It’s actually quite inexpensive these days to add factory-spec Bluetooth to “older” cars from the mid-2000’s. Here’s how to do it on many 2007-2011 model year GM cars, and 2007-2014 trucks.
GM says you can’t add factory-spec Bluetooth to your car if it didn’t come with one. They’re wrong, but only because you have to break their rules to get the job done.
Important Warning: Your car is probably already out of warranty. But this could void the warranty on components involved. Either way, I take no responsibility if this causes your car to melt… nor do I take any responsibility if you or your first-born are imploded… nor do I take any responsibility for anything less-bad than that which could happen.
In 2009, and continuing through about 2014, General Motors offered built-in Bluetooth on some of its cars through the OnStar module. For identical cars built before that, GM says it’s impossible to retrofit. But in reality, it’s just an upgrade GM didn’t want to offer to dealers as a part upgrade.
This process works with most 2007-2011 Model Year (MY) cars, and 2007-2014 trucks. Even if the same car exists before 2007, it probably won’t work. GM did an upgrade to the GMLAN networking firmware in their Body Control Modules (BCM) that enables what they marketed as “advanced voice controls” – that feature is key to enabling the Bluetooth module. Unfortunately, without it, you basically have to upgrade your Body Control Module… something very expensive and not recommended (replacing it with a newer/untested variant and firmware can cause epic problems as it communicates with almost every electrical component in your car).
Why do this mod? GM Bluetooth taps into the integrated microphone that comes standard on most GM cars. GM’s microphone is pre-calibrated for excellent audio reception. With the exception of convertibles, most find it to be one of the best Bluetooth solutions for your car out there. Plus, it is fully integrated with the OnStar and steering wheel audio buttons – so everything appears (and performs) like factory.
Downsides? A couple. One, you won’t get A2DP Stereo Bluetooth. Two, you will have to take your car apart, or pay your dealer to do it. Three, it can cost you up to $100 (around $100 for the parts, and around $100 for the optional firmware reflash). Your dealer may charge up to $100 to install it, too.
Get the Right Gear
To do this mod, you need a Bluetooth OnStar module. This used to be a few hundred bucks… but it isn’t anymore. You can get these used for about $100. Sometimes even less.
The OnStar module needs to have a Bluetooth dongle, too. It’s a small attachment antenna that clips to the back of the OnStar module. Most pick-and-pull versions you will find have the antenna still attached.
Here’s a list of the cars (and module part numbers) you need to do this:
Delta Platform Cars (Chevy Cobalt & HHR, Pontiac G5, Saturn Astra) – 20833261, 22740323 or 20837492 (Strongly suggest 22740323 (2011), followed by 20833261 (2010) as they have RemoteLink)
Epsilon Platform Cars (Chevy Malibu, Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura, 9-3 See Below) – 25817241 (2009-2010), 22740323, 20833261, 22740323
Sigma (II) Platform Cars (Cadillac CTS & STS, First-gen SRX is Unverified) – CTS: 20837492 STS: 20793309, 25983291 or 25807050
Kappa Platform Cars* (Pontiac Solstice & Saturn SKY) – 20793309, 25983291 or 25807050 (DO NOT USE 20833261 with Kappa – GM interchanges listing this are erroneous)
Lambda, Theta & Zeta + GMT900 / GMT9XX (Buick Enclave, Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Suburban, Silverado, Tahoe, GMC Acadia, Sierra, Traverse, Yukon, Saturn Outlook, SAAB 9-3*, Hummer H2, Pontiac G8) – 12842801, 20787107, 20829984 (may have RemoteLink – replaces the prior two), 2598444, 20783877, or 20827036 (20827036 is the newer module that replaces the prior two… and supports RemoteLink)
Other part numbers may work. If you have verified success stories, post them.
* Kappa Platform Note: Some very, very early Kappa platform cars that are sold as 2007 MY cars will not work with this procedure. They were shipped, basically, with pre-release firmware that did not have the “advanced voice control” functions needed to make Bluetooth work. You would need to deploy a new Body Control Module to make those cars work. Check your manufacturing date if you have an ’07 Solstice or Sky, make sure it wasn’t one of the first few hundred validation units off the line.
