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Just got back from a long road trip (the Volt did great, as usual). While my spousal unit was driving, I tried to post a question on this website using my cell phone, but, after lengthy typing, my post disappeared into the ether. So here it is again.

At the start of the trip I upped for another "trial run" of OnStar, since it's free. And that got me thinking:

My Volt's navigation map has never been updated, so it's at least five and perhaps six years old. If I call OnStar and ask for directions to be sent to my car's GPS, and they send directions based on current maps and new roads and interchanges, how does that set of instructions "work" when it hits my car's old and sometimes outdated navigation map? Does my Volt's navigation computer translate or re-work the instructions to utilize its old maps? Do the new directions somehow override the old map? Any ideas? I'm just curious, because it seems like there could be potential conflicts there.

By the way: I spoke to someone at Here Maps (they make the updated vehicle maps and sell them to GM) who confirmed that the newest map update should be coming out any time now. They are issued every 12 to 18 months, she said, and the last one came out in February 2017. I called because I've just about decided to buy the update when it does come out. I find that I really rather like using the Volt's navigation map and display -- that is, I prefer that to using my cell phone's smaller display. (Will there be/is there some way to use CarPlay with my 2013 Volt?)
 

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OnStar does not send directions to your car. They only send the destination. Once the destination is set, your car's nav system calculates a route based on the maps you have stored in your car. All OnStar is doing is saving you the trouble of entering the destination via your nav system's interface. This may not be exactly how it works for a car that lacks a built in nav system, but this is how it would work in your car since you have a nav system.

As for getting CarPlay in a 2013, there is not really any way to do that that I have ever heard of. I did read about one user who installed some sort of aftermarket electronics that allowed him to mirror his phone's screen to the car's display, which is pretty slick, but it is a very complex job that I personally would never attempt. I also don't see much of a reason for that since I have a phone mount so I can use my phone's screen for nav like that very effectively with minimal fuss.
 

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Not that I ever got it to work when I was paying for it - but supposedly in my '14 (w/o Nav) the directions would be more of a "in 'x' miles turn [direction]" displayed on the DIC just under your speed, based on what I could find out.
But again, I never got it to work so I don't entirely know how accurate my statement is.
 

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OnStar does not send directions to your car. They only send the destination. Once the destination is set, your car's nav system calculates a route based on the maps you have stored in your car. All OnStar is doing is saving you the trouble of entering the destination via your nav system's interface. This may not be exactly how it works for a car that lacks a built in nav system, but this is how it would work in your car since you have a nav system.

As for getting CarPlay in a 2013, there is not really any way to do that that I have ever heard of. I did read about one user who installed some sort of aftermarket electronics that allowed him to mirror his phone's screen to the car's display, which is pretty slick, but it is a very complex job that I personally would never attempt. I also don't see much of a reason for that since I have a phone mount so I can use my phone's screen for nav like that very effectively with minimal fuss.
OnStar can definitely send directions to your GM vehicle. OnStar service was available in GM vehicles back when in-vehicle GPS Navigation was still a rarity, only found on luxury models of import brands. If you have an OnStar account you can search for a destination on your phone or on the web, then OnStar will forward turn by turn directions to your vehicle. The vehicle does not have to have the built-in navigation. All Volt's have a GPS receiver whether or not they have the built in navigation system. It is true that, today, with built in navigation available as an option; CarPlay and Android Auto with the ability to use Waze and Google Maps on the Gen 2 Volt OnStar Navigation is OBE but it still works.
 

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OnStar does not send directions to your car. They only send the destination. Once the destination is set, your car's nav system calculates a route based on the maps you have stored in your car. All OnStar is doing is saving you the trouble of entering the destination via your nav system's interface. This may not be exactly how it works for a car that lacks a built in nav system, but this is how it would work in your car since you have a nav system.
I do not believe this to be the case, because OnStar navigation works in vehicles EVEN WITHOUT actual navigation systems. Those vehicles DO have odometers and compasses, so a set of directions are sufficient. If the car knows the sixth step is "drive north on Hwy Q for 3.5 miles, and you just turned north after matching the prior five steps, it can count off 3.3 miles and say "In 1000 feet, turn left" and get you going west on Vista road.

The App, though, sends a destination and only nav-equipped vehicles can use it.
 

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@ jcanoe and hellsop, it looks like you only read the first 2 sentences of what you quoted. You missed the part that makes the same point you both made. Yes, OnStar can send directions to some cars.

However, I have the same year car as the OP with the same Nav option and map editions and I was curious about the same question. I did some experimenting to try to get OnStar to send directions to my car (not just a destination). I can't claim to know what is going on inside the black boxes, but as far as I could tell, it works as I described in a 2013 Volt equipped with nav. I'm confident the OP will have a similar experience if he cares to try it.
 

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@ jcanoe and hellsop, it looks like you only read the first 2 sentences of what you quoted. You missed the part that makes the same point you both made. Yes, OnStar can send directions to some cars.

However, I have the same year car as the OP with the same Nav option and map editions and I was curious about the same question. I did some experimenting to try to get OnStar to send directions to my car (not just a destination). I can't claim to know what is going on inside the black boxes, but as far as I could tell, it works as I described in a 2013 Volt equipped with nav. I'm confident the OP will have a similar experience if he cares to try it.
In my experience with my 2017 Gen 2 Volt (I do not have the Nav option) the OnStar navigation relays turn by turn directions with voice prompting to the Volt. There is a separate OnStar button on the Infotainment console home screen for OnStar. If I had the Nav system with maps there would be a Nav button on the home screen.
 

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The true test would be to give OnStar a destination on a newer street which you know for a fact is NOT in the maps of your on-board NAV system. If the directions to guide you there properly, then OnStar must be using updated maps.
 

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@ jcanoe and hellsop, it looks like you only read the first 2 sentences of what you quoted. You missed the part that makes the same point you both made. Yes, OnStar can send directions to some cars.
If we BOTH misinterpreted what you said exactly the same way, mebbe think about why?
 

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The nav system will show your position but with old maps the area many be blank and you will need to zoom out.

You can type in way points in the car and NOT need the option to have them send to you via onstar.

I never was clear on the 2 type of turn by turn options we got with the full pkg but the basic in car nav one is fine.

(just make sure you drive up to the front door or remember how to cancel- My volt tried to send me back to Arbey's for 3 days)
 
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