OnStar Advanced Diagnostics Update

For 2016, OnStar is expanding vehicle availability of its Advanced Diagnostics and Proactive Alerts services.


Diagnostic Alerts


Diagnostic Alerts help keep customers (who are enrolled in the service) informed of key vehicle systems, such as the engine, transmission and ABS, with a status report available in real-time by email or text. The service is available on most 2015 and 2016 GM models.


The alerts are generated by an onboard diagnostic/sensing system that can be analyzed using the appropriate Service Information.


Diagnostic Alerts include:

• Real-time maintenance and diagnostics that supplement a customer’s monthly Diagnostics Report

• Alert types that may cover oil life, flat tire, bulb outages, odometer-based maintenance, diesel exhaust fluid (if equipped), Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) and critically low battery charge.

• Various methods of notifying customers, including email, text message and Dealer Maintenance Notification (DMN) —based on a customer’s preference when enrolling in the Advanced Diagnostics service.


Any DTCs that would have trigged an alert would also have been accompanied by the illumination of a Malfunction Indicator Lamp on the instrument cluster, with the exception of an exterior bulb outage.


New Diagnostic Alerts


There are three new Diagnostic Alerts — Low Oil Maintenance (if less than or equal to 5%), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (75 miles or 120 km until empty) and Bulb Outage (1 per filament bulb outage). These alerts are sent to customers in their monthly Diagnostics Reports (Fig. 8) and are also sent to dealerships as part of their DMN leads.


F08 report sample

Fig. 8


DTCs Set during Service


With Diagnostic Alerts notifying customers of DTCs, they may receive alerts from their vehicle when it is being serviced if a DTC is set during repairs. Disconnecting components or electrical connectors as required during some service procedures may set a DTC. Customers should be advised to disregard real-time alerts that are sent while their vehicle is being serviced.


Proactive Alerts


Proactive Alerts give customers peace of mind knowing that their vehicle’s key starting and fuel system components will not degrade without their knowledge, with notifications provided before a problem occurs. The alerts are designed to help predict specific types of issues based on information collected from the vehicle. (Not all issues will produce alerts.)


Currently offered on V6-equipped 2015-2016 Equinox and Terrain models and the 2016 Corvette, Proactive Alerts will soon become available on 2016 Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, Yukon models and Escalade models.


TIP: Customers must at least have the OnStar Basic Plan to enroll in the service.


Proactive Alerts monitor the performance of the:

• Engine cranking system (battery and starter motor performance)

• Fuel delivery system (in-tank fuel pump module and fuel pressure sensor performance)


Notifications before a Failure


When a covered component is detected as having degraded performance, an alert is generated. This is designed to happen before customers experience an issue with the vehicle. Some Proactive Alert messages may be generated without customers noticing any symptoms.


Customers will be notified in real-time via email and/or text message. (Fig. 9) An in-vehicle audio alert over the infotainment system also may be provided.


F09 text

Fig. 9


Unlike Diagnostic Alerts, Proactive Alerts are not generated by the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system. While the data is collected from that system, it is analyzed off-board.


Currently, no associated DTCs are stored on the vehicle. Diagnosis of these alerts are covered under Bulletin #PI1250 in the Service Information.


One of the covered components is the 12- volt starting battery. Because these alerts can be triggered before the vehicle exhibits symptoms, the Proactive Alert battery replace labor operation does not require the warranty code that’s generated by the EL-50313 (GR8). Consequently, it’s important that dealerships follow the bulletin and use the appropriate labor operations.


For more information on Proactive Alerts, including a list of dealership FAQs, refer to the Advanced Diagnostics course (GCF00.115-0D/OnStar-Advanced Diagnostics) available on the GM Center of Learning at www.centerlearning.com


– Thanks to Len Tillard

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