Subaru Remote Start: The Full Rundown

in Ownership
Red Subaru

2020 Subaru Legacy by Kevauto — CC BY-SA 4.0

Remote starts are all the buzz, giving car owners an easy-to-use option to set up their vehicle comfortably. If you’ve got a Subaru and are wondering about Subaru remote start, we’ve got the scoop and everything you might need and want to know. Wondering what a remote start is and whether or not your make or model has it? Read on to find out. 

What Is Remote Start? 

A remote starter is an accessory added to a vehicle either by the manufacturer or aftermarket sales. In both cases, it works with radio frequencies to start your car from a distance with a button push. Leaving your vehicle running may seem dangerous, but remote starts come with a safety feature that locks everything up until you’re ready to hop in. 

Standard remote starts come with a key fob and allow you to start your car up. Others come with options to sync technology to the remote start so that you can change the temperature, activate the radio, and even control defrosting options on your windshield.


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When Did Remote Start Make It Into Subaru Vehicles? 

Subaru remote start has been around since 2015, making its way into many models. While vehicles before 2015 could add remote start aftermarket, it wasn’t until the 201516 models that remote start started appearing as a standard feature. Almost all of the newest line of 2020 automatic Subaru models have a remote start, something that you’re sure to love.  

Subaru Models with Remote Start 

Several Subaru models have remote start. If you’re curious about whether or not your vehicle has it, you can check your manual or look at your windshield for a sticker that indicates it comes with a remote start. Current Subaru models that include remotes start include: 

  • Ascent
  • Forester
  • Impreza
  • Legacy
  • Outback
  • Tribeca
  • WRX
  • XV Crosstrek

If your Subaru does not come with remote start as a standard feature, you can add it in the aftermarket. The only newer models that don’t come with remote start are the 2020 BRZ, though it is sure to become incorporated at some point. Besides that, you can find Subaru remote start on most models, as long as they have an automatic transmission. 

Adding Remote Start to Your Subaru 

If you have a later model Subaru that doesn’t have a remote start, you can add it as an aftermarket product. The cost is not too hefty, economically priced for all the features you get. When adding remote start to any Subaru, you first need to make an appointment and select your product. 

Because it is an aftermarket product, you will need to ensure that it will not void your warranty and that it’s covered with your standard insurance with your vehicle. To find out, ask your dealer and call the manufacturer to get details about the warranty.


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Features of the Subaru Remote Start 

Subaru has a smartphone app that owners can download called the MySubaru App. Combining this app with remote start, owners can start their car with just the push of a button right from their cell phone. Change the temperature of your vehicle and make it more comfortable for your commute wherever you may roam. 

In addition to starting and warming up your Subaru, you can also lock and unlock your doors with the app and even schedule an appointment to get your vehicle serviced. Just look for a Subaru service near you and schedule a convenient time for you. 

Pros and Cons of Remote Start from Subaru

Though the Subaru remote start is a valuable feature to add to anyone’s day, it’s not for everyone. Below, we’ll highlight the good and the bad to help you decide if adding a remote start is a good option for you. 

The Good 

Having a remote start is a sweet deal. When you add it to your Subaru, you can enjoy: 

Quick Warmup – It’s always good to warm your car up before taking off on your commute. Using a remote start, you can start your car up while preparing for your day. 

The Perfect Temperature – Whether you’re dealing with cold weather or hot weather, you can set your Subaru up to either cool down or heat up. With this feature, enter your car at the perfect temperature for the day. 

Quick Unlock – Keep your car locked and unlocked when you’re ready to take off. You won’t have to search for both sets of keys, enjoying everything on one single key fob. 

The Not So Good 

As with everything in life, there are good things and bad things. When it comes to remote start, a few things might get in the way. 

Running Too Long – With a remote start, you risk letting your car run too long. If you do, you could waste gas and produce pollution unnecessarily.

Unlocking – It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes users can unlock their car by mistake. However, those that enter cannot go too far, as Subaru has a safety feature to keep cars from going too far without the key.


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To Add Remote Start or Not? 

Deciding to add a remote start to your vehicle is totally up to you and your preferences. They are starting to come as a standard feature on many cars, making them something that we are sure to get used to. If you want to enjoy the same perks as those with remote start, ask your dealer about adding it to your Subaru.

Plus, make sure to download that app so that you can do everything with just a few clicks of a button. Start your car, warm it up, and even find your optimal temperature, all from your cell phone. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Subaru Remote Start FAQs

Does all Subaru have Remote Start?

No. Subaru only introduced the Remote Start feature as a standard in 2015. Vehicles earlier than that don’t have a standard remote start unless they’re outfitted with aftermarket remote starters.

How long is the idle time of my car if I use remote start?

Your remote-started engine will automatically shut off after idling for 20 minutes for safety and security reasons. The Subaru will honk three (3) times, and the parking lights will also flash three (3) times.

Are there safety risks to using Remote Starters?

The remote start system will automatically disable when the doors, trunk, or liftgate are opened as a security measure. This prevents anyone from boarding and taking off with your car.

Perhaps the most significant safety risk of using remote start is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, don’t remote start your vehicle if parked in a tight space like a closed garage.

Is it illegal to use remote start?

Due to environmental reasons, it’s illegal to keep your vehicle idling for extended periods without actually driving. has compiled a list of State, County, and Local Anti-Idling Regulations that you should check out.

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