imthenachoman

aftermarket remote start for 2013 Spark LT with a single key FOB?

13 posts in this topic

Hello. My wife and I are planning on buying a 2013 Chevy Spark LT. Neither of us are car people so I thought I would try here.



We just moved to NJ and she needs a car to commute to work (about 26 highway miles one way). I've read the car does good enough on the highway and in the snow. Plus it has OnStar which I want to get for crash notification and what not because she is a relatively new driver in this country.



The car does not come with factory installed remote start and I was thinking I could have someone install it after I buy it. But from what I've seen all the remote start kits online use a 2nd FOB.



I was hoping for something that would either integrate with the existing key FOB or replace it?



Any ideas? I don't mind paying money for it as long as my wife only has to carry around one key FOB and it will let her start the car remotely.



Thank you!


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OK, first off I hate to see a new member with a valid question sitting unanswered or acknowledged with at least some advise. I am not very knowledgeable in electrical/electronic modifications. I'm more a mechanical guy but do have a good understanding of how thing work together....So...In your case here's my advise: You say you are not a "car person" so you probably don't know what a BCM (Body Control Module) is or an ignition bypass..so let's start off with the recommendation you take your Spark into a good chevy dealer or trusted garage and see what they have to say about your requirements and cost. I know that an improperly installed remote start system can cause a lot of problems since the Spark is part of a fairly new class of vehicle (since around 2004) that has virtually all electrical/electric functions running thru a computer called the BCM and in the case of ignition any mods to starting without the key would require some programming of one or more modules or chips. For you that would require an lot of knowledge about this that you lack. I'm pretty confident that pretty well any computerized system can be programmed to run all your current and remote start functions through one 'FOB'..maybe not your current FOB but a third party unit. If I was in your situation where there is no desire or knowledge to do this yourself and you state you don't mind spending some money on this...this is the route I would follow.

There are quite a few very knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum...so not being knowledgeable about your Spark techie stuff..you will find this a very good place to get correct (mostly) and good advise on most any issue or mod. Just a side note...When you buy your 2013 Spark..be absolutely sure that the PCV recall was done BEFORE it failed since this was a big deal in that the failure of this PCV valve (usual failure around 18-25Kmi) caused a lot of different engine damage..so maybe inquire about that and get a look at the service record if you can...On Star can help with that.

I hope this gets you on the right track to not only getting the remote start, but also buying a Spark that will run well without issues....OK..Nuff said about that..Right?

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Sorry late to the game here.

I am a mobile electronics certified professional (MECP) and have installed remote start systems in a few Sparks. They are a very simple car. I am not sure Chevrolet can put one on through the stock key fob. I would recommend going to best buy and exploring your options. I like all the Compustar systems and that is what i usually recommend. It is possible to use your factory fob with the aftermarket remote starts activation input but the range would be terrible.

These cars are rather easy to do and i wouldn't worry about messing up any of your car functions. If you have any other questions let me know.

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OK, first off I hate to see a new member with a valid question sitting unanswered or acknowledged with at least some advise. I am not very knowledgeable in electrical/electronic modifications. I'm more a mechanical guy but do have a good understanding of how thing work together....So...In your case here's my advise: You say you are not a "car person" so you probably don't know what a BCM (Body Control Module) is or an ignition bypass..so let's start off with the recommendation you take your Spark into a good chevy dealer or trusted garage and see what they have to say about your requirements and cost. I know that an improperly installed remote start system can cause a lot of problems since the Spark is part of a fairly new class of vehicle (since around 2004) that has virtually all electrical/electric functions running thru a computer called the BCM and in the case of ignition any mods to starting without the key would require some programming of one or more modules or chips. For you that would require an lot of knowledge about this that you lack. I'm pretty confident that pretty well any computerized system can be programmed to run all your current and remote start functions through one 'FOB'..maybe not your current FOB but a third party unit. If I was in your situation where there is no desire or knowledge to do this yourself and you state you don't mind spending some money on this...this is the route I would follow.

There are quite a few very knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum...so not being knowledgeable about your Spark techie stuff..you will find this a very good place to get correct (mostly) and good advise on most any issue or mod. Just a side note...When you buy your 2013 Spark..be absolutely sure that the PCV recall was done BEFORE it failed since this was a big deal in that the failure of this PCV valve (usual failure around 18-25Kmi) caused a lot of different engine damage..so maybe inquire about that and get a look at the service record if you can...On Star can help with that.