* SAAB 9-3: The 9-3 is an oddball. It is Epsilon platform, but since it was designed in Sweden, the car’s OnStar was a major afterthought. Like the G8, it uses the truck VCIM as a result. The link in the list above takes you to a SAAB forum which outlines the various wires you may have to run, depending on which radio you have. It’s more difficult on the 9-3, and it probably cost SAAB hundreds of thousands (at least) in wasteful engineering.
For the Camaro and other Global A cars – some of which were sold concurrently, you need to add a PDIM module. That’s beyond the scope of this article… but it’s actually much easier to do. Some of these models (like Traverse) were upgraded to Global A wiring and circuitry mid-generation… so you need to check your specific year to see if you need a VCIM or PDIM. When in doubt, ask.
European Models (Opel/Vauxhall cars): Because Europe didn’t have OnStar VCIMs, they created a module very similar to the BlueSTAR module (described below). The Holden part number for Commodore VE is 92196020, for example. Similar to the North American models, you need the “advanced voice control” firmware that started to roll out in 2007. You should make sure your car has the microphone and audio control buttons (on the steering wheel) before attempting this one. I have near-zero experience with EU/Oz deployments, but please post comments with your experience!
Getting it Programmed
Installing is specific to your car. A dealer should be able to do it for you. Some won’t since GM issued a directive to not do this. You can do it yourself, but on some cars it is quite involved.
Here’s the catch. OnStar modules are coded to the VIN of your car. So when you plug in a different OnStar module, you’ll notice your OnStar LED has turned red. What’s going on here is that your car realizes the OnStar module wasn’t programmed with your car’s VIN.
If you’re fine with the OnStar light turning red, odds are you don’t need to do anything. In most cases, the OnStar service will still work – the light simply stays red to alert you that the module doesn’t match the vehicle’s VIN. Most people that have issues with OnStar, wound up using an incompatible VCIM (even with an incompatible VCIM, Bluetooth does often work).
That’s a major reason why I wrote this guide… people were buying the wrong VCIM part number – for their car – and wound up not being able to use OnStar anymore.
The one gotcha in all this, is that OnStar will think your vehicle is whatever car the module came from. For example, my 2008 Sky appears to OnStar as a 2009 Sky. My 2009.5 Pontiac G6 appears to OnStar customer service as a 2011 HHR. If your vehicle is ever disabled, and you need roadside assistance, you may want to alert the OnStar dispatcher that your car is different than the one on the account. Just tell them you did a VCIM swap, and they should (emphasis, should) get it.
Wait, there’s more. Many 2009 OnStar 8.0 VCIM’s originally shipped from the factory with a few bugs. The biggest is battery drain. There’s a TSB out for it. Good luck getting your dealership to update a VCIM from a completely different car, that doesn’t even match the part number of your car. Plus the latest firmware will improve Bluetooth connectivity with your phone.
The good news here is Chris White of White Automotive and Media Services (WAMS for short) can reprogram the VIN, and at the same time update the firmware in your OnStar module. Your OnStar will work, your LED will be green, and you’ll have the latest firmware for Bluetooth pairings.
Needless to say, I highly recommend it.
If you’re daunted by install, having WAMS flash it also gives you the assurance that it will “just work.” Most dealers will install a VCIM that is pre-programmed for $100 or less. Just tell them it came from somewhere in Detroit, and to test it before closing the car up.
Could this mod keep my car from starting?
I’ve been asked this a few times. Back in the day, GM touted that OnStar modules were an effective anti-theft device. They touted that if the OnStar module was tampered with, that your car woudln’t start.
Well, kinda. Today the Global A cars are much more secure. But these older cars… not so much.
Turns out, your car will start and work provided *any* OnStar module is connected. All the Body Control Module does, is verify that the lead wires to the VCIM are feeding power and are grounded. You can even pour water over a VCIM, ruin it, and plug it into the car – it will still start up. Speaking from experience there…
With a Tech 2 service tool, you can go one step further and turn off the OnStar feature completely – which will let you then run without any VCIM. Which means your stolen car’s vehicle tracking can be disabled with a $299 service tool, and a socket wrench.
