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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This relates to a 2009 GXP...

I have had this problem occur twice, yesterday and a few months ago. The LED on the far right of the rear view mirror is normally green, but both cases of trouble occurred at first start up in the morning when the LED came on solid red and then went to a blinking red.

In both cases, I pressed the (non-emergency) button to contact the OnStar operator who in turn connected me to their Tech Support. To state the obvious, it was working as I was able to communicate with OnStar just fine. At the end of each call, the LED returned to, and stayed, green.

After the first episode, Tech Support was not able to offer anything other than the red light is an abnormal condition. Yesterday they said it had to go to the dealer and was either a hardware failure -- or that the back up battery had reached the end of its service life. (This may make sense as both times the problem occurred after sitting overnight in rather chilly weather -- and battery capacity decreases in cold weather).

So, here are my questions:

-Has anyone else experienced this problem?

-Is this back-up battery user replaceable?

-If so, where is the OnStar module located?

The good news is, I purchased the shop manual on CD a couple of years ago; the bad news is that it is missing in action. :(

Thanks in advance for any thoughts...
 

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I've not had the problem, but that's 'cos I replaced my VCIM with another to get Bluetooth, and my red light is on all the time because of it :) (I don't use OnStar).

The OnStar VCIM is located directly under the waterfall cubby, behind the large waterfall panel. Cumbersome to get to, but not particularly difficult. See some info here about the panel removal http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f11/how-do-you-remove-waterfall-between-seats-59687/#post895432

(By the way, there are two parts to OnStar, the cellular phone and the satellite comms. Just because the phone works (you can talk to them) doesn't mean the satellite part does.)

The OnStar VCIM is the big silver box in the middle of this photo:

 

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This is more of a rant than a solution. I apologize. I found OnStar and its Customer Service to be useless. For the longest time I could not have the radio on when the OnStar Directional was employed. I called Customer Service, and they said it was an XM Radio problem. Not. I just gave up on using OnStar for directions.

Next, I bought a few minutes on the OnStar phone. Every call I placed went to Canada (I live in VA-USA), and when I tried to get Customer Service, they were in Canada. My thought in short? Dump OnStar. Carry a cellphone and buy a GPS instead.
 

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Offering what I know, though it may not be directly applicable.

I have two units of Onstar For My Vehicle. It is self contained and houses the backup battery inside the mirror behind the external speaker. On both units, the trouble light began flashing yellow a couple of months ago. I did what I normally did, ignored it. Then my wife noticed, one of the units is in her DD. And of course now its a national emergency to get it fixed.

I called OnStar. They said they knew nothing but would put me in touch with OMV people. They knew about it and sent me to OMV tech support. OMV tech support ran a diagnostic test routing on my unit while I was in the car and informed me that yes indeed the battery needed repacing. And they sent me a new battery replacement kit, which includes the allen wrenth, battery and a good set of instructions.

I was pretty happy with the exchange.

But, of perhaps more interest is that while I was researching the issue online, I kept running across multiple discussions of battery replacement on standard GM issued OnStar units. Most began with "where is the backup battery located?"

I have to believe that OnStar has the ability to run a remote self diagnostic for you if you can get the right tech support person on the line.

And they told me that they would swap out the battery for free. When I told them that my installer no longer handled the unit, they sent me the kit. Actually two kits. I would be surprised if they did not have a similar kit for the standard GM OnStar. You just need to be persistent and get in touch with the right person.:grouphug:
 

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I'm not offering any assistance here either so for that, I appologize.
I was hoping that my car had a thermometer and a compass on the rearview, not this onstar crap. I'm sorry but I do not like that fact that the government can access my system at the press of a button, listen in and pinpoint my location. I'm gonna be changing the sub soon and I'm very tempted to take the damn box out and shoot it. From the photo's above, there's a few plugs going into it. can I disconnect it easily without screwing anything up or what?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Offering what I know, though it may not be directly applicable.

