Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
The value is in the overall cost.
on November 11, 2015
Hello! I'm writing a review of the Avital 5303L remote start/alarm system. Please note, for some reason, Amazon has decided it's a great idea to bundle multiple remote start/alarm systems into one section. What that means is, you see a bunch of reviews but it's not always clear which system they are referring to so be careful.
On to my review! Let me start explaing why I give this system three stars. For those who may not know, Avital of part of the 'Directed Electronics' (DE) family. You are basically buying a Viper, Paython, Clifford, Avital, etc system and depending on the badging you will pay a fair price or flat out be ripped off. These systems are meant to be sold through (and installed) by authorized dealers. Directed Electronics does not make nor market these systems towards to DYI'er unlike say, Bulldog, who even includes an installation DVD. DO NOT expect any help or assistance from DE. They flat out don't care about you unless you are a dealer. DO NOT expect this system to include installation instructions of any kind other than a wire layout sheet. You will have to turn to the internet for help if you've never done one of these before. Support if you're not an installer is non existent so I took stars off for that.
Another reason for the three stars is because this 5303L system is a dinosaur. It's been around AT LEAST ten years already, the only thing "new-ish" is the FOB. DE does very little to update and upgrade their systems. In fact, DE may not be around in another 7-10yrs. The main reason I decided to get this Avital 5303L was because it was a relatively cheap two way system from a main stream company. Also, because it's been out so long If my brain module goes bad I can most likely find one out there but I am living with some regret anyway which I'll explian towards then end below.
I've installed remote start systems on two other cars (personal) in the past so I didn't need much hand holding. There isn't much to say about the brain module and wires included in the kit, it seems like the standard quality you'd expect. The main gripe is with the "Horn/Aux 3" wiring as the harness only has about a 4" lead for the horn output. You'll definitely need to add wiring to it. I won't comment on the alarm end of things because I didn't install it. I hate alarms and they tend to cause headaches from my own past experience.
The two way FOB was also a deciding factor as to why I chose the Avital 5303L over other DE systems. Lets be realistic, the FOB is what makes the system. It's what you hold and use eveytime you get into/out of your vehicle. While it has some outdated elements (those that have been around cars a lot will know what I mean), it's still a nice looking FOB. The fact that the FOB utilizes a 'AAA' battery is great news to me. Love the idea of just popping a new battery rather than having a rechargeable FOB like some other companies do. This is purely personal preference here people.
Range: I live in NYC. Lots of obstructions to degrade signals in general. Given where I live, I'm satisfied with the range of this system BUT it is nowhere near the range I'd expect from a system costing this much. Years ago I installed a "Ultra Start" one way system in my then Toyota Camry and the range was about the same as this one. Difference is, I paid $45 for the Ultra Start at the time. The max distance I have GPS "confirmed" is 584 feet and I've included a screen shot of it, note that I did have a line of sight of the car. Also, it's important to mention that you'll have better chances of remotely starting your car at longer distances if the antenna on the windshield is either facing you or if you can see the driver/passenger side windows as opposed to the back of the car which can block the signal.
I've installed this Avital 5303L in my manual shift car even though it's meant for automatics only. I wired mine so that if I leave my car in gear, the remote start will not function. If you plan on installing this system onto a manual transmission vehicle, make sure you do as I did to prevent any accidents. I can't walk you through that part unfortunately.
A local installer wanted $350 parts, labor then tax on top to install this system into my car. I wired up my rear defroster as well as my headlights to so I can turn them on and off via the FOB, this would have cost me extra if I had gone with an installer a relay's were needed.
I value the two-way remote feature but if I didn't, I may have gone with the Avital 4103LX instead and saved a bunch of money. I mentioned above that I do have regret and that is that I wish I had gone for an Excalibur (Omega) system simply because it's just way more feature packed and the FOB looks much more modern.
In closing: I've seen this system priced as low as $100 here on Amazon, I paid $116. The price is what this two-way alarm system has going for it. I would by this in a heart beat over the similarly priced e b a y special any day. Truthfully, I would still recommend this system to anyone that doesn't have huge range requirements simply due to the price. If you do have big range requirements, go look at the Compustar T11, tie your jaw up because it will drop off your face once you see that beast.