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Author Topic: Hello all... Apparently, I posted to the wrong forum before... My bad....  (Read 791 times)
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Starflare5
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« on: February 01, 2017, 12:16:54 AM »

Hello everyone,

                     I just thought I'd introduce myself.  Apparently, I did this in the wrong forum before and some thought I had a newer generation Equinox.  My name is Michael, and, I have been the proud owner of a 2007 Lunar Quartz Metallic/Dark Amethyst Metallic (same color, just went through a name change) Equinox 1LT with a sunroof for about a year now.  Love the car and have put a lot of miles on it due to my job.  While I've had it, I've been slowly making upgrades and changes to it along the way, and, even got in a small fender bender which I used as an excuse to update and upgrade a few things like the headlamps, and changing the all of the lights to LED, replacing the front bumper due to the cracking near the headlamps.


The projects I'm work on with it are as follows:

I am in the process of have factory remote start done, as well as switching from OnStar FMV to Installed OnStar, which, is not as hard as some might think it is, especially for this vehicle due to the location of the BCM.  The hardest part is getting the antenna foot, cables, and installing them.  Also, the actual process of getting it activated is a little painful since it must be done with either a Tech II, or, an MDI with Tech2Win before it can even work properly.


I'm also planning on purchasing a 2012-2015 Chevy Traverse MyLink headunit (non-navigation) and installing it as well.  The unit I plan on trying is something like this which is an all in one, and, I know very few know it exists, or, do not know that they are not dash integrated and, they only seem to use the BCM to verify vin, and, possibly to tell OnStar that it wants to use it's mic for voice commands and phone:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/311779908418?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Not quite sure how everything will work together, but, I have an idea, and, it will be interesting, and I'll keep everyone posted.


As far as the audio system, I've added a Delco Electronics Monsoon amplifier (the old school, auto power on one last used in Buick park avenue Ultras in 99 and 2000), and, the rear pioneer in wall subwoofer, which, the bass out of that amp is so high, that you have to drill a small hole into the subwoofer's cabinet to allow it to vent.

I get most of my parts and upgrades from the junkyard and ebay.  The car has the 3400 Engine in it and is much better on fuel than I was expecting.  The car currently has over 138000 miles on it, and, I started with only about 85,000.  I love the way it handles the road, and, it's an extremely fun car to drive with a lot of room for everything I need for work, and passengers. 

Anyway, for anyone curious, or, has questions, for me, I will be glad to answer to the best of my ability and will post pictures when I have verified that everything is working correctly, and, may post some instructions on how to do some of the things I have been, and, I know I will have a lot of questions as well.

Anyway, hello all, and thank you for welcoming me to the forum.

Thank you,

Starflare5.
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 08:27:25 AM »

Welcome and best of luck with your project.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 08:02:50 PM »

Welcome and best of luck with your project.

Thank you.  I receive the radio either tomorrow or Saturday (shipping UPS) and plan on taking it in for programming right after that to also activate the OnStar and remote start.  Basically, everything is just in place and waiting.  Cross your fingers...

If everything goes well, I will post pictures....

I also found a dual ported 12" subwoofer box on the side of the road awhile ago and am finally getting the subs for it.  I'm going to wire a switch from the amplifier to switch from the wall sub to the box subs whenever I have them in. Also, going to run off that, ambient lighting switches for solid or bass-flash, oh, and forgot to mention that I'm installing LED purple ambient lighting inside and out, as well as white foot well lighting that comes on with cabin lighting with a relay to alternate lighting when ambient lighting is switched on......

So there is an update...

Thank you again,

Starflare5.
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 04:20:19 PM »

Small Update,

                Was advised that the OnStar and MyLink radio will definitely work, it's just going to take more time and money than I have at the moment, but, they can get them working.  The remote start one dealer says will work, the other says won't.  Will have to wait on that.

So yes, you can add OnStar and an older MyLink radio to the generation 1.5 Theta vehicles if you know what you're doing, and, have the money to get them programmed, or, access to a Tech II scan tool or an MDI with Tech2Win.