Like I said, modern GM cars are much more secure.
Here’s one cool bonus. If you have a Delta or Epsilon class car and add OnStar module part number 20833261 or 20827036, you have an OnStar 8.2 module.
Note: I’m probably missing some 8.2/RemoteLink modules… please post in the comments with others!
With OnStar 8.2, GM backported basic RemoteLink functionality. So you don’t need to call OnStar to lock/unlock your phone… you can use the app. Sounding the horn also works too.
It’s not everything that OnStar 9.0 supports on your phone, unfortunately. Remote start isn’t available, nor is location tracking. Mileage and fuel status do work.
I actually find myself using it quite a bit. You can make sure your car is locked from anywhere, instantly. Plus I can get precise gallons left in the tank, something the car doesn’t tell me without an OBD2 Bluetooth tool.
A Word About CoStar
I should take a moment to credit CoStar and their hard work with the BlueSTAR module. BlueSTAR is a unique module made by a prolific hacker(s), who took GMLAN interface code and managed to create an OnStar module replacement, which adds Bluetooth. They’ve even added mono A2DP through waves of firmware updates.
So, why do I use GM’s solution instead? One, I like OnStar. Two, GM’s solution is admittedly a bit more reliable. Three, and most relevant at this point, a used OnStar VCIM with Bluetooth is actually now much cheaper in aftermarket part supplies. Even with WAMS flashing service, you can get that done in under $200.
WOAH! That’s impressive.
My 2009 Cobalt SS/TC has OnStar and Bluetooth, but I’d love to have it upgraded. I’m going to reach out to Chris on that one.
Any way to upgrade the Bluetooth capabilities to support stereo audio (music)?
Unfortunately adding A2DP is not viable without a third-party add-on like iSimple’s kit.
iSimple does work well for that use. It plugs into GMLAN upstream from the radio and even works with the radio controls. You need to have XM radio, when you press the XM button the menu will then let you toggle to A2DP mode once installed.
If you get an iSimple, make sure it has the latest firmware.
GM added A2DP to their “Global A” cars, starting with the 2010 Camaro… there are a couple of GM SUV radios that might pull this off, but it’s too costly for me to plug-and-pray on that front.
has anyone that you know of done a 2015 vcim into a 2008 tahoe to get wifi working i have already done a 2011 in a 2008 to get the remotelink/bluetooth to work.
I’ve updated the article with a couple more Kappa VCIMs that should work, and added a note about vehicles before the 2007 MY (including a few early-run Kappa’s… ironically).
I could use the most help improving this article on the CTS (first and second-gen) and the SRX & STS.
Those VCIMs seem like a minefield… the STS for example uses the same VCIMs as the Kappa’s but CTS and first-gen SRX use different ones. Which, is really odd since CTS/STS/SRX first-gen cars are all supposed to be the same platform. Consider all Sigma platform content plug-n-pray until better vetted.
I have a 2008 Pontiac G6 with Onstar but it doesn’t have bluetooth. Is there a way I can add bluetooth so I can connect my phone for music and calls?
I haven’t tried any of the pre-revision G6 cars from 2007 or 2008. They have the older 24-bit GMLAN. I know it will work on 2009.5 & 2010 models.
You should try part numbers 22740323, 20833261, or 22740323. I’d just plug it in and see if it works. If not, return it or put it back on eBay. I wouldn’t send it to WAMS to do the firmware update/green-light patch work, because that would be a waste until you can confirm it works or not.
Did another update:
* Trucks and SUVs added!
* Clarified the reasons why this doesn’t work on pre-2007 MY cars…
* Clarified further PDIM vs VCIM
* Clarified Zeta/GMT RemoteLink part numbers
* Posted a few calls-for-help asking people to post in the comments with missing info (RemoteLink-enabled part #’s and Europe/Australia options)
I added a link to a SAAB forum showing the 9-3 wiring complexities. Even if you have 2007-2009 MY, you may need additional work to make the swap happen. It’s those kinds of redundancies that really brought SAAB into the red, and out of the game.
