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Can You Remote Start a Manual-Transmission / Stick-Shift Vehicle?

Compustar remote starters provide best-in-class comfort by warming up your car in winter and cooling it down in summer. But can you enjoy the benefits of remote start with a manual-transmission? 

You may have heard the following 3 myths about installing remote start on manual transmission:

  1. You can’t start a car without your foot on the clutch.
  2. Your car could start moving if it is left in gear or if the parking brake fails.
  3. Somebody can steal your car while the engine is remote started. 

While all of these concerns are valid, Compustar is one of the few brands of remote starters that CAN be safely added to almost any manual-transmission vehicle. This is accomplished via clutch bypass, reservation mode, and built-in safety features. Not sure what these terms mean? Keep on reading to learn more!

Compustar remote starters simulate the clutch pedal to remotely start the engine.

When installing a Compustar remote starter on a manual-transmission vehicle, an additional clutch bypass connection is required. This connection simulates the electronic signal produced by the clutch pedal, normally a ground signal sent to the vehicle’s ignition system. This allows the engine to be remote-started even without the driver’s foot on the clutch.

Compustar systems must be put into “reservation mode” to remote start.

In order to remote start a manual-transmission vehicle, the driver must activate “reservation mode”. The purpose of reservation mode is to confirm that the vehicle is safe to remote start. Reservation mode is activated by doing all of the following:

  • Fully securing the emergency brake
  • Pulling the key from the ignition. The engine will continue to run, confirming that reservation mode is in the process of being activated
  • Exit the vehicle and lock the doors. Shortly thereafter, the engine will shut off, confirming that reservation mode has been set.

If any of the doors in the vehicle are reopened after activating reservation mode, reservation mode will be cancelled, preventing the vehicle from being remote-started. The reason for this is that if someone, for example, a child, re-enters a vehicle after it has been put into reservation mode, there is a slight chance that the parking brake may be disengaged. Thus, Compustar systems will only remote start the engine if it is 100-percent safe.

Even while remote started, Compustar systems prevent the vehicle from being driven without the key.

Key takeover is a feature of all Compustar remote starter systems that ensures that a vehicle cannot be driven without the physical presence of the actual key or fob. If the brake pedal is pressed to put the vehicle into gear, the system will detect whether or not the key is present inside of the vehicle. If not, the engine will immediately shut off.

Key takeover protects your vehicle from theft in the event of a break-in during remote start.

As an additional failsafe, Compustar remote start systems installed onto manual-transmission vehicles require an FT-DAS-II security sensor. This sensor has a built-in accelerometer that will immediately shut off your remote starter if it detects forward movement without the presence of the actual key inside of the vehicle.

Compustar remote starters are the safest solutions for manual-transmission vehicles. This is possible because of the additional safety features that Compustar has built into the company’s CMX-Series control modules. While these additional safety features may result in a $50-$100 added cost on remote start installation for manual-transmission vehicles, stick-shift drivers will find that investment to be well worth it when they can remote start their vehicle with confidence and peace of mind.


Compustar remote starters are created with safety and convenience in mind for automatics, diesels, and yes, stick shifts! So, if you’re interested in adding a remote start to your ride, contact one of our 2,000 Authorized Retailers in U.S.A. and Canada.