Introduction: 2014 Chevy Camaro Disable OnStar
Disabling OnStar in a 2014 Camaro
Here's a quick instructable on how to fully disable OnStar in a 2014 Chevy Camaro while retaining maximum functionality. The end result will be OnStar completely unable to connect to a cell tower or report any data on your car, while at the same time retaining full bluetooth functionality and having no error codes come up. Note that you will lose the compass functionality, as it appears to be based on GPS heading data from the OnStar cell phone module.
If you're worried about messing up your car interior, be assured if you read the instructions and take your time, you can do it and you won't mess anything up. The hardest part is getting the glovebox back onto the hinge pegs. Just keep your cool and take your time. Everything else is easy.
None of the OnStar features will work once you do this. Duh! That IS the point here. The procedure is totally reversible should you change your mind.
Step 1: Finding the Module
In the 2014 Camaro, the OnStar module is behind the glove compartment and under a plastic panel. The OnStar module is very likely shared among models and probably doesn't change much year-to-year. You can apply this procedure to other recent Chevy cars once you locate the module. Some easy places to look are:
- under the seats
- behind the liner in the trunk
Step 2: Getting Ready to Remove the Glovebox
As noted, the OnStar module in the 2014 Camaro is behind the glove box. Step one is removing the glove box. The glove box hinges on plastic "claws" at the bottom and movement is limited by plastic pegs on the side. There is also a spring-loaded cord on the lower right which prevents the glovebox from slamming down when opened.
First, open the glovebox and unhook the cord on the lower right. Close the glovebox a little to get some slack in the cord, grab the cord near the glovebox and pull down to get it out of the groove where it sits. Slowly let it retract to the dash. If you just let it snap back it might slip inside the dash. Better safe than sorry.
Step 3: Remove the Glovebox
To get the glovebox out, slip your hands to either side of the glovebox and push in on the glovebox walls so the stop pegs can slip past the glovebox opening. The glovebox is free to drop down at this point, so hang onto it so it doesn't hit the trim on the passenger side kick panel. Pull up and forward on the glovebox to unhook the hinges from the hinge pegs.
Step 4: Remove the Plastic Panel
To remove the panel, you will need a 3mm torx driver. The best kind here is the type which goes in a hex socket on a screwdriver. A plain rod type will also work, it will just be more awkward to use.
The panel is in a somewhat awkward position. What worked best for me was to get a small step stool, place my butt on it and lie back so my shoulders were on the door sill. I wore a headlamp but you could get a friend to shine a flashlight instead.
Remove the torx screws. The panel will now be held in place by two clips at the rear. Just pull down on the panel from the rear and it will come off.
Once the panel is off, the OnStar box is visible. It is a paperback book-sized metal box.
Step 5: Removing the OnStar Unit
The OnStar box is held in place by plastic rails. Before you take it out, you have to unplug it. There are three connectors. The white connectors just pull out. The maroon connector has a release tab you have to press. It might help you to unplug the white connectors, slide the unit out, and then unplug the maroon antenna connector.
Step 6: Opening the OnStar Unit
We're going to open up the OnStar unit, so take it over to a desk or table and use the torx driver to remove the screws holding the top on. If you're doing this in winter and there's static electricity, take precautions to discharge yourself before touching anything inside the OnStar unit.
Step 7: Unplug the Computer Board From the Radio Board
We disable the OnStar unit by unplugging the cell phone radio from the computer board. To do so, pull up gently on the circuit board while rocking it slightly, until it comes free of the case. Set it aside.
Next, pull the metal pin thing (it's called a "header") off the cellphone board or the computer board (it might stay behind on either board, it does not matter which) and set it aside. In case you want to re-enable OnStar or sell the car, put it in a plastic bag and label it. You can keep it in the glove box.
Step 8: Putting It All Back Part 1
Put the computer board back in the case with the same orientation as when you removed it. Put the cover back on and reinstall the screws. Put the OnStar box back into the car. You can plug in the antenna cable first before sliding the unit back onto the rails, if it makes it easier for you.
Once the OnStar box is plugged in, turn on the car and press the OnStar blue button on your mirror. It will say it is going to connect, but it will fail. My unit gave up quickly and just beeped like it was hanging up. I had "deactivated" mine previously by calling OnStar and telling them to close my account. If you don't do that first, your unit might try longer to connect, but the end result will be the same.
Try out your radio (try the XM if you have it) and the handfree bluetooth functionality with your phone. It should all work.
Note that where the compass heading was previously displayed you will see a pair of dashes like so "--". Like I said, you give up the compass. It's no big deal for me, I know which direction I'm heading.
Step 9: Putting It All Back Part 2
Once you're satisfied the radio and the bluetooth still work, and the car isn't complaining, put back the plastic panel and reinstall the glovebox.
To reinstall the panel, first get it into position and push up at the back to snap the snaps into place. Then reinstall the screws with the torx driver.
