: Onstar



Brett
02-07-03, 08:28 PM
Has anybody here ever found a use for Onstar...I have not

Katshot
02-07-03, 08:32 PM
Me Niether. I treat it as an insurance policy.

Dead Sled
02-07-03, 08:45 PM
I wouldn't even want to spent the money on the service for the first year let alone have that ugly antenna on the roof like on the trucks. I thinks it just another way for GM to make money

Brett
02-07-03, 08:50 PM
they give you the first year for free...but id be intrested in knowing how many people continue to subscribe...and as for the antenna it makes your caddy look like its got one of those old "Car Phones"....its retro

Dead Sled
02-07-03, 09:28 PM
"Free" they make it up in the $40,000+ car :D I guess the new shorty antenas aren't that bad but the old giant black plastic were an eyesore. I would rather have a cell phone over OnStar

Brett
02-07-03, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by Dead Sled
"Free" they make it up in the $40,000+ car :D I guess the new shorty antenas aren't that bad but the old giant black plastic were an eyesore. I would rather have a cell phone over OnStar



I guess "included" in the price of the car is a better way of putting it than free

Dead Sled
02-07-03, 09:51 PM
don't they also charge youfor every time you push the button?

Brett
02-07-03, 10:27 PM
im not sure i still havent found a reason to push it

Devil_concours
02-07-03, 10:53 PM
what about monitoring your car? I heard that they are able to few essential readings from your car (ie temperature). Does this mean they can monitor how fast you're going and how much you're pushing the car?

Dead Sled
02-09-03, 12:40 AM
wouldn't surprise me if they could by tracking location vs. time like a GPS can

Devil_concours
02-09-03, 01:00 AM
that will be like big brother watching every move we make with our car.

Dead Sled
02-09-03, 01:06 AM
big brother is always watching.

but i hope OnStar has something better to do than track people

Devil_concours
02-09-03, 01:10 AM
what i meant was that our warranties are going to be voided for some ridiculous reasons because we took it to track and pushed it hard or had it dynoed.

Dead Sled
02-09-03, 01:30 AM
I understand what you ment but I think OnStar is just an information, emergency service offered to you through GM, but I could be wrong

kcnewell
02-09-03, 01:57 AM
If they choose they can, Check your speed, location, direction of travel, Where you stop. And they can in some cases disable the vehicle and make you stop in your tracks. I've seen this feature demonstrated with my own eyes! If I buy a new Cadillac that's the first thing that I will TOTALLY disable the first day! BIG BROTHER is watching and we should put his eyes out!

Dead Sled
02-09-03, 04:57 PM
lol, I too would dissable it any way I could

BeelzeBob
02-10-03, 07:17 PM
If they can track you and/or use information to void your warranty, it wouldn't surprise me.. They can lock your car and unlock it remotely.. I'm pretty sure they could probably do anything. Heck - with that infrared thing (I forget what it's called - you know me), they could probably drive the car...

Brett
02-10-03, 07:47 PM
I guess it comes down to the definition of the word "they", which has been used several times in this thread...the onstar has all the abilities of lojack plus a few more so I think it can do all that everyone has said, although i dont believe they can turn your car off. Anyway the theoretic "they" in this post would i guess be onstar/cadillac and i just dont see the motive for screwing with someone, the first warranty they void triggers a thousand lawsuits for invasion of privacy. I recall reading about a rental car company(i dont remember the name) that charged renters 85 bucks every time they went over 75mph, the renters did not know they were being tracked and were charged after the fact, needless to say the lawyers got all the money refunded and the company ceased that practice. I dont know im just not much of a conspiracy guy, Cadillac has nothing to gain by monitoring peoples whereabouts or driving habits, other than market research maybe

Dead Sled
02-10-03, 08:35 PM
its a govenrment conspiracy

elwesso
02-12-03, 04:00 PM
Actually my dad had to use it one time....

He was up in wisconsin, out in the boonies snowmobiling, and locked the keys in the car. He called onstar, AND THEY COULDNT UNLOCK THE CAR. Apparently, the car was out of range for the GPS, so they had to call a locksmith. Fortunately, one of his friends was able to get it unlocked, because the locksmith never showed!!!!

We now refer to it as NON-STAR

Dead Sled
02-12-03, 08:34 PM
I love my "alternitive entry" tools

Maximln
02-22-03, 09:08 PM
Now that I have ONSTAR, I could never get along without them again. I am already into my second years subscription and I use them all the time. It is the greatest service in the world. Where do I start?

I do travel alot out of town and that's when I use it the most. You can give an advisor a specific address, ask them where the nearest Mexican restaurant is, the nearest 5-star restaurant, the closest ATM or gas station, the closest McDonalds and they will instantly route you there. They will stay on the line with you as long as necessary until you reach your destination. Whenever I need to get somewhere, all I need is the address and ONSTAR does the rest. No more fooling around with faulty directions from your friends. It's like ONSTAR is psychic. "Mr. Mendoza, you are approaching the intersection of 1st and Elm street. Make a right turn, travel for about 1 mile and you will see the onramp for HWY 1. Take the North onramp for 3.5 miles until you see the 2nd street exit. . ." it is the most amazing service and the advisors are the most courteous, customer friendly people you will ever talk to.

They have also gotten me tickets to 2 sold out concerts, tickets to 2 baseball games (I received all the tickets within days of ordering) and even comparison shopped for a big screen TV for me. They will do anything for you and won't give up until you are satisfied.

One time, someone accidentally set off my factory alarm and within minutes, ONSTAR had called me on my cell phone to let me know my alarm was going off.

Another time when I was getting ready to board a plane, I suddenly realized that I couldn't remember if I had locked my car and I was leaving for several days. Between unloading the car, getting to my gate on time I just couldn't remember. I immediately called ONSTAR (I knew they could unlock the car, why not lock it?) and they said they could lock it and even received a confirmation from the car that it was now locked so I could rest easy.

Luckily, I haven't had to use the air bag feature but I am confident that if I do get into an accident and the air bags go off, ONSTAR will immediately send an ambulance to me, even if I'm unconscious! (they won an award in 1996 for doing just that!) Even if you're not unconscious, they will talk to you to make sure that you are OK and even walk you through the proper steps and information that you need after you have an accident. Who can remember what info you need after an accident when you are usually a bit disoriented?

If a "CHECK ENGINE" light comes on, they can run a remote diagnostic on the vehicle to tell you what is wrong and if you need to stop immediately or if you can complete your trip and get it fixed later.

If you breakdown in the middle of some highway and have to have road side service, you can just call ONSTAR and they will send them immediately to you (when you break down, you usually don't know exactly where you're at but ONSTAR does).

Luckily also I have not had my car stolen but if it was, ONSTAR can track it with the police to recover it very quickly. If you are out and have one too many drinks, ONSTAR will send a cab to whereever you're at (in case for some reason you can't remember where you're at! :) ).

ONSTAR is much better than a navigation screen which can cause an accident if you are trying to follow the directions on the screen. With ONSTAR, you keep your eyes on the road while the advisor talks you to your destination.

I'm sure that I'm missing some other features but all I know is that I would never drive another car without ONSTAR!

Max

Maximln
03-01-03, 07:02 PM
Another ONSTAR story! Just took a trip to Sacramento (about 3 hours from where I live) when there was a huge traffic jam on the freeway. I'm not sure what it was but traffic was stopped for miles. I took the first exit I could get to and had ONSTAR route me a different way avoiding that freeway. It saved me a lot of time. Once in Sacramento, ONSTAR had me navigating the city like I was a native. They are the best!

Max

87CoupeDeVille
03-03-03, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by Brett
I recall reading about a rental car company(i dont remember the name) that charged renters 85 bucks every time they went over 75mph, the renters did not know they were being tracked and were charged after the fact, needless to say the lawyers got all the money refunded and the company ceased that practice.

Since I'm a polisci nerd I actually studied this case, or a case like it. The technical issue was not the invasion of privacy but rather the fact that there was no way to appeal the citation. And in this case the guy had taken the car in excess of 100 miles an hour, not exactly recreational driving.

Kurt

kcnewell
03-03-03, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by 87CoupeDeVille
Since I'm a polisci nerd I actually studied this case, or a case like it. The technical issue was not the invasion of privacy but rather the fact that there was no way to appeal the citation. And in this case the guy had taken the car in excess of 100 miles an hour, not exactly recreational driving.

Kurt

Oh No!!! Not over 100 M.P.H.! That's way too fast for me!
Particularly if "BIG BROTHER" is watching! If I bought a car with Onstar I'd immediately disable it 'cause where I am and what I'm doing is MY business....It's amazing the freedoms we willingly give up under the guise of conveniance. It's none of their business!