I'll keep you all posted further.

Thank you.
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 09:52:40 AM »

Great to find out there is a possibility. thumbs up

What would really be helpful is once you find out doing this all works, is to outline the steps all in one post in how to accomplish this and what year/model/part numbers work and what the sequence of steps to get it working. (ie. buy part # , year of radio, year of vehicle, what programming is necessary, etc)
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 06:46:39 PM »

Great to find out there is a possibility. thumbs up

What would really be helpful is once you find out doing this all works, is to outline the steps all in one post in how to accomplish this and what year/model/part numbers work and what the sequence of steps to get it working. (ie. buy part # , year of radio, year of vehicle, what programming is necessary, etc)

Well,

          I'm going to be able to really outline that for you.  After going to 4 dealers, found out that they all lie to you in terms of labor, and what it takes...  So, I went a bit cheaper and for a bit more of a learning experience as I'm studying the instructions...

I went ahead and purchased a really good cloned MDI and am planning on getting just a 2 day subscription (Should only need it for less than that) of GM SPS for $55.00

From what I read and compared to what GM dealers tell you is kind of funny.  First of all, the key reason for the SPS subscription is basically to update RPO codes for your vehicle via the web and to download firmware updates to make those RPOs possible almost in an All-At-Once request from the software.

From what I read, once you get all of your updates and codes ready, no matter how many it is, the updating can take anywhere from less than 5 minutes to just slightly over an hour... and that's it.  SPS is also supposed to virtually eliminate having to call into either the automated system, or a representative to do some of those changes with some exceptions, like, for example, traditional factory added remote start compared to advanced 2-way remote start.  The prior does not require a call, but, the latter does.

OnStar may or may not require a call.  Most likely, with, traditional factory installed, non-upgraded, may not, however, SPS is required to remove an OnStar Module STID from a donor vehicle's VIN, removing it from the current vehicle's VIN, and then adding the STID from the donor module to the current vehicle, then activating.

I found out that the BCM in my vehicle already has the firmware for OnStar, which means, the vehicle may have originally come with it, however, the first owner chose to have it removed.

The MyLink radio requires first to be read by the SPS software, automatically adding it to new RPOs, and then allowing you to unlock it, and do whatever required firmware updates are necessary.

It can also be simply unlocked with a Tech2Scan tool, however, using one of the radio profiles the vehicle came with (since they all almost use the same locking method) to unlock it, however, you have to do a TIS2Web back and fourth to get any firmware updates and to update the RPO codes.


It sounds like the SPS creates a batch of everything needed, then, you let it have at it... sort of like a hard drive partitioning migration program.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 07:22:41 PM »

Not surprised that dealers may not give you the true skinny. However, I think what it is mostly is that this is the kind of thing they don't have much call for. They usually just maybe replace a radio with a like radio.

I mean, this is really Guru level stuff you're talking here. So, not really many techs at a dealer are going into it that deep.  And. . . not many Equinox owners would be savvy enough, or willing to sort it all out either.

Kudos to you for getting to the nitty gritty of it.  I suspect you have an interest and mind for puzzling firmware/software/ hardware relationships out.

Some have that interest and ability and others have different interests and aptitudes.  I many times start discussing work I've done in electronics and restoring vintage '70's to '90s equipment and mostly I see eyes that start to glaze over. Mostly people just want things to work for them and don;t care how, why, or what makes things work.

But now, for anyone interested, you have contributed a good outline of your experience.  The next generation of vehicles will have even more twists in swapping things out and making them work.

 Cheers
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 02:38:50 AM »

Not surprised that dealers may not give you the true skinny. However, I think what it is mostly is that this is the kind of thing they don't have much call for. They usually just maybe replace a radio with a like radio.

I mean, this is really Guru level stuff you're talking here. So, not really many techs at a dealer are going into it that deep.  And. . . not many Equinox owners would be savvy enough, or willing to sort it all out either.

Kudos to you for getting to the nitty gritty of it.  I suspect you have an interest and mind for puzzling firmware/software/ hardware relationships out.