Finally, I removed the 2007 Saturn ION. From what I can tell, it is still totally untested. I don’t know if those ’07 units ever got the advanced-audio control BCMs. The one person that volunteered to try it, never attempted and traded the car.
This is a long article now. Don’t know how I could make it any shorter.
P.S. If this article helped you, pay it forward by linking to it on your favorite forum/blog/social media/etc.
2007 Saturn ION is why I ended up here while looking on internet for ways to find out if I can have/can get/or can make blue tooth on work with its radio/onstar system (only had car a couple months). I have not paid for OnStar but unless I do I guess the radio will never get good reception – but can always play CD’s (can’t afford OnStar anyways). I acquired the car by working it off for a family fixing things around their home as I no longer had a car. I have an old Pioneer stereo system in which I bought a blue tooth machine years back that connected to it and worked great in my old mini van I had a few years ago – but I do not know how to make that plug into this Saturn ION stereo system – because I do want a bluetooth that interupts radio/stereo or whatever automatically to take or make calls of course. If anyone can help with that – or tell me how to connect that black blue tooth box and make it work – I’d be in business and greatly appreciate it! OR, any way that I can get my phone to work via blue tooth with the system already in the Saturn. I am on disability so fixed income and cannot afford much at all, and grew up working on cars and things so can do the work myself if someone told me how to do it. Thanks for what I have already gained in knowledge here.
OnStar is not XM Satellite Radio. Activating OnStar will provide no better radio reception.
The only reliable, tested solution that fully integrates with the ION is the CoStar BlueStar. It’s $279. There may be a matching OnStar replacement – but it’s not ideal.
If you are on a fixed income, my advice would be to purchase a Bluetooth speaker designed for cars. There are many available under $50 that work well and can move to another vehicle should the need arise. All these hacks require considerable time and cost comparatively.
Were you ever able to confirm whether this would work on a 2007 Saturn Ion 2?
I’d mostly want it for transmitting bluetooth audio to car speakers, which seems like wasn’t possible with this particular method.
Is there any way to add bluetooth to the factory headunit aside from using the aux port on the front? My aux port has a tremendous amount of feedback.
Appreciate any help you can provide.
I added a 20829984 module to my 2007 Yukon Denali. Everything works except for the bluetooth? The Onstar light remained green and when I voice command for bluetooth it doesn’t recognize the command. Any ideas? I believe the module came from a 2010 GMC Arcadia and it has the dongle,
I added 20829984 to my 2007 Chevy Tahoe. It attempts to pair, but the phone says unsuccessful. The module came from a 2010 Cadillac Escalade.
Thanks for the great article! It gave me great hope of adding BT to my G8.
One clarification though, under the G8 category, you mention that module #20827036 offers Remote Link functionality, but below you also state that that is only for the Delta and Epsilon categories. Can you clarify is adding that module to my G8 will also provide me with Remote Link functions? Thanks again for all this great info
I don’t see Impalas mentioned. I’d like to have the remote start functionality of the app for my 2009 Impala. Thoughts?
I see that first generation SRX is listed as unverified. I have a 2011 base model SRX and would love to add bluetooth to it. Remote start would be an added bonus but not a must. Do you have any data on the 2011 SRXs working with this?
this looked like a decent option too. http://www.cruxinterfacing.com/products.php
CRUX’s option is one I haven’t tried, but certainly seems well thought out. Two concerns. One, they note Siri integration may be problematic. Two, CRUX doesn’t have an 11-bit GMLAN version. So “newer” GMLAN cars like most Delta, Kappa, and Epsilon class cars don’t work.
Thankfully the 11-bit GMLAN cars all can do VCIM swaps and USB-port radios. So they need it the least.
If I had a Class 2 car today (used to), I’d probably give CRUX a go.
I have a 2007 Cadillac cts with onstar. I would like to add bluetooth to permit me to link my Galaxy Note 4. Can you advise me to what is entailed to accomplish this?
