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Dealer Automotive Services, Inc.
1102 South Fifth Street
Hopkins, MN 55343

2013-2014 Remote Start Season

Summer is gone and winter is fast approaching.  Unfortunately for us, we've been thinking about winter since the beginning of August and our warm September days made it hard to get in the mood.

This is the time of year when we check out all the new products available from our vendors and find out what's new and improved from last year.  The item we are most excited about this season is the new 1-Button, 2-way remote start system from Compustar.  Finally, the manufacturer has listened to our advice!

This product is great for drivers that have keyless entry in the head of their key or who have proximity sensors for locking and unlocking their doors.  With the Compustar remote start they get 2-way confirmation with a compact, LED remote along with up to 2,000 feet of range.  At a price of just $359.50 installed it's sure to be a big hit this winter.

All of the products on our website have been updated and you'll be happy to see a slight price decrease in many units.  We have something for everyone and a wide range of prices and units to choose from.

Now we just need some snow.  Happy winter everyone!

Which Unit do you need?

The number 1 question we get from customers is "Which unit should I get for my car?".  This seems like a simple question but the reality is it's not.  In order to determine which unit is best for you, we start by asking our own questions.

What kind of car do you have?  Does the car come with a key or is it a push button start?  Is it a manual transmission or automatic?  How much range do you think you need?  Is 2-way communication important to you?

Once these questions are answered, we will steer the customer towards the unit that best fits their needs.  Often times customers are surprised that the unit we recommend is not necessarily the most expensive unit we carry.  We pride ourselves on listening to the needs of the customer and fulfilling those needs in the most economical way possible.

For instance, if you have keyless entry in the head of your key there's no reason for you to buy a remote starter that also does keyless entry.  Why carry a large remote when you're already carrying an oversize key?  However, if 2-way communication is important to you then a remote start with keyless entry does make sense. 

By listening to the needs of the customer we can narrow down the choices and recommend the best unit for each application.  Let's face it, customer service is what it's all about.

Remote Start Range

Customers will often tell me that range doesn't matter to them when picking a remote start.  Their car is right outside their home or office when they want it to start so no need for excessive range.  The problem is they are not always at work or home when they want to start the car.  Perhaps they're at the grocery store or mall.  At that point anything between them and the car will interfere with the actual range of the remote start system.  Even something like a parking ramp can diminish the range of a remote starter.

When deciding on a remote start unit we always recommend that the customer determine how much range they think they will actually need.  Then we tell them to DOUBLE that number and pick a unit.  The price difference for getting additional range is negligible and the benefits are significant.  In this case more really is more.

Headrest Tablet DVD

I recently invested in a new iPad mini and have been impressed with how convenient a tablet is for a variety of uses.  Internet browsing, communication and entertainment are all packaged in a small hand held device.  Amazing! 

One of our manufacturers, Vizualogic, has now come out with a headrest DVD system that uses tablets as the display screens.  The tablets are docked in the headrest of your seats and are designed to replace your original manufacturer headrests.  In addition, the headrests are wired to charge the tablets and provide external USB ports.  They have built in Wi-Fi capability and the tablet can be removed from the dock for up to 5 hours of external use.   The tablets use the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.  You can enjoy games, music, movies and web browsing while on the go.  Camping and road trips have never been so easy.

We're hoping the rain will stop some time soon so we can get out and enjoy some camping and summertime fun.  Come on sun! 

Bring on the heat!

Our long, hard winter appears to be over.  Finally! 

It was 98 degrees in Minneaplis yesterday and our phones were ringing off the hook.  Granted, most people were calling to get their air conditioning serviced but we also took several calls for remote starters.  People are finally coming to realize the benefits of a remote starter during the summer heat.

Temperatures in the 90's will leave the interior of your car feeling like an oven and, if you have leather seats, you know how uncomfortable it can be to burn your buns when you sit down.   With a remote starter you can cool your car before getting inside.  Just leave the air conditioning on when you park the car.  Remote start the car when you're ready to go and a cool car will await your arrival.  

Let's hope we have lots of warm summer days to help us forget our long, cold, snowy winter.

New Remote Start Applications

We are supposed to be enjoying Spring weather by this time of year.  In fact, we should be swatting our first mosquitos and planning picnics and other outdoor activities.  Unfortunately, it's still snowing here in Minnesota and we're still fielding calls for weather weary customers looking for remote starters.  We're more than happy to help but we all feel the same way: Baseball was not meant to be played in the snow!

We continue to look for the latest technology and software updates for remote start applications and are pleased to announce the addition of the following list of vehicles to our lineup:

2013 Ford C-Max

2013 Chevrolet Trax

2013 Buick Encore

2013 Acura ILX

2013 Acura RDX

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8L

2014 Mazda 6

2013 Infiniti JX35

2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

2014 Subaru Forester

2013 Toyota Versa Sedan

2013 Toyota Avalon

2013 Toyota RAV4

Spring Break

Schools are taking Spring break, the Twins are playing baseball and I've seen my first orange breasted Robin of the year.  So if all these things are happening, then why doesn't it feel like Spring?  I'm afraid our cold temperatures are wreaking havoc on our psyches.  I guess all we can do is persevere and think warm thoughts.