Some have that interest and ability and others have different interests and aptitudes.  I many times start discussing work I've done in electronics and restoring vintage '70's to '90s equipment and mostly I see eyes that start to glaze over. Mostly people just want things to work for them and don;t care how, why, or what makes things work.

But now, for anyone interested, you have contributed a good outline of your experience.  The next generation of vehicles will have even more twists in swapping things out and making them work.

 Cheers

I fully understand the glazing over a bit.  The older GMLAN GEN2 vehicles are all perfectly capable of being updated in many, many ways, you just have to know the right hardware to update them with, and, have the patience to do the research yourself, or, get mad enough to want to do the research after being rejected, or, quoted an outrageous price for something that takes less time (and money) than you expected. 

I'm a computer nerd and have worked with computers for years (over 23 in fact), and, know more about the technical aspects than many give me credit for.  I also have a love for GM vehicles and the way their computer systems work, which, seems complicated, but, in actuality, it's not really.  My father was an airplane electrical engineer and technician, so, I know how to wire and connect things as long as I find the correct diagram, or, in the OnStar's case, diagrams.

Also, take note that GM only changes their radio connections every 15 years, however, the wiring principal and colors remains the same consistently, as it does with most of the other modules as well. 

The wiring is pretty much the hardest part however.  GM tools make the programming aspect extremely easy as long as everything is connected correctly.

To me, it's not really all guru level, it's just having the patience to study and getting to know what you want and are going for.

Another reason I'm wanting to do the programming myself also is because of that aire of not knowing what's going on once you give your vehicle up to the dealer and, not knowing they're going to set things up the way you want them set up or not, like, for example: The MyLink radio I have is already set up for Chevrolet. For most GM radios, you actually do not have to input the new VIN.  The Tech2 and SPS will warn you that this leaves the device unsecure, however, I want to for the reason that, if anything should happen to my nox, (GOD forbid after all this work) I want to be able to easily possibly transfer it to another.  Also, the dealer mentioned to me that the internal amps might be disabled, and, I want to make sure they are enabled anyway.  The key reason I added a Monsoon amplifier in the first place was to increase phone call loudness and clarity over the currently installed radio, and, I did not know this, but, Monsoon amplifiers are actually known for their award winning clarity.  If a tech hears sound because of that amp added on, they may not turn on the internal amplifiers if they are disabled.  By the way, almost all MyLink radios have internal amplifiers, they are just disabled on vehicles that have Bose or Pioneer amplifiers installed.

Oh, and a quick tip to anyone wanting to upgrade their rearview mirror to the one with a compass and thermometer: Wire the thermometer wires (green/black and grey) to a separate ambient temp sensor if you already have one on the vehicle, or, the outside temperature will be split between the 2 thermometers.  This is not good for automatic climate control operation because it uses the outside temp as a reference for vent, temp, and fan adjustment.

Anyway, I get my MDI hopefully next week.  I'll take pictures of everything I can when it gets to the programming

Thank you again,

Starflare5.

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Starflare5
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 10:26:41 AM »

Something kind of funny....

                    The years 2006 and 2007 were change over years for all GM vehicles from either Class 2 to GMLAN 2.0, or, GMLAN 1.0 to 2.0, and, the introduction of several new features because of that.  Here's the funny part: Nearly every GM vehicle made during those years were technically guinea pigs for add-ons, and, therefore, missing RPO codes for a ton of dealer install options, like, for example, remote start.  Most of the dealer service centers today do not know this and will tell you that some things cannot be done, when, in fact, they can, but, they do not want to look beyond what's listed on their screen. A lot of firmware was installed by default on nearly every BCM on these vehicles for nearly every option.  In other words, at the factory, as a test, GM dumped the entire book of codes into these modules.  Not sure if they were testing for memory limits or what, but, nearly everything is there awaiting activation basically. It wasn't until 2010 that GM started to remove features, codes and firmware from the BCMs to force you to go to a dealer to have them programmed in. 