William, the CoStar module may be best for you. That is a third-party accessory that replaces your OnStar module, see the article for more details on it. Do note that it only plays music in mono-mode.
If you want Stereo Bluetooth, a 3.5 mm adapter or new radio is probably the best route. Only the second-generation CTS (2008-2013) has a path to adding GM Bluetooth.
Does anyone think that Part #23261702 would work in a 2008 Suburban?
This VCIM came out of a 2015 Silverado. it has Bluetooth and WiFi
accidentally unsubscribed to this blog. need to subscribe again . Christopher I wish to say, thank you for all the info you post on your site. i have spent many hours reading it about the many subjects you chat about and allow us to comment on
@John – No, anything from a 2015 Silverado won’t work in older cars.
Any 2014+ Silverado is based on the Global A era of GMLAN and won’t speak to older 11/24-bit GMLAN cars.
You need a Bluetooth-enabled VCIM from a 2009-2013 Silverado. Not all Silverado VCIMs from that era have Bluetooth, and they aren’t cheap ($200 to $250, typically).
I have looked at most of the information on the net, but there seems to be a little less clear info on the Buick lucerne / Cadillac DTS which for all general purpose the same car. Looking at just the Bluetooth for a 2007 lucerne (don’t care about onstar) with oem nav. Any ideas on others gm cars to pull from, sorry but it the misinformation highway out here and too many onstar boxes floating around lol. Thanks
@JIMchi – The Lucerne and DTS are Class 2 cars. The CoStar module will certainly work – but you should also be able to pull an OnStar VCIM with Bluetooth from a 2009+ DTS or Lucerne.
I don’t have the matching part numbers, sorry. Look for DTS/Lucerne VCIMs that have a Bluetooth antenna sticking out of them, or the Bluetooth emblem on the box.
Thanks for your article. I have a 2009 Malibu with OnStar & XM but no bluetooth. I am pursuing your method for bluetooth adding. Also though, I’m wondering if I can change out the radio head unit with a similar type as mind but from a later model 2011 version that has USB and if so, if that would be plug and play, or is there additional programming involved.
@Nick – You came to the right place 🙂
Wow – thanks for taking the time to write all this up!
“Here’s how to do it on many 2007-2011 model year GM cars, and 2007-2014 trucks.”
I just bought a 2013 CTS Luxury which did NOT include a USB option (standard on trimmed up versions of this ride.
Does above procedure apply to my 2013 Cadillac CTS? I was confused by your reference to 2007 – 2011 cars only, above.
Are you trying to add USB, or Bluetooth? Two totally different procedures there on this era of cars.
Christopher, this is fantastic. Buying a 2007 STS and really want Bluetooth.
I was wondering, in absence of steering wheel phone buttons, how do you access functionality? Just via speech? Or do you have to interface with the paired phone to dial, etc?
Will module 25990228 work for a 2008 CTS? What about 25910217 or 20787643? Thanks.
Great resource – I just bought a 20827036 and had it shipped directly to WAMS for flashing, and I am really looking forward to Bluetooth and (hopefully) some basic app functionality. A couple questions:
– do I just d/l the latest version of the app? it seems like gm is now segregating by the make of the car. will it just ‘find’ my car once i log into my onstar account?
– can you tell me where to find any diagrams/instructions on where/how to swap the vcim on my 2007 Saturn Aura once it arrives? i haven’t had much luck with google.
Awesome post Christopher!
You would use the app from the donor car. So if your VCIM came from a Chevy, you’d use the myChevrolet app.
I don’t have a diagram, I think the Aura’s VCIM is in the center stack, below the climate controls. Don’t quote me on that.
I am purchasing a 2007 Escalade SUV and has OnStar. I am not interested in OnStar but need to have bluetooth for my Samsung Galaxy S6. Can I swap the VCIM for this functionality?
Yes, you can use the truck VCIMs to do this. Just keep in mind the limitations noted above, namely that it will only work for phone calls and GPS navigation – it will not work for Stereo Bluetooth music on that era of GM SUVs.
