Analog vs Digital OnStar System

Volume 1 Issue 2 - Duramax Issues and Answers

Do you know or can you find out any inside info on the pre-digital OnStar upgrades. I’ve been told Chevrolet/Verizon are presently trying to determine if it’s worth their time to come up with a solution. I’d love to use my OnStar with Verizon. I have an ‘02 DMax with the analog system. Any info would be great. Thanks.


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That’s a good question. You happen to have the last year of the strictly analog system. I wish I could be the bearer of better news, but it looks like you’re stuck with loss of service; at least as things stand now.

GM has issued a bulletin indicating that the analog-only OnStar systems become inoperative on January 1, 2008. They also state very clearly that these systems are not possible to upgrade to digital.

There are several differences in the OnStar hardware and it’s implementation in the truck. You cannot simply take a system from a newer model truck and transplant it in an older model. It would be a large engineering project to come up with entirely new hardware and software that interfaces with the older electrical architecture of pre-2003 trucks. As you correctly stated, someone needs to find out if it is “worth their time” to do this. Not to dash all hope though, if it can make money, somebody may get this going.

Joel Paynton

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Joel Paynton is an award-winning GM technician who specializes in Duramax fuel systems. He also does custom programming for any GM powertrain. Visit him on the web at


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