Why is My OnStar Light Red? [Quick Troubleshooting Guide]

A red OnStar light typically indicates that there's an issue with the system, such as trouble communicating with the OnStar network or an antenna malfunction.

Man driving car

Don't worry! We'll explore these potential problems and offer guidance on what steps you can take to resolve them.

By the end of this article, you'll better understand the reasons behind a red OnStar light and how to address them. Let's start!

Why is My OnStar Light Red?

Understanding why a red OnStar light can be crucial for maintaining your vehicle's connectivity and properly ensuring the safety features function.

Here are some common explanations for why the light on your OnStar system might turn red.

Communication Error

Your OnStar system relies on a stable connection to the OnStar network for its services and features.

If there's an issue with the connection, the system will signal a problem by turning the light red.

Antenna Connection Problem

The OnStar system communicates with the vehicle's antenna, so a malfunction in this connection may also cause the light to change from green to red.

It is crucial to check the connections between the OnStar module and the antenna to ensure they are secure and functional.

Related article: Onstar Wi-Fi Woes: Troubleshooting Tips To Get You Back Online

Software Update Needed

In some cases, you might simply need to update your divide software version.

You can access software updates via the OnStar website or by contacting an Onstar advisor for assistance.

System Running Diagnostics

The OnStar system runs diagnostics to check its components and features for errors or potential issues.

Typically, the light should return to its normal color once the diagnostics are complete.

What to Do When My OnStar Light is Red?

If you notice your OnStar light turning red, don't panic. There are a few simple steps you can follow to resolve the issue.

Here's what you can do to regain your OnStar system's functionality.

Press the OnStar Blue Button

The first course of action is pressing the OnStar blue button on your vehicle's rearview mirror or overhead console.

When you press the blue button, you'll be connected to a live OnStar Advisor who can help you diagnose the problem.

Continue reading: OnStar Button Not Working – What To Do?

Contact OnStar Support Directly

If pressing the blue button doesn't resolve the issue, you should contact OnStar support directly for further assistance.

They have trained technicians available to troubleshoot common issues like connectivity problems and antenna connection errors.

When reaching out to OnStar support, be sure to provide them with as much information as possible to help them quickly identify the cause of the problem.

How Do I Fix OnStar Antenna Connection Problem?

If you're experiencing issues with your OnStar system and need to clean the connection for the antenna wire, follow these seven steps closely.

  1. Push the passenger seat back for the workspace and lie under the dash with a torch to find the OnStar module.
  2. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to open the plastic push clips under the dash and gently remove the cover.
  3. Locate the OnStar device box, which has many wires connected to it.
  4. Identify the pink-colored wire plug, which is the antenna wire connected to the vehicle's antenna.
  5. Release the tab near the plug with a screwdriver and gently disconnect the wire.
  6. Spray the electronics cleaner on the plug and connector, then plug and unplug it two to three times while still damp.
  7. Wait for it to dry, then reconnect the connector, and check the OnStar system for a green light in the mirror.

If the above steps don't work, try resetting the system by disconnecting your vehicle's battery for an hour, then reconnecting it.

This little hack has been successful for some car owners who faced similar issues. It's equivalent to rebooting the system, just like we do with our electronics.

You might also need to visit your preferred certified GM Dealership for a thorough diagnosis and repair of your Onstar antenna problem.

According to the OnStar Community, a certified GM dealership is best equipped to handle and repair hardware issues related to Onstar.

How Much Does Replacing Onstar Module Cost?

Replacing an OnStar module can vary in cost depending on if you choose a used or new module.

A used module might cost as little as $5, while a brand-new OnStar module could be as much as $1,200.

There is a big difference because, although the module is not pricey, the installation and activation services can significantly increase the overall expense.

The average cost to replace an OnStar module, including parts, labor, and programming, is around $530.

Why is My OnStar Light Not Turning On?

One common reason for the OnStar light not turning on is a loss of connection with the OnStar module.

The reason could be due to a loose connection, bad wiring, or an issue with the module itself. 

Another potential cause for the red light could be a dead battery in your OnStar module. When the battery is dead, it needs to be replaced.

You can find information on replacing the battery from your vehicle manufacturer or an authorized service center.

Why is My OnStar Blinking Green?

If you notice the status light blinking green, it indicates that there's either an incoming call or a call is currently in progress.

In this state, you can easily receive or manage a call - simply press the dial pad on the phone button to answer the call.

Will My OnStar Button Be Active Without Subscription?

Yes, pressing the button will still connect you to an OnStar advisor without a subscription.

However, many of the advanced features and services offered by OnStar will not be available on your end.

Unless you have an active subscription, you won't be able to use turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle diagnostics, and remote access to your car.

You might also like: Does OnStar Cover Towing? Friendly Guide To Services

Wrapping Up

Taking prompt action when you notice a red OnStar light will enhance the safety and performance of your vehicle.

It will also ensure that you continue enjoying the convenience of OnStar services.

So, we encourage you to stay proactive and don't hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *