Anyone who has come home from a business trip on a cold winter night knows the unpleasant chill of a car cabin that’s spent a few days in an exposed outdoor parking lot. And then there’s the opposite situation: the equally unpleasant feeling of sliding into a stuffy driver’s seat while wearing full business attire during the hot days of summer.
The thing is, if you drive a Lexus vehicle, it doesn’t have to be this way, and perhaps for you it isn’t. Maybe you’ve already discovered the joys of the Lexus Enform Remote App suite’s Remote Engine Start feature, which allows you to use a compatible smartphone to start the vehicle ahead of time, so you’ve got a comfortable climate-controlled environment waiting for you.
However, if you’re a Lexus owner who hasn’t yet explored this convenient feature, we highly recommend downloading the Lexus Enform Remote App and giving it a go, especially if you’ve already got a complimentary Lexus Enform subscription.
“The number one question drivers ask me about Lexus Enform Remote Engine Start is how far away from the vehicle it can be used,” says Lexus Technology Specialist Bernie Kitts. “My answer: as long as you have a good cell connection, you can start your engine with Lexus Enform Remote Engine Start from a convenient location.”
Remote Engine Start is, of course, just one beneficial feature among many in the Lexus Enform Remote App, and it’s a feature that’s definitely worth the effort of downloading the app and synching it with your vehicle.
One Lexus Technology Specialist points out that, for some Lexus owners, a barrier to using this feature is the setup required to connect the app to your Lexus, but this can be overcome with help from your dealership’s Lexus Technology Specialist. And once the app is up and running, activating a comfortable atmosphere with the Remote Engine Start feature is pretty simple: “Just put the vehicle to bed the way you want it to wake up,” says Kitts.
In other words, when you exit your vehicle, just leave your climate settings where you’d like to find them. When you remotely start your engine, the climate control will default to the last setting.
The system will even take care of you if you forgot to set your climate preferences. If the climate system was turned off for its last setting, and the outside temperature is either hotter than 86ºF or colder than 41 degrees Fahrenheit, Lexus Enform Remote Engine Start will activate the climate system, which will automatically set the cabin temperature to a comfortable 77 degrees F. Plus, if the outside temperature is less than 41 degrees F, Remote Engine Start will also, in addition to activating the climate system as described above, engage the front and rear defrosters.
Okay, but let’s say you’ve already tried Lexus Enform Remote Engine Start and encountered some challenges, like the engine turning off prematurely.
To troubleshoot this situation, it helps to know that the system runs the engine for only 10 minutes. This way, a driver can’t accidentally forget that the vehicle was turned on and use up a lot of fuel (we’ve all taken one last call at the end of a work day and ended up working for another hour or so). Therefore, if you’ve encountered the system turning off before you wanted it to, first check that you haven't exceeded the 10-minute runtime. After the first 10-minute period is complete, you can remotely start your vehicle again for another 10 minutes. If you’d like to run the system for a third time, however, you’ll need to reset the system by either opening a vehicle door or manually starting the engine, which will allow you to reuse the feature.
And, if you’ve ever activated Remote Engine Start and it turned off before the completion of a 10-minute runtime, chances are it was due to an anti-theft safeguard. Opening the trunk, the hatch, or a door to put something in the vehicle will cancel the engine activation, as will opening the hood. And if you’ve ever had Remote Engine Start not work at all, it was likely due to additional security measures: the system won’t operate if the doors or trunk are left unlocked, or if you’ve left your key fob in the vehicle. It also won’t activate if the alarm is triggered or the vehicle wasn’t left in park.
Your local Lexus Technology Specialist will, of course, help you with any aspect of the Enform Remote Engine Start/Stop system—reach out to this dealership tech expert anytime, or drop by during a scheduled service visit.
By Brian Gill
 Apps/services vary by phone/carrier; functionality depends on many factors. Select apps use large amounts of data; you are responsible for charges. Apps & services subject to change. See lexus.com/enform for details.
 Use only if aware of circumstances surrounding vehicle and it is safe to do so (e.g., do not remotely start engine if vehicle is in an enclosed space). Functionality depends on many factors, such as vehicle and smartphone connectivity. Registration and app download are required. Subscription purchase required after trial. See usage precautions and service limitations in Owner's Manual.