87CoupeDeVille
03-03-03, 12:15 PM
I'm not saying over 100 MPH is bad, if fact I'm a big fan of it, I'm just saying that it wasnt a "well, gee officer, it was just a couple miles an hour over" type of situation. And if I remember correctly the vehicle was a minivan.

Kurt

kcnewell
03-03-03, 01:22 PM
Hey, If it'll do a hundred....I'll go a hundred in it! I just don't like the possibilities involved with this technology. We've already had IDIOT liberal radio talk show hosts out here ( California...Big surprise ) discussing the possibilities of using it to shut down your car for anything from parking tickets to child support and bad credit! If they can think of it how far behind is some a$$hole like Ted Kennedy or one of the other knee jerk libs. in the government? Do you really want someone else to potentially have control over whether your car will start or not? I don't!

elwesso
03-03-03, 03:26 PM
The only feature i have used on it is the phone. That thing is great. I havent tried it to get directions and stuff. Is that included on the new car subscription?

Mad'lac
03-03-03, 04:37 PM
I'll stick with carb motors and early OBDI & II EFI cars.

elwesso
03-03-03, 05:08 PM
I know for sure that i wouldnt subscribe for onstar after the new car subscription was up. Thats why i wasnt bummed when my suburban didnt have it.

Maximln
03-08-03, 06:16 PM
The "Directions" package is only included with a Cadillac purchase. All other GM cars only have the "Safety & Security" package free for the first year but they can be upgraded for $200.

Max

BUILDINGCTSAMG
03-10-03, 03:39 AM
Yeah its pretty useless unless you get in a wreck. Oh but i have used it once. I tore up the underpart/plastic gaurd driving over and already dead deer on the highway. some jerk didnt remove it and about 40 cars hit it in a row. but i clicked my onstar and asked them to call VDOT virginia depart. of transp. and they did and got it removed. Also onstar only works when activated. Ive clicked on it just to bother them and asked them questions. They cant monitor anything in your car until something (Air bag or you) click the button. Too many cars on the road you see. And ive driven 130 on an empty highway (trying to triple digit a sign) in mine without them yelling at me so im pretty sure its safe.

elwesso
03-10-03, 05:40 PM
If they could monitor you at anytime, and the general public knew about it, i think that their subscription rate would go way down. The dealers may even discourage people from getting it.

falken
03-31-04, 11:05 PM
Some interesting info out there on Onstar... Seems Motorola makes some of the insides in here...

AND

There is a way to build a computer interface to retrieve GPS data... VERY interesing....

Here is one of the links I found...

http://openminds.net/onstar/

Do you thinking opening your dash, tearing open the onstar and soldering in a new plug voids your warranty? J/K ;)

All this because I was interested in shutting of the onstar system. I guess unplugging it will do.

No to tackle the Nav unit... MUST... FIND... VIDEO INPUT

AB

ThomasO
03-31-04, 11:31 PM
I know Tony Saprano disabled his ONSTAR as soon as he bought his new car!:brutal:

Caddy Man
04-01-04, 08:44 AM
as far as directions go, i would find it much more convientant to have a navigation screen than a person to talk to. i dont kno why thats just me, when i went to chicago with my caddy, i used my navigation the whole time in the city, and it got me everywhere perfectly trhoughout the city! whenever im lost, and cant find a street i just zoom out on my nav so i can see if i am goin in the right direction. i will never buy a car without navigation again...its such a convientat feature in my opinion.

BeelzeBob
04-01-04, 11:28 AM
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Ownership: 94 Q45
Actually my dad had to use it one time....

He was up in wisconsin, out in the boonies snowmobiling, and locked the keys in the car. He called onstar, AND THEY COULDNT UNLOCK THE CAR. Apparently, the car was out of range for the GPS, so they had to call a locksmith. Fortunately, one of his friends was able to get it unlocked, because the locksmith never showed!!!!

We now refer to it as NON-STAR

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Onstar wasn't out of the range of GPS....you cannot escape GPS coverate anywhere on the planet.....


Onstar does use cellular communication with the vehicle to gather informantion and to send signals to unlock the car and such. So....he might have been out of range of cellular but certainly wasn't out of range of GPS.

I still think that your dad owes Onstar I vote of thanks as they did follow up, as is their policy, and arrange a locksmith to come out to the middle of nowhere and unlock his car. You mock Onstar....but it is not THEIR fault that your dad locked his keys in the car and they did provide the service of gettting the car open that would have been more difficult for him to do alone. I am curious in that scenario.....how did he call Onstar...??? I assume it was a land line??? Hard to believe that his cel would work and not the onstar cel system. There is no way a hand held cel has the power of the Onstar cel connection.

