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Your 2019 Toyota RAV4 and Other Models May Have Remote Engine Start, and You Might Not Know It

The 2019 Toyota RAV4, as well as Camry and Avalon models, are filled with an abundance of safety features and new technologies. But, did you know your new Toyota may already have remote engine start and you did not even know it? Here is what you should know.


Toyota has taken great measures in the past few years to ensure its customers have the latest safety features and technological wonders in their new rides. This is especially true with the Camry, which was redesigned in 2018, and the all-new 2019 Avalon and all-new 2019 RAV4.

One of these features allows drivers to start their cars remotely using either their phone or their key fob. Some might already know about the phone feature, but very few people realize they can start their Toyota’s using their key fob as well.

Toyota RAV4 Remote Connect starts your car… and so much more

The first way you can start your new Toyota is on your phone through a new application called Remote Connect. With Remote Connect, you can perform many useful functions such as starting and turning off your car, seeing how many miles until you run out of gas, and locking and unlocking your car doors. This is all with the touch of a few buttons on your phone. Did I mention starting and turning off your car? Oh yes, that’s right I did.

It works quite well, as I tested it out while I was on vacation last fall. I was successfully able to start my 2018 Toyota Camry that was parked in my driveway in North Carolina – all the way from my hotel room in Las Vegas. Not bad at all Toyota. Not bad at all.

In order to successfully use this Remote Connect engine start/stop feature, you must have an active Remote Connect service tied to your new Camry or Avalon or RAV4. Remote Connect is available on many 2019 Toyota vehicles with a multimedia system of Audio Plus or higher. Toyota gives customers a 6-month free trial at purchase, and then it costs $80 per year for the service once the free trial expires.

Watch the benefits of Toyota Remote Connect and click to subscribe to Torque News for daily automotive news reports.

I strongly recommend that anyone looking for a new Toyota should consider purchasing one utilizing Remote Connect services. This is something I use every day, starting my car from my office at the end of the day so it will not be 95 degrees in the car when I get to it. I also can check vehicle status from my phone any time during the day to see if I need to fill my gas tank on the way home or not. Thanks Remote Connect.

I’ll take “How to remote engine start using my key fob” for $400 please Alex

Not only are some new Toyota models equipped with the Remote Connect phone app, but you can also start and stop your car using your key fob too. This is a life hack that some people already know, but many people have no idea this feature exists. Until now.

If your 2019 Avalon or 2019 RAV4 or 2019 Camry comes with an Audio Plus or higher multimedia system, you should have the ability to start and stop your car using your key. Here is how it works:

1) Stand near your vehicle (within about 80 feet) with key fob in hand
2) Press LOCK quickly
3) Press LOCK quickly again
4) Hold LOCK for about 3 seconds

2020 Toyota RAV4 Change Remote Lock

If your Toyota is going to remotely start, you will see your lights flashing, which indicates your car will start within about 5 seconds.

You can stop your remote start by pushing UNLOCK on your key fob.

See my demo of how Remote Engine Starts using your key fob and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for daily Toyota

What advice do I have for Toyota owners next?

My friends, the time has come to test out this theory. If you have a new 2018 or 2019 Camry, or if you own a 2019 RAV4 or RAV4 Hybrid, or a 2019 Avalon, you should check this out to see if it works. Go out to your vehicles and try my system.

If your car starts while using your fob, this is exciting news. Almost as exciting as getting a Christmas gift in July without expecting one. For anyone looking for ideas, I would like a new video camera for making more awesome Toyota videos for my Toyotajeff YouTube channel.

Watch What Makes 2019 RAV4 Hybrid The Top Selling Green Car in USA and Click To Subscribe To Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota and Automotive News Analysis.

I would love your feedback. Did this remote engine start work on your Toyota? If so, what do you currently drive? Is this feature available on other Toyota models or previous years I did not mention? What is your feedback on Toyota Remote Connect?

Thanks for reading everyone. I work hard to be your complete Toyota news and reviews resource. See you next story titled: "One Toyota Dealer’s Rugged Off-Road Course Puts Toyota Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner to the Test."

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Gx33 (not verified)    July 1, 2019 - 10:01PM

I learned about the fob start a week after we bought it (via a random youtube Rav review vid), but after trying it out just to see, we have only ever used the app. My two complaints, having come from a loaded 16 Hyundai Tucson with great remote start functionality... 1) No ability via app to set climate control at the time of remote start; so if you want to pre-cool you need to remember to leave the AC on when you turn it off. 2) The alleged "security feature" (as I've read Toyota claims it) that the engine turns off when you unlock the door to get in, leaving you to immediately start it up again; so silly!!