One thing to think about is your upcoming summer road trip.  We have several ways to make your road trip more enjoyable:

1)  Add cruise control to your vehicle.  This helps avoid the accidental run in with the law.

2)  Add an iPod interface to your vehicle.  Quit channel surfing and play your favorite music through your car stereo.

3)  Add a video system to entertain the kids on that long car ride.  Come on!  You know listening to Sesame Street over and over is better than the sound of crying children.

4)  Add navigation to your vehicle.  The last thing you want is to get lost while listening to Sesame Street.

While it may seem like Spring will never get here and Summer is still a figment of our imagination, the reality is they are coming.  Best to be prepared.

By the way, we also carry hitches for towing your favorite toy.

Backup Safety

When it comes to driving, vehicle safety should be first and foremost on the mind of all drivers.  We all know it's not safe to text while driving and having your windows clear of snow and ice is incredibly important.  But have you thought about safety issues when your car is in reverse?  For many of us, it can be difficult to see exactly what's behind us and the consequences can be horrific.  Fortunately, the quality and reliability of reverse safety systems have improved greatly.

There are several types of reverse safety systems now available.  Some systems use sensors that are installed on the rear bumper and use an audible signal to indicate when you're close to something (or someone!).  Other systems use both audible and visual signals to warn you.  More sophisticated systems use a camera mounted on the rear bumper to literally show you the area behind your vehicle.   All of these systems can be installed as an aftermarket add on to your car.

A backup safety system is no substitute for attentive driving and a driver should always be cautious when backing up.  If you'd like to add a reverse sensing system to increase your safety precautions let us know.  We'd be happy to advise you on the best system for your vehicle.

European Vehicles

We get many calls from customers who would like remote starters in their European made vehicles.  Often times these customers have been told by their dealership or mechanic that remote starters cannot be put in their vehicles. That information is true for many models but does not apply to all.  We have experience installing remote starters in Audi's, Volkswagen's, Volvo's, Mercedes Benz and BMW's.  These cars do require extra time and labor so the prices listed on our website do not apply. 

For the most part, older model European vehicles are remote start compatible.  The issues lie with more recent models.  For instance, we've found that on newer Audi's there is a clock spring that can be damaged when doing the remote start install.  For this reason, we will not work on those particular Audi's. 

On the other hand, we have custom remote start systems for Mercedes Benz vehicles that integrate perfectly with the factory wiring.

An extra key will be used in most remote start installs for European vehicles (except Mercedes Benz).  This key will be inserted into a module that is stored under the dash of your vehicle and integrated into the remote start wiring.  If you don't have an extra key, we have a vendor that will come to our business and cut and program extra keys for your vehicle.  The cost can range from $80 - $150. 

The bottom line is that remote starters in European vehicles require extra expertise and knowledge.  Dealer Automotive can provide both.  Please call us for a quote on your specific vehicle.

Smartphone Remote Start

<p>Did you know you can start your car from anywhere in the world right from your computer or Smartphone?&nbsp; Many manufacturers now offer remote starter systems with cellular technology integrated in them.&nbsp; Simply have us install one of those systems in your car and then&nbsp;sign&nbsp;up for&nbsp;Smartphone service to complete the installation.&nbsp; Once that's done, you can use your phone to start your car, unlock or lock your doors and more.&nbsp; It's amazing what technology can do!</p>
<p>If you don't have a Smartphone, another feature&nbsp;included in&nbsp;many remote starters is the ability to set your remote start system to start the car at a pre-set time or in pre-set conditions.&nbsp; In the old days, if you were worried about coming out to a dead battery the morning after sub-zero temperatures you would get up during the night and start your car and let it run for a while before you went back in your warm home and cussed out your car.&nbsp; That process becomes obsolete with a remote starter.&nbsp; Just activate the automatic start feature with your remote before going to bed and the car will start and run for the preset run time charging the battery, warming&nbsp;things up&nbsp;and then turning itself off.&nbsp;&nbsp;(Of course,&nbsp;this only applies to cars parked OUTSIDE overnight and&nbsp;you'll want to be sure there's&nbsp;gas in the car.)&nbsp;</p>
<p>There are many conveniences built into remote starters these days.&nbsp; Call us and we'll go over all the features with you.&nbsp;</p>

Buyer Beware

We often get calls from customers asking us about special pricing deals they've seen on other websites like Groupon or Living Social, etc. While many of the offers featured on these sites are real deals our experience with the remote starter package being offered is buyer beware. A quality remote starter installation will take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours which means even the most experienced technicians will only install 4 or 5 remote starters per day.

When discount websites sell hundreds of packages for low cost remote starters, that means the customer could wait months to get an appointment for the remote starter to be installed in their car. It could be long after winter is done and gone. We've had many calls from people complaining that they purchased a remote start package from a discount website and were unable to speak directly to the company doing the installation and were unable to make an appointment to get their car worked on. Often times these customers will contact the discount website and ask for a refund and will then schedule an appointment with us.

We know the value of customer service and we always stand behind our work. We will answer your calls and we will make sure you walk away satisfied with our work and our products. That's just who we are! As with anything, the cautious buyer comes out on top.