Preventing an Inadvertent Remote Start during Service

With the growing popularity and availability of GM models equipped with remote start and the OnStar mobile app, it’s a good time for a reminder that there is potential for personal injury to technicians or damage to a vehicle during vehicle service if the remote start function isn’t disabled.


2009-2018 GM models may be equipped with remote start or the OnStar mobile app, which enables owners to send a remote start command to the vehicle using a smartphone. In a situation where a technician is working on a repair from underneath the vehicle — where the vehicle would be on a hoist and the hood closed — the vehicle could be inadvertently started using the remote start function or the mobile app remote command.


The inadvertent remote start may occur in a couple of common instances. The vehicle owner may start the vehicle using the OnStar mobile app (Fig. 13) out of habit, such as during lunchtime or at the end of the day, forgetting that the vehicle is being repaired. Another case could be if dealership personnel accidentally start the wrong vehicle using an incorrect key fob. The common appearance of key fobs could create a situation where the wrong fob is used, leading to an accidental engine start-up.


Fig. 13


Always Open the Hood


When performing repairs in the engine compartment or under the vehicle, always fully open the hood (Fig. 14), or open the hood to its secondary latch, so that the remote start function will be disabled. Failure to fully open the hood, or open it to its secondary latch, during service could result in personal injury or damage to the vehicle if an inadvertent remote start occurs.


Fig. 14


Always pay attention to the Dangers, Warnings and Cautions in the appropriate Service Information when performing repairs. The remote start warning also is included under Hoist Procedures as well as the general warning statement presented when logging into the Service Information.


– Thanks to Matt Bunting

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