Opel and Vauxhall Onstar cheap alternative and replacement
Did you, like me, also buy an (electric) Opel / Vauxhall in 2020 or earlier with Onstar? Then you have certainly already noticed that the advanced Onstar system no longer works at all. This is all due to the sale of Opel / Vauxhall by GM to Stellantis. Vauxhall Connect cannot be installed on older models and you cannot convert Onstar to Connect.
I was tired of endlessly waiting for Onstar compensation or paid alternatives that just don’t seem to come. So, I creatively replaced all deactivated components of Onstar myself. Discover how I installed a working eCall SOS service. But also how to follow the live car location and monitor the charge of my car.
Replacing eCall with SOS function in the event of an accident
One of the most important Opel safety features from Onstar was always the automatic eCall and SOS function. The car then automatically detects a collision and then calls the emergency services. Fully automated, independently if you do not respond in time. To replace this I purchased a dashcam of the brand Nextbase type 622GW with a built-in SOS eCall system.
This dashcam has a built-in SOS eCall function and does exactly what Vauxhall Onstar used to do. Namely independently detect collisions. And call in the emergency services with your exact location and share your medical data. The Nextbase 622GW is currently the most premium model and films 4K. The SOS feature is also available on cheaper models such as the 522GW, 422GW and the 322GW.
Thanks to my dashcam, I not only benefit from a reliable SOS function again. I also have received automatic parking monitoring for my car!
Replacement for GPS tracking function for theft protection
Another reason why it’s so annoying that Onstar stops working is the integrated location and tracking function via GPS. As a result, you can always find your way back to your car. That’s great if you no longer know where you parked it. You can also request the exact location and follow the car in case of theft.
To get this feature back I purchased a Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+. All Thanks to ultra wideband and Bluetooth and the worldwide Samsung Galaxy smartphone network. The exact location can easily be read live via the SmartThings app. It works great and a SmartTag is easy to hide in your car. Make sure you buy a “+” SmartTag and not the normal one, otherwise it will not work properly. Do you work with Apple instead of Android? Then the Apple AirTag is also a suitable solution.
Want to know which other tags are perfect for tracking a lost or stolen car? Check out my article here with a full comparison.
Remote activate & follow your car’s charging status at home
With your car key and the IOS / Android app from MyChevrolet you can still start the air conditioning. You may check tire pressure and read your battery status within Bluetooth range. But because Onstar has stopped, you can no longer start a remote charging session at home. And no longer see how much you have already charged. I do not have an expensive charging station at home. And I prefer to charge slowly at the household plug. That’s why I bought a smart plug. I purchased a Fritz! smart plug with extra thick extension cord for my parking space.
Fully integrated with my home network, I can use the Fritz! Read the app everywhere, how much my car has already charged and I can start or pause charging. In addition, it measures the temperature of the plug and keeps track of all statistics. Don’t have a Fritz! Box WIFI router? Then take, for example another quality brand like a Brennenstuhl smart plug with a free app and similar function.
Make sure you check carefully whether the plug can be used constantly and safely at 10A. This is the case with both the Fritz! if the Brennenstuhl plug is the case.
Opel & Vauxhall Onstar relacement for about 300 euros
As you can see, it is possible to get back almost all (paid) functionality of Opel and Vauxhall Onstar. Simly by using the above products. Thanks to a dashcam, you even get all kinds of useful functions. You can prove your case to insurance companies much faster in a traffic accident.
What do you think and do you have experience with one of these products? Do you have another suggestion to replace Vauxhall Onstar features? Let us know and share it with the community.
Other articles about Chevy Bolt EV / Opel & Vauxhall Ampera-e
Be sure to also check out my other article. With 3 easy steps to use any electric car battery for backup power. This easy do-it-yourself solution has been tested and works great on my Opel Vauxhall Ampera-e / Chevrolet Bolt EV. The car in the example is my Ampera-e / Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Also take a look also at a 100% perfect fitting key fob cover for the Bolt EV / Vauxhall / Opel Ampera-e. I discovered it on both AliExpress and on Amazon.
We wish you a lot of driving pleasure! Please share the article with other Opel and Vauxhall drivers that have Onstar installed.