How to Adjust the Compass on an OnStar Mirror

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Sometimes simpler is better, and it doesn’t get much simpler than using a compass to make sure you are traveling in the right direction. For the several model years General Motors has included a digital compass in the rearview mirror in most of their vehicles. OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors, offers services through a button which is also located on the rearview mirror. Adjusting the compass in a review mirror equipped with OnStar is a fairly simple procedure.

Things You'll Need

  • GM vehicle equipped with a digital compass and OnStar
  • Magnetic variation zone map

Quick Calibration

  • Start the vehicle.

  • Locate the on/off button on the rearview mirror.

  • Press and hold the on/off button until “Cal” is displayed in the compass window.

  • Wait a few seconds for the compass window to display a north, south, east or west direction. If “Cal” remains instead of the compass displaying a direction you will need to calibrate the compass manually.

Manual Calibration

  • Start the vehicle.

  • Locate the on/off button on the rearview mirror.

  • Activate compass calibration mode by pressing and holding the on/off button until “Cal” is displayed in the compass window.

  • Drive the vehicle in 360 degree circles less than 5 miles per hour until the compass reads a direction.

Compass Variance

  • Use a magnetic variation zone map to determine your geographical location and the zone number which references your location.

  • Start the vehicle.

  • Locate the on/off button on the rearview mirror.

  • Make sure the compass displays a direction. If not you will need to calibrate the compass following the steps in Section 2.

  • Press and hold the on/off button on the rearview mirror until a zone number appears.

  • Press and release the on/off button causing the zone number to change. Continue to press and release the on/off button until the correct zone number is displayed.

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  • Photo Credit direction on a map image by leafy from Fotolia.com
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