I discovered this mysterious fact when doing research on the web for activating features, and found a lot of people that owned GM vehicles from those years reporting that their vehicles had programmable features that they did not have RPO codes for, like both Remote Start, OnStar, and several others.

So, I guess I'm lucky to get a 2007 and have the knowledge to do this.  Now, I know both an ECM and BCM firmware upgrade are available for my vehicle as well, I just hope that they don't delete, or severely change any features.  I may not do the upgrades, but, we'll see.  The ECM upgrade I might do due to the annoying transaxle fluid temperature change warning timing.  This is actually an annoying flaw in the programming of all early Theta vehicles in where, prior to updating, the ECM expects the temperature to change too soon in most cases, and, throws a trouble code if it does not causing a false-positive situation. 

Just a note:  If you have one of these vehicles, you get the Check Engine light, you take it to Autozone, and, you get that trouble code, disconnect the positive battery terminal for 15 seconds.  Reconnect and the terminal. If your Check Engine light goes off, wait to see if it comes back on for a few minutes.  If it does not, then, guess what, the fluid temp sensor is fine.  Your ECM just might need that update.

I noticed a lot of owners of early Theta vehicles reporting this issue...

Anyway, there's just a little knowledge update for everybody.

Thank you,

Starflare5.
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Starflare5
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 02:27:16 AM »

Well,

            I did it, and it was quite an adventure.  First of all, I just want to say that this may not be the rout for everyone, but, it can be really cool when it works. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something.

I'm going to let you all know that if you want to use a MyLink/Intellilink radio to it's fullest extent, you must also have either and add on microphone for voice commands and phone, or, OnStar installed as this radio utilizes it's microphone.

For Remote Start, all you pretty much need is a remote start receiver and extended range antenna, as well as the remotes with the remote start button.

You can purchase an MDI clone online for less than $200 with WiFi from China.  The device will always work the same, and, can be powered by a switching power supply, or, the vehicle's OBD2 plug, so, a power adapter may not always be needed.

And, last, but not least, you'll need a laptop capable of running JAVA as most of the GM applications are JAVA based, including SPS. 

I will have more details and pictures soon.
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 04:11:13 AM »

Thanks for the latest update and details.  Excellent work!    thumbs up

Look forward to the complete write up. Cheers
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 06:42:59 PM »

Thanks for the latest update and details.  Excellent work!    thumbs up

Look forward to the complete write up. Cheers

Here's a note for you: If anyone mentions that they want to upgrade to a MyLink radio in the future on an older (2007-2009) Equinox or Torrent, advise them to find either a color touch, or Mylink radio from either the junk yard or eBay from a 2013 to 2017 Chevrolet Traverse.

The radio should look like this without Navigation in the front:



And these are the rear plug descriptions:



Radio with Navigation front:



And rear:



Note: If installing a radio with navigation, you'll either need the separate navigation antenna, the navigation antenna splitter, or, and OnStar Module with built in navigation antenna.

When it comes to programming it, all of these radios can be either programmed in a color touch (no Bluetooth, or voice commands), or, MyLink (Bluetooth and voice commands with either a mic or a dongle into OnStar module black plug) configuration, and, also, all of these radios have internal 6 channel amplifiers, however, might be disabled if they came from a vehicle with a Bose system.  If you use SPS to program them for a customer, you must have a VIN of a vehicle in the configuration the customer wants.  For example:

1GNKRFED7EJ249515 is a VIN for a 2014 Traverse LS with a standard Color Touch radio and the internal amplifiers on audio configuration using the UI2 RPO profile.

1GNKRJKD1EJ111797 is a VIN for a 2014 Traverse LTZ with a Mylink radio and the internal amplifiers off audio configuration (This configuration may cause low audio with standard speaker systems and some amplified) using the UG4 RPO profile.

1GNKRGKD5FJ123374 is a VIN of a 2015 Traverse LT with a MyLink radio and the internal amplifiers on audio configuration using the UI6 RPO profile.

