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Remote Start Not Working: 10 Things to Check

Has the remote start button on your GM keyfob stopped working? We have found 10 things that will cause your remote start system to not work.

Reasons Your Remote Start is Not Working:

  1. Improper Starting Procedure
  2. Vehicle Not in ‘Park’
  3. Too Many Remove Start Attempts
  4. Coolant and Oil Pressure
  5. Unlatched Hood
  6. Hazard Warning Lights
  7. The Key is in the Car
  8. Check Engine Light
  9. Dead Keyfob Battery
  10. Check the Manual

Improper Starting Procedure

Hit the lock button once, then hold the remote start button (Usually shaped like an arrow ) for at least 2 seconds or until the turn signal lamps flash. Keep holding and the vehicle should start.

Vehicle Not in ‘Park’

As a safety precaution, the remote start system will only work if the car is in ‘Park’. Disengage and re-engage ‘P’ before you retry the starting procedure.

Too Many Remote Start Attempts

If you have used the remote starter twice in quick succession, it will not work. Simply insert the key in the ignition and turn it ‘on’ and ‘off’. Exit the vehicle with the fob and retry step #1.

check fluid levels if your remote start isn't working


If your coolant temperature is near C or your oil is low, you need to be topped up!

Coolant and Oil Pressure

Double check your engine coolant and oil temperatures: If the engine coolant temperature is too high or the oil pressure is too low, remote start is disabled! After you have let the car cool down for 5-10 minutes and rechecked the levels, retry the start procedure.

Unlatched Hood

An unlatched/open hood will prevent the remote start procedure. Firmly open and close the hood before repeating step #1.

Hazard Warning Lights

As a safety precaution, the remote start system is fully disabled while hazard lights are on. If it’s safe to do so, turn off your hazard lights and retry step #1.

The Key is in the Car

Follow the above instructions to quickly swap the keyfob battery!


Follow the above instructions to quickly swap the keyfob battery!

A simple fix may be the location of the key. The vehicle cannot be started with the fob in the car. Take it out of the vehicle and retry step #1.

Check Engine Light

If the ‘Check Engine Light’ or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is illuminated, the remote start system will not work. Don’t panic, one of the reasons the MIL can illuminate is due to a loose gas cap! Reseal the cap, restart the car, and retry step #1!

Dead Keyfob Battery

If none of the other solutions have fixed your remote start problem, try replacing the battery in the fob. The keyfob uses a CR2032 lithium cell watch-type battery. The battery is commonly found and can be easily swapped using the diagram on the right.

10) Check the Manual

It might be time to dust off the old, trusty manual. Your vehicle may include additional features that are preventing the remote start function from working. If other troubleshooting fails, have a look at the manual for the ‘Remote Start Procedure’.

Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know how they worked for you in the comment section!

Jan 24th, 2014