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[2024] How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker? 7 Places to Check!

gps car tracker

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Dec 27, 2023 Filed to: Mobile Tracker Proven solutions

GPS Car Tracking search falls under the category of TSCM also known as "Technical Surveillance Counter Measures." Although there are unlimited tools that are available in the market to detect GPS car tracker devices, they are expensive! So, why pay when you can perform this check for free?

But, do you know how to tell if a tracker is on your car? How will detect a GPS car tracker? Well, this article is going to explain everything you need to know about GPS car tracking!

A quick guide to the 7 places to check in your car:

  1. Dashboard
  2. Wheels
  3. Undercarriage
  4. Bumpers
  5. Headlights
  6. Internal
  7. Other areas
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Part 1:What Does A Car Tracking Device Look Like?

A car tracking device is often small and covertly placed so that the driver will not be able to identify it. It is usually installed underneath the dashboard and integrates a GPS receiver, GSM module, accelerometer, and an internal data storage element. Since these devices use electrical components as well as antennas, car tracking device comes as a complete unit in any shape but usually square or oval. They are usually wireless and do not require hard-wiring into the engine of the car.(If you are interested in car GPS tracker, we have listed 10 Best Car Tracking Devices in 2023 in a previous guide)

what does a tracking device look like on a car

Part 2:The Best Places To Find A GPS Tracker

It can be really troubling when someone installs a GPS car tracker on your vehicle. Honestly, you will hardly find yourself in such a situation where someone is keeping eyes on your whereabouts. If, however, you have a jealous partner or overly controlling parents, they might track your location without having to bother you with several phone calls or follow you around.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

The first thing that you need to bear in mind that a GPS tracking device would need the sky to work rightly. Although GPS systems penetrate the plastic material, they are not thick in nature but still, they can hardly penetrate any metal. So, the device is supposed to be placed in a position that will protect it and still provide a direct connection route with the satellites above.

Now, the question arises "where you should look for a hidden GPS car tracker device in your car?" You will have start your way from the bottom to work your way back to the rear end of the vehicle.

If you are wondering "how do I know if my car has a tracker", below listed are some of the parts you should check;

1. The Wheel Wells

This is one of the most general places to hide a tracker because it can be quickly and easily removed by the person who attached it in case of suspicion. To sure check all four wheels of the vehicle. Use a light source to get a better view or use your hands if you have to feel anything dubious or something that shouldn't be there.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

Check all four wheels, if you find something strange thing that may look like a box, cylinder, or something else. Note that, only your breaks should be there behind your wheels. You are also advised to remove the brakes and look into them. You might find a wire going to a sensor here - Also, you are suggested to remove the brakes and have a look into them. It is possible that you find a wire connecting to a sensor but don't touch it. Also, not to miss the spiral-shaped, loaded metal above the wheels.

2. Dashboard

The first place you should be looking for a hidden GPS tracker is the car interior. Most plug and play trackers attach themselves to the OBD II port of the car. These ports are usually around or under the dashboard. If you are not assured of the exact location of this port in your car you can head over to Car Manual Guide, where they have a nifty utility that gives the location of OBD ports of a different vehicle, makes, and models.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

3. Undercarriage

Check the undercarriage of the vehicle. Most magnetic or old GPS trackers are attached to the underside of the car. A tracker could be hidden under your car's trunk with the help of Velcro tape or bolted in place. However, since the underside of the car is usually dirty, it may get difficult to discern a tracker easily. So keep your eyes open for anything suspicious.

4. Check Behind The Bumpers

A tracker could be placed behind your car's bumper although the space behind bumpers is very cramped, but if your car has some, it could serve as a good hiding place for a GPS car tracker. Make sure not to disturb or remove any wires as they could disrupt power to the car's light or sensors.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

5. Check Brake Lights And Headlights

Light assemblies have ample spaces behind them to place a tracking device without letting anyone know. Be careful while disassembling so that you do not mess up the wiring. You can take a photograph of the wiring setup before dismantling to make sure you fit everything in place later on.