Onstar is no panacea (what is...???) but it does have it's useful moments. It is an excellent insurance policy against locking keys in the car (unless you are hiding in the boonies...LOL), car theft and accidents.

Without me extolling the virtues of Onstar here, why not check their website out and read up on how it actually works, what they check and don't check and what it's advantages and limitations are.

I have Onstar available on my car and, honestly, am of the sort that I rarely use the service....but on rare occasions, when heading out to dinner with the family, it is nice to hit the Onstar button and have them make reservations and such... I do frequently use it driving cross country to access information on resturants and hotels ahead. It is all part of the service. I have had to use it several times to unlock the keys out of the car....including several times where other people had borrowed my car and locked keys in and I had to call Onstar to get the car unlocked.

Probably the best example of "insurance" is the number of lives saved credited to Onstar so far. It has notified authorities a number of times of serious accidents and been the ONLY notification for many of them. Given the "golden hour" to get emergency victims to the hospital it could easily save a life.


If you check their website, there are countless testimonials from customers about the service....from incapacitated folks in accidents to handicapped people that had a problem with their car or mobility devices to housewives that just locked their children (and keys) in a hot car in the parking lot. One lady was even crossing a frozen lake in Minnesota in an H2 and was running out of gas and lost.....she called Onstar and they couldn't believe the location as they showed her in the lake....she confirmed that she was driving on the ice and they were able to direct her to the nearest civilization....so the cel coverage is pretty good.

Personally I have used Onstar in some pretty out of the way places in the Michigan UP and Ontario , Canada and it always worked....as well as some of the more desolate stretches of highway out west....

Whether you elect to use the valet services is up to you. Once you try it it is very handy. But, for accident, lockout and theft protection it can't be beat. It is not used to track the car, void warranties, etc.... I guess you would have to explain exactly the scenario that it could be used like that....hard to understand...

I personally know the communications director for the Onstar division of GM and she tells me a lot of the stories and testimonials that come in from onstar. NONE of them are solicited by the way. Once someone needs the service they are ecstatic with how it works/worked. It is that way with a lot of things.....like helmets and seatbelts....you only need them when you need them....then they are lifesavers.

BTW....one of the huge advantages of Onstar is that they own a certain band of cellular coverage that can carry communications with the car/voice/data so the service will likley be expanded in the future. With the antenae on the car and the power of the vehicle cellular phone connection the range is FAR superior to any digital, portable or handheld cellular phone. I have often been able to use Onstar when normal cellular coverage was non-existent...so do NOT assume that having a cel phone is as good as onstar. The Onstar voice/cellular phone service is expensive compared to regular cellular but it is not meant to replace your normal cel phone...it is meant as a backup (totally hands free, BTW) in the vehicle so that you can communicate if at all possible. If you cannot make contact with the Onstar cel coverage then you are truely SOL.... having their own band assures the best coverage and the freedom to control the traffic on the band so the coverage is excellent.

Aurora40
04-01-04, 11:52 AM
I've renewed my OnStar for three years after the first year was up. I have no desire to carry a cell phone, and do find the very very occasional use of OnStar as a phone to be nice. I can get 100 minutes for $50, and I usually don't use them up in a year's time. In addition, the accident aspect is nice. I think it would be more worth it once they have more subscribers and the basic rate drops a bit. But all in all it's a worthwhile feature to me.

As far as them monitoring you, they'd have to use cellular carriers for this. I think if GM wanted to follow your every move, they would have to pay out the nose to phone carriers to do so. I think any warranty repairs they could skate out of (not that going 100mph could void your warranty anyway) would cost a lot less than their phone bill. ;)

evo
04-01-04, 12:42 PM
here's some use :cool:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/r0/download/531247~852134a0e3ab85aa32bf21bce317c1f5/Aztek.jpg

seriously though... i just have the basic package, but i thought the directions would be kind of nice. tried it out when i was at michigan, it was fun. i think they should hook onstar up with a security system, so they can page us if our car gets broken into or something... that would be nice.

El Dobro
04-03-04, 05:12 PM
Big Brother doesn't need OnStar to track anyone, they have EZPass.

El Dobro
04-05-04, 06:12 PM
Just read an article about how OnStar helped track down a stolen Hummer and it just so happened that the guy that stole was one of the FBI's top wanted. He's now in custody.