Toyota Tacoma Remote Start (Full User Guide)

Remote start provides convenience and comfort for certain 2020-2024 Tacoma models and is available both with or without a Toyota Remote Connect subscription.


Key Points:

  • Remote start offers increased comfort and conveience by warming the engine and interior.
  • Some 2020-2024 Tacoma models have remote start capabilities.
  • Your dealership can verify if your Tacoma has remote start.
  • Remote start can be controlled via the Toyota app (w/ subscription) or with the key fob (no subscription).
  • Aftermarket options are available for Tacomas without remote start.

Remote start technology has changed the game when it comes to driver comfort. If you’re a Toyota Tacoma owner, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that this convenient feature could be at your fingertips. 

This post will cover everything you need to know about taking advantage of remote start on your Toyota Tacoma. Keep reading to find out if your truck has this feature, learn how to use it, and get some of our suggestions for aftermarket solutions.

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Toyota Tacoma’s come with many great features like the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and the lane departure alert. While these features are of great use for Tacoma drivers while driving there is also another great feature you can use before you even step foot into your truck.

That’s where the remote start comes in. This feature is not highly advertised by Toyota but can be of great benefit to drivers, read the following sections to discover the benefits.

Does the Toyota Tacoma Have Remote Start?

Remote start is the ability to start your engine before you get to the car using radio frequency. Instead of turning a key or pushing the brake when you get inside, you can use a small remote or an app on your phone to turn on your vehicle from another location.

At the basic level, it allows you to turn the engine on and off, but more advanced models include additional convenience and safety features. 

Most Tacoma owners are unaware they have this feature since Toyota doesn’t do a great job of advertising it.

Specific Toyota Tacoma models between 2020 and 2024 have remote start capabilities.

For 2024, it’s possible to equip remote start on all grades except for SR. This includes a one-year trial of the Remote Connect App. 

How to Tell if Your Tacoma Has Remote Start 

To find out if your Tacoma is compatible with remote start, you can take it to an authorized dealership to have it checked. Keep in mind that remote start is not compatible with any manual transmission models, and your vehicle won’t have this feature if it’s a 2019 model or earlier. 

The best way to find out if your Tacoma has remote start is to try it for yourself. The following section will describe how to use remote start with your key fob or smartphone. 

(caranddriver.com, compustar.com, toyota.com, wheelsjoint.com

How to Use It

There are two options for using remote start on your Tacoma: the key fob method and the Toyota Remote Connect app

Using the Key Fob

Using remote start with your key fob is completely free, with no activation required. If your Tacoma model is compatible with remote start based on the criteria we discussed above, you will be able to access it with this simple method. 

When you get close to your truck, push the lock button three times in a row, holding it down longer the last time for three seconds. You should then see your vehicle lights flash a few times and hear your engine start. 

Using the App

The Toyota Remote Connect app is another quick method to start your Tacoma. It costs $8 per month or $80 per year, but some 2023 models come with a one-year trial period. 

To start your truck remotely, just download the app on your phone, log in to your account, and tap and hold the engine start icon for 1-2 seconds. You should then see a rotating circle on your screen with a message that your remote start was successful. 

(support.toyota.com, copilotsearch.com, kbb.com)

Aftermarket Options

If your Tacoma doesn’t have remote start based on what we discussed earlier, you can still take advantage of this feature with an aftermarket system. 

Compustar Two-Way Remote Starter

Compustar CS4900-S (4900S) 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System with 3000-ft Range

This two-way remote starter from Compustar includes trunk release, panic siren, keyless entry, unlock and disarm, and more. It also includes a backup one-way remote with a one-year remote warranty. 

You can get it online through the manufacturer’s website or on Amazon. Alternatively, you can find a local place to pick it up, like Best Buy. 

Easyguard Remote Starter Kit

EASYGUARD EC003 Smart Key PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System Push Start Button Remote Engine Start Remote Trunk Release DC12V

Complete with a car alarm system, push start button, and passive keyless entry, this remote start system is compatible with most DC12V cars. It’s compatible with both manual and automatic transmission vehicles, but it requires professional installation. 

You can’t get this kit directly from Easyguard,  but you can find it at Walmart or Amazon

Crimestopper RS7 G5 Two-Way Remote Start System 

Crimestopper RS7-G5 Cool Start 2-Way Remote Start System

This two-way remote start system also has keyless entry. The manufacturer doesn’t sell its own systems directly, but you can get it online through Amazon and Walmart. 

How Much Do Aftermarket Systems Cost? 

The cost for parts and labor will depend on the vehicle and setup you choose. Generally, the average cost of parts is $50-$200, and professional installation is $80-$150 for an estimated total of $140-$400.

If you went with the Compustar system, for example, you’re looking at a price point between $249.99 and $399.99 for buying the parts and paying for installation. In some cases, the cost to install an aftermarket remote start system can be even more.

On the tacomaworld.com forum, user Ashen Owner said they took their 2021 SR5 to the dealership and received a quote of around $600. 

Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Systems 

Aftermarket systems have plenty of pros and cons. On the positive side, they can make up for the lack of range and capabilities in some factory systems.

Factory systems usually need to be close for the vehicle to start, but aftermarket models can have longer ranges. Some aftermarkets also have 2-way communication to and from the vehicle, including other features like water resistance, interactive LCD screens, charging via USB, and security systems. 

However, aftermarket systems can be expensive to install if it’s not standard in your vehicle. Attempting a DIY installation without experience can cause wiring issues that cost more to fix.

Depending on the system, an aftermarket remote start may require an extra remote in addition to the standard key fob, which is another item to remember. 

(caranddriver.com, compustar.com, 12volt.solutions)

Benefits of Remote Start

The benefits of having and using remote start in your Toyota Tacoma include: 

  • Comfortable Drive: Before entering the vehicle, you can start the heat or AC to enter a comfortable cabin. 
  • Melting Snow Off Windshield: If you live in an area with snow, the heat from remote start should melt it away for safer driving and less time scraping the windshield. 
  • Finding Your Car in a Parking Lot: If you cannot find your car in a parking garage, you can start it remotely and listen to locate it. 
  • Warm Engine and Motor Oil: Since oil is thicker when it’s cold, it’s much harder on the engine. Remote start can solve this by warming your engine and motor oil. 

(dsautomotive.com)

Related Content

Take Advantage of Ultimate Convenience at Your Fingertips

Remotely starting your Tacoma is a simple process that can save you a lot of time and energy. It can improve your comfort, safety, and overall driving experience before you even get into the driver’s seat. 

If you’re one of many Tacoma owners who have this feature right under their noses, start taking advantage of it using your key fob or the Toyota Remote Connect app today. 

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2 Comments

  1. I love the Toyota Remote Connect app. In fact, I used the app from the Philippines to start my truck and it worked. I had my daughter drive my truck as I was gone for a month, so I didn’t want it to sit idle for too long. ( I just started it, she had the FOB to drive it) It’s also great for winter time. Heating the vehicle and melting the ice on the windshield. Of course you have to have your settings how you want them so when it starts, the defrost fan or AC runs. It will use the same settings for climate control as you were using prior to shutting the vehicle off. It won’t automatically turn stuff on. Such as heated seats or heated mirrors. You need to have those functions on when you shut it off and then when you remote start, they’ll be working.

  2. Sometimes my remote does start my 2022 Tacoma TRD sport and its a hit and miss with it