A Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker is a device that can be attached to a vehicle, a person or another object in order to pinpoint that object’s or person’s position. It makes use of a signal emitted by the tracker that is sent to a computer or a centrally located database. You can find out if your vehicle’s movements are being tracked by Big Brother, unscrupulous individuals or by your love partner. Here’s how.
- Bring your car to your auto mechanic. Explain to him that you want to find out whether a GPS tracker is under your vehicle.
- Have the mechanic thoroughly inspect under the car. Some GPS trackers can be as small as matchboxes so he will need a flashlight and a mirror. Your mechanic can use a creeper (low rolling platform used by mechanics to be able to inspect under vehicles) or raise the car using the automatic jack. The axles, wheel wells, running boards, oil pan should be checked as well as dark areas and crevices. Due to the size of GPS trackers, they can be hidden just about anywhere under the car.
- Visually inspect all the other areas of the car if nothing was found underneath. Ask the mechanic to look under the hood, in the trunk and in the interior of the car. Never leave any nook or cranny uninspected.
- If nothing was found, use a radio frequency detector. The RF detector can find signals sent out by various devices like cellular phones, vehicle GPS trackers, traffic lights and security cameras, to name a few. Make sure to park the car far from any signal emitting device. You may need to go to a remote site away from these signals. Don’t forget to turn off your own cellular phone before your turn on the RF detector.
- Plug in the RF detector into a power source and let it do its job. Allow it to detect signals for about 20 minutes. GPS trackers emit signals in as quick as a few seconds or as long as 20 minutes. The length of time will depend on the tracker and when you turned on the RF detector.
- Wait until you get confirmation from the RF detector. If the device does not catch a signal, it is possible that there is no GPS tracker in your car. It is also possible that the RF detector is defective. You may need to get a new one or let a professional detect the GPS tracker for you. On the other hand, if the RF detector reads a signal, then you have to find the tracker by hand.
- Try to get a stronger signal by sweeping the RF detector in and around your car. One drawback here is if the GPS tracker only emits a signal every 20 minutes. This means you’ll have to wait a while.
- Bring the car back to your mechanic for another inspection. Show him which area of the car the signal is strongest. He may need to remove door panels, pull out seats or even take out the dashboard or look in the steering wheel column. The GPS tracker could be absolutely anywhere.
In this day and age, there is nothing wrong with being a little paranoid. If you feel that someone is tracking your movements, by all means follow your instincts. Have your car checked or check it yourself to see if a GPS tracker is attached under or inside your vehicle. It is always better to be safe than sorry.