I hope this gets you on the right track to not only getting the remote start, but also buying a Spark that will run well without issues....OK..Nuff said about that..Right?

Thanks so much. That was very helpful. I think you're right and I'll probably just take to a good shop around my parts.

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Sorry late to the game here.

I am a mobile electronics certified professional (MECP) and have installed remote start systems in a few Sparks. They are a very simple car. I am not sure Chevrolet can put one on through the stock key fob. I would recommend going to best buy and exploring your options. I like all the Compustar systems and that is what i usually recommend. It is possible to use your factory fob with the aftermarket remote starts activation input but the range would be terrible.

These cars are rather easy to do and i wouldn't worry about messing up any of your car functions. If you have any other questions let me know.

Do you know if it is possible to replace the ignition system with a push button and remote start so I can just replace everything with one FOB?

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Do you know if it is possible to replace the ignition system with a push button and remote start so I can just replace everything with one FOB?

explain more...not understanding what you are trying to do

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Do you know if it is possible to replace the ignition system with a push button and remote start so I can just replace everything with one FOB?

Since you mentioned you are not a "car guy"...I can tell you that anything is possible but obviously you will not be doing this job...So take the Spark to a good shop/dealer and tell them what you want..depending on what you want to spend..they can and will do whatever you want. I had some 'impossible' stuff done on my boat that became possible at the right price.

imthenachoman and WaltK like this

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Since you mentioned you are not a "car guy"...I can tell you that anything is possible but obviously you will not be doing this job...So take the Spark to a good shop/dealer and tell them what you want..depending on what you want to spend..they can and will do whatever you want. I had some 'impossible' stuff done on my boat that became possible at the right price.

Haha. So true. Thanks!

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explain more...not understanding what you are trying to do

I've seen these push button ignition kits that add push button start to the car and I was wondering about that but I think I'm gonna take it to a local shop that seems to have good reviews.

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I've seen these push button ignition kits that add push button start to the car and I was wondering about that but I think I'm gonna take it to a local shop that seems to have good reviews.

Not sure how long you have owned cars, but in general, it is a good idea to find a local shop/garage that is good, reliable and cost effective and then stick with them. Dealers are generally more expensive and restricted by GM rules as to what mods they can do. You never know when you may run into an issue or need a tow to a shop..so having a good shop on speed dial can save you money when/if you have to make a roadside call for a tow so they can take it to your shop rather than the nearest dealer/garage. Also having a roadside assistance plan either thru AAA or your phone carrier will at one point pay off. I learned this the hard way back in the late 80's when I bought my first cell phone...something that had just come out. I was stuck on the side of the road with a blown head gasket, but no phone #'s to call for a tow or my trusted garage #...eventually a cop stopped and radio called for a tow truck that cost me a fortune for the 80+ mi tow to my shop. After that I got AAA (only roadside available at the time) and always kept both #'s on my phone. I now have been dealing with the same shop for over 20yrs and pretty well know what to expect for time and cost. Last time I blew a water pump way out of town I had the car repaired and back the same morning at zero towing cost (tow covered by phone carrier plan-±50 annual) just by dialing my garage who arranged for a tow. While doing the pump they noticed both tie rod ends needed replacing..did that and charged me the parts at cost and no labour because it was not included in the quote..."no, no charge..just couldn't let your car out like that"..

The things to look for in finding a good garage is 1-the owner is part of the team, 2-the shop is clean, 3-they don't wear clean, branded uniforms and finally they are not part of a franchise and always stick to their quote, no matter what they find and a good garage does not need to spend on advertising since they can rely on referrals. The advantages of having a good garage are many and some are not cost related, like loaners or an honest heads up that something may be needed in the near future ...so that would be my advise to any new car owner...'Nuff said on that...Right?

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I've seen these push button ignition kits that add push button start to the car and I was wondering about that but I think I'm gonna take it to a local shop that seems to have good reviews.

Directed Electronics with the DBALL can accomplish this. Best Buy would be a good place to go. Should cost around $200 dollars and I think it's about 6 wires they need to hook up.

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Directed Electronics with the DBALL can accomplish this. Best Buy would be a good place to go. Should cost around $200 dollars and I think it's about 6 wires they need to hook up.

