Toyota RAV4 remote start

Toyota RAV4 Remote Start Guide: Answering All the Questions

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Navigating through the many features of a vehicle can sometimes feel overwhelming especially when it comes to understanding systems like the Toyota RAV4 remote start. This innovation aims to enhance the convenience and comfort of your driving experience. But amidst the mix of accurate and inaccurate information out there, I found myself asking, “Does the Toyota RAV4 have remote start?”

The answer is yes the Toyota RAV4 does have remote start but not all models or years do. Some of the 2023-2019 Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with remote start and some do not. For example, all 2023 RAV4 models XLE and above come standard with remote start but the 2019-2022 RAV4s do not come standard with remote start capabilities unless equipped with either Audio Plus or Premium Audio.

Curious about your RAV4’s fuel efficiency? We’ve got you covered!

Understanding the Remote Start Feature in Toyota RAV4

Ever wished you could click a button and have your car ready and waiting? That’s what the Toyota RAV4’s remote starter brings to the table.

What’s Remote Start Anyway?

Remote Start: It’s your car’s secret superpower. It lets you kickstart your engine from afar without having to turn an ignition key or push a button inside the car. Ideal for warming up your car on frosty mornings or cooling it down before you hop in during a sizzling summer.

RAV4’s Remote Start System: A Closer Look

With the RAV4, remote start is a breeze, and here’s how:

  • Key Fob: Press the lock button thrice, hold it down on the third press until the mirror lights blink, and your RAV4 is up and running. This feature is standard on many 2023 RAV4 models.
  • Toyota Mobile App: Toyota’s ‘Remote Connect’ services bring remote start to your smartphone. To use it, you’ll need to sign up for the service, which comes with a trial or a paid subscription.

The RAV4 Prime: A Slight Twist

The RAV4 Prime, being a plug-in hybrid, has a slightly different take on this. It doesn’t quite have a remote “start” feature, but a “remote climate” feature. You won’t remotely start the engine, but you can set the temperature and defrost settings straight from the Toyota app.

Are you interested in wireless Apple CarPlay or Andriod Auto? See our article Toyota RAV4 Apple Carplay: How to Add Wireless CarPlay or if you have an Andriod phone then see our RAV4 Andriod Auto wireless guide.

Does the Toyota RAV4 have Remote Start? The Full Scoop!

Do all 5th-generation Toyota RAV4s have remote start? It’s not as straightforward as you might think, as the answer can change depending on the year, model, and trim. Let’s break it down to make it easier for you.

how to tell if your RAV4 has remote start

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 and Remote Start

In the 2023 RAV4, things got a bit of a shake-up. Audio Plus or Premium Audio is no longer necessary to remotely start a RAV4. However, 2023 RAV4 LE owners have reported that remote start is not available for that trim level.

I own a 2023 RAV4 XLE (push button start) and the remote start works using both the key fob and in the app (free 1-year trial of the app). Remotely starting comes standard on all 2023 RAV4 (push button start) trims XLE and up, but is not included on the LE trim.

Whether or not you have Audio Plus or Premium Audio, Remote Connect (the service that includes remote start) is available — it just depends on how you access it.

  • Without Audio Plus or Premium Audio: You’ll need to subscribe to Remote Connect (for a fee).
  • With Audio Plus or Premium Audio: You can get Remote Connect via a trial offer or paid subscription.

This new arrangement means that lower-end trims of the 2023 RAV4, previously left out in the cold, can now enjoy remote start.

To start the 2023 RAV4 remotely using the key fob, give the lock button three quick presses. Hold the button on the third press until you see the mirror lights flash. Release the button, and voila! Your vehicle starts.

Now, about those trial periods for Remote Connect: they do vary by model year.

  • 2020-2023: Enjoy a 1-year trial.
  • 2019: Get a 6-month trial.
  • 2018 or older: If your RAV4 has Remote Connect, you can operate it with the key fob without restrictions.

After your trial ends and you still want to use the app, you’ll need to subscribe to Remote Connect. At present, it costs $8 per month or $80 per year (effectively giving you two months for free).

