Aftermarket remote start install needs tweak

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by Ferretguy, May 26, 2021.

  1. Ferretguy

    Ferretguy Junior Member

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    I just had a 12 Volt (the company) after market remote start unit and app unit installed in my car by my dealer. 2017-2021 Toyota Prius Prime Plug & Play Remote Start Kit (Push Button | 12Volt.Solutions Works like a charm with the OEM fob. Now the app doesn’t work. According to the company the retailer didn’t finish the install by pairing the two units properly. I’d like to do it myself but I’m clueless how to get to the two units. I was told they would be installed behind the wall behind the brakes. Does that make sense? Any idea or helpful links to go about getting that off to look? It’s been like pulling teeth to get the dealership to help and they are currently non-responsive.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is there anything under the hood, in front of the steering wheel?
     
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    If it was dealer installed and you paid for it, why don't you take it back to the dealer and demand it to be installed properly? The link you posted is showing the unit cost of $479.99 for the Standard Kit + App module, whereas a Standard kit only for OEM fob is only $289.99. If the OEM fob is working fine, then the Standard kit was installed properly, but did they really install an additional App module? In order for an App to work correctly, the module capable of sending signals via the internet (most likely WiFi) has to be installed. I don't know how the module is connecting to the internet but it has to have its own telematics. I wonder if such telematics requires an additional subscription for the cellular service or not. In any case, if you paid for it, you should demand a working unit.

    BTW, I am curious to know if your remote starter starts the engine when the traction battery has a charge? For safety reasons, the car will not let the remote starter starts the engine when the car is plugged in with the charging cord. I think I have asked the 12v tech person some time ago, but the answer I got was that it will not start the engine if the traction battery is charged since the car will automatically start in EV mode and stay in EV mode until runs out of the traction battery charge. You basically have to have the car with no EV range and drive like a regular Hybrid Prius in order to use the remote starter.
     
    #3 Salamander_King, May 27, 2021
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
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  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    OK, I looked at the 12volt company's site for the App Module. Add-On App Module for Unlimited Range Vehicle Control (USA & Canada) | 12Volt.Solutions

    Here is the information from the page:
    Network Information
    • United States module operates on the T-Mobile 4g Network
    • Canadian modules also operate on the 4g Network and use 3 different main carriers depending on your area
    • You DO NOT need to have T-Mobile cell phone service for this module to work! This Smart Phone Module will work with ANY cell phone service.
    Subscription Fee
    • The first year of service is on us! You pay nothing for 12 months
    • 1yr Renewal $39usd
    Even if the app module was installed properly, it would only work if the car is parked in the area served by the T-Mobile 4g Network. If the signal strength of the T-Mobile 4g Network is too weak at that location, it will not work. Also, the initial purchasing cost of the App module includes only the first 12 months of service, after that, it cost $39/year.
     
    #4 Salamander_King, May 27, 2021
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  5. Ferretguy

    Ferretguy Junior Member

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    I just had a chance to look and I can’t see anything from under the hood. The install video shows them going in from under the dash near the steering wheel.
     
  6. Ferretguy

    Ferretguy Junior Member

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    Yes, they installed both. They paid for it as the salesman told me when I purchased the car it could ‘remotely start the car from the app” which I found out later was incorrect. They just didn’t pair the two correctly. The finally got back and told me to bring it up tomorrow.

    And yes, the engine starts using this device. I don’t have it plugged in so I don’t know about that aspect of it but if their tech said it, I believe them. I will find some time to go and put a charge in the car and see if it still works or if the Toyota app might work. I kinda doubt both would work.
     
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  7. Ferretguy

    Ferretguy Junior Member

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    According to the TMobile site 4G strength where I live is excellent. I’ll check with dealer to see if they purchased any more time (I have a three year lease on the vehicle)
     
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  8. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    Don't trust that. T-Mobile told me I would have an excellent signal at a relative's house. They did not take into account the rolling hills in the area. Every 5th house in her neighborhood was in a radio shadow and had no signal. I had to fight with them to refund the activation fee.
     
  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Toyota App remote climate control only works to start AC using the traction battery charge. It only works when you have charge in the traction battery. PP is not equipped with an engine start function.
     
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  10. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    I'm hesitant to jump into this conversation, but what kind of Prius do you own? Your profile says "2011 Prius Model Three" but you seem to be asking about a Prius Prime.

    The reason I ask is that the Prime is designed to default to its electric mode and not to start it's internal combustion engine except when a number of conditions are met.

    I understand you to say that your after-market remote starter works from the Toyota key fob and that your problem is that you cannot activate it from your cellphone. Just to clarify, when you operate it from your key fob, does it start the internal combustion engine? You say that you do not plug-in the car, so is it reasonable to assume that the traction battery is not charged and you are using your Prius Prime as if it were a conventional gasoline-powered hybrid Prius?
     
  11. Ferretguy

    Ferretguy Junior Member

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    Oops, forgot to change my profile. Yes, I have a 2021 Prius Prime Limited.

    Went to dealership and they made the last adjustments they neglected to make and now both the OEM fob and the 12 Volt app works perfectly! Even locks and unlocks the doors. The internal combustion engine starts and runs until I open the door.

    Yes, I am using it as a conventional Prius. I couldn't say no to all of the government incentives to buy it. Cost less to lease than a conventional Prius.
     
  12. Myles Vance

    Myles Vance New Member

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    Sorry to revive an older thread but I'm curious about the point of the aftermarket remote starter. My dealer tried to sell me one and I declined since the car can be preconditioned from the Toyota app and the key fob.

    I see the remote starter starts the engine rather than just using the HV battery to power the climate control, is the intention to warm up the ICE before driving to avoid driving with the warm up cycle or is the intention to heat/cool the cabin? If it is the latter, what is the motivation to use the aftermarket remote starter vs the OEM feature?
     
