OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
IowaFarmWife
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:42 pm

OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by IowaFarmWife » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:24 pm

I am curious if any of you have and/or recommend the OnStar services? I recently purchased a new-to- me 2017 Chevy Equinox, and it is OnStar capable, but I'm trying to figure out if the services are worth the cost. The plans run anywhere between $15/month to $60/month depending on the level of services you are looking for.

Thanks!

bob60014
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by bob60014 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:26 am

I view it as another layer of insurance and don't see a overall benefit. The exception
is the crash detetion -automatic notification part, could be useful in some areas of the country, remote hills and mountains come to mind. Perhaps the Stolen Vehicle location and remote disabling is beneficial if you have a 'Vette, Camaro or a high end vehicle. I wouldn't put a Equinox on the high target list. The offering for Roadside assistance might be covered by some other product you have, AAA, Insurance or credit card. If there is a emergency your cell phone 911 gets a response faster than OnStar (no third party), though OnStar assists when the caller cannot provide their location.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 5228
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:36 am

I owned a Cadillac that included Onstar for a while. I didn't miss it after I cancelled. The value to me was zero. I guess if I careen off a cliff in an isolated area I could have had someone to talk to in my final moments of consciousness. As long as I'm careful not to damage the mobile radio on the way down.

SimonJester
Posts: 1829
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:39 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by SimonJester » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:02 am

So a buddy of mine was hunting way out in the back country one day with his newly purchased Chevy trunk containing OnStar. After 8 or so hours he hiked back to his truck to head back to base camp. Well he gets into his truck and tried to start it and nothing, no matter what it would not start. He has good lights and all functioning electronics so it wasn't a drained battery. After an hour or so of messing around with the truck to determine why it would not start he remembered he had OnStar and hit the button to contact the service. Much to his surprise he learned that OnStar had disabled his vehicle from starting because they noticed it was sitting for a long time in a remote area other then where he usually parked. Man was he pissed off, he told them in not so kind words what they should do with their service...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 6429
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by bertilak » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:16 am

I found it useful when renting. If the car is new enough OnStar is still on its free trial period. Once I figured this out I made it a habit of asking for a brand new GM car. That worked OK when one was available.

When driving in a strange location in a strange car I found it convenient to push the button, talk to a person, and ask for the destination to be sent to the car. No muss, no fuss. Mostly ...

Once that did have a strange result. I wanted to get to the Newark (NJ) airport. The destination sent to me was at the end of a dead end street surrounded on three sides by industrial buildings all with 8-10 foot high chain-link fences boxing me in! This was an unsavory part of town. I was real close to the airport as the crow flies, but longer by road. I had to do a tight 3-point u-turn to back out. At least I was in a quiet (lonely) spot where I could learn the car's GPS and plot a new route.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 2073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by F150HD » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:26 am

a girl I dated years back had it on a new car (a Chevy? cant recall). New vehicle died along the road mid-winter, I think it was the battery. She pushed the OnStar button and alas, it wouldn't work as there was no power! LOL.

Needless to say, she dumped the free service after it expired.

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 6429
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by bertilak » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:42 am

F150HD wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:26 am
a girl I dated years back had it on a new car (a Chevy? cant recall). New vehicle died along the road mid-winter, I think it was the battery. She pushed the OnStar button and alas, it wouldn't work as there was no power! LOL.
That is perhaps one of the great features of a cell phone -- it has its own battery. Pair that with AAA and you are well-protected.

It is also good in the home. My power went out yesterday (Saturday) killing my router. I set my phone to be a hot spot so I could get to the power company's web site and look at the outage status. (Already reported and with estimated up time so no need to call.)

Normally my UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) would have held me but by one of those nasty coincidences the batteries in it had died just hours before the outage! All the local battery supply stores (those with the right kind of battery) were closed on Saturday. I mail-ordered a battery over the Internet using my cell phone's hot spot.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 2073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by F150HD » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:06 am

bertilak wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:42 am
F150HD wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:26 am
a girl I dated years back had it on a new car (a Chevy? cant recall). New vehicle died along the road mid-winter, I think it was the battery. She pushed the OnStar button and alas, it wouldn't work as there was no power! LOL.
That is perhaps one of the great features of a cell phone -- it has its own battery. Pair that with AAA and you are well-protected.

It is also good in the home. My power went out yesterday (Saturday) killing my router. I set my phone to be a hot spot so I could get to the power company's web site and look at the outage status. (Already reported and with estimated up time so no need to call.)

Normally my UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) would have held me but by one of those nasty coincidences the batteries in it had died just hours before the outage! All the local battery supply stores (those with the right kind of battery) were closed on Saturday. I mail-ordered a battery over the Internet using my cell phone's hot spot.
+1 on cell phone and AAA (or equivalent)

where I live the power company tells one to submit the outage online so they know what neighborhood is targeted, what to fix etc, but if power out, one cannot do that (unless they have a mobile or hotspot). These days most do, hotspot def a life saver.

Trader Joe
Posts: 595
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by Trader Joe » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:17 pm

IowaFarmWife wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:24 pm
I am curious if any of you have and/or recommend the OnStar services? I recently purchased a new-to- me 2017 Chevy Equinox, and it is OnStar capable, but I'm trying to figure out if the services are worth the cost. The plans run anywhere between $15/month to $60/month depending on the level of services you are looking for.

Thanks!
Had it for free once. Never paid for it. Do not miss it.

Invest4lt
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by Invest4lt » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:24 pm

+1 for using your cellphone and Car Play/Android Auto apps. Both have an emergency call feature if they sense a crash. If you live somewhere without good cell reception then OnStar has the advantage of much better coverage. But aside from that I would invest the funds in a cellar plan.

Topic Author
IowaFarmWife
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:42 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by IowaFarmWife » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:25 pm

Thank you for the replies, and I showed my husband this thread. We decided not to subscribe right now, as we both have cell phones and AAA.

Ykcor
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:42 am

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by Ykcor » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:55 pm

I'm curious if your auto insurance company would give you a discount since if the vehicle is stolen the cops could locate its whereabouts with GPS.

bob60014
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by bob60014 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:39 am

Ykcor wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:55 pm
I'm curious if your auto insurance company would give you a discount since if the vehicle is stolen the cops could locate its whereabouts with GPS.
2-5% discount on the premium given by some companies, others nothing.

User avatar
segfault
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:51 pm

Re: OnStar Plans: Are they worth the cost?

Post by segfault » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:03 am

I have it on my truck. The automatic crash notification is a valuable feature (but I also own another non-GM car that doesn't have Onstar or any other connectivity service, and don't lose sleep over it). I really like the monthly emailed diagnostic reports, which will remind you of the remaining oil life, as well as notify you of low tire pressure before it gets low enough to trigger a TPMS warning light.

Post Reply