I have two units of Onstar For My Vehicle. It is self contained and houses the backup battery inside the mirror behind the external speaker. On both units, the trouble light began flashing yellow a couple of months ago. I did what I normally did, ignored it. Then my wife noticed, one of the units is in her DD. And of course now its a national emergency to get it fixed.

I called OnStar. They said they knew nothing but would put me in touch with OMV people. They knew about it and sent me to OMV tech support. OMV tech support ran a diagnostic test routing on my unit while I was in the car and informed me that yes indeed the battery needed repacing. And they sent me a new battery replacement kit, which includes the allen wrenth, battery and a good set of instructions.

I was pretty happy with the exchange.

But, of perhaps more interest is that while I was researching the issue online, I kept running across multiple discussions of battery replacement on standard GM issued OnStar units. Most began with "where is the backup battery located?"

I have to believe that OnStar has the ability to run a remote self diagnostic for you if you can get the right tech support person on the line.

And they told me that they would swap out the battery for free. When I told them that my installer no longer handled the unit, they sent me the kit. Actually two kits. I would be surprised if they did not have a similar kit for the standard GM OnStar. You just need to be persistent and get in touch with the right person.:grouphug:
Thanks to you (and TomatoSoup) for the technical responses.

However, your post has generated a few additional questions:

1) I'm not sure of the two units you are talking about; presumably the one behind the waterfall that TS showed and another unit contained in the mirror???

2) You say "inside the mirror behind the external speaker". I'm not familiar with an external speaker. To the best of my knowledge, my '09 OnStar uses the regular radio speakers.

3) I am not familiar with the acronym "OMV". A GM organization? Contact number?

4) If my problem is the back-up battery and I'm not fortunate enough to have GM send me one, do you happen to recall the battery number so I can get one at the local electronic supply house.

5) You mention a flashing yellow LED. Mine is normally green and goes to flashing or solid red. Is this color difference attributable to different years or are they using a tri-color LED and I've not yet experienced the yellow?

6) You refer to "the standard GM OnStar". Is there more than one type?

BTW, for the record, I use a cell phone and separate GPS, just depending on OnStar for remote unlocking, tracking if stolen and if in a serious accident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not offering any assistance here either so for that, I appologize.
I was hoping that my car had a thermometer and a compass on the rearview, not this onstar crap. I'm sorry but I do not like that fact that the government can access my system at the press of a button, listen in and pinpoint my location.
Sometimes a little paranoia is a healthy thing, because you never know when somebody might actually be out to get you. :devil:

If you are that concerned, in all seriousness I would recommend getting rid of your cell phone if you have one. "They" can easily listen to that and if your cell has GPS, they can easily track you. Even a non-GPS cell phone can be tracked by triangulation from the cell towers you are activating. (the triangulation is not as accurate as GPS, but they can still get a pretty good idea of where you are).
 

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I'm not offering any assistance here either so for that, I appologize.
I was hoping that my car had a thermometer and a compass on the rearview, not this onstar crap. I'm sorry but I do not like that fact that the government can access my system at the press of a button, listen in and pinpoint my location. I'm gonna be changing the sub soon and I'm very tempted to take the damn box out and shoot it. From the photo's above, there's a few plugs going into it. can I disconnect it easily without screwing anything up or what?
If you have kept up with what is being said about ... Well the gov agency which will remain name
Ess, they already capture all your cell data already...
 

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I'm very tempted to take the damn box out and shoot it. From the photo's above, there's a few plugs going into it. can I disconnect it easily without screwing anything up or what?
No, you can't just disconnect it as it's in the GMLAN chain. However, you can buy a Bluetooth box for a different model car, but with the same connectors. Then your OnStar won't work, but you WILL have integrated Bluetooth! Yay!
 

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Next, I bought a few minutes on the OnStar phone. Every call I placed went to Canada (I live in VA-USA), and when I tried to get Customer Service, they were in Canada. My thought in short? Dump OnStar. Carry a cellphone and buy a GPS instead.
Me too. Couldn't see the point in paying for OnStar when I own a cell phone and a GPS unit. Same for XM radio - waste of money if you are capable of plugging in an ipod with all your favourite music aboard. They sure like to grab you by the 'extras', don't they?
 

