How To Tell If OnStar Is Activated?

It is critical to determine whether OnStar is enabled in your vehicle. So, how to tell if OnStar is activated?

General Motors subsidiary OnStar provides a variety of connectivity, safety, and security options. The options you can use through OnStar are available via subscription, and they depend on the type of subscription you finished. Start by looking at your car’s dashboard to see if your OnStar service is on. 

Onstar can only offer some capabilities, such as roadside assistance, without activation. We’ll discuss how to verify if your Onstar services are turned on or off in this article.

Some Information About OnStar

how to tell if onstar is activated

OnStar is a comprehensive telematics and subscription-based service largely provided by General Motors (GM). It was first launched by GM in 1996 and has since been a popular feature in many of their vehicles, trucks, and SUVs.

Automatic Crash Response is one of the most important features offered by OnStar. In the case of a collision, OnStar can instantly inform emergency services and give them your vehicle’s location. This swift response might be important in securing prompt medical help following accidents.

Another important component of OnStar is its Emergency Services. Vehicle owners can contact OnStar experts by pressing an SOS button. In times of need, this direct route to professional aid can be a lifesaver.

OnStar also provides Stolen Vehicle Assistance, which aids with the recovery of stolen automobiles. OnStar can collaborate with law enforcement to track and locate a stolen car, boosting the likelihood of its safe return to its owner.

A built-in Wi-Fi hotspot is a common feature of cars with OnStar technology, enabling the establishment of a mobile internet connection within the car. This function is very helpful for those who want to stay connected while traveling.

Finally, OnStar offers vital car diagnostics, monitoring your vehicle’s health and delivering maintenance alerts. This keeps owners informed about the state of their car and facilitates prompt servicing, thus increasing the vehicle’s lifespan.

Overall, OnStar improves driver and passenger safety, security, and connectivity in their vehicles. As a result, it is an important element to the current driving experience.

How To Tell If Onstar Is Activated?

how to tell if onstar is activated

Making the most of your vehicle’s connectivity, safety, and security capabilities requires knowing whether OnStar is activated. Follow these procedures to see if your OnStar service is operational:

Check for the OnStar Emblem or Button

Begin by looking for the OnStar emblem or button within your vehicle. It’s usually found on or near the rearview mirror, overhead console, or dashboard. If you see the insignia, it means your vehicle has OnStar.

Look for LED Indicators

Many OnStar-equipped automobiles include LED indicators near the OnStar button or insignia. When the system is activated or the OnStar button is pressed, these LEDs frequently illuminate. A bright LED shows that OnStar is active.

Consult Your Infotainment System

Most current automobiles feature infotainment systems that provide information about numerous vehicle functions, including OnStar. Navigate through the menus of your infotainment system to discover the OnStar section. You may check your subscription status, service plan details, and any active features here.

Use the OnStar Mobile App

If you’re unsure and want to confirm remotely, download the OnStar mobile app if you haven’t already. Log in to your OnStar account through the app. It should inform you about the status of your subscription and the active services associated with your vehicle.

Contact OnStar Customer Support

If you’re still unsure, you can contact OnStar’s customer service. You can reach them by phone or by visiting their website to chat with a representative. They can gain access to your account and offer you up-to-date information on your OnStar membership.

It’s critical to keep your OnStar service activated because it provides a wealth of useful functions. Maintaining your membership ensures that you have access to these services when you need them, improving your safety, convenience, and peace of mind when driving. Keep in mind that OnStar availability varies depending on your vehicle model and area. As a result, it’s always a good idea to double-check the compatibility and subscription status of your unique vehicle.

How To Activate OnStar?

Typically, activating OnStar entails a few simple actions. Here’s a general guide to activating OnStar:

Purchase a Vehicle with OnStar

If you buy a new vehicle with OnStar, the dealership will usually assist you with the activation process. They will walk you through the process of setting up your OnStar account during the delivery or purchase process.

Self-Activation for New Vehicles

You may need to self-activate OnStar services in some circumstances. Follow these steps to accomplish this:

  • Begin by identifying your vehicle’s OnStar button or emblem (typically near the rearview mirror or overhead console).
  • Select the OnStar option.
  • To create your OnStar account, select a service plan, and input relevant vehicle information, follow the directions from the OnStar adviser or automated system.

Subscribe to OnStar for an Existing Vehicle

If you have a vehicle equipped with OnStar and want to activate the service, you can do it online:

  • Navigate to the “Activate” or “Subscribe” area of the OnStar website.
  • Set up your account, select a service package, and enter your car details online by following the steps.
  • You can also phone OnStar customer service and chat with a representative to subscribe and activate the service.

Verify Activation

When you finish the activation process, you should receive confirmation that your OnStar service is operational. The dealership, an OnStar specialist, or your email address if you subscribed online may send you this information.

Explore OnStar Services

Spend some time learning about the various OnStar services that are available to you after activation. Emergency assistance, remote car access, navigation, and other services may be provided.

Keep in mind that the exact stages and activation process may differ based on the make and model of your car as well as your location. By activating OnStar, you gain access to its useful services, which improve your safety, security, and connectivity while driving.

How Long Does It Take OnStar to Activate?

The time it takes to activate OnStar services depends on a number of factors. The following is a general timeline for OnStar activation:

At the Dealership

If you buy a new vehicle with OnStar from a dealership, the service is frequently activated for you during the vehicle delivery process. This normally entails creating an account, explaining the services, and checking that the hardware is operational. The activation process at the dealership normally takes between a few minutes and an hour.


Some services may be self-activated if you acquire a vehicle with OnStar or subscribe to OnStar services online or over the phone. Typically, this process includes creating an account, selecting a service package, and verifying your vehicle’s information. Depending on the intricacy of the services, self-activation can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.

Hardware Installation

If your vehicle was not factory-equipped with OnStar hardware, it may be necessary to have it installed at a service shop or dealership. Depending on the complexity of the installation, this process could take several hours or even a day.

Emergency Services

Some OnStar services are frequently activated by default in vehicles equipped with them. These services are intended to be activated automatically in the event of an emergency, eliminating the need for manual activation.

It’s important to remember that activation times can vary, so check with the dealership regarding the precise activation process and timeline. Furthermore, activating certain sophisticated features or configuring additional options may take a little longer. So be patient when creating your OnStar account to meet your specific needs.

Final Thoughts

To utilize OnStar’s breadth of safety and connection features, you must first confirm that OnStar is engaged in your car. When you activate OnStar, you gain access to services like automatic crash response, emergency help, navigation, and remote car features, which improves both safety and convenience. Regularly checking your membership status ensures that you get the most out of this useful service.

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