Remote starter advice

(I posted this in another newsgroup as well, but figured some Honda owners might have some advice)
Hello all,
I'm looking at getting the DEI VAlet 561R remote starter / keyless
entry installed into my 2003 Honda Civic:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm /DEI-Valet-561R-Remote-Start-K eyless-En...
The car didn't come with any type of remote entry, and since I am absolutely sure I couldn't install one on my own, I checked out the local Best Buy and Circuit City. The latter has this product, installed, for $159 which sounds very reasonable.
Unfortunately I can't seem to find any good resources for reviews or details on this product. For instance, what is the range? It says it comes with an extended antenna that will give it a 1/4th mile range, and I believe I'll need about 200 feet (I live in an apartment). Also, I assume I have to leave my AC (or heat) on when I turn off the car, so that when I remotely turn it on it kicks in?

they make solid products - is that true? I've heard horror stories about cars randomly starting on their own, and obviously I'd like to avoid that.
If this particular model isn't good, any other recommendations? Please keep in mind I have to have some way to have it professional installed (for a reasonable price). Thanks a lot.
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Yes, that is reasonable. But that is probably a "base" price. Does your car already have power locks? If not, you will have to pay additional for actuators.

Range varies form car to car. 200 feet is near the end of "reasonably expected" range.
Yes, you will have to leave your heat or A/C on before leaving the vehicle.

Very solid. DEI is the company that makes Viper, Python, Hornet, etc... They also own CLifford (bought a few years back).

It's fine. Most of the DEI line is the same from brand to brand.
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strict9 wrote:

the best of luck with DEI products installed on my former vehicles. My old car had a Python alarm that doubled as my keyless entry, remote trunk popper, and it rolled up my power windows. I also tried a couple of Alpine car alarms, but those were just hype and rarely made it past the two year mark without serious problems.
On my last truck I had a Viper that emulated factory keyless entry (press the disarm button, and the Driver's side unlocks, press disarm again, and the passenger's side unlocked).
Now I am older, married, and just stick with the factory alarm and keyless entry on my vehicles. If I ever have a vehicle broken into or ever purchase one without a factory keyless entry system, I would definitely use a DEI product again!
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Thanks for the reponses.
My car does have power locks so I won't have to pay to have actuators installed, which is good. However they said it might cost up to $50 to have relays installed - that I have to pay the extra money for them and if it turns out my car already has them, then I get a refund. That sounded a little odd.
It's good to hear that DEI makes solid products. My only hesitation now is with the range. As I mentioned I'm about 100-200 away from the parking lot from my apartment, but sometimes I have to park my car further up or down the lot, and at that point I would lose any line of sight I might have when stepping out my front door. If I wasn't able to start the car from my apartment that would be an obvious negative, though I could still see the usefulness in the winter of running outside in my slippers and reaching around the corner to turn it on. The salesman at Circuit City said that line of sight is important and it doesn't work around corners well, so I'm really not sure at this point.
I may just go with the DEI keyless entry for $109, but I'll have to think about it. I also may check Best Buy to see if they have a more reasonable installation.
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If you already have power locks, no new relays should be required.
t
strict9 wrote:

--
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I start my car from my basement which of course has no line of sight. I have been able to start it in-line at a grocery store. I have a DEI product, its a viper that was installed by Best Buy. One thing that matters the most in all cases with remote devices for your car is interference, the more of it (IE airports, radio towers, ect...) will affect it and reduce range. At work I need to be 10 feet away before I can start it (right next to regan airport), at home I can start it from the back yard.

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If they charge for relays, you are getting ripped off. The Honda has negative activated door locks which the DEI products support directly.

Well, it is an RF signal which does bounce some, but line of sight is better.

For the price difference you mention, just get the starter. Even if you can only take advantage of it most of the time, you're not talking about a big $$$ difference between the 2.
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strict9 wrote:

-----------------------
Your honda manual says you'd be better off without a remote starter. Winter, get in, start engine, dust off snow, drive away. Summer, start car, lower windows start driving. Turn on AC and roll up windows in a short while. That's what the book says will give best AC performance / engine life and fuel mileage.
'Curly'
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Good to hear about the range. It makes sense that interference matters more than line-of-sight. Also, thanks for the tip about the relays, as I will feel much better going in and talking to them with that information.
Curly: I didn't notice anything about a remote starter mentioned in my manual, but I probably just missed it. Aside from doing something like starting the car and leaving it idle for 10 minutes every morning before going to work (which I wouldn't do), what kind of negative impact would it have on the car's engine life?
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strict9 wrote:

-----------------------
You didn't miss it, but if you read the whole manual, you'll see that it's in there by inference. Your manual says to warm up the engine ASAP by driving it right away so it will get into it's proper heat range. Since it takes forever to warm up while idling, you wear the engine faster, plug up the Catalytic converter and waste more gas. You also accumulate lots of acids in the oil because the engine is so inneficient.
'Curly'
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