Installing a remote start system in a Toyota Sienna
An iDatastart and Code Alarm system makes life easier for this Crutchfield family
ver had one of those days? You know, when you’re trying to get yourself, the kids, and everyone’s stuff out of the house and into the car…and the car’s still covered in frost from the night before? There’s also the summertime version, which involves all of the first few things, plus a car interior that feels like a blast furnace and is possibly even less fun.
Well, technology to the rescue. Adding the convenience of remote start to your vehicle is easier than ever, and you can even control your system from your smartphone. With the right tech, you and the family can hop into a car that’s comfortable and ready to roll. You’ll still have to get the kids moving yourself, of course, but hey, it’s something.
With three kids and very busy lives, Crutchfield Advisor Brandon and his wife Tori have had a few of those days! That’s why Brandon decided to install a remote start system from iDatastart and Code Alarm in the family’s 2016 Toyota Sienna.
This installation took place in late fall, so being ready for cold weather was definitely front-of-mind.
“I wanted to add remote start simply for the convenience of having a warm vehicle to get into during the winter,” Brandon explained. “Getting into a warm vehicle, with the windows already defrosted and the heated seats turned on, always creates a great start to the day.”
Brandon began by connecting the iDatastart and CarLink modules to the T-harness for his Sienna.
A do-able DIY installation
Brandon was especially excited by two things: getting hands-on experience installing the iDatastart remote start system, and incorporating the Code Alarm CarLink™ for smartphone control over the whole system. Adding remote start once meant splicing a lot of wires, and wasn’t recommended for the average DIYer. But iDatastart uses vehicle-specific T-harnesses to plug the main module directly into the factory wiring. For most compatible vehicles, this means only having to splice a few wires — and in Brandon’s case, none at all.
The iDatastart CMHCHXA0 remote start system lets you start and warm up (or cool down) your vehicle before you begin your drive. The module requires a vehicle-specific T-harness (sold separately, prices range from $34.99 – $69.99) to connect to your vehicle's computer, security, and ignition systems.
“There was no hardwiring needed,” Brandon said. “Once we loaded the firmware into the ‘brain’ on a Windows computer, we just needed to hook things up. Even the CarLink plugged directly into the iDatastart module. The most challenging part was finding space behind the dash to mount the modules. To ensure good cell reception for the smart start module, we mounted that piece up in the top of the dash, which required us to remove the gauge cluster. ”
With the help of the instructions provided with the iDatastart system, Brandon plugged the ends of the T-harness into the appropriate locations in the van.
Already a family favorite
It was a chilly winter, so the system came in handy during all sorts of family outings. And as the temperatures start rising again, this system will be every bit as useful.
Code Alarm ASCL6 CarLink module
Code Alarm’s CarLink module lets you use your smartphone to control your aftermarket security or remote start system from anywhere you have cell service or Wi-Fi. In addition to starting and stopping the engine, you can also lock and unlock the doors, check battery voltage, locate the vehicle via GPS, and more.
“The best part is having it all located on my phone,” Tori explained. “I don’t always have my key in my hand — honestly, it’s usually deep at the bottom of my purse! But I always have my phone handy, and with the Code Alarm app, I can use all of the system’s features from any distance, regardless of whether my key fob is in range.”
The iDatastart and CarLink modules work best when mounted high up in a vehicle. Brandon found room behind the Sienna’s instrument cluster.
Ready for your own remote start system?
T-harnesses make the job easier, reducing the number of wires that need to be spliced to just a few (or none, in some vehicles). You’ll get detailed instructions from iDatastart (like the diagram you see below), and our tech support is on hand to help, too. If you have questions or want to order your system today, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email.
The included wiring diagrams take a lot of the guesswork out of your iDatastart installation