Remote Engine Starter for Prius Prime

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by Salamander_King, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    After having my Prime (Premium trim) over last winter, I am seriously considering installing remote engine start on mine. The reason, Prime's remote AC works off of traction battery and only use heat pump. As it turned out, the heat pump is not effective under sever cold (under 14F), and since the remote AC can not turn on ICE, no front defroster will be engaged.

    I just talked to Toyota dealer about remote starter installation on Prius Prime. They gave me a quote for an after market unit for $733 installed. Now, that's a lot of money, but with local installer for Compustar unit, I got quote as low as $300 installed that use OEM fob as starter. 2 way remote with longer range and smart phone app upgrade will cost more but around $500 installed.

    Looking at Amazon, several different brands (Compustar, Viper, Avital, Python, Crimestopper) units with various remote and some with additional security features sells for $50 to $400 range. However, I am not sure which one is compatible with PRIME and how difficult installation is if done DIY.

    Have anyone successfully installed remote starter on PRIME? Which brand/model and cost? One caveat is that PRIME will not allow ICE to come on while plugged in. Did any implementation of remote starter successfully bypassed this safety feature, or this can not be accomplished? Since I charge my car every night outside, if I have to walk out of house in cold morning to unplug before remote starter can be used, it totally defeat the purpose. Any thought?
     
    #1 Salamander_King, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    not that i recall reading. in fact, there have been several complaints about dealers installing remote starters, but failing to tell the owner that the car has to be unplugged.

    have you considered a block heater?
     
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, if I can't remote start engine without unplugging first, then it won't be useful, unless I first install "remote plug remover". lol

    Block heater may help ICE longevity, and may make the heating cabin faster, but it won't help defrosting iced up windshield. I checked with a dealer on block heater too, they gave me ~$300 installed Toyota OEM block heater. One problem is the circuit not being big enough to be able to handle both EVSE and block heater at the same time, so I have to stagger the schedule.
     
    #3 Salamander_King, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i suppose running out in your skivvies to unplug and start the car would be worthwhile for a toasty cabin later:p
     
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  5. RomanCro

    RomanCro Junior Member

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    I use remote power wifi socket. Socket is right at my outside wall, and extension cord goes from there to the car. Then you can turn off whole socket via wifi of timer. No matter thar cord is actually pluged in, car will not recognize it and you can use it just like you went in pinjamasss and unpligged it.

    SM-G950F ?
     
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  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Really? So, if the wall power is shut off by a smart socket, even with the EVSE cord still plugged into the car and charge port lid open, the car let you start the engine? If true, that maybe my solution if there is no harm done to car by doing this repeatedly.
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I just went out and checked my car. With wall power off, and L1 EVSE still plugged in, I tried turn on the car. The car will go into "ignition ON" mode with open charging port lid warning displayed on MID. At least without some mod, the car does not go into Ready mode, so ICE can not be started. Question is with remote start modification, can ICE be started with EVSE still plugged in but no power at wall. That IDK.
     
  8. RomanCro

    RomanCro Junior Member

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    Mine will start but will not let you put it in drive mode. If i set climate high it wil turn on ice to heat but will not let you set it in "gear".

    SM-G950F ?
     
  9. RomanCro

    RomanCro Junior Member

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    One idea. Charging lid has a little button which is pushed by charging lid when closed. I bet if you use duck tape to fixate button in closed position, car would think lid is closed and would start ice.

    SM-G950F ?
     
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  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    IDK, EU version different from US version on this? I did not test mine with different AC settings or defroster on. AC did come on, but at my setting 70F AUTO, it did not turn on ICE. With "ignition ON" mode, running AC high and defroster too long will likely to drain 12V battery quick. Last thing I want is dead battery to deal with right before going to work in cold morning.

    Hummm, that might work. Worth a try, but I don't want to make any mod that might void my warranty, so I have to be careful.
     
  11. RomanCro

    RomanCro Junior Member

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    Just dont show them the duck tape and no garanrie void

    SM-G950F ?
     
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  12. SteveMucc

    SteveMucc Active Member

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    Thank god the car has a charging door open alert, because if that was me, guaranteed, i'd drive away with the car still plugged in!
     
  13. RomanCro

    RomanCro Junior Member

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    You can drive away with charging door open. Charge door open alert and car pluged in alert are 2 diferent things.

    SM-G950F ?
     
  14. Rawrxs

    Rawrxs Junior Member

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    I have a US Prius Prime Premium with a Viper remote start. I can confirm that a WiFi plug won’t do anything. If the car sees that the charger is plugged into the car, it will fail to remote start. Nice thought though.
     
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  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    So, the only way for a remote ICE engine starter to work is to have no EVSE, which is often erroneously referred to as "charger", unplugged from the vehicle and the charge port door closed?
     
  16. Rawrxs

    Rawrxs Junior Member

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    Unless someone figures out a bypass, there can be no charger, (as it’s literally referred to in the warning label by the charge port) plugged in. It does not matter if the door is open or closed.

    Also worth mentioning, the tech that installed the remote start needed to pulse the toggle for the hybrid engine, (when started the car defaults to EV Mode) that way it would actually heat the car at low temperatures quickly ,and also won’t waste the ev battery while warming up.
     
  17. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Was installation done at a dealer? I got quoted ~$300 for the least expensive one way remote Compustar system, but the tech I was communicating with had no knowledge of PRIME (or hybrid car in general). I am hesitant to trust him tinkering with the electronics in my car.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Do you suffer from garage-full-of-junk syndrome?
     
  19. Rawrxs

    Rawrxs Junior Member

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    I got it at Best Buy. It was about 180 installed with 2 way. List price would be probably 350 for 2 way. It all depends on current sales and memberships to different programs.

    But they have a database that has internal guides on installing the car starter properly so it doesn’t really matter if they have never worked on a prime since they have the resources available to help.

    That being said I can only speak to my guys skills. He’s worked on my past 3 cars with no issues.
     
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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    tinkering with the electronics will void the warranty. dealers won't do it.

    someone here had one installed at the dealer quite awhile ago. they never told her it wouldn't start while plugged in. it was expensive, and she was bummed.

    i guess you have to bite the bullet and go out in the morning and unplug while walking the dog.:cool:
     
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