Pros and Cons to OnStar
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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    Pros and Cons to OnStar

    A few weeks ago I bought my first GM truck since 1996 The new one has OnStar, which I have not yet activated for its free trial, but they keep pushing me to activate and to sign up for their auto-renewal plan. I also am getting the same selling pressure from Sirius radio, but I've been through that before and opted out.

    What do you think of OnStar? Is it something I should consider? Or just ignore it?

    Quick answers appreciated before this gets moved o tthe computer forum, where I probably won't get much info.
    Last edited by RetiredDoc; 06-25-2017 at 08:35 AM.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    It won't get moved, you're in the right forum.

    Personally, it didn't make sense for us to continue On-Star. They want a fair bit of money for essentially peace of mind. All of the other features they offer I already have with my much more portable and usable in other vehicles, my phone. I liked the maintenance reports, they are handy. We do keep it active in my FIL's car that we use to carry him around in. If we have an emergency, it's right there. That one is a no-brainer.

    Satellite radio is in the same boat. We enjoy it, but I'm not paying a subscription for every vehicle and device. That's crazy. I WOULD pay for a subscription if it were for me and usable on all my devices.
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    I think Dieselshadow hit it on the head.

    As for Sirius my mom waits until they offer it for 5 bucks a month then she re-ups her subscription.
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    Never had Onstar but we did have Sirius in our van. It was nice when traveling to be able to listen to your favorite stations. I liked being able to listen to baseball games. But when it started having issues the Honda dealers really have no troubleshooting procedures except to replace parts until the satellite radio worked again. First part cost $400 and that was it, cancelled the Sirius subscription. Not doing the whole part toss I like call it. All of my family have phones wth huge MP3 libraries so just plug in a phone for music now.


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    I go with my portable GPS, and have CAA/AAA for emergency coverage and of course my cell. I activate XM in my truck when they offer the 30 bucks six month special. My aunt has OnStar on her SUV but it is expensive, she calls it piece of mind.
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    OnStar and Xm are something you'll have to figure out if you need. Personally, I can't see paying for things I never use. I've had several OnStar equipped vehicles and never paid for it past the free trial period. I never used it. I have a phone, I have a GPS, I don't need them to remind me to change my oil of check my tires. Knock on wood, I've never locked myself out of the car... To me, their advertisements sell fear!

    Xm on the other hand is something I enjoy. I like being able to drive cross country and never change the radio station. For over 10 years, I've had a RoadyII that I mount on the a motorcycle, or move into the kitchen in the winter. I paid the full price subscription for years... until I discovered they're willing to negotiate. I now have it in 2 cars and my portable. 6 months for about $30 each. I live in the middle of nowhere and I'm right at the edge of several FM stations, mostly the farm report, on air obituaries, and native music. If I go north, I loose the southern stations and if I go south.... you get the idea. I like Xm, I'll pay for it.

    So, to actually answer your question: pros to OnStar.... for me none, cons to OnStar... for me $$$.

    YMMV, to each his own, good luck...

    Erik
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    The only time I remember paying for Onstar was during a trip we took to the east coast 4 years ago, because we did not have smart phones at the time.
    As others have said on XM, if a subscription covered all devices that might get me to subscribe.
    We just do not drive enough to justify the cost.
    Recently my wife got an offer from her car dealer for 3 free years of the basic Onstar service for her six year old SUV. I do not know if she signed up or not
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    I agree with most everything said so far. I bought a new Chevy last year, and haven't subscribed to either On-star or XM either. I think I have a "basic" On-star subscription for some period of time (not even sure how long) that comes included free with the car. I have never pressed any of the On-star button yet

    For navigation, I bought that as a separate option with the car and I also have a many years old Garmin. My last vacation, I brought the Garmin along, but used Google maps for all my directions. Matter of fact it was much more convenient, my kids texted me the Google Maps location whenever we wanted to meet somewhere, and we just called it up and off we went. Never even took the Garmin out of the case.

    I think that I can always call for help with the On-star if I'm really in a fix even though we don't subscribe. But we both have cell phones.

    As for XM, we keep getting offers for $30/6 months. $5 per month is almost my price point, but I have a 35 minute commute and I usually listen to a NYC AM news station because it has "almost" local weather. We do listen to XM during the "free 2 weeks" whenever offered, and it worked out for a couple of longer trips that just happened to coincide, but those are few and far between. I'd pay $5 for 1 or 2 weeks if I could have the time periods that I know I would actually use XM for a planned long trip, and not pay for the times I won't be using it. I also dislike the "must call to cancel" at the end of each 6-month subscription that will "automatically renew at the current subscription rate". Regular AM/FM works for me most of the time.

    I guess I'm just old school when it comes to On-star and XM, just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomfive View Post
    I guess I'm just old school when it comes to On-star and XM, just my 2 cents.
    Old and old school pretty much define me. My first car with an FM radio came only after I finished college and was in the Navy. And the FM was a separate FM tuner mounted under the dash that transmitted mono FM through an AM station on the car radio with its single speaker.

    My trial period with Sirius it seemed like the few stations I liked just played and replayed the same shows on a recorded loop. After a couple of weeks, I knew the song order by heart. I did like listening to the Atlanta and Washington DC traffic reports since I'd lived both places, and listening to them made me glad to be living on a farm in the country.

    Question - if you don't subscribe to OnStar, does it still continue to track and record driving information about you and your truck?
    Last edited by RetiredDoc; 06-25-2017 at 03:52 PM.
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    glc
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    Question - if you don't subscribe to OnStar, does it still continue to track and record driving information about you and your truck?
    If it does, you sure don't know it.

    OnStar, IMHO, is just a bit too expensive.

    As for XM, I have the basic package only because the FM radio reception in these newer trucks, in a word............. sucks!
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