Spent A Few Days Using OnStar Technology: Can’t Live Without It

As some of you may know I was recently invited by OnStar to spend a fabulous weekend in Sag Harbor with some blogging buddies. In a very intimate setting we had group sessions with beauty, fitness and cooking specialists. When I first saw the itinerary, I couldn’t understand how it had to relate to OnStar. A private cooking lesson by a well known chef? AWESOME! But what does that have to do with OnStar, right?

Well, for the whole weekend we were using GM cars equipped with the technology and after just three days I can safely say I’m HOOKED.

Driving out East I had my printed sheet of directions and my phone programed with directions as back up. I was fumbling the entire ride trying to stay on course. After I gave up on trying to manage my paper I activated my Droid’s GPS – but there are spots in the Hamptons where you lose service and I would practically have an anxiety attack until I came back online.

That’s just not the case with OnStar. The GM car’s antenna is MUCH stronger than a phone. I found that no matter where we were that weekend the service came through.

So, let’s talk commercials —  in the past the OnStar commercials revolved around some sort of crisis. It’s human nature to not think that way. I’ve never been in an accident and I don’t want to live my life thinking I’m going to be in one.  I would guess that’s how most consumers looked at those ads. At least that’s how I looked at them. But OnStar isn’t just about crisis management – it actually enhances your driving experience.

Another fact I am sure you all know by now — I’m a Starbucks addict. Well, in small quaint towns it’s highly unlikely that one is near. And I knew it… and it was making me have the jitters. As soon as I could I ran into one of those cars and I pressed that magical blue button and asked for the nearest Starbucks. It was four miles away and off I went. That was the moment when I understood the power of OnStar.

For three days we just drove around asking for assistance multiple times a day. Find the nearest JCrew. Find the nearest TJMaxx. Looking for a good Italian restaurant. No request is unimportant – that’s what you pay for!! I am TELLING you as I was driving home I was upset that I didn’t have the technology in my current car.

Remember that write up I did about key items you should keep in your trunk this winter?  During that session I also learned about OnStar’s email program where they keep on top of your car maintenance. So, once a month you get a newsletter highlighting whether or not you need your oil changed, your tires rotated, and more. Here’s a piece of the email so you can see what I’m talking about.

And as if their current technology isn’t good enough they have come out with a Mobile App! You can now control functions such as remote start, horn and lights and door lock/unlock – securely from your smartphone. This means drivers will no longer have to be within a requisite distance, or even have their keys with them, to control these functions on their vehicles.

How many times have you locked yourself out of the car? Or lost your car in a parking lot? Just open up the app and start honking your horn. It’s ingenious!

If you aren’t an app user that’s ok too. There’s a land-line number that you can call when you need help. The other day my husband locked the keys in our car and we spent $50 to have some guy come and push air into our windshield to lower it and unlock the door. If I had OnStar I could have saved that money and made a toll free phone call instead.

If you want more information, visit their website.

10 comments

    • Vera
      Author

      Well I had the Tom Tom a while back. It died on me after a few months – 2 or 3 at most. So I will just say that the OnStar is actually part of your CAR and not some $100 add on you pick up at Costco.

      My mother has the Tom Tom and likes it and hasn’t had issue with it. but I have. ;)

      • chuckrock

        See, this would be a negative thing to me. I would rather have a piece of equipment that I could bring from car to car as I see fit….instead of having it only in the one car. Also, the whole subscription part – as opposed to a one time purchase fee that i have with Garmin – really would turn me off.

        I have never tried tom tom so I can’t compare it to Garmin, but I have never had any real issues with garmin (except that time when she wanted me to make a left into the brick wall……..)

  1. ppd

    I know onStar is only for some car models.. do you know if it will be available for more than just GM? I’ve always wanted it, my friend lives by her onStar!

  2. It really is cool, isn’t it? What blew me away was realizing how inexpensive it is, relatively speaking–only about $100/year more expensive than my old auto club membership and more features to boot. Next time we’re in the market for a car, I’ll definitely be looking at GM and OnStar.

  3. Sherry

    Hmmm..I am 95% sure that my mini van is equipped with it. I honestly haven’t paid a lot of attention to it since we bought it. Now I’m going to have to take a look and maybe give the subscription a try.

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