I believe what he is talking about is some companies make a kit to convert the car from standard turn key, to a PTS system (Push To Start) like the Cadillac and larger Chevy offer.

honestly, if this is what you are looking for, I usually do not recommend them to much, while fun and cool, if the car was not designed from the ground up to offer PTS, then converting usually doesn't work as well, also these kits are not made by the larger main brands that have a lot of experience in integrating with modern CAN BUS systems in these cars. and with as integrated as the systems are inside this car, I would not feel very comfortable with a company that does not have the experence that Directed (viper) and iDataLink (compustar/Firsttech) has.

honestly I would recommend one of two different way of adding a RS (Remote Start) system to your car like SpaceCowboy said.

Option A: simple add on starter system or RSR (for cars like this that are Remote Start Ready) where you use a normal RS systems bypass module as a full system, in this case it would be a directed DBall2 for RSR, the nice thing is that it uses your factory key fob by pressing LOCK three time, down side is the range is very short for all factory key fobs (typically 20-50 feet) which is fine if the car sits right out side of your house, but wouldn't work well if the car is parked farther away

Option B: a full on RS system with its own remotes, this system is a lot more flexible and offers a lot more options (such as farther range, control from a cell phone with virtually unlimited range, and a remote that gives you feed back on whether the car started or not) many system offer very small remotes that wont add a lot of bulk to your key ring. range usually varies from anywhere from 800 feet all the way up to a mile or more.

one thing to consider, this chevy (and most with the flip key) will stop the factory remote from operating when ever the car is running, so if you do the factory fob option with RSR, once the car has been started, the remote will no longer function to unlock the doors when you get up to the car or even be able to shut the car off if you decided that you dont want it running any more. a lot of people are not ok with with having to stick the key into the door to unlock it, so this may be a deal breaker.

!warning, unproved theory after this point!

on a possible note, another guy and I are looking into the possibility of getting a non flip key from Chevy and programming it to the car and then just using our own remotes, I have done this with other cars (Ford and Chrysler) but am not sure if it can be done on this/a Chevy, the problem is Chevy uses different immobilizers for certain vehicles and there are a few variants of keys available in any model year, so first we are looking in whether this is even an option or not. a simple call to the dealer could probably answer this (but then again, not all dealers would ever try this or know if it was possible)

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On 1/23/2016 at 6:18 PM, 1LoudLS said:

I believe what he is talking about is some companies make a kit to convert the car from standard turn key, to a PTS system (Push To Start) like the Cadillac and larger Chevy offer.

honestly, if this is what you are looking for, I usually do not recommend them to much, while fun and cool, if the car was not designed from the ground up to offer PTS, then converting usually doesn't work as well, also these kits are not made by the larger main brands that have a lot of experience in integrating with modern CAN BUS systems in these cars. and with as integrated as the systems are inside this car, I would not feel very comfortable with a company that does not have the experence that Directed (viper) and iDataLink (compustar/Firsttech) has.

honestly I would recommend one of two different way of adding a RS (Remote Start) system to your car like SpaceCowboy said.

Option A: simple add on starter system or RSR (for cars like this that are Remote Start Ready) where you use a normal RS systems bypass module as a full system, in this case it would be a directed DBall2 for RSR, the nice thing is that it uses your factory key fob by pressing LOCK three time, down side is the range is very short for all factory key fobs (typically 20-50 feet) which is fine if the car sits right out side of your house, but wouldn't work well if the car is parked farther away

Option B: a full on RS system with its own remotes, this system is a lot more flexible and offers a lot more options (such as farther range, control from a cell phone with virtually unlimited range, and a remote that gives you feed back on whether the car started or not) many system offer very small remotes that wont add a lot of bulk to your key ring. range usually varies from anywhere from 800 feet all the way up to a mile or more.

one thing to consider, this chevy (and most with the flip key) will stop the factory remote from operating when ever the car is running, so if you do the factory fob option with RSR, once the car has been started, the remote will no longer function to unlock the doors when you get up to the car or even be able to shut the car off if you decided that you dont want it running any more. a lot of people are not ok with with having to stick the key into the door to unlock it, so this may be a deal breaker.

!warning, unproved theory after this point!

on a possible note, another guy and I are looking into the possibility of getting a non flip key from Chevy and programming it to the car and then just using our own remotes, I have done this with other cars (Ford and Chrysler) but am not sure if it can be done on this/a Chevy, the problem is Chevy uses different immobilizers for certain vehicles and there are a few variants of keys available in any model year, so first we are looking in whether this is even an option or not. a simple call to the dealer could probably answer this (but then again, not all dealers would ever try this or know if it was possible)

Have you looked into this anymore since the post? I’m currently on the same boat and want to get rid of the flip key fob and just use a basic key.

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