I found the vcim – behind the glove box. I’ll post once it’s back from WAMS and installed to tell about the app functionality (if any). Thanks for a great site!
I have an 07 CTS. If I change out the module how do you pair the phone?
Is it done through the DIC?
I do not have NAV.
Awesome piece! Super informative, in all relavant directions! Any specific recommendations for an 08 Yukon XL Denali built in March of 2008? I would choose to send whats necessary to acheive maximun possible technical gains! Your specific recommendations would be nothing short of stellar!
Thanks again for this informative narrative! Well written!
I just purchased a 20827036 for my 2008 Saturn Outlook with OEM Nav. When I installed it I heard the bluetooth come one to sync. But from there on, any NAV radio keeps resetting when I try to use the voice command feature. I installed the original OnStar unit back into the vehicle and now I get the same issue that voice command with freeze up the NAV and resort occurs. Nothing will give me voice command any more. Any suggestions?
I’ve never heard of a car having issues once the original OnStar VCIM is restored to the vehicle. The first step I would take is to check the fuses to see if any have blown. I would also triple check the connections to the VCIM, as those connectors can be a bit pesky. I would also make sure no wires got damaged in the VCIM connector harness.
It’s possible your Body Control Module has an issue – or has failed. But like I said, this is the first time in years of talking about this topic that I’ve ever heard of people having issues even after restoring the original VCIM.
Thank you for the reply, I highl y appreciate it. I found the issue to be with the update mapping DVD. It had a bug in it with the voice command in general. With the old mapping DVD all is well and Bluetooth works great. Getting a new update mapping DVD and go from there. Now I’m off to do the same mod with the wife’s Impala! Thank you for a great website and all your research in it. A great help indeed! Now back to fighting with MS to return Windows Media Center to Windows! That Silicondust set up is the best.
Chris; Thank you for the information you have shared on this site. I was wondering if you could answer this question. I have a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado with the bose stereo. No navigation. I was wondering what the easiest way to get bluetooth in my truck without having to run to the dealership and try to get them to re-flash my truck. Hands free is mandatory in my state and several of the surrounding ones. I have a lifetime script to XM and do not want to lose that.
Thanks in advance for your assistance and all the information that you have garnered and shared with us! 🙂
Do you know what parts I would need to convert an Hummer H3? The year is 2007.
I had my Onstar VCIM 20783877 programmed by WAMS. I installed the unit. the unit works because Onstar just gave me three months complimentary service. The Bluetooth is not working. WAMS says I may need to upgrade my factory navigation XM radio to a 2009+ radio. I have a 2008 Chevy Avalanche LTZ with original OEM radio. Any suggestions?
I have no firsthand experience with GM truck platforms on this mod. I can tell you the logic makes a bit of sense, as navigation radios prior to 2009 might lack the GMLAN bits to talk to a the Bluetooth module. That being said, this is not an issue with car platforms and the non-navigation radios over there.
My first thing to check would be to make sure the OnStar module is properly mated to the vehicle. Most times, the wrong VCIM swap is the culprit. I would ask WAMS if he knows that OnStar VCIM part number is compatible with the Avalanche.
Please contact me would like to talk mecp master certified. Did vcim swap on 09 g8gt works perfectly only onstar thinks i have 2010 silverado wich is fine.would like talk about vcim for remote link and wich i need for remote start lock un lock most current version and wondering do they let bt streaming possiable
I purchased a used 984 module for my 2008 Acadia. The module came with the BT antenna on it. However it does not recognize the “bluetooth” command. Can you help?
I’m having the same problem. Did you ever figure it out?
Help! I have a 2010 CTS, and the OnStar decided to have a red light. Took it to the local Cadillac dealer, after the car battery was continually being drained, and they told me (after a $160 diagnosis) that the only solution was to pay $1300 to install a new OnStar… or disconnect the thing. So, the unplugged the fuse from the OnStar, and that solved the battery draining. However, my bluetooth no longer functions, so I can’t use it with my iPhone for hands-free calling.
