Tag Archives: onstar

Getting to Know the GMC Terrain


The GMC Terrain began life in 2010 as a cross-over SUV designed to replace the outgoing Pontiac Torrent. The Terrain shares its Theta architecture with is sibling, the Chevrolet Equinox, but the two have drastically different styling in a move to differentiate the two brands more than they have in the past.

Power is provided by your choice of a 2.4L 4 cylinder, or 3.0L DOHC direct injected V6, with both engines mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L comes with 182 hp and 172 lb. ft. of torque, compared with the V6’s capabilities at 264 hp and 222 lb. ft. of torque – fuel mileage is spectacular on both engines, with a combined rating of 36 mpg from the 2.4L and 27 mpg from its big brother the 3.0L. You also have the option of FWD and AWD in each sub model, consiting of SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, and the range topping SLT-2. Every model comes standard with a rear backup camera, Stabilitrak electronic stability control, GM oil life monitor, 4 wheel disc brakes, 6 airbags, and ambient interior lighting. There are also some very popular options available including a Pioneer 8-speaker stereo, sunroof, programmable power liftgate, and dual rear DVD screens. One of the most popular features, which comes standard on every Terrain, is the Multi-Flex rear seat. This gives the rear 60/40 split bench seat the ability to slide nearly 8 inches front and back, as well as a 3-position recline.

As with every GM vehicle, the Terrain comes standard with OnStar, and you receive a free 6-month trial of the OnStar Directions and Connections package with Turn-by-Turn Navigation when you purchase a Terrain.

Not only does the Terrain have excellent performance, efficiency, and a ton of fun features to choose from – it is also extremely affordable. The starting price for a basic Terrain SLE-1 FWD is just south of $28,000, but even better yet are the financing options, with 0%, 0.9%, 1.9% and 2.9% options available depending how long you choose to finance.

Come in today and enjoy the Terrain for yourself – you need to get behind the wheel to really experience all it has to offer.



Happy 15th Birthday OnStar!

OnStar was officially launched at the Chicago Auto Show in 1995, celebrating its 15th year in operation here in 2010. In that time it has helped millions of people find directions, unlock their doors, and get help in an emergency – but it’s not ready to sit back on its heels just yet. With the ever advancing Ford Sync system, GM is looking to improve OnStar in a few key areas. Recently released info tells us that OnStar is currently testing a few new features that it will roll out in the near future – including voice texting (something Sync does very well) and the ability to update your Facebook status by speaking.

Here are a few of the accomplishments OnStar has made in the first 15 years:

  • More than one million responses to Emergency Service alerts, assisting drivers, first responders and local police departments in many life-threatening situations.
  • More than 146,000 responses to Automatic Crash Notifications where OnStar sent emergency personnel to a vehicle whose driver was unresponsive after an airbag deployment.
  • 198 different coastal communities helped with hurricane preparedness through OnStar’s Crisis Assist.
  • More than 59 million Turn-by-Turn routes delivered. What was seen as a preliminary step against distracted driving, Turn-by-Turn Navigation allows an advisor to send directions directly to a subscriber’s Driver Information Center or radio.
  • More than 4.7 million doors have been unlocked by OnStar’s Remote Door Unlock service. OnStar unlocks 1,833 doors every day, a huge convenience for people who accidently lock their keys in the car.
  • More than 147 million monthly e-mails have been sent to subscribers since launch, giving them real-time diagnostic reports of their vehicles.
  • Luckily I haven’t personally had to use any of the emergency features or stolen vehicle run down on my own OnStar system, but I can attest to the ease of  the Turn-by-Turn system, and the monthly diagnostic reports provide some great insight into the major mechanical systems in your car that you would otherwise need to go to the service department to get. The biggest (and most helpful for me, unfortunately) feature is the Remote Door Unlock system, when you lock your keys in your car you simply call OnStar and after a few security questions, they unlock the doors for you.

    If you’d like a full rundown of the many features of OnStar, visit our blog post from a few months ago here.

    So Happy Birthday to OnStar! It has been a great 15 years, and we can’t wait to see whats to come in the next 15.

    OnStar: What, How, Why

    OnStar is the in-vehicle safety and security system created to help protect you and your family on the road. OnStar’s innovative three-button system offers:
    – 24-hour access to expertly trained, caring Advisors
    – A connection to emergency assistance
    – Access to OnStar Hands-Free Calling

    Do you ever worry about your vehicle being stolen? OnStar has Stolen Vehicle Assistance to help you and the authorities locate and safely return your vehicle: Once you report your vehicle stolen, Onstar can use GPS technology to pinpoint its exact location and provide it to authorities to help with its quick and safe recovery. Remote Ignition Block and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown are two industry exclusive technologies available on select 2009 and 2010 vehicles. Remote Ignition Block can prevent the vehicle from being re-started once the engine has been turned off, and if the vehicle is still moving, Stolen vehicle Slowdown can slow-down the stolen vehicle to an idle speed.

