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How to Find a Hidden GPS Tracker on Your Car

Click: Time:2018-10-19PrintClose

H
idden vehicle trackers are tiny devices that rely on the global positioning system(GPS) and cellular networks to keep tabs on the location of a car or truck in real time. While not all GPS car trackers are designed to be hidden, most are small enough that they can easily go unnoticed to the untrained and unsuspecting eye. In fact, many of these devices are smaller than a deck of cards.
Like so many other forms of technology, GPS trackers have both legitimate and less savory uses. Law enforcement agencies often use these devices, with an appropriate warrant, as do private investigators.

There are also a number of reasons that vehicle owners might want to use some type of vehicle tracking system, although most of them don’t call for hiding the device.
Common uses for GPS car trackers include:
•Fleet management
•Delivery and taxi dispatch
•Keeping tabs on your minor teen
•Helping you find where you parked
•Theft recovery

All car GPS trackers fall into the basic categories of active and passive. Active trackers use GPS to determine location and transmit that location via a cellular connection, while passive trackers record and store location data.

What that means is if someone installs an active GPS tracker in your car, they’ll be able to use a computer, cellphone or tablet to see where you are in real time. Depending on the device, they may also be able to view a record of where you have been in the past, how fast you drive, and other information.

If someone hides a passive GPS tracker on your car, they won’t have access to any real-time information. In fact, the only way to get any information out of a passive tracker is to retrieve it and then view the data that was recorded while it was installed.

Some hidden GPS trackers are designed to draw power from a vehicle’s electrical system, but others are battery operated, which can make them exceedingly difficult to detect. Most are still possible to detect, with the right tools, but others will require a visit to a professional.
Finding a Hidden GPS Tracker on Your Car

If you suspect that someone may have hidden a GPS tracker somewhere on your car, you’ll need some basic tools like a flashlight, mechanic’s mirror, and a creeper or mat of some kind to help you slide under the vehicle. In instances where a simple visual inspection isn’t sufficient, specialized equipment like electronic sweepers or bug detectors may also be necessary.

The basic steps involved in locating a hidden GPS tracker on your car are:
Perform an exterior inspection:
1.Use a flashlight and mirror to check areas like the wheel wells and under the vehicle.
2.Most trackers are hidden in easy to reach locations.
3.Be aware that the tracker may be dirty and difficult to see.

Perform an interior inspection:
1.Check the data port first.
2.Most GPS trackers are very small, so don’t overlook any potential hiding spot.
3.Don’t overlook the trunk.

Sweep the vehicle with a bug detector:
1.Bug detectors are available from many of the same places where you can find trackers.
2.Some trackers only transmit when the vehicle is moving.
3.Sweepers can’t detect passive trackers.

Know when to seek professional help:
1.If you suspect that someone has hidden a tracker on your car, but you can’t find it, a professional may be able to help.
2.Technicians specializing in automotive electronics, car audio, and car alarms often have the necessary expertise and equipment.