Why Is My GMC’s Remote Start Not Working?

November 9th, 2023 by

The latest GMC models come packed with features designed to make the driving experience more enjoyable, comfortable, convenient, and safe. One of these features is remote start capability, which allows you to start your GMC vehicle with the press of a button on your key fob rather than from inside the vehicle. With the remote start feature, you can turn on your GMC from a distance and allow the interior temperature to adjust to a comfortable level before you get inside.

However, there may come a time when the remote start function doesn’t work as it should. Below, we highlight some common causes and what you can do to resolve the issue.

GMC Remote Not Working: Common Causes


The remote start function for your GMC vehicle may stop working for several reasons. Determining the cause of the problem can often lead you to the correct fix. Let’s review some common reasons why drivers run into problems with this feature.

Incorrect Usage

One reason your remote start may not work is if you’re not using it correctly. To use the remote start, you must first press the lock button once, then hold down the remote start button for at least two seconds. The remote start button usually looks like an arrow, and once you press it for two seconds, the turn signal lamps will flash.

When pressing the remote start button, be sure to only press it once. If you press the button twice in quick succession, it won’t work. Lastly, the remote start function will only work if the key is outside the vehicle. If your GMC vehicle detects the key fob, it will prevent the remote start button from working.

Vehicle Settings

There are also a few vehicle settings that, if enabled, will prevent the usage of the remote start. For example, your vehicle must be in park for the remote start to function. If, for some reason, your vehicle is in drive while you’re attempting to start the vehicle remotely, it won’t work.

Second, the remote start function won’t work if your front hood is unlatched. The same goes for your hazard warning lights. Unlatching your hood or turning on your hazard lights will disable the remote start feature.

Dead Battery

A dead battery can prevent your remote start feature from functioning. Inside your key fob is a tiny battery that provides power to the electronic signal needed for the remote start. Should this battery fail, your key fob will no longer be able to start your GMC vehicle remotely. Similarly, if your vehicle has a dead battery, it won’t be able to start — either remotely or with the key in the ignition.

Other Possible Causes

A few other problems could cause your remote start to malfunction. If you see the check engine light enabled within your dashboard, an underlying issue might be preventing your engine from starting remotely. At the same time, if your engine temperature is too high or the oil pressure is too low, your GMC vehicle may disable the remote start.

Lastly, your GMC vehicle will turn off after 20 minutes unless you stop the remote start feature or put the vehicle into motion. So if you started your vehicle one cold morning to warm it up before getting in and left it for over 20 minutes only to find that your vehicle is off, it’s likely that the vehicle turned itself off rather than the remote start failed.

How To Fix Remote Start Problems

If you’re unsure why your remote start feature isn’t functioning correctly, there are some steps you can follow to figure it out. Start by checking your owners manual for the specific procedure for starting your vehicle remotely, then ensure that you’re following the instructions correctly. In between attempts, you may need to turn your vehicle on and off manually with the key to reset the remote start function.

Once you’re sure that you’re using the remote start function correctly, the next thing is to make sure that no vehicle settings are preventing it from starting. Ensure that the vehicle is in park, the front hood is latched closed, and you don’t have your hazard lights on. After that, start the vehicle normally and ensure that the check engine light or any other warning lights aren’t coming on.

If you’re still unable to use your remote start function, try replacing the battery in your key fob. The key fob uses a CR2032 lithium cell watch-type battery, which is easy to find online. Pry open the cover of your key fob and install the new battery.

GMC Vehicles With Remote Start

Practically every new GMC vehicle either comes with remote start capabilities or offers this feature as an available upgrade. GMC first added a remote start feature back in 2002 and has slowly been adding it to more vehicles over time. If you’ve purchased a GMC vehicle within the past few years, there’s a good chance it has the remote start feature. Older vehicles are a little less certain to have it, and some of them may have an aftermarket remote start feature that didn’t come with the vehicle. For these vehicles, the above troubleshooting steps may not work.

If you want a GMC vehicle with remote start, explore the latest models. These include the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500, the 2024 GMC Terrain, and the 2024 GMC Yukon, all of which come with the remote start feature. If you’d prefer a pre-owned model, simply ask the dealership whether the model you’re considering has remote start capabilities.

Visit #1 Cochran for More Assistance

If you followed the steps above and your remote start feature still isn’t working properly, you may need some expert assistance. If you’re in the Youngstown area, you can bring your GMC to #1 Cochran to fix your remote start. The expert technicians at our service center can investigate the issue and get your remote start working again. Contact us today with any questions, or schedule an appointment at our service center to get started.

Posted in Service, Tips