One of the most dreaded parts of winter for many drivers is the first few minutes of sitting in the car and waiting for it to heat up. While many just shiver in silence, some drivers choose to install remote starters that get the car all warmed up before they even leave the house or the office. Not only does this cut down on the time you spend huddled and shivering, but it can also make it much easier to scrape ice and snow off your car.

So how does a remote starter turn the engine without a key in the ignition? Well, when you press the remote start button, it sends a radio signal to a module in the car that activates the ignition. The module is hardwired into the ignition system, and when it picks up the remote signal, it sends a jolt of electricity through the wires, which is the same way turning a key works. In the case of cars with manual transmissions, the remote starter can override the clutch, so no one needs to press it down for the engine to turn over.

Many newer vehicles are being built with remote starters already in place, but there are plenty of aftermarket options for older cars and trucks. Remote starters can now be found with timers, and some can even be programmed to start up periodically throughout the night, which is helpful for people who live in extremely cold climates. Extreme cold can cause cars to seize up and not start, which is the last thing you want to happen when you're already running late for work and there is fresh snow on the ground that will make driving more time-consuming. These starters will also turn the car off after a certain amount of time so the car won't just be running all night long.

There are other remote starters that don't even need to be manually activated. If your hands are full of groceries or children, or if you just can't get to your keys, all you need to do is get within a certain distance of your vehicle and it will automatically sense that the remote is nearby and start the car. If the doors are locked, however, you will need to fish around for the keys to get inside.