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2) You say "inside the mirror behind the external speaker". I'm not familiar with an external speaker. To the best of my knowledge, my '09 OnStar uses the regular radio speakers.

3) I am not familiar with the acronym "OMV". A GM organization? Contact number?


6) You refer to "the standard GM OnStar". Is there more than one type?

BTW, for the record, I use a cell phone and separate GPS, just depending on OnStar for remote unlocking, tracking if stolen and if in a serious accident.
I believe OMV is a "portable" unit made for use in non-GM vehicles., so it would likely contain a battery and speaker.
 

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No, you can't just disconnect it as it's in the GMLAN chain. However, you can buy a Bluetooth box for a different model car, but with the same connectors. Then your OnStar won't work, but you WILL have integrated Bluetooth! Yay!
I removed the 'Black Box' attached to the windshield on our Coupe that I understood was part of the OnStar system so I could raise the Rear View mirror for better visibility. No problem in 30K + Miles, car starts and drives w/o any problems. :thumbs: YMMV
 

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I'm sorry but I do not like that fact that the government can access my system at the press of a button, listen in and pinpoint my location. I'm gonna be changing the sub soon and I'm very tempted to take the damn box out and shoot it. From the photo's above, there's a few plugs going into it. can I disconnect it easily without screwing anything up or what?
I worked for OnStar for a very short time. Let me tell you what I know. I know for a fact, that unless your vehicle has an active onstar subscription, your phone number and onstar box are "dead". Nobody knows anything about your vehicle unless you have an active subscription. They cannot track your vehicle at all without you initiating the call first without a subscription. I keep my onstar ONLY because if my car gets stolen, I want them to find it....fast! Their technical support line is absolutely useless! There are only 4 support centers worldwide....one in Warren Michigan, one in North Carolina?, one in Ontario Canada and one in Manilla (or maybe it was Sri Lanka...I can't remember). That's it, no more.... Their technical support is handled exclusively through Warren (or used to be 2 years ago). I also know that popular to disbelief, the operators are usually very helpful. It has saved countless lives.... I honeslty wish onstar would release some of the more heartfelt calls they've taken. Calls that weren't made public. When I was in training, we actually had a nightshow celebrity host call...what a butthole he was!!! :lol:
 

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I removed the 'Black Box' attached to the windshield on our Coupe that I understood was part of the OnStar system so I could raise the Rear View mirror for better visibility. No problem in 30K + Miles, car starts and drives w/o any problems. :thumbs: YMMV
I am confused - what did you have to remove to raise the mirror? I am not sure what is in the way. I have also thought of raising it for visibility reasons. If the car is pointed downhill, it has blocked the view of pedestrians for me.

While I quickly dropped the Nav component as pretty useless, I have kept the basic subscription for emergencies. I have known people to drive off the road and not be found for weeks - long after they have died. And that was in well-traveled areas. And the theft recovery is better than insurance.

I also really don't think that my life is so interesting that even NSA cares about it.
 

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The Pontiac Solstice Coupe has a different set up that locates part of the OnStar electronics on the inside top of the windshield. FWIW, the Coupe windshield is a different animal than the Roadster in that it has a larger black out in the top center awa a mount for the black box.
I removed the box and mount then added another mirror mount higher up so I could see better out of the front. YMMV
 

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While I quickly dropped the Nav component as pretty useless, I have kept the basic subscription for emergencies. I have known people to drive off the road and not be found for weeks - long after they have died. And that was in well-traveled areas. And the theft recovery is better than insurance.

I also really don't think that my life is so interesting that even NSA cares about it.
Where's the "like" button?
 

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I honeslty wish onstar would release some of the more heartfelt calls they've taken. Calls that weren't made public.
OnStar has been using some of its more dramatic calls in its advertisements for the past few years. Remember that the caller has to give permission for them to release it, so things you may have heard working for them would not be eligible to go in ads or be released in any way.

OnStar ads are very good, the service seems very useful when you need it, but the price is wrong at $20-30/mo.
 
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