The 2019-2022 Toyota RAV4 and Remote Start

Now, let’s rewind a bit and talk about the 2019 to 2022 RAV4 models (and yes, this includes the Hybrid versions).

Here’s the lowdown for these models:

  • If your RAV4 has Audio Plus, it also has remote start. This system comes with a larger multimedia screen and a glossy frame.
  • If your RAV4 is equipped with Premium Audio (hello, JBL speakers!), it too has remote start.

So, in a nutshell, if your RAV4 comes with either Audio Plus or Premium Audio, you should be able to remotely start it. But hold your horses, there’s a little more to it.

To remotely start through the app, you need to have a Remote Connect trial or subscription. Remote Connect falls under Toyota’s “Connected Services” and offers tech features like roadside assistance and remote vehicle controls.

Alternatively, you can use the key fob to remotely start your RAV4 for up to ten years. After this period, you’d need to subscribe to Remote Connect.

However, there might be exceptions to these guidelines. For instance, we’ve found that the key didn’t work on a 2019 RAV4 Adventure with Audio Plus.

So, it’s clear that remotely stating a RAV4 is a bit complex. But hopefully, this breakdown has made things a little clearer for you!

Are you interested in Andriod Auto? See how to get wireless Android Auto on your RAV4.

Using Remote Start on Different RAV4 Models: A Comparative Study

Navigating the world of remote start functionality in the RAV4 lineup can feel a bit like a game of hopscotch – jumping from one model year to another. To make it easier, let’s get comparative and see how different RAV4 models stack up!

Remote Start on the 2023 RAV4

The 2023 model is the new kid on the block, shaking things up with its expanded remote start availability:

  • Remote start is accessible regardless of the trim level except maybe the LE trim.
  • You can use the key fob method by quickly pressing the lock button thrice, and holding it down on the third press until the mirror lights flash.

Remote Start on the 2020-2022 RAV4

The 2020-2022 models saw some changes, but they kept things simple:

  • Audio Plus and Premium Audio-equipped models come with remote start.
  • The key fob can be used for up to ten years without needing the Remote Connect subscription.

Remote Start on the 2019 RAV4

The 2019 model is where the remote start journey started for the RAV4:

  • Models with Audio Plus or Premium Audio have remote start.
  • The key fob can be used, but there are reports of some inconsistencies.

The RAV4 Hybrid Models: A Special Mention

Across the board, the RAV4 Hybrid models follow the same rules as their non-hybrid counterparts for the respective model years.

How to Remote Start Your RAV4: Different Methods

You’ve got a RAV4 with a remote start feature. Awesome! But how do you bring it to life from afar? Fret not, we’ve got your back. Let’s dive into the different methods to remote-start your RAV4.

1. The Classic: Key Fob Method

The key fob method is like your trusty old friend – always there, always reliable. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Press the lock button three times.
  2. Hold down the button on the third press until the mirror lights flash.
  3. Release the button and your RAV4 will start.
How to Remote Start a Toyota RAV4 With the Key Fob

(source: Toyota website)

2. The Tech-Savvy: Toyota Mobile App

If you’re more of a tech person, the Toyota Mobile App is your digital command center. Here’s your guide:

  1. Download the Toyota app. It’s available on Google Play for your Android device or the App Store for your iPhone.
  2. Open the Toyota Mobile App.
  3. Sign in.
  4. Use your email address or mobile phone number to log in.
  5. Add your Toyota RAV4 to the app.
  6. Activate Remote Services by walking through the on-screen prompts.
  7. Select the ‘Start’ option.
  8. Wait for a few moments. Your RAV4 will follow your command, and voila, your engine is running!

Remember, to use this method, you need to have a ‘Remote Connect’ subscription.

toyota remote connect app rav4 remote start

3. A Plug-in Hybrid Twist: The RAV4 Prime

For the RAV4 Prime, the process is slightly different due to its hybrid nature. You won’t exactly start the engine, but you can control the climate remotely:

  1. Download the Toyota app. It’s available on Google Play for your Android device or the App Store for your iPhone.
  2. Open the Toyota Mobile App.
  3. Sign in.
  4. Use your email address or mobile phone number to log in.
  5. Add your Toyota RAV4 to the app.
  6. Activate Remote Services by walking through the on-screen prompts.
  7. Select the ‘Remote Climate’ option. It’s like having a remote control for your car’s climate.
  8. Set your desired temperature and defrost settings. Personalize your car’s atmosphere before you even step in.

