Remote Car Starter Installation

One thing I’ve really gotten used to on newer cars is keyless entry. My wife and I bought a used ’93 Toyota Previa van a few months ago and this is one of the few items that were missing from the vehicle. The van is Rachel’s vehicle for the most part, so I decided to buy her a remote car starter with keyless entry for Christmas. I’d purchased a car alarm, that included a remote starter and keyless entry, about 10 years ago from Crutchfield, but when I checked out their site, it appeared that they had cut back on their offerings in this category. I ended up buying a unit made by Bulldog that I stumbled across at Wal-Mart.

Before Christmas, I checked out Bulldog’s site and they appeared to have a fair amount of information available and they even had a vehicle-specific wiring diagram for the Previa. They also showed the option of using what they call a T-harness, which just plugs straight into your factory wire harness so you don’t have to go and start splicing wires right off the bat. They don’t seem to mention though if the T-harness includes the plugs needed for the keyless entry connections. All it says is that the T-harness can cut installation time by up to 70%. If it completely eliminated the need to splice wires, it seems like it would say so. If they had more information on exactly what connections are handled by the T-harness I might have been more inclined to get one, but I decided the heck with it, I’ve already hacked into more than my fair share of factory wiring harnesses, so in the end I proceeded without the extra T-harness.

I watched the DVD included with the install kit, which was fairly pointless. I suppose there are people out there that might be trying to install one of these things and they’ve never sliced the insulation off an electrical wire before. All the examples show a guy standing next to a car working with a loose piece of wire that isn’t connected to anything. I think the important thing to show is that to install these things under the dash of most cars, you will be standing on your head while you are slicing into key electrical connections in your vehicle. In my case, I wasn’t too badly off. The Previa sits fairly high off the ground and the space between the dash and floor is sufficient that I didn’t have to assume an inverted position in the driver seat with my feet in the air and my head stuck under the dash. One thing I think I need to pick up for jobs like this is a fluorescent drop light. It’s dark under a dashboard, it’s nearly impossible to hold a flashlight, the piece of wire you’re trying to splice, and wield a utility knife at the same time. Note that I said a fluorescent light, unless you like the smell of burnt carpet and hair.

To be continued …

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