OnStar GPS Tracking: Everything You Need to Know

About OnStar GPS Tracking, According to a recent report, the global road safety market may grow to $5.8 billion by 2026.

One area of specific focus is the rapidly advancing navigation systems.

The Onstar GPS tracking services beat all market competition by offering more than location tracking. 

Its triumph card is the ability to help the police recover your vehicle if it gets stolen.

Currently, other services only track vehicles.

OnStar, however, can slow down and stop a moving car.

Therefore, it is a safer and more convenient alternative for all road users. 

So, what is Onstar GPS, and how does it work? Here is everything you need to know.

Table of Contents

What is OnStar GPS Tracking?

Get immediate assistance in case of an accident.

OnStar is a subscription-based telematics service offering advanced vehicle location services.

It provides 24-hour emergency services to vehicle owners by connecting them to real-life advisors.

These advisors assist with emergencies from car theft and roadside assistance to family link services. 

A telematic service is a combination of GPS and cellular technology.

It allows the OnStar App to facilitate hands-free calling, roadside assistance, and emergency response services.

OnStar can ask for help automatically whenever you are involved in an accident.

It also has a family link that allows you to connect to family members allowing them to track your exact location.

Additionally, the app has a guardian feature that offers personal safety and security services.

How Does OnStar Tracking Work?

OnStar Family Link provides families with the ability to track each other's location

OnStar Family Link allows families to track each other’s location.

The inner workings of an OnStar tracking system are similar to that of a modern smartphone.

It tracks a vehicle using the GPS function and creates a line of communication through cellular technology.

OnStar-equipped vehicles come with a rearview mirror panel and a built-in Onstar module.

You can use this to contact an OnStar advisor for help while on the road.

The panel has three main buttons:

  • Red button: Press this for emergencies
  • Blue button: Use this to contact a live virtual advisor
  • Phone button: Use this to make standard calls

The system can also automatically ping for help when the vehicle has an impact and airbags deploy.

It can also share real-time navigation details about the car’s location in case it’s stolen.

Determining Whether OnStar is Enabled

OnStar's services work even when the car is turned off

OnStar’s services work even when the car is turned off

Your OnStar GPS tracking will only be available once you have an active subscription. To check if it’s active:

  1. Look for an OnStar logo on the vehicle’s information display. The presence of one means the account is active.
  2. Option 2 is to go online and check your OnStar account status. Do this using a web browser or logging in through the OnStar app. An “Activate Now” button means the subscription is inactive.
  3. Option 3 is to press the call button on the display panel to consult with an advisor. They can help you check the status of your account.

How To Activate Onstar?

Activating navigation

Activating navigation

To activate OnStar, you need to do the following:

Set up a GM Account

A GM account is the command center that allows you to access the OnStar service.

After signing up, check the car’s service record, warranty, and feature support.

You can activate car models from 2015 and above by talking to a live OnStar advisor.

You can also do this by pressing the blue button on the rearview mirror panel. 

If your car is non-GM, use a plugin adapter to install the OnStar module, then contact a representative to help you activate a plan.

Get the Mobile App

Next, download the OnStar mobile app from Play Store or Apple Store.

The app benefits every subscriber with theft alarm notifications, schedule maintenance, and roadside assistance.

GM car users can also benefit by connecting to Onstar using the My Link services on their car apps.

Add Emergency Contacts

Emergency contacts are those the OnStar advisors will contact if you get into an accident, tire puncture, theft, or any other emergency. 

Provide the OnStar advisors with reliable contacts that they will reach out to and inform of your location and predicament. 

Remember: Only subscribe and activate an OnStar service if your car has the system pre-installed.

Disabling OnStar: How to Stop Your Vehicle from Being Tracked

Stay Safe on the Road with OnStar Guardian

Stay Safe on the Road with OnStar Guardian

There are two possible ways to disable an OnStar GPS Tracking system. These involve;

Disconnecting The Battery

The OnStar service may not work when the vehicle’s battery is dead or disconnected.

However, some newer models may have a battery backup to prevent such a situation.

Requesting GPS Cancelation

Requesting a GPS cancellation is the most definite way to disable the OnStar service. To do this, you need to:

  • Contact the OnStar Customer Service

Find the OnStar customer care number by visiting the website or checking the vehicle’s manual. Contact them and make your request to cancel the subscription.

  • Identity Confirmation

You need to prove you are the account holder for the customer care agent to approve your request. It helps to have your account information details close by.

  • Request for the Cancellation

After providing your details and confirming account ownership, you can issue your account closure request.

The customer agent will give you a stepbystep process on what to do. Follow the steps carefully to finalize the procedure correctly.

  • Confirm with the Customer Agent

Once you finish the process, confirm with the OnStar representative whether it was successful. If not, they will be able to provide further assistance.

OnStar Location Services: Never Get Lost Again

The OnStar Location Services: Never Get Lost Again

OnStar and Starlink may share a similar name but provide very different services.

Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, is a satellite-based internet service.

On the other hand, OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors, delivers cellular service to its users.

Starlink’s coverage in rural areas may be better than OnStar’s, which needs a solid cellular signal.

However, Starlink may not be widely available, whereas OnStar has been around for decades.

You can find OnStar in more than 50 models of the GM vehicle brand alongside other manufacturers.

The pricing for the two services is also different. Starlink costs $99 monthly, while OnStar costs as low as $14.99 monthly.

Overall, both services deliver some form of in-vehicle connectivity.


Is It Feasible for Onstar to Monitor Your Vehicle’s Location Even Without a Subscription?

You can still track your car with OnStar without a subscription if the vehicle has the tracking equipment.

However, to get the OnStar tracking details, you may have to go through the police.

Can Onstar Track A Stolen Car If Not Activated?

OnStar should be able to provide stolen vehicle assistance even if the service is not activated. It can do this through the onboard GPS.

Can Onstar Disable A Vehicle?

OnStar can play a role in your vehicle recovery by disabling its systems. It features a remote ignition block that prevents a car from restarting once turned off.

An Onstar advisor can only activate the ignition block after a user makes a police report.

Is It Possible to Use Onstar Features When the Vehicle Is Not Running?

You can still use OnStar’s services even if the vehicle is off. The battery powers the OnStar Module, not the ignition switch.

However, some features may require continuous power to perform optimally, detrimentally draining the battery.

What is the Cost of an OnStar Subscription?

OnStar comes in four different packages. Their pricing is as follows: 

  • Connected devices: $24.99 /month 
  • Safety and Security: $29.99 /month
  • Essentials: $39.99 /month
  • Premium: $49.99 /month

You can also get remote access using the mobile vehicle app for as low as $14.99 monthly.


The global road safety market is on the rise, and with it comes competition.

Now companies must redefine themselves to stand out as the best in their fields.

As such, OnStar breaks the mold as a customer-centric company.

While providing GPS tracking, they focus on safety, convenience, and peace of mind. 

Its critical safety services, like automatic crash response and roadside assistance, are an excellent investment for anyone prioritizing safety and security.

Leave a Comment