Use your smartphone to start your vehicle

General Motors has reached a new milestone thanks to the polar vortex that has spread historically cold temperatures across much of the country. A record-breaking number of drivers used remote start, the feature that lets you start your car’s engine from a distance, to warm up their vehicles during the brutally cold winter weather phenomenon.

Users of the myChevrolet, myBuick, myGMC and myCadillac appsused their phones to start and warm up their vehicles more than 1.59 million times on January 30, which is a 70 percent increase from an average day in January, according to GM.

“With access to an app that connects directly to the vehicle, our customers are able remote start their vehicle from anywhere, and avoid spending extra time outside during unpleasant weather conditions," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president for global connected customer experience.

There was an uptick in the number of people who used the mobile app on Jan. 29 also. And that trend could continue as record breaking cold temperatures are reported around the country on Jan. 31.

GM said that the states with the most remote starts during the end-of-January arctic blast were Michigan, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Minnesota – in that order.

In 2010 GM introduced one of the auto industry’s first connected mobile apps, which at the time was called OnStar RemoteLink.The app was later rebranded for GM’s specific vehicle brands: myChevrolet, myBuick, myCadillac and myGMC.

By far, the most used function of the app is the remote start, according to GM. This function requires a 4-digit PIN or a thumbprint to avoid pocket-starting vehicles.

The mobile app can be used to check the status of the vehicle's oil life, tire pressure and fuel level. The app can also help drivers locate their lost car.

For further reading visit USA Today

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