Advanced Vehicle Diagnostics | OnStar Connections

Say Hello to the Self‑Diagnosing Vehicle

Previously inaccessible data is now easily understood thanks to new innovations from OnStar. There’s no better example of this than Advanced Diagnostics,1 a service that delivers information about the health of your vehicle to you in real time, and brings much-needed confidence to vehicle maintenance.

Tap into the Amazing Power of Data

Data — we’re obsessed by it.

Whether we use it for business, for our finances or to decide if we’re going to indulge in dessert, data plays a role in our daily decisions. The usage of data isn’t new, but the way we seek it and value the findings is a trend that’s moving beyond curiosity and quickly becoming a necessity. Paul Eisenstein, publisher of The Detroit Bureau, explains why.

Paul Eisenstein
Publisher for The Detroit Bureau

We expect to be in communication with absolutely everything in our lives.

One of the most embraced practices of data exchange has been wearable technology. Top brands in fitness and fashion that have introduced wearables claim they have contributed to their threefold growth from 2013 to 2014.2 Part of the intrigue comes from the simplicity of information that makes it easier for us to track and control what we care about.

Brian Cooley
CNET Editor at Large

The empowerment we feel from being able to easily control more aspects of our lives is inspiring change. Take health for example. With the download of an app, we can track our weight and caloric intake; measure our BMI and heart rate; and monitor our sleep patterns and workout habits.

Never has such vital information been so readily available — or adopted. By the end of 2015, 500 million people will be using mobile health apps.3 When we use this data in conjunction with a fitness coach, physical therapist or doctor, it goes from being cool to potentially life changing.

Using Data to Improve Our Drive

Equally powerful data about our vehicles is now delivering similar benefits. Today’s automotive technology allows owners to keep in touch with their vehicles from anywhere, providing valuable information that makes ownership easier. Drive confidently with a self‑diagnosing vehicle.

Phil Abram
Chief of Infotainment at GM

The exchange of information between you as a driver and the vehicle is getting more sophisticated.

Similar to health apps, data can now put drivers in touch with their vehicle’s vitals. Let’s face it — maintenance isn’t something we look forward to. Yet the health of our vehicles is something we rely on daily, and it affects almost every one of us during our lifetime.


Staying in Touch with What’s Under the Hood

OnStar created Advanced Diagnostics to help make vehicle maintenance easier for owners, freeing them to confidently enjoy the road ahead. At their request, Members have been receiving Diagnostic reports for more than a decade, detailing the performance of their vehicle’s key systems. And now, since we’re almost always within reach of a mobile device, a Diagnostic Alert will be sent in real time via email or text message to help owners keep an eye on maintenance issues that may need attention.


In less than 90 seconds, Advanced Diagnostics can scan, collect, analyze and report vehicle information to an owner. The whole process begins with the OnStar hardware that’s connected to key operating systems in your vehicle. During a scan, the hardware pulls data from the air bags, antilock braking system, emissions, engine and transmission, StabiliTrak Stability Control System, and the OnStar System to check for key codes (these are what tell your lights on the dashboard, such as the “check engine” light, to go on). All the codes are collected and sent back to OnStar where we translate the data into actionable items and deliver it to the Member via email. See the amazing benefits of Advanced Diagnostics.

Interact with Advanced Diagnostics

Take a look for yourself! Tap on the systems that are hard at work in the vehicle below. See the role each one plays while you’re traveling, and why it’s important to keep them all properly maintained.

Antilock Braking

This service also details the health of your antilock braking and traction control systems, which help your vehicle maintain contact with the road while braking, improving control and reducing braking distance.

Antilock Braking

This service also details the health of your antilock braking and traction control systems, which help your vehicle maintain contact with the road while braking, improving control and reducing braking distance.

Air Bag System

One of the most important safety components in your vehicle. Diagnostic Alerts help ensure the collision sensor and air bag deployment system are performing as they should

Engine and Transmission

Diagnostic Alerts checks over the status of vital engine systems such as air induction, cooling, fuel management, ignition, transmission and more.

On Star System

The OnStar system is also checked over to let you know if the GPS, wireless communications and other systems are operating correctly.

Emission System

Knowing the performance of the Evaporative and Exhaust Emissions Systems is important. They help prevent gasoline vapors from escaping the fuel tank and fuel system and ensure efficient engine operation.

StabiliTrak Stability Control

This system is important to check over as it helps you maintain directional control of your vehicle during difficult driving conditions such as ice, snow, gravel, wet pavement and uneven road surfaces.

So what are the benefits of a self‑diagnosing vehicle? Now you know what’s going on under the hood just by checking a monthly email. It’s convenient, simple and impactful: A properly tuned engine can increase your fuel economy up to 4%.4 Plus, when you’re consistently connected to your vehicle’s key systems, scheduling maintenance is a breeze. Learn even more about the benefits of OnStar.

Phil Abram
Chief of Infotainment at GM

Data has opened us up to a whole new world: one that empowers us with valuable information we can use to our advantage — including vehicle ownership. With Advanced Diagnostics, drivers can use the power of data to bring transparency and convenience to vehicle maintenance, much like we have with our own health. We’ve become accustomed to recording, learning about and adjusting our lives according to data, and now the same is possible for our vehicles.

See the Advanced Diagnostics Process

Phil Abram
Chief of Infotainment at GM

Connectivity creates possibilities. And that’s what this is all about.