I really don’t want to spend over a grand on this thing, but I need to have hands-free calling restored. Is there a solution for me? Thanks in advance!
The only reason I could ever get to a sum like $1,300 would be if your BCM had failed alongside the VCIM… highly unlikely. If someone wanted $1,300 just to replace your VCIM, it’s time for find a new dealership.
The dealer did do the correct thing in disabling a VCIM module that is acting up – and it is correct that does also disable Bluetooth on these cars. But I would ask for a clear breakdown of why they are seeking $1,300 to fix your car. A replacement module costs between $200 (used) and $400 (new). Installation takes an hour labor. Programming, 30 minutes. I don’t see how you get to $1,300 even under the “rosiest” of estimates.
If you have a Kappa platform car (Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky), someone suggested you try 22740323 and see if it works with both OnStar and Bluetooth.
I haven’t heard of anyone testing it, but since it works with the 2011/2012 HHR – it’s possible it would work in our cars. It superseded 20833261, which I think only worked on the 2010 Solstice/Sky because of custom firmware).
It’s a crap shoot, but worth a try. RemoteLink might even work after a WAMS flash. Would be really cool to remote lock/unlock a Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky from a smartphone!
I have a 2008 Hummer H2, I changed out my OnStar module to a 2010 Chevy Silverado OnStar module #20829984 for Bluetooth, it works great but no OnStar. what I want to do now is to get a new OnStar module so OnStar will work and show the right vehicle, also hoping to get RemoteLink. My question to you is, do you know what is the most up to date OnStar module I can use for Bluetooth and possibly/hopefully RemoteLink? THANKS
Just did this for my 07 suburban. It worked perfectly. Install took 45 minutes and hands free calling is perfect. Module 20829984 was $49 on eBay. Free shipping. No onstar red light, just perfect bluetooth. Thank you Chris!
Great information Chris – I am in Sales, could have used Bluetooth integration in my OnStar/Bose/Steering Wheel equipped 2008 Impala long ago. Sourced a VCIM, 20783877 for $100 per your notes above. Was a little confused about source vs. targeted vehicle, but figured it out. There’s not much out there on actual Impala success integration, not even on Impala blogs. But it worked flawlessly, no reflashing/dealer involvement. Only issue was the mount for the new transplanted 20783877 VCIM does not matchup in trunk, old one had screw holes to body, but new one did not. I used some ZIP plastic things to mount around mount bracing, there’s also a battery that’s not mentioned above that is right next to the VCIM, but I just reattached it via screws to mount, never unhooked from it’s cable. Iphone Bluetooth pairing happened flawlessly and it all works. took about 10 minutes. Next – call to OnStar to let them know of replacement to align vehicle to replaced VCIM using advice above in case of crash. Will save old VCIM for future sale if needed along with screws for mount.
Your WAM guys don’t work on weekdays, they made that clear as they don’t acknowledge M-F emails, but turns out I didn’t need to utilize their reflash services for the transplanted VCIM, good to know of their services for those VCIMs with power draw, who knows, maybe something will glitch yet, but was very excited when it worked, CID, everything I need.
Music streaming via BT have not attempted, but sounds like it won’t work, not a big need, I am an older timer – XM Radio is all I need along with AM/FM tuner. Remote Link likely doesn’t work, but that’s OK, sounds like a great feature. Now I have a quality handsfree solution without the 3rd party rework. My son elected to buy aftermarket replacement for his 07 Silverado, will see how that progresses, but would advise this simple upgrade for all applicable Mid Ought Impala owners without BT functionality – no brainer.
I don’t know if this thread gets replies any longer. I recently bought an 07 Yukon Denali. It has navigation, OnStar, XM. I didn’t know if it would be possible to pull an OnStar module from a newer car and swap them out, or if just using the Isimple kit would be better. I like the idea of using a newer onstar module. I have no idea which year or part I would need. Thanks for any help or advice.
What parts numbers do I need to control my 08 impala remote start with my smartphone?
No need to reply. I took your advice and mistakenly reached out to WAMS on an off day and didn’t hear back. I reached out again over the weekend and again didn’t hear back, at which point I got annoyed and sent a third, unfriendly message. How ironic is it that I received a response to THAT message noting my first.
