Ryanmj, hopefully this will help with some of your questions.
I installed my own remote starters on my 2010 Legacy 3.6R Limited, on a previous Honda accord, and I’m soon to put one in my Tacoma. They’re all Prostart brand units (2200’ range 2-way system), and the two I’ve done have worked great.
The Subaru was a fairly complex project, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone do this themselves unless they feel capable with electrical wiring, and interpreting wiring diagrams.
The car required 2 bypass units. This would be true if you went with a basic install or if you wanted to connect all the features (like I did). The remote start units send and receive analogue signals, and the bypass units convert these to the right sequence and digital format for the car’s computers to recognize. Without the proper sequencing, the computers will not pass the start command.
The first unit is for the ‘Transponder’. This tells the car that the key is in the ignition and sends an emulated key security code to disarm the immobilizer system. It also sends the Body Control Module of the car what could be called an ‘okay to start’ signal.
The second unit is programmed for ‘DL’ (door lock), which includes remote door lock/unlock and trunk release and close sensing. It also passes the tachometer and ignition signals needed to verify the car has sucessfully started (and park brake for standard transmission).
In terms of cost for the system, I paid the shop that I purchased the bypass units from to program them (Someone else might be able to argue them into doing this with the purchase of the unit, but they don’t like to sell just the hardware without an install package). For the ADS bypass (idatalink brand) that I used, you have to be a recognized installer and registered with their company to be allowed access to their system for programming. I figure this was much more secure than hiding the head of a key in a box somewhere behind the dash, which is what happens when they ‘need a key’. This programming was about $50.
The parts used for this were the starter unit on an end of winter sale $100, two transponder units $60 each, and some extra wire, solder, heat shrink tubing and wire-loom, so a total of about $300 + taxes.
This is what it cost for my ‘do it yourself’.
Most shops I’ve looked into will quote for a basic install, and increase quickly from there if you want remote doors/trunk/starter anti-grind/manual transmission, or any other extra features.
A few other things I can think of to mention:
-There are a number of brands of key Transponder 'emulator' bypass units. I would highly recommend using one of these over using a key both for security reasons, and because buying and programming a new key can be really expensive (if you happen to lose one).
-I just checked my Legacy and the factory key buttons will still operate the doors and trunk when the remote start is running.
-There is a wire already installed for the hood switch (safety lock-out for any mechanic working on your car when the hood is open), but you’ll have to install some sort of bracket to hold it in place.
-Starter anti-grind is a built in feature of the car, a shop will not have to add this (starter will not engage and grind when you crank the key if the engine is already running).
Last edited by Simikin; 11-16-2012 at 04:18 AM..
Reason: clarifying key vs no-key bypass teminology