    Have you ever locked your keys in your car and had to call a locksmith to get you in? OnStar can save you time and money with Remote Door Unlock: If you’re locked out of your vehicle, an Advisor can send a remote signal to quickly unlock your door, so you can get back on your way. Remote Door Unlock saves you time and money by avoiding the need for
    a locksmith.

    Have you ever forgotten where you parked? OnStar can help you find it with Remote Horn & Lights: If you can’t remember where you parked, an OnStar Advisor can remotely sound your horn and flash your lights to help you quickly locate your vehicle.

    Have you ever gotten a flat tire or ran out of gas? OnStar is there to help with Roadside Assistance: Whether you’re out of gas, need a tire change or a tow, simply push your OnStar button and an Advisor can direct a service provider to your exact location to help you. Unlimited, 24/7 Roadside Assistance is included with your OnStar subscription.

    Have you ever had an emergency while you were driving? OnStar provides Emergency Services with its red emergency button, located beside the blue OnStar button: If you or someone else need emergency help, one push of the red emergency button connects you to a live Emergency Advisor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Using GPS technology, the Advisor can pinpoint your exact location and request that police, fire or medical support is sent — and stay on the line with you as long as necessary or until help arrives on the scene.

    Have you ever been in your vehicle during a crisis or natural disaster? OnStar has Crisis Assist to help you in that event: During severe weather or natural disasters, a Crisis Advisor can provide evacuation routes, connect you to loved ones, and help you find food, water, medical supplies, or shelter locations.

    Automatic Crash Response:
    Automatic Crash Response is built-in to your vehicle and allows OnStar to send help right to you — even if you can’t ask for it.

    Figure 1: The GM automatic crash response (ACR) system uses front and side sensors as well as the sensing capabilities of the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) itself. The accelerometer located within the SDM measures the crash severity.

    Figure 2: In the event of a moderate to severe frontal or side-impact crash, data is transmitted from the affected sensors to the SDM. The SDM sensor also can identify a rear impact of sufficient severity. Regardless of whether the air bags deploy, the SDM transmits crash information to the vehicle’s OnStar module.

    Figure 3: Within seconds of a moderate to severe crash, the OnStar module will send a message to the OnStar Call Center (OCC) through a cellular connection, informing the advisor that a crash has occurred. A voice connection between the advisor and the vehicle occupants is established. The advisor then can conference in 911 dispatch or a public safety answering point (PSAP), which determines if emergency services are necessary. If there is no response from the occupants, the advisor can provide the emergency dispatcher with the crash information from the SDM that reveals the severity of the crash. The dispatcher can identify what emergency services may be appropriate. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite, OnStar advisors are able to tell emergency workers the location of the vehicle.

    *Number and location of sensors and SDM may vary depending on vehicle model.

    OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics:
    OnStar automatically runs hundreds of diagnostic and maintenance checks on your vehicle’s key operating systems and delivers a summary report right to your inbox every month. You’ll find information divided into three main areas:

    Diagnostic Information
    Provides alerts for your key operating systems (the ones you would see your GM dealer about if there were an issue) such as engine and transmission, Stabilitrak stability control system, air bag system, emissions system, and antilock braking system

    Maintenance Information
    Highlights areas that require periodic attention to keep your vehicle running at its best by providing you with your current Oil Life and an estimated mileage at which your next oil change will be required, as well as your current tire pressure.

    Notification Information
    OnStar will let you know if there is a specific recall for your vehicle (so you can easily schedule service with your GM dealer), as well as important OnStar account information.

    View a demo of OVD here

    Hands Free Calling:
    Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road with OnStar Hands-Free Calling. OnStar has the only built-in, hands-free wireless calling system of its kind, providing you with a convenient and reliable connection.
    – A single button-push for safe driving
    – Better connectivity in areas of limited cellular reception
    – Fewer dropped calls
    – Calls sound better, since they’re controlled through your surround-sound speaker system

    If you already have Hands Free Calling, you can see instructional videos on how to use it here

    Turn-By-Turn Navigation System:
    It can happen to anyone. You take a wrong exit. Or you realize you “almost” know the way. Or you hit an unexpected detour. Now what? Be 100% sure of your directions with Turn-By-Turn Navigation.

    Simple.Tell the Advisor your destination — get directions sent to your vehicle. That’s it. See upcoming turns and street names displayed on the Driver Information Center or radio. Wrong turn? Turn-By-Turn knows it and helps get you back on track automatically.

    No wasting time or fuel. Good directions save you precious time getting to your destination. And you won’t pay to drive miles out of your way. You’ll be on the right road every time.

    So, Why do you need OnStar?
    OnStar offers an unparalleled combination of safety, security, and convenience services to help keep you and your family safe while traveling. With 24/7 connectivity to a live Advisor, you have the peace of mind of knowing that when you need help, OnStar can pinpoint your location and quickly contact help on your behalf. With its simple push-button operation, OnStar is easy to use when you’re driving. If you still aren’t convinced, read some of these Real Stories about how OnStar helped customers just like you.

    For any other information about OnStar, including a list of vehicles equipped with OnStar, different plans available, and more demonstrations on how to use OnStar, visit the OnStar page here