How to Remote Start Toyota Tacoma

Remote start is undoubtedly one of the most useful features of many modern cars and trucks.

With this feature, vehicle owners can remotely start their vehicles and make them ready for driving from indoors.

Many Tacoma owners don’t know about the feature, let alone how to use it.

Remote start is available in the latest Tacoma 2020–2024 model years.

You can access the remote start feature using the key fob or the Toyota Remote Connect app.

In this article, I have discussed what Toyota remote start is, its pros and cons, how to remote start a Tacoma and its availability.

What is Toyota Remote Start

Toyota remote start is a convenient feature of Toyota vehicles which is also unique in some manner.

You can start or stop the engine of your Tacoma remotely from a distance or indoors.

You can use the key fob or Toyota app to access remote start in your Tacoma truck.

The remote start feature can also use air conditioning, a heater, or a defrost system.

It is a helpful feature for cold weather, where the cab needs to heat up or for hot weather, where the cab needs cooling before driving.

Generally, Tacoma will idle for 10 minutes after the remote start and shut down automatically.

The remote start system also collabs with the anti-theft system and turns off the engine upon door opening.

Almost all the new generation of Toyota vehicles are equipped with remote start.

Which Toyota Tacoma Has Remote Start

Toyota Tacoma 2020 to 2024 model years have built-in remote start feature.

You don’t need to upgrade the hardware or software system for the latest Tacoma model years.

You can also use the remote start feature in older Toyota Tacoma.

You may be able to install the remote start feature in 2012 to later model years of Toyota Tacoma with hardware and software upgrades.

Remote start needs a module that works with the ECM to control the engine and air conditioning system.

You won’t be able to install a remote start in Tacoma, which is older than the 2012 model years.

These older models don’t have a compatible electronic system to support remote start.

How to Remote Start Toyota Tacoma

There are two simple methods to use remote start in a Toyota Tacoma. You can access the remote start feature using the key fob or the Toyota Remote Connect app.

Method 1: Remote Start with the Key Fob

You can use the remote start feature if your Tacoma is a 2020 or newer model or has the required hardware and software.

Stay within 80 feet of the vehicle to use the key fob to access the remote start.

When you are within range, press the lock button three times in a row and hold it for three seconds the fourth time to remote start the Tacoma.

The vehicle light will blink a few times, and the engine will start afterward.

No subscription is necessary for accessing the remote start feature with the key fob.

Watch the video to learn how to remote start your Tacoma with the key fob:

Method 2: Remote Start from the App

The Toyota Remote Connect app is another method to access remote start. However, it costs a subscription fee of 8$ per month and 80$ a year.

Newer Tacoma trucks come with a year of trial to use the app.

You just need to log in to the app and tap or hold the engine start icon.

After 1 or 2 seconds, you will receive a message on the screen telling you the remote start was successful.

Watch this video to understand how to remote start the Tacoma with the Toyota Remote Connect app:

Pros and Cons of Remote Start

Every system has pros and cons, and remote start is no different.

The benefits of remote start in a Toyota are:

Saving your time: Sometimes, you may need to warm up or cool down the interior or run the engine to heat up. You can do it with just the press of a button and save time.

Ease of driving: You can preheat or cool down the cab before driving in cold or hot weather. It will give you comfort in driving.

Windshield cleaning: The windshield of a snowy environment gets blocked by the snow. Remotely starting and heating your car may melt down the snow and give you a clean windshield for driving.

Finding vehicles: Sometimes, you won’t find your vehicle in the car park. You can use the remote start feature to start and locate your vehicle by sound and light.

Warming up the engine: In cold weather, the engine and oil need heating up to work properly. You can remotely start your vehicle to warm up the engine and oils.

The disadvantages of remote start are:

Increased fuel consumption: The remote start feature may cause increased fuel consumption. You may start the vehicle and then not use it. Sometimes, you may delay your driving because of a change of plans. It causes extra fuel consumption, which may add up to extra money.

Engine wear: Remotely starting the engine often and not using it puts pressure on it. It leads to engine wear over time.

Impact on the environment: Idling your vehicle also causes emissions. Remotely starting the engine and not using the vehicle causes extra emissions. It affects the environment.


How do I know if my truck has factory remote start?

Your key fob will have a curved arrow button for remote start. Different companies have different marks for remote start. If there is a button in the key fob with a curved arrow, your vehicle has a remote start feature.

How much does it cost to add remote start to Toyota?

Usually, installing the remote start requires vehicle compatibility. Installing a remote start module in the vehicle costs around $600 to $800. Always consult an experienced mechanic to install a remote start in your Tacoma.

Is remote start bad for your battery?

Many users claim the remote start feature is bad for the engine, security, and battery. It depends on battery power to power up the vehicle and air condition the interior. But with the system properly installed, there should not be any issue with the battery.

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