6. Other Areas

Although areas like under the hood have plenty of spaces to hide a car GPS tracker these places get a weak GPS signal, so it is less likely to find something. Still, trackers with strong receivers could be buried in the nook and crannies around the batter, air ducts, or radiator. So it's not a bad idea to pop the hood and have a peek inside.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

7. Other Internal Areas

Other areas inside the car such as under the seats, behind the glove box, behind the headrest, below the spare tire in the trunk are also potential places to hide a tracker. Use a flashlight to search these areas. A tracker could also be hardwired to the cars electrical system. So if you find something like a suspicious-looking small box attached to the vehicles wiring maybe under the dashboard, make sure it is not some critical component of the, or you might end up removing some crucial car part. We recommend performing a quick online search for the particular component to be on the safer side.

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Part 3:How to Locate A Tracker on Your Car?

Method 1:Using Bug detectors/GPS Detectors/Electronic Sweepers

Many GPS tracking device manufacturers also sell GPS detectors. They detect cellular networks like GSM, GPRS, EDGE, GPS signals. To use them, you need to move around the vehicle carrying the detector with you. If it catches a radio signal, it will start beeping or vibrating confirming the presence of a tracking device. The closer you get to the hidden tracker the stronger the beeps will get. However, the problem with detectors is that they are a bit unreliable. Some GPS car trackers have motion sensors in them, and they do not transmit signals unless the car moves. So the detector cannot pick up from a stationary vehicle.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

Method 2: Hire an expert

If you are convinced that you are being tracked but you are still unable to locate a tracker on your car consider getting professional help. Tracking someone's car is illegal unless the owner of the car is doing it.

For example, a vehicle shared between spouses or a parent trying to have a lookout on their teens driving habits. It is not a wicked idea to consult a lawyer because whoever is tracking your car is probably breaking the law.

Auto mechanics specializing in electrical systems can help you detect the tracking device more quickly. You could also hire a personal investigator to help you as they are familiar cases involving stalking and have a better understanding of how and where these devices can be placed on a car to track somebody.

Pro-Tips Before Conducting The Survey Of Your Car

  • The visual and manual inspection of a vehicle for GPS car tracking devices should not be conducted in a dark-lighted area.
  • And, moreover, you should always carry a basic toolset and, ideally, a hydraulic lift to allow full access to the undercarriage of the automobile.
  • You should always disconnect the car's battery when accessing the electrical system except when some time of load testing is being performed.

How To Know If Your Car Has A GPS Tracker?

Part 4:How To Protect Yourself If Your Car is Bugged?

As you can see, the above-mentioned few areas of your car allow easy and quick visual and manual inspection. So, if you find that GPS car tracker, here is what you need to do to protect yourself; To avoid being tracked you should prevent the device from triggering alarms while it is separated from the vehicle. It is not possible to disconnect the device without triggering a warning on the server that is receiving the tracked data.

Some tools may also have batteries that will keep working for up to 8 hours after disconnection. The larger the battery, the longer the power. Some will also alert a towing alert if the vehicle is moved without the ignition on. Some tracking devices will have an auxiliary SIM that will start broadcast at a lower transmission interval after power disconnection and primary SIM removal.

So the only means to avoid alerts and remain untracked is by providing power to the tracking device and separating it from the vehicle.

  • Identify the power consumption of the tracking devices. Usually, this would range between 4 and 30V. Most devices are designed to work within this voltage range.
  • Provide a power that is of equivalent rating with an auxiliary battery, for example, if the car battery is providing 8 volts, give an additional 8 volt. This will give power to 16V, still within the fuse tolerance level, and not low enough to alert a disconnection.
  • Disconnect the power to the tracker while connected to the auxiliary power source. The power to the tracker will return to 8V. Physically remove the device and antennae while still powered by the auxiliary power.

Now you may safely place the GPS tracking device anywhere with GPS coverage, and it will continue to transmit without triggering alerts. Your vehicle will appear to be stopped on the tracking server without any incidents, while your car will be actually somewhere else.

Or, sometimes use a fake GPS location to protect your privacy. You may like the following articles if you're interested in faking GPS:

Free & No Root Ways to Change GPS Location on Android Devices

No JailBreak Ways to Change GPS Location on IOS Devices

Top Ways to Change GPS Location on Any Devices

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  • Screen Time Limit & Schedule
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  • Social Media Texts & Porn Images Alerts
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Thomas Jones

chief Editor