Prius remote starter is set to -15C (5F) and it been confirmed practically by my observation. There is also some margin of interpretation in comparing the temperature between window thermometer and the actual sensor temperature inside the motor. Beside those factors I mentioned before, there is a hysteresis of motor temperature (big mass). The best to analyze and prove to Toyota service department will be to hook up computer and monitor the sensor temperature over night or before using remote starter. But it will be not realistic. The other way will be install (on your own risk) external probe from remote thermometer in vicinity of the car sensor and cover it with some flameproof insulator (protection from external heat/cool). I see that thermometer in Wall Mart for $10. You can even drive with it. They have range of 300 feet so the receiver will be in your house. That way, you will be able to approximately monitor motor temperature. Also you could try the remote starter in different outside temperatures.
    Practically, with out doing anything, I will add a tolerance of +10C/-10C (+18F/-18F) to the window thermometer reading.

    Block heater electric power supply in Canada has separate weather resistant GFI plug in outside the house facing the driveway (separate circuit breaker). It is coming with every house. The extension cords are CSA approved for this application (ground, low temperature insulation, etc.) Some cars has factory mounted weather resistant receptacle on front bumper, some has just short cord witch can be wrapped inside the hood for summer. All cars sold in Canada have the block heater install. To be more environmentally friendly a timer or temperature activated switch (again, factory set to -15C) can be install. At work, most of parking lots have the power receptacle available for every spot.

    As you see, maintaining our vehicle in Canadian winter become normal live routine. That is way I have different prospective on our common subject.

    I wish I could help you more with solving problem in your remote starter.
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    elevine New Member

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    bbbbbb
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    elevine New Member

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    My remote will also start t he car - the lights start to flash and t han they stop and the car is not started. In general my toyota remote is not t he greatest. Unless i am less than 60 ft it wont start at all and most of the time takes 3 tries. Any similar feelings. I paid 600 for it installed and its only 2 week old car. Is there any way for toyota to boost t he transmiter signal strength.bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

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