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Why Does My OnStar Cell Service Have Bad Reception?

You are most likely used to an excellent OnStar cell service.

Therefore, it won’t settle well with you upon experiencing bad reception.

Once that happens, one can’t help but wonder what’s the reason behind it.

Why does my OnStar cell service have bad reception?

That question often crosses one’s mind but won’t be a concern by the end of the month.

You are usually experiencing a bad reception because of your location.

It could be its distance from the nearest tower block or obstructions, and we will discuss these issues in detail.

That way, you also know about the possible fixes, given how a bad reception can hinder you from using the OnStar cell service to seek assistance during emergencies.

Why Do Some OnStar Subscribers Experience Bad Cell Reception?

First, OnStar doesn’t offer cellular networks to its subscribers.

On the contrary, it relies on third-party partners to offer coverage to its customers.

The different carriers have various reception qualities, which explains why some customers get a better one than others.

The major culprits are usually the distance and obstructions, and this is how they affect OnStar cell service reception.

In most cases, the quality has nothing to do with the bad reception since OnStar is very keen when selecting its coverage factors.

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However, some cellular network limitations also affect reception.

Here are the details of why your OnStar cell service has bad reception.


Did you know that an obstruction between your vehicle and the nearest cell tower can affect your reception adversely?

So, if that’s your location at the time, your OnStar cell service will have a bad reception.

Some of the obstructions are natural, whereas others are artificial.

Natural obstructions include trees, ridges, mountains, other vegetation, and terrains.

On the other hand, people could also be responsible for the obstructions due to building and construction materials such as bricks and concrete.

These obstructions are enough to weaken your cell signal, and in extreme cases, it becomes undetectable.

It could be why pressing the OnStar buttons isn’t working, so you can’t contact an advisor for assistance.


It is no secret that a cell tower facilitates your cell’s reception to communicate excellently.

The nearness of the cell tower is equally important when determining the quality of a cell connection.

Consequently, the closer you are to one, the better the reception, and vice versa.

If the distance between your vehicle and the cell tower is relatively long, there is a high chance your OnStar cell service will register bad reception.

Network Coverage Gaps

Despite the evolution of cell service, there are places yet to get these services.

It could be due to logistics, unawareness, or lack of interest by relevant investors, among other related issues.

Regardless of the reason, it is impossible to get a great OnStar cell service to have excellent reception.

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Area Population

If the population in an area is huge, it will most likely overwhelm the cell tower serving it.

Its residents will experience bad reception due to this congestion.

The OnStar cell service will not be spared since it relies on these cellular network providers to facilitate its connections.

Network Interference

Have you ever been on the road experiencing great reception but reached a place where the situation changed?

There are high chances you aren’t the only one experiencing such an interruption to the OnStar cell service.

That’s because some areas usually expect network interference, thus compromising OnStar cell service reception.

The cellular network provider could also be experiencing technical issues leading to the interference of its network, and the fate is the same.

Cellular Towers Zoning

Most jurisdictions require cell tower owners to inform the local authorities.

The regulations are often strict, thus making it hard for cellular network providers to build them in such areas.

These officials also determine where the cell tower should be installed, and if it isn’t a conducive position, the residents will experience bad reception.

Cellular towers are prohibited in other instances, and trying to use OnStar cell service under such circumstances will be futile.

What Cellular Network Does OnStar Use?

A while back, most GM vehicles’ cellular network was 2G and 3G.

However, the two have been replaced by superior successors: the 4G and 3G.

Upon transitioning to such connectivity, some car owners had difficulty enjoying related services since cellular carriers were no longer offering their compatible cellular networks.

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One notable inconvenience was the prevention of voice services in certain vehicles.

Fortunately, OnStar rescued its subscribers and started collaborating with AT&T to help with the transition.

The cellular network provider facilitates network updates necessary for the transition.

Other services include software updates over the air to help its members handle the massive cellular carrier’s transition.

What Should You Do If OnStar Cell Service Bad Reception Persists?

Since the OnStar buttons may not work due to the bad reception, consider contacting its advisors.

So, call 1.888.4ONSTAR (1.888.466.7827), and an advisor will guide you accordingly for your needed solutions.

What Long-Term Solutions Are in Place for OnStar Cell Service Bad Reception Issue?

Just because OnStar isn’t responsible for cellular networks doesn’t mean all is lost.

It works closely with its partners to ensure subscribers get the best from these cellular network carriers.

After all, the subscribers are paying for these services, and it is only fair that they get what they deserve for the sake of their hard-earned money.

The carriers frequently monitor and optimize their cellular networks to give OnStar members reliable coverage.

Does OnStar Work Without Cell Reception?

OnStar needs certain things to work, and cell reception is one of them.

Other requirements include a GPS signal, an electrical system, and an active OnStar plan.

As long as you have these requirements, you will have an amazing experience using OnStar services, including great cell reception and other benefits of this subscription-based service provider.

Which Countries Is OnStar Available In?

Nevertheless, you must be a resident of the following countries to access OnStar services;

  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Europe
  • Kuwait
  • Mexico
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States