Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • Bluetooth Upgrade

    Posted on October 21st, 2009 tcorzett No comments


    One of the downsides of getting the 2009 G8GT, rather than the 2009.5 version, was the lack of factory Bluetooth. There have been a few different options out there for adding Bluetooth to the G8, but none of them were really a ‘factory’ option.

    The first phone option is to just use the OnStar phone service, but that requires paying a per-minute rate for the car. While I played with this on my free trial, and really liked the quality, the cost is totally prohibitive. I pay for a cell phone minutes, why pay for my car to have more?

    The second option would have been to get the Garmin 765 GPS unit (rather than the 755) that has Bluetooth. This would allow me to use my cell phone hands free, but it doesn’t allow me to use my car’s phone related equipment/controls. I would have also needed to modify the dash pieces to allow the GPS unit’s mic to clearly hear my voice.

    A near-factory option is BlueStar, which replaces the factory OnStar box with a new piece of hardware. This system would connect with my phone and allow me to use all of the factory hardware (mic, speakers, steering wheel controls, etc.). The biggest downside of this option is the removal of the OnStar box (and functions). I don’t really use many of the OnStar features, but I do want to keep the door unlocking and CEL/maintenance abilities.

    So, what is the solution? A factory 2009.5 Bluetooth/OnStar box that is re-programmed for my VIN. Unfortunately, GM is not allowing people to order new boxes unless they already have a 2009.5 vehicle. Some people have been able to find these from wrecked/scrapped vehicles, but they are very hard to come-by. Today White Automotive & Media Services was able to obtain a very limited number of brand new VCIM modules (they are already sold-out), which they re-programed to plug-and-play with my G8!

    It will be very nice to no longer need my sucky Bluetooth ear piece to be ‘hands-free’ when driving. I really can’t wait for this to show-up!

    UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, the order was canceled. Oh well, maybe something like this will come-up in the future. I know that it is a mod that I really want to get done!