And there you have it, the multiple ways to remotely start your RAV4. Whether you’re a key fob classicist, a mobile app maven, or a hybrid hero, you’ve got the power in your hands!

How to Install a Remote Start on a Toyota RAV4

So, your RAV4 didn’t come with a remote start, but you’re itching for this nifty feature? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into your options, understand the costs, and decide who should do the installation.

Remote Start Installation: The Cost Breakdown

On average, you’ll be looking at a ballpark figure between $250 and $400 to get a remote start installed on your RAV4. But remember, this isn’t a fixed number. Several factors juggle this price tag:

  • Distance: A remote starter with a wider range usually comes with a higher price.
  • Brand Reputation: Quality comes with a cost. Established brands may charge more, but they offer durable and reliable products.
  • Features: More bells and whistles, higher the price.
  • Warranty: A product with a longer warranty may cost more upfront, but it provides a safety net against potential defects.
  • Installation: Professional installation will add to the total cost, but it comes with peace of mind.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: The Debate

If you’re handy with tools, you might be tempted to install the remote starter yourself. But hold your horses. Installing it isn’t as simple as changing a flat tire or changing your oil. It involves meddling with your car’s electrical system, which can be risky if you’re not well-versed in automotive wiring.

Choosing a professional installer could be a smarter choice. To find a reliable one:

  • Look for someone with extensive experience.
  • Read customer reviews online to gauge satisfaction.
  • Ask for a detailed quote, breaking down parts and labor costs.
  • Check for warranty on the installation.

Yes, professional installation might be pricier, but it’s a worthy investment to avoid electrical issues down the road.

Top Remote Start Pick for the RAV4

If you’re venturing to purchase your own remote start, remember the golden rule: Don’t compromise on quality for price. After digging deep into customer reviews and product features, the Compustar remote start bundle stands out as a top choice for the RAV4.

Campustar Remote Start Bundle (see on Amazon)


  • Far-reaching 3,000-foot maximum range.
  • Integrated car alarm with intelligent security sensors.
  • 2-way interactive LCD remote.
  • Convenient valet mode.
  • Compatibility with two vehicles.
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty.
See Remote Start Kit on Amazon

While you could save a few bucks with a shorter range remote start, a 3,000-foot range offers more flexibility. It ensures your car starts even when there are buildings or trees between you and your car. It might cost a bit more, but it’s worth the extra convenience.

So, whether it’s a frosty morning or a sweltering afternoon, you’re just a button away from a comfortable ride. Get ready to add a touch of magic to your RAV4!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does RAV4 have a remote start?

Absolutely! The Toyota RAV4 does come with a remote start feature. However, remember that not all models or trims offer this feature standard. You’ll find this nifty option more frequently on RAV4s from 2019 and onwards. So, before you get too excited, double-check if your specific RAV4 model offers this convenience.

Can I start my RAV4 with my phone?

Yes, you can! Toyota offers an app-based feature, the ‘Remote Connect’, that lets you start your RAV4 right from your phone. You’ll need a subscription to access this service, but it’s well worth it for the added convenience. Plus, it’s not just about starting your car; the app offers loads of other handy features like vehicle tracking and guest driver monitoring.

Can I start my RAV4 with the key fob?

Indeed! If your RAV4 model supports it, you can start your vehicle using the key fob. It’s as easy as pressing the lock button three times. On the third press, hold the button down until the mirror lights flash. Voila! Your RAV4 is up and running.

How much is Toyota Remote Connect?

Toyota’s Remote Connect service comes with a subscription fee. The cost is $8 per month, or you could opt for the annual plan at $80. The annual plan essentially gives you two months free! Please check the latest prices on Toyota’s official website or with a dealership, as prices may change.

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