OnStar is a subscription-based communications, navigation, in-vehicle security, hands-free calling, emergency services, and remote diagnostics system.
However, like any other technology, the OnStar module may occasionally need replacing.
The cost of replacement, though, can vary widely based on several factors, such as whether you opt for a new or used module and the service costs for installation and activation.
A used module could cost as little as $50 (depending on module condition), making it a highly affordable option for those on a tight budget.
Conversely, a new module directly from OnStar can run as high as $200 without a subscription plan.
OnStar has more than 7 million subscribers.
It’s important to note that while the module itself might not be expensive, the service costs associated with its installation and activation can add considerably to the total expense.
Understanding OnStar Module
OnStar modules are integral to OnStar’s in-vehicle safety and security systems.
Developed by General Motors (GM), the OnStar system uses a telematics control unit module to connect your vehicle to a network of services designed to enhance safety and convenience.
The OnStar module integrates cellular, GPS, and onboard diagnostic (OBD) systems to provide a range of services to the driver.
These services include automatic crash response, emergency services, turn-by-turn navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics, and more.
The OnStar module is located inside the vehicle and it is well connected to an array of sensors through wiring and the vehicle’s infotainment system.
It communicates with the OnStar service centre via a cellular connection, allowing real-time data exchange.
However, like any electronic device, the OnStar module may need to be replaced due to malfunction or damage.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of Replacing An OnStar Module
Price Of The OnStar Module
The cost of the OnStar module itself is a significant factor in the overall cost of replacement.
Modules may vary in price depending on the exact model, and there may be costs related to shipping or import fees for certain locations.
Depending on the complexity of the installation, labour costs can significantly affect the total cost of replacing an OnStar module.
This could involve paying for a professional technician’s time to install the new module, which can vary based on their hourly rate and the complexity of the work involved.
Vehicle Make And Model
Some vehicles may require more work to replace the OnStar module than others.
The reason behind this is the vehicle’s design, and most important the module’s location in the vehicle, or the vehicle’s compatibility with certain types of OnStar modules.
For example, older vehicles may need additional retrofitting or adaptations to accommodate a new module.
Condition Of The Existing Wiring
If the existing wiring in the vehicle is damaged or degraded, it may need to be repaired or replaced when the new OnStar module is installed.
The poor wiring condition can increase the cost of installing OnStar module.
The OnStar system is connected to other vehicle parts, such as the radio, navigation, and security systems.
If these associated components also need to be replaced or upgraded simultaneously as the OnStar module, this will increase the overall cost.
If your OnStar module is still under warranty, the replacement cost can be reduced or even completely covered.
It’s advisable to check your warranty status with your local OnStar dealer or online before proceeding with the replacement.
How Can I Activate The OnStar Module In My Car?
To activate your OnStar Module, press the blue OnStar button located on your vehicle’s rearview mirror or overhead console.
This action will initiate a voice call to an OnStar advisor, who will guide you through the activation process.
You will need to provide some personal and vehicle-related information.
Remember, the car should be in a location with a good cellular signal during activation.
What Is The Role Of The OnStar Module In Maintaining The Health Of My Vehicle?
OnStar Module offers a service known as Advanced Diagnostics, which runs regular checks on your vehicle’s key operating systems.
It can alert you of potential issues before they become serious problems, like if your battery’s health is declining or your tire pressure is low.
Additionally, it provides monthly vehicle health reports so you can keep track of your vehicle’s status.
It is like having a proactive, digital mechanic onboard to help maintain your vehicle’s health.
Can I Still Use The OnStar Services If I Don’t Have An OnStar Module In My Vehicle?
OnStar services were designed to work with the embedded OnStar Module in compatible General Motors vehicles.
The module is key to facilitating OnStar’s full range of safety, security, and connectivity services.
If your vehicle doesn’t have an OnStar Module, it might not support these features.
However, GM had announced plans to develop an aftermarket OnStar Kit that could be installed in other vehicles, but you would need to check the current status of these plans with GM or an authorized dealer.
How Much Does The OnStar Service Cost?
OnStar service costs vary based on the plan you select.
OnStar offered several subscription plans with varying features.
The basic plan, the ‘Protection Plan’, offered safety and security services and typically cost around $24.99 per month.
More comprehensive plans like the ‘Safety and Security Plan’ and ‘Essentials Plan’ ranged from $29.99 to $39.99 per month, offering additional features like turn-by-turn navigation and stolen vehicle assistance.
While the Premium OnStar subscription plan cost $49.99 per month and it includes all the features which are not available in other subscription plans.
How Does The OnStar Module Contribute To The Safety Of My Vehicle?
OnStar Module is integral to enhancing your vehicle’s safety.
It offers Automatic Crash Response, which can automatically alert OnStar advisors in a severe accident, even if you can’t respond.
They can relay your location to emergency services.
Roadside assistance helps you in case of a flat tire, low fuel, or other roadside emergencies.
The best part is that OnStar module also supports the stolen vehicle assistance feature, which is very helpful in tracking your vehicle’s location if it’s stolen.