SPS goes by VIN entered to determine which configuration file it will use for the radio programming.  VIN entered, however, like the points on Who's Line Is It Anyway, does not matter to unlocking and activating the radio because the first thing that SPS does is clear the VIN from the radio so that it can grab a new VIN from the vehicle it is installed in's data bus.

For most, I suggest using the last configuration.

Firmware updates must be obtained from a GM dealer to be installed via USB as SPS only clears the VIN and uploads a configuration file to the radio.

Be advised that the internal Bluetooth name of the radio is defaulted to Chevrolet Traverse and can only be changed via a Tech2 Tool.

There are no configurations for Pontiac as Pontiac no longer existed when MyLink was released, however, you may want to look up GMC Acadia SLE and SLT VINs and have the radio programmed in the Intellilink configuration which, yes, these radios have the firmware for that as well.

I simply looked up Traverse' for sale with VIN numbers on craigslist to get the above VIN configurations.  Use these VINs for Radio Programming ONLY as you may cause issues if you attempt to push any other configurations to your vehicle via SPS including "bricking" your vehicle.  In most cases, you can simply go back and have SPS read your vehicle again and re-apply the previous configuration if you accidentally reprogrammed something else besides the radio.

This is how it should look once installed and unlocked:



And Operating:





As far as installing, connecting and activating OnStar (which, you may want the module if you update to a MyLink Radio), There are something to keep in mind: 

1.  First of all, I suggest finding an OnStar Module made after 2006.  You can use a Bluetooth module, but, if you activate the Bluetooth on your MyLink radio, there's no point in having an OnStar module with Bluetooth as well.  

2.  If you are fresh installing the OnStar module into a vehicle that did not have it previously, I suggest pulling the OnStar trunk wiring from a 2006 or newer Chevrolet Impala.  You can get long enough cable for everything front that type of vehicle.  Just remember that there is a terminator resistor in the wiring from the small plug and it will make it look like that there is more that one data-bus plain tan wire coming from it. Remove that resistor, or, DO NOT CONNECT IT.  This resistor will cut off the data bus at the OnStar module.  

3.  As far as the mirror goes, you can use any OnStar mirror made after 2006 without map lights.  I suggest pulling the mirror and wiring from a 2007 or newer Saturn VUE.  They usually came with the cool compass, temperature, and auto-dimming mirror, however, you may want to run a separate temperature sensor for it.  Pull the wiring as well all the way to the rear quarter panel of the vehicle. You do not need to pull the entire cable, just run this cable down the inside of the driver's side front window pillar and into the dash to where the OnStar Module is to be located.  

4.  As far as the antenna, the antenna cable comes in 3 parts.  You want to pull the entire mid double coaxial line antenna cable from another Theta platform vehicle rear to front on the passenger side.  Preferably one with the double connector on the dash to receiver end and the triple connector on the other at the antenna. You'll also want to remove either the entire antenna or just the base, however, take note that if the base has a larger antenna screw in socket, you'll have to de-solder the socket from your old base and solder it into this one.  You also, preferably want to find a base/Antenna with all connections built in like AM/FM, XM, Navigation, and OnStar inside.  If the base is missing something like the XM antenna, you'll have to take both your old base and new base apart and install the antenna into the new base.  When installing the antenna cable, run it down the driver's side because it's a bit easier to get to the module.  You may not be able to pull the dash to receiver part of the antenna cable connecting to the module from the double connector.  You may have to pull it from another vehicle such as an Impala, however, if not able to, pull out as much as you can from a Theta and cut it, and solder splice it with the antenna cables you pulled from and cut from another vehicle to the module.  There are several useless and useful diagrams out there as far as OnStar installation:  I have compiled some information from these diagrams on how this should be wired:

From the Module:

Red/White wire is main power positive.  If you want to connect this as actual OnStar power from the OnStar fuse in the block in the center console, and, your vehicle has either had OnStar removed, or, never had it before, you will have to remove and take apart the fuse block and add a wire to the trace from the OnStar Fuse location.  This trace should have a hole in it where a thin wire can be put through to it from the other side, and soldered into place.  The black wire is the ground of course.  You may also tie this in with the ground wire from the mirror and connect them to another ground wire connected in the vehicle.

