Remote Starter Installation

Last update: 18 March 2014

The owner requested a ProStart remote starter be fitted to a '96 Toyota Camry automatic.

Remote starter modules are controlled via an RF transmitter. The module contains several relays that are spliced into the wiring harness, effectively temporarily bypassing the ignition switch, and powering the engine computer (ECU) so the engine will run. In summary, the Prostart module requires

Correct installation of a remote starter device is not as simple as it might be expected.

While the ProStart instructions are well written and reasonably clear, they state "... Once all of the wires have been found, they should be tested to verify that they are the correct ones needed for the installation."

This is by far the most time consuming part. Getting at the wiring under dash requires removal of the panel below the steering wheel, which is simple to do.  This exposes the steering column, brake pedal, wiring harness, the interior fuse panel, diagnostic port and the heater ducts.

The heater ducts have to be removed to even see the brake pedal switch to locate the needed wire, and access the diagnostic port to splice into the TACH  wire. The ignition switch harness contains the heavy current +12v wiring that is to be spliced into.

It's necessary to remove the driver's seat to provide comfortable access to this area. On examination, a  starter immobilizer was found installed. The owner was not aware of this device which did work with a hidden switch.

The internal fuse panel and diagnostic port. The floating grey wire is part of the immobilizer device.

The immobilizer device has wires tie-wrapped to the ignition harness.


The immobilizer device controller. It's "kill" switch was moved elsewhere.

The other time consuming part of the installation is fitting the hood pin switch. This switch grounds when the hood is opened, and hence disables the autostart operation. A suitable location has to be identified where the hood when shut will cause the switch to open.

The hood-pin installed in the engine bay, on a 16g steel fabricated bracket, secured under existing M6 mounting bolts for  the fuse panels..


The hood-pin switch required an actuator button to be fabricated from polycarbonate and installed on the inside of the hood.

The hood-pin wire is passed through the firewall in a new hole, and protected with a rubber grommet. It's important to locate a place where the the hole can be drilled without damaging anything behind the firewall. The grommet will finally sealed with silicone when the installation is completed. 

A professional installation requires that the Prostart module is firmly attached to the vehicle, while not still being easily removable should other service work be needed.

The ProStart module on the fabricated 16g steel bracket, showing the ground wire. The unit is mounted on firewall bolts near the brake booster, and is well clear of the driver's feet.

The module harness is now ready to splice into the existing circuits.

Here's the ignition connectors before splicing: the immobilizer wiring is still tie-wrapped and the heating duct is still in place.

The junction box. The TACH, brake pedal switch and parking light circuits are accessed here.

The main ignition connection ready to splice.

All done, ready to test the module which is grounded via an extension cable. Once testing and programming are complete the module will be moved to it's final location under the dash.


Testing the ProStart module and Programming the Remote.

The ProStart instructions are not as clear or complete as they could be. For example, to cause the module to enter programming mode, the IGN has to be turned on, the antenna button (APAB) is clicked, and the parking lights are turned on for 20 seconds, indicating programming mode. What is not mentioned is the IGN must now be switched off so the module can recognize the remote.

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