Do you ever wish to warm up or cool down your Toyota RAV4 before stepping outside? How does the TOYOTA RAV4 REMOTE START feature on newer RAV4 models work? If so, you’ve come to the right place.  In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about which RAV4 trims come equipped with remote start straight from the factory, how to use the system properly, and what functionality it offers.

For those with older RAV4s missing out on this convenience, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered, too. We’ll discuss popular remote start upgrade options to effortlessly add key fob-activated remote start to your existing ride. 

Arm yourself with knowledge before your next service appointment or new Toyota purchase by joining me in demystifying RAV4 remote start systems. Understanding this technology inside and out will ensure you can utilize it seamlessly for ultimate comfort and convenience all year. Let’s get started!



Determining which rav4 trim has remote start is very tricky. To clarify, here is an overview of remote start availability by model year for the Toyota RAV4:

2023-2024 TOYOTA RAV4

Remote Start in 2023-2024 Toyota RAV4

The 2023-2024 Toyota RAV4 has a slightly different remote start system than previous model years.

No Longer Requires Premium Audio

  • The Audio Plus or Premium Audio is no longer required to access remote start in the 2023+ Toyota RAV4.

Without Audio Plus or Premium Audio:

  • Remote Connect is available with a paid subscription only

With Audio Plus or Premium Audio:

  • Remote Connect is available with a trial offer or paid subscription.
  • This means you can get a remote start on lower-end trims of the 2023 RAV4, which weren’t previously available in older models.

Using Key Fob to Remote Start

To remote start a 2023 Toyota RAV4 with the key fob:

  • Quickly press the lock button three times. On the third press, hold the button down until the mirror lights flash.
  • Let go of the button, and the vehicle will start.

Please note: I must confirm that the key fob method works with all 2023-2024 RAV4 trim levels. Please get in touch with me if you have more information!

Remote Connect Trial Periods

The trial periods for Remote Connect vary by model year:

  • 2020-2024: 1-year trial
  • 2019: 6-month trial
  • 2018 or older RAV4s with remote connect: Operate with key fob without restrictions

Using the Remote Connect App

To use the app functionality after the trial ends, you must sign up for Remote Connect.

  • It costs $8 per month, or you can pay $80 a year, like getting two months for free.

2019-2022 TOYOTA RAV4

The 2019-2022 Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid models have remote start capabilities under specific package options. Here is an overview of which systems include remote start and how it can be accessed:

  • Audio Plus Package Models
    • Includes larger multimedia screen
    • The glossy trim frame around the screen
  • Premium Audio Package Models
  • If RAV4 has the Audio Plus package and Premium Audio package, then remote start is included

Accessing Remote Start

  • Key Fob Access
    • Can remotely start RAV4 using key fob
    • Functionality lasts for up to 10 years
  • Toyota Remote Connect App (requires subscription service)
    • Provides remote start capability through the app
    • It also gives access to other connected services, including: 
  1. Roadside assistance
  2. Remote vehicle controls 
  3. Additional tech features

If your 2019-2022 Toyota RAV4 has either the Audio Plus package or the Premium Audio package with JBL speakers, then it has the capability for remote start through the key fob. The Remote Connect subscription service is required for extended functionality through the phone app.



Compatible Models

  • Toyota RAV4 models from 2019 and newer (except RAV4 Prime – see next section)

Using Remote Start

Quickly press the lock button on your key fob three times. On the third push, hold the button in until:

  • The lights flash
  • The vehicle starts

Once the vehicle starts, you can release the lock button.

For RAV4 prime remote start

The RAV4 Prime has a different process to use remote start. Refer to the RAV4 Prime section in this article.

If Remote Start Does Not Work

  • If you held the lock button and the lights did not flash, your RAV4 is likely not equipped with remote start functionality from the factory.

Next Steps if Remote Start is Not Working

  • Check the Compatible Models section above to confirm your RAV4 supports remote start
  • See the Installing Remote Start on RAV4 section later in this article
  • Consider having remote start installed by your dealership or third-party shop



The Toyota app allows you to remotely start your Toyota RAV4, lock/unlock the doors, and keep track of maintenance, provided you have an active subscription to Toyota’s Remote Connect service.

Downloading and Setting Up the App

  • Download the Toyota app from the Google Play or Apple App Store
  • Open the app and set your country and language
  • Sign into the app using your email or phone number
  • Add your Toyota RAV4 to the app
  • Activate Remote Connect services by following the on-screen prompts

Using the Remote Start Feature

  • Hold the “Start Engine” button from the Toyota app’s home screen.
  • The RAV4’s turn signals will flash a few times before the engine starts.
  • If the vehicle is not driven, the engine will automatically shut off after 10 minutes (a timer in the app shows the remaining runtime)

Additional App Features

  • Lock/unlock vehicle doors
  • Schedule service appointments and maintenance
  • Pay monthly bills

The Toyota app makes it simple to access some of your RAV4’s key features remotely remotely, provided you have an active Remote Connect subscription. With just a few taps, you can start your RAV4 from anywhere and always know it’s safe and ready to hit the road.


If you own an RAV4 Prime, you’re in for a technological treat. Unlike traditional remote start systems, this plug-in hybrid works differently with its remote climate feature. It’s all about convenience – no need to physically start the engine to warm up the car, as you can control temperature and defroster settings through the Toyota app. And forget about using the key fob – this is all about embracing a new level of intuitive vehicle management.

The RAV4 Prime’s technology represents a step forward in how we interact with our vehicles. Focusing on remote climate control rather than traditional remote start offers a fresh perspective on what’s possible in automotive innovation. As electric and hybrid cars evolve, adopting these advanced features may soon become the norm rather than the exception.


