wikiHow to Deactivate Onstar

Three Methods:UnsubscribeRemove the FuseDisconnect the System

The simplest way to deactivate OnStar is to unsubscribe from the service, but doing so will not disable the system completely. To do that, you will need to remove the fuse or manually disconnect the OnStar control box.

Method 1

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    Contact OnStar. If you want to cancel your OnStar service immediately, you will need to contact the company and speak with an adviser.[1]
    • The simplest way to speak with an adviser is to press the blue button on the OnStar system installed in your vehicle.
    • Alternatively, you can contact OnStar by phone by calling: 1-888-4-ONSTAR (1-888-466-7827).
    • After contacting OnStar, the adviser you speak with should be able to guide you through the process of canceling your service. You may need to provide certain information during the process, including contact information, billing information, and information about your vehicle.
    • Note that you cannot cancel your service online.
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    Wait for your subscription to expire. If you're not in a rush to deactivate OnStar, you can allow the subscription to expire on its own.
    • If you are subscribed to "continuous coverage," your subscription will not expire on its own and you will need to cancel by contacting OnStar directly.
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    Know what to expect. Once you cancel your subscription to OnStar, all services related to the service will no longer be active.
    • Your vehicle will no longer be able to contact OnStar for help during an accident or other emergency situation.
    • The system is not completely disabled at this point, however. OnStar can continue to collect data from your vehicle for its own purposes.[2] If you want to deactivate the OnStar system's ability to collect data, you will need to remove the system fuse or disconnect the system completely.

Method 2
Remove the Fuse

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    Keep the vehicle off. Make sure that the vehicle's ignition is turned off before accessing the fuse compartment.
    • Removing a fuse while the vehicle is running can be very dangerous. It can also cause damage to the overall fuse box and the other fuses.
    • Note that you should also apply the parking brake if you have not done so already.
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    Locate the fuse compartment. In most vehicles, the fuse compartment is located on the left side of the vehicle, beneath the dashboard and in between the steering wheel and the car door.
    • Alternatively, the fuse compartment might be located in the interior doorjamb or on the right passenger side of the vehicle near the floor.
    • Many vehicles have one fuse box underneath the hood of the car and a second fuse compartment inside the passenger portion of the vehicle. The OnStar fuse should be located in the second fuse compartment, not the fuse box under the hood.
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    Open the fuse compartment. The fuse compartment should have a handle on it. Simply pull the handle and lift away the door to expose the fuses.
    • In rare instances, there might be a screw you will need to remove before pulling off the fuse compartment cover.
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    Locate the OnStar fuse. There should be a diagram of fuses located on the back of the fuse panel cover. Use that diagram to determine where the OnStar fuse is located.[3]
    • In many vehicles, the OnStar fuse is a red fuse located in the upper left corner of the fuse box.
    • If there is no diagram on the back of the fuse panel cover, you should check the operator's manual for your vehicle and locate the appropriate diagram there.
    • Vehicles that come off the lot with OnStar automatically installed will probably have a fuse specifically marked for the OnStar system. If there is not "OnStar" fuse, however, you may need to locate the fuse for the mirror.
    • Note that removing an OnStar fuse connected to other systems, like the mirror or radio, will also deactivate any associated functions. For that reason, this method may only be appropriate when there is a separate OnStar fuse unconnected to other systems.
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    Pull out the fuse. To remove the fuse and deactivate the system, simply pinch the fuse between your fingers and pull it straight out.
    • If you are unable to pull the fuse out with your fingers, use a plastic plug puller or plastic-tipped tweezers.
    • Do not remove the fuse unless you are certain that you have located the correct one.
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    Keep the fuse in a safe spot. It's a good idea to store the fuse in the glove box or another secure location in case you want to reactivate OnStar later.
    • To reactivate OnStar, simply return the fuse to its place within the fuse box.
    • If the free trial is still active when you remove the fuse, OnStar will be unable to remotely turn off the trial after it expires. You may need to temporarily plug the fuse back into the vehicle long enough for OnStar to turn off the trial.
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    Check the vehicle. Return the cover to the fuse compartment and turn on the ignition. Test all systems in the vehicle to make sure that no others were affected.
    • If the OnStar light was on prior to the removal of the fuse, it should now be off.
    • Other than the OnStar system and its related services, no other system in the vehicle should stop working. If other systems have also stopped working, they may have been connected to the OnStar fuse. There will be no way to return these systems to functioning order without plugging the fuse back into the fuse box.
    • The process is complete once you finish verifying that everything else in your vehicle still works.

