How to Locate the GPS Tracker on a Vehicle

Written by cameron easey
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A GPS tracking device is used to track the location of a person, an item of value and even a vehicle. These devices work in the same way as a Global Positioning System device. One of the most common types of GPS tracking devices, installed on a vehicle, is the OnStar system. However, a GPS tracking device can also be hidden on your vehicle without your knowledge. You can locate the GPS tracker on a vehicle by detecting the radio frequency (RF) signal from the device.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wrench
  • RF signal detector

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the battery cables from the terminals using a wrench. This will prevent any interference that could be caused by the electrical system of the vehicle.

  2. 2

    Turn on the RF scanner and move around to visually inspect the outside of the vehicle.

  3. 3

    Open the bonnet of the car and scan the engine compartment. Place the RF scanner on the edge of the engine compartment for a few minutes to see whether it detects a signal.

  4. 4

    Open and scan the boot of the vehicle. Repeat the previous step by placing the RF scanner on the floor of the boot for a few minutes to see if whether it detects a signal.

  5. 5

    Scan the inside of the vehicle when you have completed scanning the outside. Run the scanner over each seat, under the seat and along the floorboards.

  6. 6

    Make a note of the location if the RF scanner detects a signal. If you cannot access the area where the RF detector picks up a signal, you may need to have a professional take a look.

  7. 7

    Reconnect the battery cable to the terminals with the wrench when you have completed scanning your vehicle.

  8. 8

    If you did not find the GPS tracker, take your vehicle to a mechanic or auto technician and have him look over the vehicle to see if he finds anything out of the ordinary. Alternatively, you can take your car to a business or company that installs car alarms.

Tips and warnings

  • RF scanners can be purchased online or from any home security dealer.
  • GPS trackers can be as small as a matchbook.
  • GPS signals are not on all the time and may not be detected with one pass of an RF scanner.

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