Many RAV4 owners may find the automatic shutdown of the remote start frustrating, but it’s a necessary safety feature that could prevent vehicle theft. Imagine if your RAV4 didn’t have this security measure and how easily someone could take off with your vehicle. A simple engine restart is all it takes to get on your way once you’re inside, with the added benefit of a warm-up engine ready to hit the road.

While it might sometimes feel inconvenient, the automatic shut-off when you open the door is an essential safety measure to protect your RAV4 from unauthorized use. It’s crucial to recognize that this feature demonstrates Toyota’s commitment to prioritizing customer safety and security above all else.


Alternative options are available if you don’t have a remote starter in your Toyota RAV4. In this section, I will discuss the cost of installing a remote start for Toyota RAV4 models and help you determine whether hiring a professional or doing it yourself is best.


The 2023 Toyota rav4 remote start Installation cost typically ranges from $250 to $400 on average. Several factors impact the overall price:

  • Remote Starter Range: Longer remote start ranges cost more money since they require more advanced technology
  • Brand: More reputable brands have higher price tags but provide more durable, reliable products
  • Features: Basic remote starters with start/stop functionality cost less than models with advanced features like temperature presets, runtime extenders, etc.
  • Warranty: Opting for an extended warranty adds to the cost but provides more protection from defects
  • Professional Installation: While a professional install costs more upfront, it brings added peace of mind over a DIY job

Should You Install It Yourself?

If you’re relatively handy and comfortable with essential electrical work, installing a remote starter can save money over professional installation. However, there are some downsides to consider:

  • No warranty: Any issues from an improper installation would not be covered
  • Security risk: Incorrect wiring can turn off other safety features on the RAV4
  • Time investment: Installing a remote starter correctly takes 2-3 hours for someone experienced

So, while a DIY install is cheaper, the benefits of a professional job often make it worthwhile for many RAV4 owners. An experienced installer can adequately integrate the remote starter with the RAV4’s security system while providing a warranty on parts and labor.


If you’re good with tools, consider installing a remote start system in your Toyota RAV4. But honestly, I don’t advise doing it yourself. It’s more complex than basic car maintenance tasks like changing the oil or replacing a tire. Remote start systems involve more complex wiring and technical know-how.

Reasons to Avoid DIY Remote Starter Installation

Installing a remote starter requires connecting to your vehicle’s electrical system. Only attempt this if you have extensive experience with automotive wiring.

Risks of DIY Installation

  • Creating Electrical Issues: If wired incorrectly, you could inadvertently cause electrical problems in your vehicle, leading to potentially costly repairs.
  • Lack of Knowledge: You need to thoroughly understand 12-volt automotive electrical systems to have the proper knowledge for a safe DIY install.

Finding a Professional Installer

Given the risks, your best bet is to have your remote starter installed by an experienced professional. Here’s what to look for in an installer:

  • Experience: Choose someone with many years of experience installing remote car starters
  • Reviews: Read online reviews to verify satisfied customers
  • Transparent Pricing: Get a detailed quote separating labor costs from parts
  • Warranty: Select an installer that offers a warranty on labor

Avoid Cheap Installs

While a professional installation may cost more upfront, it is well worth paying extra to avoid potentially expensive electrical issues down the road. Investing in quality installation leads to long-term savings.


Quality should be your top priority when purchasing a remote starter for your Toyota RAV4. Opting for the cheaper options might seem tempting, but it’s likely to result in frequent breakdowns and dissatisfaction. A model with exceptional customer reviews will provide reliability and peace of mind.

While saving money is essential, there may be better choices than opting for a remote starter with a shorter range. The 3,000-foot range offers an ideal solution under most circumstances, ensuring that obstacles like trees and buildings don’t hinder its performance. Investing a little extra for this extended range can make all the difference when needed, providing added convenience and flexibility in various situations.


The TOYOTA RAV4 REMOTE START offers a convenient solution for adjusting the cabin climate, particularly during extreme weather conditions. Whether it’s the chilling winter or scorching summer, this technology proves to be highly advantageous. If your RAV4 is already equipped with a remote start, take advantage of it and witness its difference in your driving experience.

Utilize the convenience of starting your vehicle remotely through the Toyota app or key fob, but ensure that a Remote Connect subscription is in place for app usage. It’s important to note that the RAV4 Prime functions differently, remotely allowing remote control of the interior climate without starting the engine.


Does the Toyota RAV4 come with a remote start?

Yes, 2019 to 2022 Toyota RAV4 models with Audio Plus or Premium Audio system have remote start. The 2023 model can also be equipped with remote start with or without these systems if you have a Remote Connect subscription.

How much is it to put a remote start on an RAV4?

The cost of professionally installing a remote start on an RAV4 typically ranges from $250 to $400, covering the price of the remote starter and labor. 

Can I remote start my Toyota with the key fob?

Some Toyota models, like the RAV4, can be remotely started using the key fob. It’s essential to check if your specific model and year supports this feature. If not, consider adding an aftermarket remote start system.

By Muhammad Saeed

I am Muhammad Saeed, an automotive enthusiast with a specialized focus on Toyota vehicles. With a genuine passion for the automotive industry, Muhammad brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our website. As an authority in the world of Toyota vehicles, Muhammad Saeed combines a deep understanding of automotive mechanics with a hands-on approach to deliver content that aligns with the highest standards of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT). Muhammad's journey in the automotive field has equipped him with insights into the intricacies of Toyota vehicles, making him a reliable source for enthusiasts and car owners alike. His commitment to staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies ensures that the content provided is not only accurate but also reflects the cutting edge of the automotive world. Explore our automotive content with confidence, knowing that Muhammad Saeed's dedication to EEAT principles ensures the reliability and trustworthiness of the information you receive. Muhammad is excited to share his wealth of knowledge and contribute to your understanding of Toyota vehicles and the automotive industry as a whole.