Opel and Vauxhall Onstar cheap replacement
Did you, like me, also buy an (electric) Opel in 2020 or earlier? Then you have certainly already noticed that the advanced Onstar system no longer works at all, due to the sale of Opel / Vauxhall by GM to Stellantis. Opel Connect cannot be installed on older Opel models and you cannot convert Onstar.
Because I was tired of endlessly waiting for Onstar compensation or paid alternatives that just don’t seem to come, I creatively replaced all deactivated components of Onstar myself.
How I installed a working eCall SOS service, can follow the location of my Opel live and can charge and monitor my car at home is something you can read in this article.
Replacing Onstar 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 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 Onstar used to do: Namely independently detect collisions and call in the emergency services with your exact location and share your medical data.
The first year the service is free, after that it costs about 3 euros per month. The Nextbase 622GW is currently the most premium model and films 4K, but 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, but I have also received automatic parking monitoring for my car!
Onstar 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 Opel, 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+. 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.
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 within Bluetooth range and read your battery status. But because Onstar has stopped, you can no longer start a remote charging session at home and see how much you have already charged.
Because I do not have an expensive charging station and prefer to charge slowly at the household plug, I bought a smart plug. Because I work with Fritz! Box, I bought 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, which 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 Onstar, using the above products. Thanks to a dashcam, you even get all kinds of useful functions, so that 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 Onstar features? Let us know and share it with the community.
We wish you a lot of driving pleasure and share the article with other Opel and Vauxhall drivers that have Onstar installed.