Why is My OnStar Light Green?-With Troubleshooting Guide

You are on the highway and suddenly notice something different about your car’s interior. And there it is, right in your rearview mirror, a tiny green light is glowing quietly. Is that a traffic light or a UFO? Well, it is about the OnStar light. You wonder, “Why is my OnStar light green?” Do not scratch your head. It is absolutely an everyday thing.

The OnStar system is a subsidiary of General Motors. It is a telematics system to provide in-vehicle safety, security, and phone services (1). Thus, it uses GPS data and cellular technology for voice communication and data transmissions (2).

Okay, the green light on your OnStar system serves as an indicator of its status. If the light is solid green, the system is ready and fully functional (3). Again, a flashing green light indicates a call is in progress (4). When the light is not green or not lit, you need to spend time on it, as it indicates a problem with the OnStar system.

Basics of OnStar System- A Brief to Green Light

General Motors (GM) has developed the OnStar since 1996. This unique technology enhances vehicle safety and convenience. Some key features of this system include (5):

  • Emergency Assistance
  • Automatic Crash Response
  • Stolen Vehicle Assistance
  • Crisis Assist
  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation
  • Connected Vehicle Experience

You can avail yourself of different plans (services) from OnStar. These include the OnStar Safety & Security, Essentials, and Premium Plan. Hence, the costs of these services start from $29.99 for these plans (6). Subscribing to these plans is very simple, as OnStar provides step-by-step instructions on their website.

Why the Light Color Matters

Many people (even me) would wonder why I should focus on just a simple light color. But if the color belongs to the OnStar system, you must pay attention to it. For sure, this light provides real-time feedback.

Once you subscribe to any of those plans (mentioned above), you will see the light become green while driving the vehicle. It means you have successfully activated the plan, and everything works fine. But when it turns red, you may think of it and possibly get help from the provider.

Green OnStar Light: Benefits & Significance

The assurance! It is the best benefit you can get from the OnStar light. The green light works as the indicator of the system’s status.

  • If the light is solid green, it means the system is ready and fully functional (7).
  • A flashing green light indicates that a call is in progress (8)
  • If the green light is not on, it could suggest a problem with the system.
  • When the light is not green, it means you need to call for assistance or start troubleshooting.
  • A blinking green light is commonly seen when a call is made or received.
  • It may also blink green when the system thinks a call is in progress.
  • The green light next to the OnStar buttons may not be lit if the OnStar subscription has expired (13).

As I said, when you get OnStar light green, there is nothing to worry about. You can verify that all the services are working as expected for better assurance. In this case, I suggest you check the system’s features like emergency services, hands-free calling, and vehicle diagnostics.

You may also consider taking the car for a short drive. It will give you confirmation about the consistency of green light.

What Happens If It Turns out Red Instead of Green?

If you do not get a green light, it will not light up or turn red. Well, if the green light on the OnStar system is not working, something is failing to work accurately.

If you see it red, then read this below part:

  • Typically, a red light indicates a failure to communicate with the OnStar network or an antenna malfunction (9).
  • Sometimes, it may indicate an antenna malfunction or a problem with the OnStar TTY interface module.
  • It may also specify that the OnStar subscription has lapsed, or the service has been cancelled (10).
  • In some cases, the red light could be a sign of a failing OnStar system or a hardware-related concern (10).
  • If the services are disabled or turned off, or your car is not in an active coverage area, the light will turn on red.
  • Suppose the red light is flashing. It signals anything needs to set up an account with OnStar to more severe malfunctions with the vehicle (11).
  • A dead or dying battery in the OnStar module lost or damaged wiring, or an issue with the cellular connection can also cause the light to turn red (12).
  • Sometimes, the issue could be related to a failed OnStar update.

Driving with a red OnStar light can lead to potential safety risks. And if you are in an accident, getting to a safe place as quickly as possible is essential. If the police pull you over, they may give you a ticket. Again, they may just ask you to turn off the OnStar light.

How to Troubleshoot OnStar Light?

In general, green light requires no expenditure of money and time. But a red light or unlit light may make you take further steps. To troubleshoot a red or non-functional OnStar light, you can reset the system or module. You can do this through the OnStar button or the OnStar app.

Here is the tutorial to reset the OnStar module (13):

  • Open the app on your smartphone. You may visit the official website too.
  • Log in to your account.
  • Select the “Vehicle Services” option.
  • Select the “OnStar Module” option.
  • Select the “Reset” option.
  • Confirm it and wait till the process is complete.

Once you reset, turn on the vehicle and see if the light is green. Still, if it remains red or does not light after resetting the system, you need to call for assistance.

For assistance, you can start by pressing the OnStar button. It will help you to reach out to the OnStar Center for an advisor. At this point, the advisor will guide you on what to do to restore the faulty OnStar system.

Somehow, if you cannot reach the advisor, take your car to the nearest dealer for a quick fix. Sometimes, fixing a red OnStar light may require the replacement of the entire OnStar unit. It may cost a bit.

OnStar System Maintenance and Updates

If you want to keep the light green on the OnStar button, you should maintain it properly. In this case, you can update the software and install it correctly. Thus, you can check if there is any update available or not.

Here are the steps you can take to check the software updates:

  • Navigate to the “System” or “Vehicle Software” section.
  • Look for “Updates” or “System Update”.

Download the latest version if you see any update is available. You can download and install it over a wireless connection. If an update fails or if there are any issues, you can get 24/7 support from OnStar. In this case, you can push the blue OnStar button or call their toll-free number (14).

Frequently Asked Questions

What color is the OnStar button?

Answer: The OnStar button is typically a blue color. It is on the rearview mirror or overhead console of your vehicle. Thus, you can use it to activate various OnStar services.

How can you know if your OnStar is active?

Answer: You can start by visiting “My Account – Plans & Services” first. Then, select your vehicle. Next, select “View My Plans” button to see existing service or explore plans you can avail online (16).

How can you connect with the OnStar advisor?

Answer: You can press the blue OnStar button on your vehicle’s rearview mirror or overhead console. It will connect you to a live OnStar advisor to help you diagnose the problem. However, contact OnStar support directly if pressing the blue button doesn’t resolve the issue.


Why is my OnStar light green? I guess you are already in a chill mood, as the green light means your vehicle is safe! Yes, it is really fine, like the green signal on the road you drive.

But if the light is not lit or turned red, you may need to follow the instructions I mentioned earlier. For a quick solution, reset the app or call the helpline.

I hope you have understood the topic well. Thanks for reading this blog!

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