The large plug on the OnStar VCIM has Tan and Tan/Black GMLAN high speed wires. Connect those to the Tan and Tan/Black wires on the Body control module in the blue plug between the black and the white plug.  If you have a BCM where both sets of GMLAN high speed wires in Tan and Tan/Black, the wires go into the upper ones in pins 8 and 9 on that BCM.

The small plug on the OnStar VCIM may have either Brown and Brown/Black or Tan and Tan/Black wires.  These connect to the other 2 wires similar in color on the BCM in that same blue plug.

The dark green wire connects to the dark green wire in that same blue plug on the BCM.

When connecting the data wires, I suggest using CAT5 networking cable as an extension so that you have all the wires you need to connect all data channels, plus, connect the auto un-dimming mirror function as well if the mirror is equipping with auto-dimming.

Your data and power to the VCIM should now be connected, now, onto the mirror:

A basic mirror will have a yellow accessory power wire at which I suggest you connect to the RAP relay output on the fuse block and of course a black ground wire.

Only 4 wires actually connect directly from the VCIM to the and those are:

Dark Green/White (pin 11 on the mirror plug) is keypad signal.

Light Green/Black (pin 12) is keypad supply voltage.

Yellow/Black (pin 14) is the Green LED signal.

Brown/White (pin 15) is the red LED signal.

Your microphone wiring should also be in this same harness:

Grey and a Bare wire usually wrapped in a shielded sheath and connects to the small plug of the VCIM.

If you have a mirror with integrated compass and auto dimming:

Light Green (pin 9) is back lamp supply voltage. This auto undims your mirror when going into reverse. It connects to the Light Green wire of the pink plug between the brown and the grey plug on the BCM.

Light Green/Black (pin 6) is Ambient Temperature Sensor Signal positive.  Make sure you identify this wire separately from the similar color wire for OnStar operation.

Grey (pin 7) is Ambient Temperature Sensor low reference.


Now, onto the audio wiring:

If connecting to a standard radio, you need to connect just 3 wires from the small plug:

Orange/Black is the OnStar left audio signal wire that connects to the rear speaker out radio plug in pin 7.

Light Blue is the OnStar left audio low reference wire that connects to the same plug  on the radio at pin 15.

The Bare drain wire connects to the same radio plug and can at either pin 3, pin 11, or pin 12.

At this point, plug in everything and test your OnStar system by either hitting the phone button on the mirror, or, the Blue OnStar button once.  The flashing light should be green if everything is connected properly and you should hear the automated prompts.


Now, for radios with MyLink/Voice command capabilities, they use a grey plug that plugs into the black port of the OnStar Module to use OnStar's Microphone with the following 3 wires:

Pink is the Voice Recognition Audio Signal wire that connects to the Front speaker out radio plug in pin 4.

Pink/Black is the Voice Recognition low reference wire that connects to the same radio plug as pin 5.

The Bare drain wire also connects to the same radio plug at pin 11 or 12.

Now, there is full description at how to connect the OnStar module.  When mounting it, the bracket from and Theta platform vehicle works perfectly.

As for activation, you have 2 ways to go:

Simple activation without a dealer involves using an MDI and a 2 day SPS subscription, however, this type of activation does not change the VIN on the module or re-associate it with your vehicle, so, you'll have to advise OnStar on the actual VIN of your vehicle and other info.  When you run the activation from the SPS program, it will tell you that automatic activation was not successful, and your have to call OnStar to finish.  When you close that popup, you'll see a screen advising you to wait 24 hours for activation to complete...  Actually wait 48 hours, then push the blue OnStar button twice.  Tell the system that you have never had OnStar in that vehicle and you'll be taken to new activations.. and you'll get 3 months free.  You'll have to advise them that the module is in a different vehicle than what is being reported by the system, and, they can somewhat correct it on their end.

Activation through a dealer is similar, except that it costs $134, however, they will key your OnStar Module to your vehicle in the process.


I hope this helps some.

Thank you,
Starflare5.

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