Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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?:pickup:

Quick answers appreciated before this gets moved o tthe computer forum, where I probably won't get much info.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,363 Posts
It won't get moved, you're in the right forum. :good2:

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,929 Posts
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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
742 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,253 Posts
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 :laugh:

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,484 Posts
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.:unknown:

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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
Onstar- never had so don't know. I would think it's a waste of money and would have to strictly cater to how you use your vehicle

Xm- I had it years ago and enjoyed it. I actually looked into it a while back. It just cost way to much money imo.

I ended up getting unlimted data plan for me and my family's iPhones. I pay $15 a month for Apple Music for a family plan of 5 people. Which means we can all listen to any song we want When we want.
I also downloaded all the radio stations I listen to in there app form on my phone. Everything is bluetoothed to my radio. I have a folder on my phone for my vehicle. Basically everything free except for the Apple Music, which I'm sure most of you are fine without. I'm actually fine without it also but I got it as a Christmas present for my family and they all use it so much I keep reviving for Christmas lol.

My vehicle folder has
Gps- to find my way around
Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify, radio channels specific to my area for talk shows- to listen to
Direct tv, sports app(for tv channels) to Make sure I can listen to sports games live
Door bell, security cameras- so I can talk or check on my house.


There is so much free stuff on phones now it's crazy.
And for those that don't have blutettooth on there radio there is simple and cheap ways to get without replaceing the radio.

I actually took out the really small cubby my 06 durmax had and built an iPad holder. My iPad simply pulls out to a much larger cubby now. The iPad is LTE so it has unlimited data which I use all the above apps plus anything else I would want. It's hooked to my radio via Bluetooth. I'll try and get a painted picture later
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
I've owned several vehicles with On-Star but have never subscribed to it past the free period. For reasons others have given, it's too expensive and I don't really need it with a smart-phone, and I don't need to be reminded when I need service. I've been taking care of that for over 50 years and believe I have the hang of it.

I did sign up for their free basic sevice on my truck, just to be able to use their app for locking and unlocking doors, or remote starting from the phone. This service was free for 5 years.

They were really aggravating on my wife's most recent vehicle, as soon as it was a year old the dealer's service people started harassing her with emails and phone calls that according to On-Star she had missed important servicing 'cause the car was a year old and had never had the oil changed. They had her to the point that she was almost afraid to drive it.

True, it had not had the oil changed, but it had less than 2000 miles on it. She seldom drives it, always goes with me.

I finally had to call the service guy and read him the riot act, and told him to quit paying attention to On-Star, I would let him know when it needed service.

As for Sirius, they have a few channels I really like, but not for what they want for a regular subscription. I always call them before mine is set to renew and tell them I want to cancel, they will usually come up with an offer I can't refuse, but only good for a few months. I hate doing this dance with them, wish they would just offer a decent deal to begin with. But that's not how things work nowadays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,728 Posts
Another thing to consider and I didn't see it mentioned here in a quick scan of responses is that they offer the OnStar basic service for free. I think it is only for 3 years but it is nice and worth it for free. We don't use it this time of year much but where it is great is you can use your On Start app on a smart phone to remotely lock/unlock or remote start your vehicle. The remote start is the feature we use. If I am in a restaurant or it is in a parking garage, there is no way the key fob will reach the truck. The app will though. For free this is totally worth it. You also get the reminders for maintenance and the dealer can track that stuff but I still do it myself. They don't bug me.

As for the full OnStar service. I have only used it once. We were on a road trip and the truck started overheating. Not to the point where I was going to stop but keeping an eye on it. It was snowing and late at night with the wife and kids. I called OnStar, they did remote diagnosis. Of course dealers were closed. I we were in the middle of WI so I asked for the closest GMC/Chevy Dealer and for them to set up a hotel for us near by. My concern was if we had a coolant leak I didn't want to mess around with stopping until I had to preferably as close as I could to a dealer. In the end we made it to the dealer and I found the issue when we got out. The GMC Denali trucks use a chrome grill which is pretty restrictive in air flow. The holes for air flow were all iced over so it was like a I was driving with a big grill cover on the front of the truck. Now that I know this I would stop and clear any ice if coolant temps were ever running high in snow/sleet conditions.

As for the paid service. We used it once. My wife could have found the same info on her cell phone. We only had it because it was during the free period with the new purchase.

