How To Find a Hidden GPS Tracking Device on Your Car

September 6, 2018 Published by
How To Find a Hidden GPS Tracking Device on Your Car

Stories about privacy violations, data breaches, stalkers, and if it’s ok for someone to be tracking our every move, dominate the headlines today. As a result, GPS tracking often gets a bad rap. As we pointed out in our previous post, there have been plenty of cases where a criminal used a hidden GPS tracking device to stalk their victims, or where someone has tracked an ex’s vehicle illegally. It’s understandable if you’re paranoid about something similar happening to you. With all the media attention this issue gets, you might want to know just how you can find a hidden GPS tracking device on your car.

GPS Technologies is all for legal and ethical GPS tracking. We specialize in tracking solutions for fleets, assets, and for keeping teen and elderly drivers safe. But we do not sell devices or systems for the purpose of illegally spying or stalking on someone. We’ve covered many of the issues and questions many people have when it comes to the law and GPS tracking at work, so we thought it was a good time to go over how you can protect yourself and the people you love from unethical and sometimes even illegal GPS tracking.

7 Common GPS tracker hiding places

With GPS trackers getting smaller every year and the ability for some of the devices to be mounted anywhere, including a vehicle with just a magnet, it’s more imperative than ever that you know how to inspect your cars and trucks for the devices. We sell devices that are as small as a car key and while we don’t sell these for the purpose of spying, an unethical spyware dealer might, but where should you look?

1. Diagnostic Port

A good place to start is the diagnostic port inside your car. It’s usually located to the lower left of the steering wheel. Simply unplug the tracking device from the port. It won’t cause any damage to your car to disconnect the device.

2. The Underside of Your Vehicle

Look for any suspicious boxes with or without antennas that attach to your car with a magnet or tape. The fuel tank is a common spot for a person to hide a GPS device.

3. Wheel Wells and Bumpers

Inside the wheel wells and under the front and rear bumpers are also common hiding places for GPS devices. If the device is wired to your car be careful and check your manual before cutting any wires, or have your mechanic remove the device.

4. Roof

If your vehicle is tall or you have a sunroof, it’s possible for a stalker to hide a device in plain sight right on top of your car or inside the sunroof retraction slot.

5. Inside and Under Seats, Floor Mats, and Carpet

If you suspect a criminal has gotten into your car or if your ex has keys, then they might have hidden a tracker inside your vehicle under the seats, floor mats, or the interior carpet. They might have even hidden one inside the upholstery of your seats!

6. Under the Dashboard

You might not see a device under the dashboard, but it’s a good idea to look for any suspicious wires there. You’re going to have to remove some pieces of the underside of your dash, so if you’re unsure, have your mechanic look here and remove any devices they find.

7. Your Hatchback and/or Trunk

Since most GPS trackers have to connect to satellites to work, they usually aren’t going to be in your trunk, but they might be in the rear part of a hatchback, and it never hurts to check the trunk.

What to do if you find a device on your car

It’s unlikely you’ll find any devices on your vehicle, but if you do and no wires are connecting them to your car, you can easily remove them yourself. Many devices are attached with just a magnet which means you can just pull them off with a firm tug. There are some types of GPS trackers that are hard-wired to your vehicle. If you don’t know what you’re doing or you have a newer model vehicle that’s difficult to service yourself without highly specialized tools and training, have your mechanic remove the device. You don’t want to short anything out or shock yourself inadvertently.

We strongly encourage you to contact the authorities if you discover a hidden device on your car, or anywhere. Follow their instructions on whether or not you can remove it right away, or if they want you to wait for them to inspect your vehicle. Don’t make the common mistake of destroying evidence that can prove someone has committed a crime no matter how creeped out you feel that someone has been spying on you.

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