Andre P (not verified)    February 29, 2020 - 11:04PM

In reply to by Gx33 (not verified)

1. Silly - engine stops when door opens.
2. More silly - the engine stops after 10min. I own RAV4 for 3yrs, and use this silly option every winter (I do not know why), and never, ever the car warmed up after 10min, it feels same cold as without any remote starting, I wasted $800!!! I would never buy this starter again. The only advantage of having this silly Toyota Start+ is remote door opening\closing. Very disappointed.
3.Extremely silly - controls inside the car in the door (window open/close, lock the door, mirrors etc) are not illuminated, impossible to use any of the buttons at night, need to stop, get lights on, then for example adjust mirrors. For those little but silly things we will not buy the car again.

Marvin (not verified)    September 16, 2023 - 1:11PM

In reply to by Gx33 (not verified)

I just read this hack 20 minutes ago it worked on my RAV4 hybrid but it's a good thing it turns off when the door is open or unlocked that way no one can steal it and if you need the air air cold or hot in the car before you get in that's a good thing

Jim (not verified)    August 14, 2019 - 12:36AM

Great find, just brought my Rav4 hybrid home today and found that it works!! Just have to wait a couple of minutes on the hybrid for the engine to start up. I guess the battery has to drain a bit before the regular engine will fire up.

Beke (not verified)    December 1, 2019 - 2:34PM

In reply to by Damon Matthews (not verified)

Hi, I found the trick is to press lock 2 times, then a 2 second pause before pressing and holding it until the blinkers blink rapidly for a moment. 2019, XLE, no special entune.

Dave (not verified)    September 2, 2019 - 3:51PM

We have a 2019 RAV4 hybrid xle. The trick worked as advertised. Many thanks!
(Now trying to get the phone app to work - no luck yet.)


Marvin Green (not verified)    September 13, 2019 - 11:35AM

I have a 2019 RAV4. is there a way to set an auto lock on the car when you get out. Also is there a way to keep the doors locked when you open the tail gate door.

Rose (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 7:11PM

A gigantic thank-you for this information. I bought my 2019 RAV4 XLE hybrid two weeks ago. I live in Wisconsin, and my vehicle is parked outside, so this feature will come in handy in the winter. I was looking into the remote app, and the reviews didn't sound good. Then I found your website, tried it out with the fob, and it works. Hooray!

Elizabeth (not verified)    January 31, 2020 - 12:17AM

In reply to by Pierre Sevigny (not verified)

It should work if you have the 2019 RAV4 Limited.
I have that same vehicle and it worked for me. On the 3rd try of pressing the Lock button hold on to the lock button until the car lights up and continue to press the button until the car starts.
So press the Lock button once then let go and press the lock button again then let go pause 2 seconds then press the Lock button and do not let go until the vehicle starts. Remember the 3rd Lock press is a long press until it starts

Danny Gonzalez (not verified)    October 17, 2019 - 7:45PM

I bought a Rav4 2019 Hybrid limited. The car key itself does not have remote start option. However, Toyota offers the "remote connect" from your phone app. which i think is much better option. They gave me 6 month trial and i believe $8/monthly after that, which i think is well worth it since it gives me a lot of options:
- like turning on/off the car from anywhere in the world
- the option to add guest, family member, valet etc and set it to certain speed and distance they can drive it(awesome)
- it can locate your car if it gets stolen
- it can locate it in a parking lot when you come out of a concert and everyone is honking their horns. so it gives you accurate location
- it provide any warning if you left a door/window unlocked/opened.
So all that of $8. Well worth it!

cracker jack (not verified)    November 2, 2019 - 8:31AM

In reply to by Danny Gonzalez (not verified)

Your car already has Remote Start. You can use it without the App. Press the lock button on your key fob, 3 times and it should work.

The Remote Connect is just an additional service.

Ron frazier (not verified)    February 24, 2021 - 3:24PM

In reply to by cracker jack (not verified)

You need to mention 2017 Toyota RAV4 after the trial ends Toyota will shut down your remote connect. Then you are required to purchase to remote connect even to use the key fob

cracker jack (not verified)    November 2, 2019 - 8:35AM

In reply to by Ed Dupio (not verified)

Check if you have Entune Audio Plus or Entune Premium. If you want to try it out, press the lock button on your key fob, 3 times. If Remote Start is supported, your car will start.

S Freeman (not verified)    November 17, 2019 - 4:41PM

I have a new Camry Hybrid Design. When the car is put into park only the drivers doors opens. Is there a way of adjusting this sothat all the doors open when the car is put into park.

Bonnie (not verified)    November 20, 2019 - 8:40AM

Remote start with the fob worked on my 2019 Rav4 Hybrid! Great! The car did shut off when I opened the driver's door, but at least it would be warmed up and ready for restart. It's A LOT easier than the remote start in the Entune app.
Now if I could just get everything else working that doesn't work, it would be wonderful!