I appreciate your website and hope you keep up the good work. As for WAMS, I doubt after our back and forth we’ll be doing any business. Unfortunate though, i already reached out to some repair shop owners about the WAMS potential.
I’ll say this about WAMS, it’s a one-guy-in-a-garage operation. WAMS mostly does this because nobody else does or will. Which is a shame, for GM more than Chris White.
He makes far more money doing this work for tuners and others in the business. I wouldn’t call customer service one of his selling points.
Thank you! Your work is very much appreciated.
I’ve read your column many times. I own a 2007 avalanche I bought new. I ordered it with all the options available.
I tried to use the costar box,but it didn’t work. It wouldn’t pair with my radio. I thought it was a bad costar box so tried another one and no luck.
I than bought a ONSTAR box on eBay that matched the numbers you gave and sent it to wand. After about a month they finally returned it nothing changed. It didn’t pair and all I get when I try is a computer voice saying did not recognize try again or no speech detected.
Please tell me what I’m doing wrong.
Don’t feel bad. I did the same thing with WAMS. I paid and it promptly accepted my money. I did not hear back. I sent my unit in for re flashing. After three weeks and not hearing back from WAMS. I emailed him. My unit came back 4 days later and looks as if the box had never been opened.
I installed my re flashed VCIM and contacted Onstar. No luck. I escalated it and no luck. I emailed WAMS and was told to ask for 3rd tier tech support. When I called Onstar, i was told there was no such thing as 3rd tier tech support.
To add insult to injury the VCIM’s still had the complete phone book from the previous owner. VERY DISAPPOINTED.
Thank you for actively replying to this post. I have a question that is a slightly varies from the post topic. I have a 2010 Cadillac SRX (Theta Premium platform) with navigation. Currently, I may only can only do hands-free calling, but not A2DP streaming. I am considering replacing my current 20842731 unit with a 22979046 unit. Do you know if this replacement will work and allow me to do A2DP streaming? Thank you for your help.
I know they did an A2DP add, but I’m not sure if it can be backported without a new radio head units (and maybe more). Theta Premium is fairly specific because it was built in between Epsilon I and Epsilon II – so it has elements of both.
You may have better luck on Cadillac/SRX forums.
I have just purchased a 2008 Cadillac DTS. I switch out the VCIM from a 2009 Impala into the DTS. All the wired plugged up perfectly. I was able to prompt thru the pairing proceedures to the point that it gave me the code, it recognized my phone which brought up the enter code pair screen. I entered the numbers and it showed that it was connected. However, when I hit the end call button it then ended the connection with the phone. When I attempted to connect again it prompted me to enter code but would not recognize code. Do I have the wrong VCIM? I have read there are issue with the 2009.
I would start by trying a different phone to isolate your phone model. Pressing the End Call button after a phone call should not sever the Bluetooth link with the vehicle.
hi chris i own a 2004 hummer h2 was wondering what is the newest onstar unit i can put on my truck just to add bluetooth to the truck . i have acces to a tech2 tool so i can match my trucks vin to the new unit myself . i just need to make sure i get the unit that would work for me . thanks alot .. the dealers around here are not helping so i came to you …
From the article my understanding is that it will only work on 2007+.
Fantastic write up BTW.
I wanted to be clear before ordering a bluetooth VCIM for my 2007 GMC Envoy. Do I need to order a truck one, or can I use either the 22740323, or 20833261 modules?
I’ve read the article many times and cannot distinguish whether I have to get a truck one or if it doesn’t matter.
Thanks so much!
Interesting article, had to read it a few times to absorb it.
I am looking to add bluetooth to my 2008 Buick Allure (LaCrosse U.S. model) but didn’t see it listed.
Can you offer any assistance on what would work?
The CoStar module may be the best for that car.
I have a 2003 yukon xl 1500 slt. I have the ability to program modules on GM Vehicles. What vcim is recommended to allow onstar to work again and will i need to upgrade the antenna as well?