The Toyota 4Runner has been quite an excellent choice for a dependable SUV. It’s versatile too. Whether you want to drive to weekend getaways, haul gear, or tackle rugged terrain, the 4Runner can pretty much do it. Over the years, the model has gotten quite some nice upgrades with every generation.
In the latest iteration, Toyota has also put modern electronics and accessories as options into the 4Runner including the remote start feature. Remote start allows the driver to start the engine from outside the vehicle using a key fob or smartphone app. In addition to starting the engine, remote start also activates the heater and defroster, making it easier to clear frost and ice from the windshield. This can be quite handy for drivers in colder climates since it allows them to warm up the vehicle before getting inside.
Remote start is just one of the many features that make the Toyota 4Runner an appealing choice for those looking for a dependable SUV. If you have one and are wondering how it works, we’ve put together this guide on how to remote start your Toyota 4Runner, using either the key fob or the Toyota Mobile App.
Does the Toyota 4Runner Have a Remote Start Feature?
Many people ask, ” Does the Toyota 4Runner have a remote start?” Yes. The Toyota 4Runner does have remote start but either as part of a trim level package or as an option.
Toyota started offering remote start in the 2015 model year 4Runner. However, finding it in an actual 4Runner depends on the trim level you get or if it was included as an option. For the 2020 models of the 4runner, only the Limited, Pro, and Nightshade have the factory remote start feature. The same thing applies to the 2021 model, but with an exception, it would work for the TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road premium if it had the push button start option or if this was added by the dealer.
Another way to tell if a 4Runner has remote start is if the trim level with the Premium Audio package has the factory remote start feature. This is because the JBL audio system that comes with the package requires an external amplifier, which is not included in models without the remote start feature.
Customers who want to add this feature to their vehicle will need to have it externally installed by a professional. Once installed, the remote start feature will work just like it does on models that come with it from the factory.
How to Remote Start and Stop the 4Runner with the Factory Key Fob
So, if you’re asking, “How do I remote start my 4Runner with the key fob?” Here’s a quick guide.
Well, you first need to ensure your 4Runner is parked in an area where it can receive a remote signal. If it’s more than 80 feet away with obstacles in the way, then the signal may not be strong enough to reach the car. Once you’ve found a good spot, you can do the following.
Things You Need
- The factory key fob
Steps to Turn On
- To use the 4runner remote start feature, press and release the LOCK button on the key fob twice in quick succession (within two seconds).
- Next, press and hold the keychain’s LOCK button for three seconds.
- Once you do that, the turn signals will flash repeatedly, and the 4Runner should start.
- The Toyota 4runner’s engine will run for 10 minutes on idle before automatically turning off. This is part of the system’s safety mechanism. You’ll have to have your fob with you inside the vehicle to drive off.
Steps to Turn Off
There are two ways you can remote stop the Toyota 4runner, and they are:
Option 1: Press and hold the LOCK button on your Toyota 4Runner’s key fob for at least two seconds. The engine will stop, and the warning lights will flash once. This way, the doors will still be locked when the engine is turned off. If you worry about safety, you should use this method.
Option 2: Press the key fob’s UNLOCK button. The Toyota 4runner’s engine will stop, and the hazard lights will flash twice. With this method, the doors will be unlocked, but they will lock back up quickly if nothing is done.
How to Remote Start and Stop the 4Runner with the Mobile App
Since we’re all about controlling things with our smartphones these days, Toyota also now allows accessing the remote start feature through the Toyota Remote Connect app. With this app, you can start your engine up to 50 feet away, making it convenient for those chilly mornings when you want to warm up your car before getting in. You can also use the app to stop your engine, which can be helpful if you forget to turn it off after parking.
Things You Need
- A smartphone
- The Toyota Remote app
- A Toyota Connect account
Steps to Use the Mobile App
Here’s how to get started:
- Download the Toyota App from the App Store or Google Play.
- Open the app and create a Toyota Connect account.
- Follow the prompts to connect your phone to your 4Runner.
- Once connected, you’ll see a list of options on the app’s main screen.
- To start your engine, select the “Remote Start” option and press and hold the start button. The engine will automatically turn off after 10 minutes unless you manually turn it off sooner.
- The turn signals will flash more than once, and the 4runner will start.
- If the car isn’t driven for 10 minutes after the engine is turned on, it will turn off itself.
- Select the “Remote Stop” option to stop your engine and press the stop button.
Can You Install an Aftermarket Remote Start System?
You may be wondering if you can install a remote start system in your Toyota 4Runner. The answer is yes, you can. There are many aftermarket systems available that can be installed in nearly any vehicle.
The installation process can be accomplished by someone with a decent amount of automotive and electronics knowledge. The process typically involves wiring the system into your car’s electrical system. If you aren’t comfortable taking off pieces of trim (to access the ignition assembly) and splicing and connecting wires, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional for installation. You can fry your electrical system if you aren’t careful.
When purchasing an aftermarket kit, make sure that your vehicle is compatible with that particular system. Some remote starters are only compatible with specific makes and models of cars. Once you’ve confirmed that the system will work with your vehicle, look at the installation manual to get an idea of what’s involved.
It is always best to consult a professional installer to ensure that the system is installed correctly and that all safety features are enabled. Once the system is installed, you can start your 4Runner from a distance using a remote control or key fob.
Convenience at a Cost
While the Toyota 4Runner remote start system is a great feature, using the Toyota app needed to do this comes at a cost. Toyota Connect services are automatically included with new Toyotas for a 12-month free trial period. Once the time elapses, you get to pay $8 per month, or $80 per year if you pay yearly. It is, however, one of the more affordable connectivity services on the market. For many, it represents a minuscule amount if you consider the comfort you will get for the price.
Another disadvantage of the app-based remote start device for your Toyota 4runner is that you must have a charged phone to access the ignition and other security protocols. This may not seem like an issue, but if you’re in a bit of a rush or an emergency and your phone dies, it can be inconvenient. Furthermore, unless you have a spare key, you will lose access to your car if your phone gets lost or stolen. While these are small issues, they should be considered before enrolling in Toyota Connect services.