How to Upgrade Your OnStar Equipment

by Jason Stewart
close up of police dispatcher"s mouth image by David Smith from

OnStar is a digital service that provides safety and security measures for your vehicle. The service is subscription-based and is exclusive to General Motors vehicle owners. OnStar features roadside assistance, navigation and even basic vehicle diagnostics. Should your car ever be stolen, OnStar can alter the vehicle's speed and fully disrupt the ignition sequence. Upgrading OnStar is easy to do if you have Bluetooth technology installed in your vehicle.

Step 1

Refer to your OnStar manual to detect which version of OnStar you have. If you have a version older than Version 5, you must install Bluetooth capabilities in your vehicle before proceeding. Most certified GM dealers can install Bluetooth components needed for upgrading OnStar to digital service.

Step 2

Call an OnStar agent to learn which GM dealership with upgrade capability is closest to you. Unfortunately, OnStar upgrades can be done only by certified GM technicians. All of the upgrades available will need to be downloaded to the vehicle's OnStar computer host. Additional fees for labor may be required.

Call OnStar and notify the company of the software upgrade(s) your computer received. Doing this allows an OnStar agent to make sure your vehicle's new upgrades are consistent and aligned with the database so that any new features can be fully used.


  • Don't risk visiting a third party vendor to upgrade your OnStar equipment. Refer to your manufacturer's warranty policy.


  • If you own a vehicle with an analog version of OnStar equipment, visit the link entitled "OnStar Digital Upgrade Program" to see if you're eligible for an upgrade to a digital version of OnStar. Most customers receive the upgrades for free when committing to a prepaid, one-year plan. Digital versions of OnStar have Bluetooth capability.


Photo Credits

  • close up of police dispatcher"s mouth image by David Smith from

About the Author

Jason Stewart began professionally writing in 2009, specializing in education, mathematics, tennis, PC troubleshooting and game tutorials. Stewart is certified to teach middle school mathematics in the state of Arizona. He has a Bachelor of Science in education from Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor in his home state of California.

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