Why is it so "impossible" to upgrade analog OnStar?

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Analog OnStar is being shut down in 2008. What I don't understand is why GM says that the old analog equipment cannot be upgraded. These days upgrades
are available for cars that are much more sophisticated than cell phone equipment. Is the analog receiver unit connected to the engine crankshaft or something?
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They may sell a few extra cars that way.......

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who says its impossible?

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sorry, just reread the post, and I see that you said it was GM that says its impossible.
It seems that you could just go get the parts from the parts catalog for a model with the digital one, get the correct sensors, connectors, and wires.
Maybe it is controlled through the pcm. Maybe you could swap out a newer pcm to get it to work.
Whatever it is, it will have to be a do-it-yourself job, but NOTHING is impossible.

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How much would you be willing to pay to upgrade your car. The unit is integrated throughout the electronics of the car. The ECM,dash and all components would have to be reengineered. It would be cheaper to buy a new car.

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I'd not pay a penny. I have it installed in my LeSabre, but after the first year ran out, I never renewed. Too expensive for what you get, IMO. If the $400 service was $150, I'd go for it.
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How deeply is it "integrated" with the car? That is my key question. Do you have to replace the vehicle computer because the cell phone uses analog instead of digital? Does the antenna have to be swapped out, etc.? What part of the dash would have to be replaced, the air bag too?

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Or you could just use you cell phone!
cufliflox wrote:

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OK I'll use my cell phone when I'm unconscious after an accident.

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Heavens - what ever did people do before the days of OnStar? You make this sound life threatening.
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-Mike-
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cufliflox wrote:

It is especially annoying that GM knew this day was coming and yet still kept selling non-upgradeable systems. I know that our 2002 minivan had the non-upgradeable system. Six years from purchase to useless feature is unacceptable.
John
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Heres an idea... Buy a cell phone and a GPS unit, transfer them to any car you want.
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That won't do much good. The best part of OnStar is that it will automatically call for emergency help in case the air bag inflates.

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If that's the best part of OnStar, that sure isn't much justification for the system. Marginal value at best in my opinion.
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OnStar is also a vehicle tracking system. So my theft-recovery system will "expire" too.

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Before asking why GM is dropping the analog service or why it cant be upgraded, you should be asking why the big Cell Phone companies have either dropped or will be dropping analog service within the next 3 years.
Onstar service "piggy backs" on a cell phone service. currently there are 2 types of cell systems one type is GSM (GSRM) the other is AMPS (CDMA). all cell comunication is done on these 2 systems. I don't know about in the USA but here in Canada, Bell and telus use the AMPS(CDMA) and Rogers and Fido use the GSM(GSRM).
So when Rogers or Bell (not sure who GM uses as its service provider) drops the analog service in the next 2 years Gm analog Onstar won't work.
As for asking if you can upgrade your Onstar from analog to digital, sure you can... but do you really want too spend all that money? It will cost more for you to "upgrade" then it is worth. Price out the cost of sensors at the dealer, as I doubt these will ever be available aftermarket.
Snow...
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Analog service is ancient, it is obsolete technology, and it doesn't make sense to force companies to support old technologies. For example we can't tell Sony to make 8-track players. The real issue is that GM used a technology that was already obsolete when they put it in my 2001 Yukon Denali, and the company should come up with an upgrade path at least.

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They do, It's called a 2007 GMC Yukon :)
cufliflox wrote:

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First off, I thought the decision to go analog for OnStar was incredibly short-sighted. Unless they INTENDED to be phased out and not have to support it in the future. That means that if it didn't sell, they could let it phase out and then not even have to worry about support for existing customers. If it was a success, then fine, convert to new technology.
Bottom line is the conversion is probably pretty darn simple. There's NO WAY it's incorporated into the airbag or other vehicle systems, EXCEPT that it can monitor them. I'll bet long odds the OnStar module contains a vehicle network connector an interface unit, a controller, and then a cell phone module with GPS.
If it were impossible to upgrade without other vehicle changes and upgrades, then GM would be home to the most incompetent asinine corrupt engineers I can imagine.
Then again, remember what Ford did years ago. Routing the starter relay through the Ford factory provided radio, and if you replaced it with an upgraded unit (wasn't that how Delco originally got it's start?) they would attempt to void your factory warrantee.

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Thank you Mike, finally a well-thought response for the discussion.

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