Does OnStar Work When Car Is Off? All You Need To Know

Does OnStar Work When Car Is Off

OnStar is a popular service offered by General Motors, providing drivers with various safety and security features. Many people have questions about this service: Does OnStar work when car is off. After all, if your vehicle is parked and not in use, you may wonder if OnStar can still assist in an emergency.

Yes, OnStar works and provides services even when your car is off. You can use all the remote services, such as lock unlock, remote start and even locate your vehicle with the app.

In this blog post, we will explore this question in detail and provide you with a clear understanding of whether OnStar works when the car is off and what you can expect from this service in different scenarios.

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Key Takeaways

  • OnStar works and provides services even when the car is off.
  • You need an active OnStar subscription to avail of the services.
  • Some services may be unreachable if your car battery is dead or not connected to OnStar.
  • New Gm vehicles have a Backup battery in the OnStar module.
  • You can use OnStar remote services even if your car is off.

Does OnStar Work When Car Is Off?

OnStar features will continue to work even when your car is turned off if you have an active OnStar subscription. You can use remote access, which allows you to lock and unlock your car doors, check your vehicle’s diagnostic information, and start your car remotely.

It’s important to note the services provided depend on the activated plan. If you have subscribed to OnStar’s basic plan, you can only access certain service features when your car is turned off.

If you have subscribed to OnStar’s protection or security plan, you can access a wider range of features, even when your car is turned off.

If you have an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a car accident, you can call the OnStar helpline to get the emergency services, and an OnStar advisor will respond to your call and assist you.

If your car has been stolen. In that case, OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Assistance feature will continue to work even when your car is turned off, and OnStar will work with law enforcement to recover your vehicle.

lock car

Does OnStar Work If Battery Disconnected?

In the new GM vehicle model, the OnStar module has a built-in backup battery and will continue to function as a backup to provide services. However, if you have an old model or car having no built-in battery, OnStar will not work if the battery is disconnected from your vehicle.

OnStar relies on your vehicle’s battery to power its communication system, which allows it to connect with OnStar advisors and transmit data about your vehicle’s location, diagnostic information, and more.

Suppose your vehicle’s battery is disconnected or dies. In that case, OnStar system will not be able to receive any signals from your vehicle or communicate with you or provide you with any services include emergency services, roadside assistance and automatic crash response etc.

If you disconnect your vehicle’s battery intentionally or accidentally. In that case, it may cause your OnStar system to reset, losing your preferences, settings, and stored information.

It’s important to note that disconnecting your vehicle’s battery is not recommended unless you have a specific reason to do so, such as replacing the battery or performing maintenance on your vehicle’s electrical system.

If you do need to disconnect your vehicle’s battery. In that case, it’s always a good idea to contact OnStar beforehand to inform them about the situation and ensure that your service will be restored properly once the battery is reconnected.

car Battery Disconnected

Can OnStar Help If My Vehicle Is Stolen?

Yes, OnStar can help if your vehicle is stolen. One of the key features of OnStar is its ability to help recover stolen vehicles quickly and safely.

If your vehicle is stolen, you should first report the theft to the police. Once you have done so, you can contact OnStar to report the theft and request assistance recovering your vehicle.

OnStar has several features that can help recover a stolen vehicle. These include:

1) Vehicle Assistance

OnStar can work with law enforcement to track the location of your stolen vehicle and provide them with information that can help them recover it.

2) Stolen Vehicle Slowdown

In certain situations, OnStar can remotely reduce the engine power of your stolen vehicle, bringing it to a safe stop.

3) Remote Ignition Block

OnStar can remotely prevent your stolen vehicle from restarting once the engine is turned off.

4) Theft Alarm Notification

If your vehicle is equipped with a theft alarm, OnStar can receive a notification if it is triggered, allowing them to take immediate action.

Why is OnStar worth the money?

OnStar is worth the money for several reasons. Here are some of the key benefits that OnStar can provide:

1) Safety & Security

OnStar offers a range of safety and security features, such as Automatic Crash Response, which can provide emergency assistance in the event of a crash, and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, which can help recover your vehicle if it is stolen.

2) Convenience

They can make your driving experience more convenient by offering features like roadside assistance and remote vehicle start, which allows you to start your car from a distance, and Navigation, which can provide turn-by-turn directions to your destination.

3) Diagnostics & Maintenance

OnStar can help you stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance needs by offering features like vehicle diagnostics, which can provide alerts when your vehicle needs service, and remote key fob, which allows you to check your vehicle’s status remotely.

4) Peace of Mind

By providing assistance in emergencies and offering features that can help prevent theft and damage to your vehicle, OnStar can give you peace of mind and help you feel more secure while driving.

5) Customizable Plans

They offer a range of plans that allow you to choose the most important features for you and your driving needs.

car unlocking


Can OnStar turn my car off?

Yes, OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown feature allows OnStar to signal your vehicle to reduce its engine power and stop if it has been reported as stolen. This feature is only activated in cooperation with law enforcement and in cases where the stolen vehicle is reported.
It’s important to note that this feature is only used in extreme cases and is subject to strict guidelines and procedures to ensure it is used appropriately. In all other cases, OnStar cannot remotely turn off your car while it is in operation.

Can OnStar be turned on remotely?

Yes, OnStar can turn on remotely using the OnStar guardian app, other GM vehicle apps or by calling OnStar advisor.

Is OnStar Spying On You?

OnStar is not spying on you and will not listen to your conversation or record video. However, they can track your car by using GPS technology and collect information to provide and improve its services.


In conclusion, whether OnStar works when your car is turned off depends on the specific feature you are using. While some features like Remote Access will only work when your car is off, other features like Emergency Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Assistance will continue to work even when your car is turned off.

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different features of OnStar and its capabilities so you know exactly what to expect from this service in different scenarios.

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