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Why Is My Lexus Remote Start Not Working? Causes And Solutions To This Problem

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Lexus Remote Start Not Working

Remote start is a feature that allows you to start your vehicle’s engine from a distance using a key fob or a mobile app. It eliminates the need to be inside the car to start. This provides convenience and allows the engine to warm up or cool down before entering the vehicle.

But why is my Lexus remote start not working? Various factors can contribute to this problem. They include 

  • A dead battery
  • Faulty key fob remote
  • Expired subscription
  • Valet mode
  • 3G network limitations
  • App bugs
  • A defective hood pin switch.

Continue reading to gain valuable insights into diagnosing and resolving the problem effectively. You will also learn about the conditions your Lexus must meet for the remote start to work optimally.

Why Is My Lexus Remote Start Not Working?

Why Is My Lexus Remote Start Not Working

There are several potential causes for your Lexus remote start not working. Here is a look at each of these possibilities in detail:

1. Dead Battery

A dead battery is a common reason your remote start may not work. If the battery in your key fob is low or completely drained, it won’t be able to communicate with your vehicle to initiate the remote start.

Lexus Dead Battery


Replacing the battery in your key fob should solve the problem. Here is a guide on how to do it.

  • Step 1: Find the battery compartment on the back or side of your key fob.
  • Step 2: Use a screwdriver or coin to pry it open gently.
  • Step 3: Take out the old battery from the compartment.
  • Step 4: Place the new battery in the correct orientation inside the compartment.
  • Step 5: Press it back into place until it clicks or snaps shut.

2. Faulty Key Fob Remote

Another possibility is that your key fob remote itself is faulty. If the internal components of the remote are damaged or worn out, it may not be able to send the proper signals to your vehicle. You will know that it is faulty if you also cannot either unlock or lock your car with the key fob.

Faulty Key Fob Remote


In this case, you may need to buy a replacement key fob remote to restore the remote start functionality.

3. Expired Subscription

Lexus offers access to remote start as part of a subscription service. Initially, you have one year of free access to remote start. However, after the first year, a new policy has been implemented. 

To continue using the remote start feature, you need to subscribe and pay a monthly fee of $8 or an annual fee of $80. If your subscription has expired or you haven’t renewed it, the remote start feature may be temporarily disabled until you reactivate your subscription. 

Lexus Expired Subscription

4. Remote Starter Is In Valet Mode

Some Lexus models have a valet mode feature that allows you to limit certain vehicle functions when you hand over the keys to someone else. If the remote start is not working, your remote starter may be in valet mode.


Removing your vehicle from valet mode is a simple process. Press the ignition ON button 5 times and then press the lock button on the key fob three times. Here is a video showing you how to do it.

5. 3G Network Limitations

If you owned a Lexus model from 2010 to 2017, there’s a possibility that your remote start is not working due to the 3G network being disabled. These models relied on the 3G network for remote start functionality, and with the discontinuation of 3G, the remote start feature may no longer work. 

Lexus 3G Network Limitations


Look for a compatible 12V wireless remote start module designed to work with your Lexus model. Ensure that it supports the necessary features and functions.

6. App Bugs

If you’re using a mobile app to control your Lexus remote start, the app itself may have bugs or glitches. The start button in the app will refuse to work when you press it, or the app may even crash when you do so. 

Lexus App


Check for any available updates for the app and install them. Additionally, try reinstalling the app to see if that resolves any issues. If the problem persists, you may need to contact the app developer for further assistance.

7. Faulty Hood Pin Switch

Lexus models have a hood pin switch that detects whether the hood is open or closed. If the hood pin switch is faulty or not making proper contact, it may prevent the remote start from working. 

Lexus Faulty Hood Pin Switch


Inspect the hood pin switch and ensure that it is functioning correctly. Here is how to do it.

Step 1: Locate the hood release lever inside your vehicle and activate it to pop the hood open.

Step 2: Look for a small switch or sensor near the hood’s edge or along the front grille area.

Step 3: Check the hood pin switch for any signs of physical damage, such as loose wires, corrosion, or a broken switch mechanism.