To reinstall the glovebox, place the claws on the hinge pins, and push in on the glovebox sides to allow the glovebox to tilt back up until the pins clear the edge of the glovebox opening. This is the hard part. The issue is, to get the claws on the pins easiest, you would lower the glovebox all the way, but you can't as the right passenger kick panel prevents this. The way around this is to get the left claw onto the pin, then get the glovebox tilted part way up, so the pins on the side are midway between the front and back of the glovebox opening.
With the glovebox in this position, try pushing back on the glovebox to get the right-side claw to pop onto the pin. It may take more than one try, and it's possible you will get the right side to click only to have the left side pop off the pin.
Take your time, think about how the claw seats on the pin, and remember it came off without much trouble, you will get it back on. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, give yourself a few minutes break and try again.
Note: Keep your hand on the lower right corner of the glovebox to prevent it from coming into contact with the right-side passenger kick panel. This is the only place I can see you possibly marking the interior.
When you finally get both hinge claws to snap in, tilt the glovebox up so the pins go past the sides plus a little bit more, then pull down on the sping-loaded cable and place the "T" bar into the opening where you orignially removed it.
Close up the glovebox! You're done!
Step 10: Conclusion
You're done! Enjoy your car, knowing that OnStar can't spy on you or mess with your car, no matter what.
4 months ago
I have been through 4 batteries, 1000- bill from the dealer that included a diagnostic and another battery. THIS IS ALL I NEEDED! I followed the instructions and it worked.Thank you for this!
4 months ago
THIS WAS PERFECT! I followed the directions and never had another battery issue again. This made all the difference in the world for my car. Thank You!
3 years ago
Congratulations on an excellent article. What still works: wi-fi hotspot, diagnostics, GPS? What is the function of what you disconnected? Aerial for vehicle's AT&T cell phone link to Onstar Central and to AT&T data connection? what is "cellphone" board. Does cellphone board have its own mini-cellphone antenna? Why are you pulling the gender bender rather than just the power plug? Why did compass quit, GPS based not flux gate? Just curious, thanks.
Reply 3 years ago
I disconnected the cellular modem component of the onstar module. Doing so prevents the onstar module from using cellular service. I am guessing the compass stopped working as it comes from the cellular modem. The reason for unplugging just the cellular modem is if you unplug the onstar module you may cause problems on the canbus.
Reply 3 years ago
So, the small board is the guts of a CDMA cellphone which you disconnected with the header plug, This disabled connectivity with Onstar Central but also eliminated Diagnotics, GPS, Compass and WiFi hotspot. Control and interface with the user Cellphone are unaffected. Maybe I would still have Android Auto, a superior alternative. As you say, no compass on the dash. Please let me know if I've got it right. Thanks.
Also, I built a simple and trouble free stop-start defeat for my 2017 Cad XT5 that has worked for better than a year. The soldering put Cad owners off. Can't see that it would be of general interest but I'd post it.
Question 5 years ago on Step 8
So my navigation will not work also right? Unless I get another radio?
Reply 5 years ago
If you have navigation, it likely shares the cellphone module used by OnStar. What year is your car?
6 years ago
Hello! I took my car to South America where onstar doesn't work,but I believe that when I do not use the car for a few days the onstar module is drawing my battery because is try to connnect the satellite all the time,even when the car is off,do you think that if I do all this process that could stop the drawing problem? The battery is brand new,the alternator is working properly and the car only has 3500 miles ,is basically new..I want to disconnect onstar 100 % to solve the problem
7 years ago on Introduction
Would this work the same for a 2015 Buick Encore Onstar module? I found the module behind the glove box and it looks just like the onstar in the picture. I even got it to slide out some - plugs are very hard to reach in back. My scrapped up hands show it :)
Reply 7 years ago on Introduction
It probably won't slide out all the way while plugged in, but there should be enough slack in the wiring harness to get it out enough to unplug the connectors. I am going off memory, but I think each one has a locking tab you have to push in to be able to pull out the connector. I recall the antenna one is the worst. Just take your time.
Once you get the box out, just remove the cover and look inside. Unless they changed something since last year, you should be able to unplug the radio module, remove the interconnect, and put it back.
If something did change, and there is no longer a separate cellphone board, you can try just unplugging the antenna, but in this case, it still may be able to phone home, albeit not as well.
Reply 7 years ago on Introduction
Thanks! I got a schematic from a Buick tech on the unit in the Encore. Looks like I could cut the cell ant and the GPS ant coax leading to the antenna splitter. This enables the XM, and FM and car GPS to share the same antenna with the onstar cell and GPS connections. Once those are cut everything else XM, FM and car GPS still connect to the antenna and theres no other connection for onstar to an additional antenna. Im going to try your way first if I can get those disconnected from the back. The module is mounted vertical and the wires plug in on the backside towards the front firewall. Impossible to see until I get it all the way out. Thanks again and I let you know what happens - nothing I hope :)
8 years ago on Introduction
I did this, everything worked, at first. After a few days and trips and using my nave system manually now my nav will not connect to the gps satellites. I get a GPS with a red line through it.
Reply 8 years ago on Introduction
That's understandable. The GPS functionality comes from the cellphone module and is built into the chipset. It's an all-or-nothing deal - there's no way to keep just the GPS navigation.