  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    As you pointed out the PP's climate prep only works off of a traction battery. You have to have a substantial charge left in the traction battery for it to work. I don't remember the exact number but someone said you need more than 50% SoC level. And, from what I have been reading, the Remote Connect via phone only works with the MAX climate setting no other setting will work, which in turn requires a lot of traction battery SoC especially very hot or very cold climate. So, if you want to precondition PP when you don't have enough traction battery charge left, then you are out of luck.

    More importantly, for people living in colder climates, the heat pump does not provide sufficient heat to warm up the cabin below 30F or so, and below 14F, the heat pump does not function at all. So, if you experience severe cold winter, you will need to start the engine to warm up the car. Using a remote starter will allow you to do this without actually getting in the car. However, there is a caveat to this. The PP has a safety feature that does not allow the engine to start when the car is plugged in. Engine starter would not work if the car is plugged for overnight charge and want to warm up in the morning when the temp is below 14F. Additionally, most remoter starters do not offer a bypass module that allows switching the PP from default EV mode to HV mode. That means, in order to use the remote starter, the car can not have any EV range left, otherwise, it will just start and drain the battery until the engine eventually comes on. Meaning if you want to use the engine starter to pre-warm the car on a very cold winter morning, you will have to keep the car not charged and with an empty battery SoC. You have to drive PP as a regular hybrid Prius. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of having PP in the first place.

    My understanding is that a modern engine does not need to warm up. Few seconds before you start driving is enough. Certainly, for PP, there is no benefit of warming up the engine by keeping it on a long idle, because as soon as enough traction battery charge is generated, the engine will be shut off.

    I previously considered installing a remote engine starter on my PP for the very cold winter, but for above stated reasons, I decided not to do it. It would not do any good if I have to go out to unplug the charge cord before I can use the remote engine starter. As for the use of the Remote App or fob, I found that to be useless as well. It depletes valuable traction energy that I can use to drive the car. Plus the time I really want this to work is in the middle of winter when the temperature is near zero to subzero, but the heat pump will not work at that temp. So, for now, I gave up on preconditioning my car using either of the options. In my climate, for any season except the middle of winter in a cold morning, I have absolutely no need to precondition the cabin temp prior to starting the drive.
     
    #13 Salamander_King, Sep 28, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
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  14. Myles Vance

    Myles Vance New Member

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    Salamader_King,

    Thanks for the information!! I have only had my PP since May, I don't think I've ever used the cabin precondition feature with a low battery and mine has not seen winter yet so I wasn't aware of those limitations. I'm really surprised that it needs at least 50% SOC in order to work, that sounds awfully high. The remote connect app allows me to select the last in car setting, max cool, or max heat.

    This is very different in operation compared to my Volt, it would allow me to precondition regardless of the battery SOC and temperature. It would start the engine if needed for energy or for heat in very cold weather, and there was a user selectable option that allowed the engine to run for preconditioning in the cold even if the car was plugged in.

    Using the charge schedule I have my PP scheduled to prep the cabin for departure before I leave for work, it's kept in a garage and I leave for work in the morning when it is cooler so I haven't paid much attention to its effectiveness through the summer but I am looking forward to seeing how it does in the winter. I don't believe it gets cold enough where I am at for the engine to be needed regularly for heat, I only recall the engine in my Volt being used for heat maybe 3 times in 70,000 miles of driving. It had a similar temperature level at which the engine would run for heat despite having an electric heater rather than a heat pump.

    Thanks again for the detailed response! I had assumed my dealer was trying to sell me the remote starter as a completely unneeded option to swindle me out of more money :whistle:.
     
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  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Just curious. Can you use the remote connect app to select the last in-car setting?
    See this thread. The comment said, only max heat or max cold can be used, even though the app has the last setting as a selection.
    2021 Prius Prime LE vs. XLE Remote Connect Question | Page 2 | PriusChat

    I never bothered to install Toyota App on my phone. Where I live, the cost of electricity is premium. For the most part of my PP ownership since 2017, the gas price was cheaper than electricity. So, using electricity from the wall to warm up or cool down the cabin can be expensive and wasteful. But, I sure wished I had a way to warm up the cabin when the ambient temp is near or sub-zero in winter morning.
     
  16. Myles Vance

    Myles Vance New Member

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    I do have the ability to select the last in car setting and it works as long as I had the climate control on before I parked the car. There is no warning if the climate was left off when the vehicle was parked though, it goes on to show that it is preconditioning despite the fact that it is not. I also have front and rear defrost options. The feature is hit or miss though, I get the "Server error occurred" message maybe 30% of the time that I use it regardless of which setting I choose.

    The app is extremely limited for my XLE, it is interesting to see that the LE seemingly has more remote features than the XLE. It seems very random, once in a while I have a fuel gauge on the main screen and sometimes that just goes away despite this feature apparently not being supported. The e-Golf that my Prime replaced taught me not to expect much of a vehicle's app so I am not too disappointed, VW's CarNet app was completely inoperable for the last few months before I sold it. That was a much bigger issue since the app and website were the only ways to change charge limits and scheduling, I was stuck with my battery only charging up to 90% with no way to change it until the website half started working again.
     
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  17. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    It sounds like you are a very rare lucky PP owner having full control of the remote app climate control. As I said, I have not even bothered to install the app on my phone. So I don't even know what I am missing. I am very skeptical of car makers making very good software interfaces. I also do not like the idea of sharing my personal information with car company via connected services, but seems to be that's the direction every carmaker are heading.:(
     
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  18. Myles Vance

    Myles Vance New Member

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    I'm sure Toyota will send an update that will "fix" that for me sooner or later ;).

    You're not missing much at all, as you're already aware I'm sure.
     
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