Method 3
Disconnect the System

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    Open the trunk. You'll need to access the OnStar radio control box directly. In most vehicles, it is mounted to the back of the right rear wheel well, which can be accessed through the trunk.
    • In some vehicles, the OnStar control box will be located behind the left wheel well. It should still be accessible through the trunk if this is the case.
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    Remove the liner. Locate the edge of the trunk carpet or liner. Simply grab the liner around one edge and lift it out.
    • The liner itself shouldn't be secured with any screws or nuts.
    • After removing the liner, set it aside and look at the newly revealed space. If your vehicle has space for the spare tire, you should see that space and/or the spare tire after removing the liner.
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    Lift out the spare tire. If your vehicle has a spare tire in it, you will need to remove it from the trunk and set it aside for now.[4]
    • In some cases, there might be a nut in the center of the spare tire compartment holding the tire in place. Use a screwdriver and twist the nut counterclockwise to remove it. After removing the nut, lift out the tire.
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    Remove the sill plate. Locate four screws near the four corners of the trunk. Remove these screws and lift out the sill plate.
    • If your vehicle has a cargo net in the trunk, you only need to remove the four screws securing the net. Remove both the net and the sill plate.
    • If your vehicle does not have a cargo net in the trunk, the four screws you need to remove should be located in the corners of your trunk.
    • After removing the screws, pull the sill plate up to lift it out of the trunk. Set it and the screws aside in a safe spot while you continue working.
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    Pull away the right side panel. Grab the front of the shell panel on the right side of the trunk. Pull away enough of this panel to reveal the interior contents it covers.
    • Pull the panel forward just enough so that it clears the stud located in the back lip of the trunk. After pulling it forward, carefully pull it toward the middle of the trunk, revealing the compartment beneath it.
    • Note that you do not need to remove this panel completely and doing so is ill-advised.
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    Identify the OnStar box. The Onstar control box should be a small metal box attached to the side of the vehicle. It will usually be marked with the OnStar logo.
    • If you do not see the control box, remove the left side panel in the same way you removed the right side panel and check there.
    • You should be able to do what you need to do with the OnStar control box without actually removing it from the side of the car.
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    Unplug all three connectors. Locate the three cable connectors on the bottom of the Onstar control box. Pull them straight out to disconnect the system.[5]
    • These three cables provide power to the system and allow the system to communicate with OnStar. Pulling them out should shut down the system and block any additional communication.
    • You should be able to disconnect the cables by pressing the sides of each plug and pulling it straight out.
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    Coil up the cables. Wind up the three cables and tie them loosely together with cable ties. Position the coil above or beneath the OnStar control box.[6]
    • Coiling the cables will prevent them from getting in the way. It will also make it easier to access the cables again in case you need to reconnect them at some point.
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    Return the trunk to its original state. Work in reverse steps to return all of the removed covers and parts to the trunk.
    • Push up the side panel until snaps back into place.
    • Side the sill plate back into the trunk. Make sure that it lines up with the snap holes on the bottom of the side panel you just replaced.
    • Screw the four sill plate screws back into place.
    • Return the spare tire to the trunk. Screw the nut back into place, if necessary.
    • Lay the liner back down over the spare tire compartment.
    • Close the trunk.
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    Check the system. Start your vehicle's ignition. Pressing the OnStar button beneath the rear view mirror should now result in dead air. If the OnStar light was previously on, it should now be off.
    • You should also check your other vehicle systems to make sure that none of them were affected. Turn on all lights, radios, and other electric features. Verify that there are no warning lights displayed.

Things You'll Need

Removing the Fuse

  • Plastic plug puller or plastic-tipped tweezers (optional)

Disconnecting the System

  • Screwdriver

Article Info

Categories: Car Electronics