[How-To] Start your car using X10


Staff member
This is a small and quick project, but I figured I would post the instructions since this might be useful to someone else. I decided that I wanted my Home Automation system to start my car when I wake up in the morning.

Am I really that lazy? No, since the house already knows when I wake up by analyzing motion sensor activity in the morning, it can start the car for me, so it's all nice and warm when I am ready to go to work. You could also schedule the remote start every day (except for weekends and holidays, this can be scripted) in case you don't have motion sensors. Another option is using voice recognition to start your car or unlock (useful if you forgot your keys upstairs, just make sure to disable the mic at night ;)). Of course, there is also the 'cool' factor.

There are only a few important parts we need in order to do this. We will be using a push type solenoid that will be activated when power is applied, and deactivate when power is cut. We will control this solenoid by using an appliance module. Of course, we also need a power supply, 24VDC around 500mA if you are using the solenoid I mentioned in this article.

The solenoid:

$2 each

The Power Supply (just a simple AC adapter, but might be hard to locate). Try google to locate one or visit your local electronics store.

As for an appliance module, I went with whatever I had (a cheap 2prong app module), but I suggest you get a 2way, so you can monitor the status of the solenoid. At 24VDC, you don't want to run it for more than a few seconds. If you use a regular one, please make sure you send a few extra OFF's just to make sure it's off. Check automatedoutlet.com for some good deals.

Now all you have to do is put it all together in some sort of enclosure, and the little solenoid will be able to push the remote starter button, and start your car. In my case, the remote requires the button to be pressed for 2 seconds, but this should cover most remotes out there. Of course, you can also use this method to lock/unlock your car. The advantage of using a solenoid is that you are not required to hack your remote, this is all 'plug and play'. Here are some pictures of my unit, please keep in mind that this is just a temporary enclosure, I am still doing some testing :wub: Click the thumbnail to see the high resolution copy.