Step 4: Ensure the switch is properly aligned and not obstructed by any debris or objects that may prevent it from functioning correctly.

Faulty Hood Pin Switch

Step 5: With the hood open, gently press down on the hood pin switch to simulate the closed position and release it to simulate the open position. Listen for a clicking sound or check for any visible signs that the switch is responding accordingly.

Step 6: Start your vehicle using the remote start feature while the hood is closed. If the remote start does not function, it could indicate an issue with the hood pin switch.

Step 7: If you notice any damage or suspect the hood pin switch is faulty, consult a qualified technician or contact your vehicle manufacturer for further diagnosis and repair.

Conditions Your Lexus Must Meet For Remote Start To Work

Conditions Your Lexus Must Meet For Remote Start To Work

Your vehicle must meet certain conditions to ensure your Lexus remote start functions properly. These conditions include the following.

  1. Your car should be in the park mode: Remote start typically requires your vehicle to be in the “park” position. If your car is in gear or neutral, the remote start feature may be disabled as a safety precaution.
  2. All doors should be closed and locked: For security reasons, your vehicle’s doors should be locked. The remote start may not be activated if any door is ajar or unlocked.
  3. The hood, trunk, and roof should be closed: Similarly, the hood, trunk, and roof of your vehicle should be fully closed. If any of these are open or not properly closed, the remote start will not work.
  4. The fuel tank is at least a quarter full: Most Lexus models require the fuel tank to have a minimum of a quarter tank of fuel for the remote start to function. Ensure that your fuel level meets this requirement.
  5. The security system is not in alter mode: If your vehicle’s security system is in alarm mode or triggered by an intrusion, the remote start feature may be temporarily disabled.
  6. There are no key fobs in the range of your car: If there are other key fobs within range of your vehicle, it may confuse the system and prevent the remote start from working correctly.
  7. Check vehicle compatibility: Before using a remote app, ensure that your Lexus model is compatible with the app. Different models may have different app compatibility, so it’s essential to verify that your vehicle supports the specific app you are using.
  8. Verify battery life: Make sure that the battery on your smartphone or device is sufficiently charged. Low battery levels can cause connectivity issues and prevent the app from functioning correctly.
  9. Clear any obstructions: If there are any obstructions on or around your vehicle’s keyless entry areas, such as debris, ice, or snow, it may interfere with the remote start functionality. Clear away obstructions to ensure a proper connection between the app and your vehicle.
If your Lexus’s remote start functionality is not functioning as expected, you’re not alone in facing this perplexing issue. Similar remote start problems might also arise in other models, such as Subaru Crosstrek and Hyundai Tucson, both of which could also experience difficulties with their remote start feature. For Subaru Crosstrek owners encountering starting problems, our article on Subaru Crosstrek won’t start provides insights into potential causes and solutions. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a Hyundai Tucson that won’t start, our article on Hyundai Tucson won’t start offers guidance for addressing starting-related concerns in that model. By exploring these resources, you’ll be better equipped to address both remote start concerns and starting challenges effectively.


Here are a few additional questions you might be wondering about right now.

Q1: Can I use remote start if my Lexus has a manual transmission?

Remote start is typically not recommended for vehicles with manual transmissions due to safety concerns. Manual transmission vehicles should be left in gear and with the parking brake engaged when parked. Using remote start with a manual transmission may compromise these safety measures.

Q2: Why does my remote start shut off shortly after starting?

Generally, remote start systems have a predetermined run time, usually 10-15 minutes. After this time, the system will automatically shut off the engine.

Q3: How far can I be from my vehicle for the remote start to work?

Generally, remote start systems have a range of 30 feet, but obstacles such as buildings and other structures can reduce the effective range.


If you’re facing issues with your Lexus remote start not working, several reasons exist. It’s essential to check for a dead battery, a faulty key fob remote, an expired subscription, or the remote starter in valet mode. 

Additionally, ensure your vehicle meets the conditions for remote start to function correctly. By following these troubleshooting tips and understanding the requirements for remote start, you can resolve the issue and enjoy the convenience of starting your Lexus remotely.

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