OnStar is a popular navigation and diagnostic system owned by General Motors.
It plays a critical role in the evolution of automotive technology.
OnStar provides navigation and diagnostic services to ensure drivers’ safety and convenience.
OnStar’s diagnostic system monitors vehicle health, identifies potential issues, and proactively addresses maintenance requirements.
OnStar performs the whole process remotely and provides diagnostic reports to the vehicle’s owner through email or SMS.
However, the accuracy and reliability of OnStar’s diagnostic features have sparked interest and debate.
Throughout this article, I have briefly discussed OnStar’s diagnostic accuracy, its data collection methodologies, algorithms, and benefits.
What is OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics?
OnStar vehicle diagnostics is a vehicle service system that monitors the vehicle’s status and health.
The diagnostic system provides the following 4 services:
- Dealer Maintenance Notifications
- Proactive Alerts
- Real-time Diagnostic Alerts
- Easy-to-read Monthly Diagnostic Reports.
You have to provide your personal and vehicle information first to get the monthly diagnostic reports via email.
Another advantage of this service is that you can select real-time diagnostic and proactive notifications according to your preferences.
OnStar diagnostic alerts contain 06 reports:
- Anti-lock brake system notifications
- Air-bag alerts
- Status of the emission system and alerts
- Stability control alert
- Detects and alerts to issues with the engine and transmission
- And all OnStar services.
How Accurate is OnStar Diagnostics?
OnStar claims that their OnStar diagnostics are 99.9% accurate.
According to some independent research, 97% of OnStar users believe its diagnostics are accurate, while the remaining 3% believe OnStar indicates false diagnostic alerts.
In contrast, the user’s satisfaction does not entirely match their claims, but the difference is not significant.
However, my experience with OnStar Diagnostics has been positive.
This is because the OnStar module collects all the information from the vehicle computer over the month and makes a monthly-based report.
Therefore, OnStar diagnostic reports are 100% accurate if the vehicle computer is functioning properly.
OnStar uses advanced technology to detect problems in the vehicle and provide the user with a detailed diagnostic report.
There are two types of alert systems in OnStar vehicle diagnostics:
- Diagnostic alerts
- Proactive alerts
01. Diagnostic Alerts
Diagnostic alerts from OnStar tell you how your vehicle’s components are performing.
Generally, diagnostic alerts contain the following components:
- Vehicle engine
- Antilock brakes
- And other vital components
With the help of diagnostic alerts, you can keep track of the current conditions of these components and ensure your vehicle remains in perfect working order.
You will get real-time text messages or emails (you can set them according to your preference) from the diagnostic alert service.
02. Proactive Alerts
Proactive alerts ensure vehicle safety and efficiency.
This proactive alert service is available on a few models.
When the vehicle system detects any potential issues with the key components, a “Proactive Alert” is sent to the registered member.
The proactive alert service monitors the following 4 components:
- Vehicle battery
- Fuel pressure sensor
- Fuel pump
- Starter motor.
Here’s a video of how OnStar sent diagnostic reports to the vehicle owner:
How Often Does OnStar Run Diagnostics?
Every month, OnStar sends diagnostic alerts, and you can receive diagnostic reports via email.
Diagnostic alerts help you identify the vehicle’s ongoing issues or changes in performance.
The OnStar diagnostics service scans the vehicle computer periodically and generates a monthly report.
If you have a paid plan, you will get real-time notifications via email or text message about your vehicle’s condition and status.
Can OnStar Run Diagnostics?
Yes, OnStar can run diagnostics and tell you the vehicle’s status.
To run the OnStar diagnostics, click the blue OnStar button on your vehicle’s rearview mirror.
There, an advisor will use advanced technology to run diagnostic checks and notify you of any maintenance issues that must be addressed.
You do not need to pay an additional fee for this service if you are a Security and Protection Plan member.
How Does OnStar Diagnostics Work?
OnStar functions through a combination of software, sensors, and connectivity, just like any other diagnostic system.
However, OnStar’s advanced technologies provide more accurate diagnostic reports than others.
Here’s how OnStar works:
- A vehicle has many sensors for monitoring essential components such as the transmission, engine, brakes, emissions, etc.
- The OnStar module collects the data from those sensors.
- Then, the data is sent to the OnStar system through the cellular network.
- When the data reaches the OnStar server, it undergoes analysis and processing.
- If any problem is detected, OnStar alerts the vehicle owner via email or text message and explains maintenance or further action.
Using these techniques, OnStar can identify issues with a vehicle and advise the owner on what to do next.
To learn about a simple review of the OnStar diagnostic system, watch this video:
Is OnStar Diagnostics Free?
OnStar Diagnostics is not free for everyone.
You can only use the diagnostics and the additional services included in the diagnostics plan for free if you are an active subscriber.
So, if you are not a subscriber and request diagnostics or other services, you must pay a fee.
04 Benefits of OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics
OnStar provides a very helpful diagnostic system that helps you in different ways.
Here are 04 key benefits of OnStar vehicle diagnostics:
01. Detects Issues in Early
OnStar diagnostics can monitor the performance and health of the vehicle’s systems.
It can detect potential issues early and inform the vehicle owner to take the necessary action before problems get severe.
02. Saves Unnecessary Costs
OnStar Diagnostics catches minor problems early and helps owners act quickly.
As a result, problems are resolved before they become severe, saving money on costly repairs.
03. Improves Safety
OnStar identifies potential problems and sends maintenance reminders.
Therefore, owners will be able to take the necessary steps before problems cause significant damage to critical components such as the engine, transmission, brakes, or emission system.
In this way, OnStar Diagnostics improves vehicle safety.
04. Saves Time
OnStar’s diagnostic system lets you easily get reports about your vehicle’s faulty system.
You do not have to wait in a repair shop or dealership for further inspection and results.
By providing real-time diagnostic reports, OnStar saves you valuable time.
OnStar diagnostic reports are reasonably accurate and can be trusted if the vehicle computer functions properly.
OnStar generates comprehensive diagnostic reports by analyzing vehicle sensors and system data.
The diagnostic system keeps you updated about your vehicle’s health and saves time and money.
You can contact OnStar’s advisors at 1.888. 4ONSTAR (1.888. 466.7827) for any query at any time.