How OnStar® Service Works

In order to provide you with OnStar® services, your vehicle’s OnStar® system has the capability of recording and transmitting vehicle information.

This information is automatically sent to an OnStar® Call Center at the time of an OnStar® button press, Emergency button press or if your airbags or AACN system deploys. The vehicle information usually includes your GPS location and, in the event of a crash, additional information regarding the accident that your vehicle has been involved in (e.g. the direction from which your vehicle was hit). When you use the Virtual Advisor feature of OnStar® Hands-Free Calling, your vehicle also sends OnStar® your GPS location so that we can provide you with location-based services.

OnStar® service cannot work unless your vehicle is in a place where OnStar® has an agreement with a wireless service provider for service in that area. OnStar® service also cannot work unless you are in a place where the wireless service provider OnStar® has hired for that area has coverage, network capacity and reception when the service is needed, and technology that is compatible with the OnStar® service.

Not all services are available everywhere, particularly in remote or enclosed areas, or at all times.

OnStar® service that involves location information about your vehicle cannot work unless GPS satellite signals are unobstructed and available in that place as well.

Your vehicle must have a working electrical system (including adequate battery power) for the OnStar® equipment to operate. There are other problems OnStar® cannot control that may prevent OnStar® from providing OnStar® service to you at any particular time or place. Some examples are damage to important parts of your vehicle in an accident, hills, tall buildings, tunnels, weather or wireless phone network congestion.

    See also:

    Outside Power Mirrors
    Controls for the outside power mirrors are located on the driver’s door armrest. To adjust the mirror: 1. Press the left or right side of the selector switch located beneath the control ...

    Ultrasonic Parking Assist
    For vehicles with this feature, it uses sensors on the rear bumper to detect objects while parking the vehicle. It operates at speeds less than 8 km/h (5 mph) while in R (Reverse). URPA uses aud ...

    Additional Factors Affecting System Operation
    Safety belts help keep the passenger in position on the seat during vehicle maneuvers and braking, which helps the passenger sensing system maintain the passenger airbag status. See “Safety Belts” ...