Understand Your Vehicle’s Health

Posted on May 6, 2014

Drawing of human skeleton and vehicle "skeleton" showing similiarities

It all starts with OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics1

Staying healthy takes a lot of work. You have to exercise regularly, keep the mind sharp and make a conscious choice to eat right: “Are those organic, free-range, caviar-fed chickens?”

Needless to say, putting forth the same amount of effort to keep tabs on your vehicle’s health would be exhausting. But that’s why you have OnStar. It’s like having a personal trainer for your vehicle. With OnStar on watch, you’re free to spend your time doing what truly matters — hitting the road and spending time with your loved ones.


What does OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics do?

You’ve probably heard about the OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics report. It’s a monthly email report based on hundreds of diagnostic and maintenance checks of your vehicle’s key operating systems. Think of it as your vehicle’s monthly physical, without having to take it to the dealer for inspection.

OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics keeps tabs on various aspects of your vehicle’s health and alerts you when something needs to be addressed. In addition to your monthly OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics emails, you may want to ask OnStar for an immediate diagnostic check when an engine light comes on. Just push the blue OnStar button and ask an Advisor to run an On-Demand Diagnostics check.1 An immediate diagnostic check can help alert you to a problem, possibly saving you further damage and higher repair costs.

Healthy Body, Healthy Car


It’s a good idea to keep tabs on your vehicle’s health — even when it’s something minor — and have necessary services performed at scheduled maintenance intervals. In the end, everything is interconnected someway, somehow. It says so in your owner’s manual … and in the anatomy book.


The engine is a lot like the heart. It takes oil to keep an engine going in the way the heart relies on blood and oxygen to function. That’s why it’s important to maintain the oil in your vehicle like you would when keeping tabs on your blood pressure. If you notice any problems with your engine, OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics can be there to run an On-Demand Diagnostics check.


Think of the transmission as your vehicle’s muscles. They put you in drive — forward and backward. A car cannot function at its optimal level with a bad trans just as your body cannot function at its optimal level with weak muscles. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics can let you know when your transmission needs attention.

Air Bags

These are similar to your immune system. One helps prevent you from succumbing to injuries, the other to illness. The OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics system is responsible for monitoring and deploying the air bag system.


This one is simple and undignified, so we won’t even attempt to make an analogy.

Antilock Brakes

Your body needs stopping power in the same way your vehicle does. You rely on your feet, often aided by a trusty pair of running shoes, to put on the body’s brakes and prevent you from walking into a wall or a preoccupied colleague. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics can monitor your ABS braking system.

Tire Pressure2

Think of tire pressure the way you think about your blood pressure. Too low and you’re gonna hit rock bottom. Too high and something could pop. Keep your tire pressure and blood pressure regulated at all times. Remember, the doctor checks your blood pressure, the mechanic checks your tire pressure and OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics can also let you know when it’s low.3


  1. Capabilities vary by model. Visit onstar.com for details and system limitations.
  2. Vehicle must be equipped with tire pressure monitoring system. Excludes spare.
  3. Availability varies by model.