Chevrolets can now predict when they'll need service, thanks to OnStar

May 10, 2016

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015, General Motors announced a new suite of tools to help car owners get a jump on maintenance needs before they become maintenance headaches. Now, those tools have rolled out to five Chevrolet models, with more to receive them down the road.

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The tools are collectively called Proactive Alerts, which is offered through GM's OnStar. According to Chevrolet:

"The technology is similar in concept to that on the Boeing 787, which can send in-flight messages to ground crews alerting them of parts needing inspection before the plane arrives. For Chevrolet drivers who opt-in to the service, OnStar Proactive Alerts continually monitors the health of the vehicle’s starter motor, fuel pump and 12-volt battery. If anomalies are detected, OnStar will notify drivers to take their vehicle in for service, reducing unexpected repairs."

Proactive Alerts works by continually gathering data from a vehicle and transferring it to a central analytical service via OnStar. That data is monitored to ensure that the car's components are working as they should, and if they're not, the driver will receive an in-vehicle notification. She'll also receive a text message or email about the issue, depending on how she's organized her alerts preferences.

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In the end, Proactive Alerts could help owners save a good bit of money. As most people who've had to have their car repaired know, fixing problems before they get too big is usually simpler and cheaper than waiting to do so until you've been stranded on the side of the road.

It may also save owners time. According to GM technologist Steve Holland, Proactive Alerts "will be able to inform dealer service departments so they can spend less time testing for a condition we have already diagnosed. They can replace the necessary part quicker and minimize the amount of time a customer’s vehicle is at the dealership."

Proactive Alerts is available now on 2016 Chevy Corvette, Equinox, Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe models equipped with OnStar. Other models will be added to the lineup in the future.

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