2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Remote Start Is Handy For Cold Winter Mornings

January 2, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

I suspect that full-size pickups, because of their XL dimensions and frequency of receiving suspension lifts, end up getting parked outside an owner's home much more often than a regular car or even a crossover SUV. That means cold winter mornings can be a drag if your truck is your daily driver. But having a remote start feature, like our 2014 Silverado does, can help you out a little.

If you live in a cold climate, you likely know what I'm talking about: scraping frost or ice off the windows, waiting for what seems like forever to get the heater or defrost going, and generally complaining on how dang cold out it is.

Lots of cars these days can be had with remote start, a feature that allows you to start the vehicle remotely using the key fob. The idea here is that you start your car while you're still in your house, giving yourself some extra time to finish up your hot coffee and Pop Tart.

On our Silverado, remote start was an option (part of the All Star Edition package). To make it work, you just push the lock button on the key fob and then the fob's remote start button. Doing so fires up the engine to idle. Depending on how the truck's controls are set and how cold outside it is, remote start will also automatically turn on the heated seats, the defroster and start to apply warm air for the heater once it's available. The truck's doors are still locked, and once inside the cab you just put the key in the ignition, turn it, and your pre-warmed truck is ready to go.

Now, there's still the traditional way, which is just going out to your car and starting it up yourself and letting it idle. And yes, you can make the observation that using remote start can lead to unnecessary tailpipe emissions. But nonetheless, it's a nice little convenience feature that a lot of owners could appreciate.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 13,044 miles


  • reminder reminder Posts:

    A good percentage of the time I have to clear the snow off the car anyway, so starting the old fashion way is the way to go. Handy if it's just plain cold out though.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Not just tailpipe emissions - of course you are getting 0 mpg for the entire time you're idling. And of course under those temp conditions, idling is a very, very slow way to warm up an engine. And warming up as quickly as possible, short of running TOO hard, is the best way to warm up. The less time spent burning a richer mixture, and with under-temp fluids, the better.

  • okbeartoy okbeartoy Posts:

    If you download the OnStar app to your smart phone while OnStar is active and use it at least one time, you can use the remote lock/unlock and remote start feature (if equipped) on the smart phone for 5 years from the date of purchase.. You don't have to renew OnStar to use these features with your phone.. It is amazing and you can start your vehicle from a longer distance..

  • kevm14 kevm14 Posts:

    I have a strong dislike for aftermarket remote starters but at least in terms of functionality and reliability, the factory ones work well. Still, fordson1 hit the nail on the head with regard to fuel economy and warm-up. I always tell people that warming up your car is for YOU - you're not doing your car any favors.

  • trmckin trmckin Posts:

    Not sure if other states have this law but it essentially makes remote start a very expensive option. Maybe in that walk through the parking lot it would be fine but any extended starting and letting it sit could result in a hefty fine. http://tri1025.com/puffing-is-illegal-in-colorado-warming-up-your-car-unattended-2/

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    Warming your car in Colorado is illegal, but smoking pot and being high all the time isn't. That's sensible.

  • okbeartoy okbeartoy Posts:

    Most of the laws written to make this illegal specify that it is a "keys in the car" type of start that is illegal. Using a proper remote start is usually exempt. Just depends on the local law.

  • okbeartoy okbeartoy Posts:

    Colorado should worry about all the stoners that are going to be killed by carbon monoxide when they pass out in their running cars..

  • trmckin trmckin Posts:

    ah, the old stoners in Colorado bashing. Put it this way, I haven't seen any difference at least in day to day life. People that smoke it were already doing it so now it's just legal. In turn, we get tax revenue for it now instead of throwing people in jail. I was skeptical as well but there are lots of rules around it's purchase and use. Haven't seen anyone doing it as it's banned in public. So... pretty much just dealing with the same ol drunks on the highway just like every other state. With the one exception... my kid's schools will be pretty top notch in a few years as that money is earmarked.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    One thing I have been wishing for years to become available on cars and truck is a true electric heater something that heats up in 2 minutes or less rather than 10 minutes or more depending on if you are just idling or driving. It seems to be one of those "Why didn't someone think of that?" type ideas.

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