As for XM I have it in my car. I like Sirius better. Yes I know it is the same company. My old Jetta TDI had Sirius the new Subaru WRX is XM. When I got the WRX it came with the free trial and my account was moved over. I like listening to the NASCAR Channel. The difference is with Sirius is that channel is part of the basic lineup. With XM it is considered a premium channel so it costs more. However I have found that with the better bluetooth in the WRX I never listen to it. If something is going on in the world I might turn on a news channel but that is about it. I now listen to podcasts pretty much all the time in the car. With my Jetta I had to plug in the aux port which I never did. The WRX just pairs up and starts playing even if my phone is in my pocket and I can control it with the head unit. I get the same type of content and more for nothing. I called up to turn it off and they refunded my charge and let me have it for something like another year for free. I will do the same again. If they are going to charge I will cancel it. Then I will get the letters in the mail a couple months later saying come back for a year for $20. I will renew it for that much but not the something like $160 I would pay now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,338 Posts
If you have a smart phone, activate the free trial of OnStar without a doubt. Download the GM app to your phone and link it to your account.

Once the trial expires, OnStar will still send you emails once per month with a "status" of the truck. You get to see oil life, mileage, tire pressure, open recalls, and similar. But you also retain full use of the Smart Phone App for the "key fob" functions for (I believe) five years. This gives you the ability to lock and unlock the doors and remote start the engine. I don't use them much. But, I do love having them when I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
I do not own a GM product with onstar, but my elderly mother does. The one advantage that onstar has is when you are in an area that does not have a signal for your cell phone. She lives in the White Mountain area of New Hampshire and came upon a couple that were broke down and had been there for hours because they could not call anybody because of no cell signal. My mother used her onstar to call them a wrecker and then gave them a ride home once the wrecker showed up to tow there vehicle. So that scenario along with peace of mind for emergencies is about the only advantage it has.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,300 Posts
If you have a smart phone, activate the free trial of OnStar without a doubt. Download the GM app to your phone and link it to your account.

Once the trial expires, OnStar will still send you emails once per month with a "status" of the truck. You get to see oil life, mileage, tire pressure, open recalls, and similar. But you also retain full use of the Smart Phone App for the "key fob" functions for (I believe) five years. This gives you the ability to lock and unlock the doors and remote start the engine. I don't use them much. But, I do love having them when I do.
The app is called "RemoteLink" and should be free for 5 years with or without onstar activation...at least that's what what I was told when buying two different GM vehicles. Mine gets used frequently...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,728 Posts
I do not own a GM product with onstar, but my elderly mother does. The one advantage that onstar has is when you are in an area that does not have a signal for your cell phone. She lives in the White Mountain area of New Hampshire and came upon a couple that were broke down and had been there for hours because they could not call anybody because of no cell signal. My mother used her onstar to call them a wrecker and then gave them a ride home once the wrecker showed up to tow there vehicle. So that scenario along with peace of mind for emergencies is about the only advantage it has.
Just keep in mind that OnStar is still cell phone based. It uses a sat link but that is mainly for location. Communication is still taking place over the cellular network. So while I don't disagree that your mother was in an area with no cell coverage, yet OnStar still worked, it is likely a case where there were cell towers in the area, just not her provider. The point is that if you are off roading in the mountains of Montana, you get stuck or break down, don't rely on OnStar to save the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,338 Posts
The app is called "RemoteLink" and should be free for 5 years with or without onstar activation...at least that's what what I was told when buying two different GM vehicles. Mine gets used frequently...
I understood it to be that you had to activate the trail and use the app once during the trail to get the five years. The app is different based on the vehicle brand - Chevy uses "myChevrolet" as an app name.

Just keep in mind that OnStar is still cell phone based. It uses a sat link but that is mainly for location. Communication is still taking place over the cellular network. So while I don't disagree that your mother was in an area with no cell coverage, yet OnStar still worked, it is likely a case where there were cell towers in the area, just not her provider. The point is that if you are off roading in the mountains of Montana, you get stuck or break down, don't rely on OnStar to save the day.
To add even more detail, it's AT&T cellular based specifically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
The app is called "RemoteLink" and should be free for 5 years with or without onstar activation...at least that's what what I was told when buying two different GM vehicles. Mine gets used frequently...
I have Chevy, my wife's vehicle is GMC. They each have their own app, Chevy being Remotelink and GMC being myGMC. I got the myGMC app when she bought but I can see both vehicles (and use fob for either) from my Remotelink app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,728 Posts
Yeah the app branding changed in the last year or two for some reason. I used to use the OnStar RemoteLink but then I had a notice or for some reason updated to the myGMC one that I have now. I still have the RemoteLink on my phone but use the myGMC one.

My only complaint is that I use it so infrequently, that I keep forgetting the password... :banghead: That is only for remote start from time to time. The truck is really my wife's primary vehicle, but it is the tow vehicle for our camper so I drive it from time to time in the summer and pretty much never in the winter. I guess there have been a time or two in the driveway when she locked it for some reason and I needed something out of it. I don't carry the keys for it so it is handy to unlock it with my cell. It isn't an instantaneous unlock like a FOB though. You send the signal and it takes a minute or two.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top