How to Use a Remote Starter Switch

Using a remote starter switch on a vehicle is like a third hand when diagnosing vehicle problems. The remote starter switch allows you to "turn over" or "crank" the engine without actually running the engine. This comes in handy for conducting certain tests, such as compression or finding the high side of an engine cylinder. By following a basic process you can place the in-line switch temporarily on your vehicle, saving you the need to get a helper for a diagnosing situation.

Exterior Starter Relays

Step 1 Place the car in the "parked" position on the gearshift and engage the parking brake.

Step 2 Locate the starter relay on your vehicle. This is generally located on the sidewall of the engine compartment just above the battery.

Step 3 Identify the leads of the starter relay. There will be two large connections, one that comes from the battery and another that goes directly to the engine starter motor itself. There will also be either one or two small connections on the starter relay. These are used to energize the relay that places the contacts together for energizing the starter motor.

Step 4 Place one alligator clamp on the positive side of the battery. This will provide the power to the switch.

Step 5 Place the other alligator clamp of the switch on the small connector of the starter relay. The contacts of the starter relay will then be "turning over" or "cranking" the starter.

Depress the remote starter switch. The engine should now be cranking but not running.

Built-in Relay on Starter

Step 1 Place the vehicle in "park" and set the emergency brake.

Step 2 Locate the starter on the engine of the vehicle. You may have to crawl under the vehicle slightly to reach the starter motor.

Step 3 Identify the connections on the starter. There will be one large electrical connector that comes directly from the positive side of the battery and a small connector that comes from the ignition key.

Step 4 Place one of the alligator clamps on the large battery connector and the other clamp on the small ignition connector.

Step 5 Remove yourself from under the vehicle before engaging the switch.

Depress the switch, and the engine should "crank" over.

Things You'll Need: Remote starter switch with alligator clips or clamps