How to Locate a Hidden GPS Tracker on Your Car

There are a variety of situations in your life where someone may be tracking your movements without your knowledge. Maybe you have a stalker or are trying to escape an abusive partner. Maybe you owe money to the wrong sorts of people or have a checkered past.

Whatever the reason, if you think someone may be tracking you, one of the first things you should do is check your car for a hidden GPS tracker. GPS trackers are tiny and easy to stick in a bumper or drop in a door pocket when you aren’t looking. Read on to learn how to find and remove these tracking devices.

Why Your Car Has a GPS Tracker

Many cars these days come automatically fitted with GPS tracking devices. They’re common in taxis and fleet vehicles as a way to monitor employees and keep up with company property. But more and more, they’re starting to pop up in personal vehicles as well.

A GPS tracker can be very helpful if your car gets stolen since you can simply look up where it is. And if you’ve put the device there yourself, this is all well and good. But sometimes these devices may be planted in your car without your knowledge or permission.

What You Need to Know About GPS Trackers

There are two primary categories of GPS trackers: real-time trackers (active) and data loggers (passive). Real-time trackers ping cell phone towers and provide a moment-to-moment log of everywhere your vehicle goes to anyone who cares to check it. Anyone who has the login information for the tracking software can see where you are at any given time.

Passive trackers keep a history of everywhere your car has been, but they can’t be used to find your precise location at any point. These trackers don’t connect to the internet; they only store information internally. You have to access the data logs of passive trackers in person, so they’re not useful in the case of a stolen car.

Check the Inside

If you’re looking for a hidden GPS tracker on your car, you’re going to want to start by searching the interior. Some of the more obvious trackers may be hiding in plain sight in 12-V cigarette lighter ports or the OBD data port behind the dashboard. The person tracking you may be relying on your conditioning extinction to overlook the new addition.

If you don’t find the tracker in an obvious place, try looking in the less obvious ones. Pull out the spare tire, check behind the dashboard, run a hand under the seats, and look in the storage compartments. It’s easy to stash a GPS tracker in any of those places without the driver noticing for months or even years.

Check the Outside

If your search of the inside doesn’t turn up a GPS tracking device, it’s time to turn your attention to the outside. Inside of bumpers is a popular hiding spot since they’re not easily visible and are easy to access quickly. Use a flashlight and a mirror on a stick to check the full bumper and wheel well.

You should also check the undercarriage of your car, looking for any part that’s noticeably cleaner than the rest of the body. Also look under the hood, but don’t disconnect anything without talking to a mechanic first. Do pay attention to any wires connecting to your battery, since these could be used to power a GPS tracker.

Sweep with a Bug Detector

Trying to find every nook and cranny on your car where a tracking device may be hidden isn’t easy. One great way to be absolutely sure you don’t miss anything is to use a bug sweeper. These devices are capable of picking up on electromagnetic signals used by active GPS tracking devices.

Power up the sweeper and start moving it slowly over every part of your car, inside and outside. If it lights up or buzzes, search that area carefully. Some trackers only work while the car is moving, so if you suspect this may be the case, have a trusted friend drive your car while you run the sweeper over the inside in as many areas as you can reach.

Ask the Pros

Sometimes, GPS trackers are hidden too well for anyone other than a professional to find. Car technicians know what to look for and what’s out of place in a motor and the undercarriage of a car. Depending on their expertise, they may even be familiar with some popular hiding places for GPS trackers.

If you have good reason to believe someone is tracking you but you can’t find the tracker, take the car to a mechanic who you trust. Ask then to do a thorough examination of the vehicle, looking for anything out of place. Ask them to show you anything they found so you can examine it yourself.

What to Do with a Tracker

So if you find a tracker, the question becomes what to do with it. Many of these trackers are held on by magnets or tape, so many times, it’s a matter of pulling them off and throwing them away. The same is true of trackers that plug into cigarette lighters and the like.

Some trackers are wired into the systems of the car, which makes things more complicated. It’s a good idea in these cases to get a professional to help you remove it. You don’t want to start cutting wires on your car without knowing what they go to.

Find a Hidden GPS Tracker

Finding a hidden GPS tracker is a matter of careful searching and diligence. Help from a professional or a bug detector can make the process quicker and give you greater peace of mind. But don’t be afraid to start the search yourself; you know the hiding spots in your car as well as anyone.

If you’d like to learn more about how to protect yourself, visit the rest of our site at Spy Emporium. We exist to help you gain power and become aware of your environment through intelligence gathering and countermeasure technology. Check out our line of anti-spy equipment and start protecting yourself today.