To find and disable a GPS tracker, you first need to determine if it was a tracker built in by the manufacturer or an unwanted GPS tracker for spying. One way to find a GPS tracker is to use a bug detector that can scan both the inside and outside of a vehicle. It is also possible to physically detect a GPS tracker in known locations, such as in the OBD port, under the backseat or underneath the car.
What do car trackers look like?
Each GPS tracker looks slightly different. A battery-powered portable tracker, for example, is usually square- or rectangular-shaped and may have a magnetic case it attaches to. If it is an OBD tracker, it looks like a plug that goes under the steering wheel. The hard wire tracker uses several different wires that wire into the ignition and the vehicle’s battery. Read more on each type of tracker below.
Portable GPS trackers
The portable GPS tracker is the device most likely to be used. It is usually a miniature device that has a built-in rechargeable battery. It may also be attached to an extended battery pack. Other accessories such as a hard wire power kit allow it to be connected to the vehicle’s battery. It is important to look for a device that can hold a SIM card and features a usb port on the unit.
Hardwire trackers usually get installed behind the dashboard of the vehicle. They use multiple wires and get connected to the vehicle’s battery as well as the ignition. If you take apart the dashboard, you would locate a small device that has several wires connected to it and those wires then connect to the vehicle. This GPS tracker is one of the most difficult to locate since it requires taking apart the dashboard.
Plugin trackers, such as the OBD tracker, get plugged in underneath the steering wheel in the OBD 2 port. This is the computer diagnostics port that is used for situations such as when the check engine light is on. Some additional accessories, such as a y cable, allow the port to be popped out and replaced with the cable, making the GPS tracker more hidden.
Step 1. Finding The GPS device
In order to find the GPS tracker, it is important to examine both the inside and outside of the vehicle. Some places to look in the exterior include the front and rear bumper, the wheels, underneath the hood, and the undercarriage. Some places to look for a GPS tracker in the interior are in the OBD 2 diagnostics port, underneath the seats, underneath floor mats, and in the trunk or hatchback.
Common Places on the Exterior
Under the hood
Common Places on the Interior
In the diagnostic port
Under the seats
Underneath floor mats
In the trunk or hatchback
Use a GPS Bug Detector
A GPS bug detector can be used to locate a GPS tracker. To use the device, we recommend first taking the vehicle to a quiet area, such as a park, then driving it in a parking lot so it triggers the device. On the device, you will adjust the dial sensitivity to the desired frequency, and it will start buzzing and lighting up as you get closer to the GPS tracker. It also has a magnetic attachment to scan for magnets.
Step 2. Disabling The GPS Tracker device
Case 1: The GPS is hardwired
If the GPS is hardwired, it is difficult to disable. We would recommend taking the vehicle to a professional mechanic because you will most likely need to take apart the dashboard. The mechanic would then look for any wires that are connected to the battery or ignition and will have to disconnect these wires. They may also need to remove a kill-switch relay if that is connected to the vehicle as well.
Case 2: The GPS is a mini tracker on battery
The easiest way to disable a battery-powered GPS tracker is to simply turn the unit off. It will usually have a power button on the top or front of the unit. Once all the lights are off, that means the unit is turned off. If the tracker uses actual batteries, you could simply remove the batteries as well.
Wrap the Device in Tinfoil
Another way to disable a GPS tracker is to wrap the device in tinfoil. This blocks out any cellular or satellite signal from reaching the device. Any electrically-conductive metal will interfere with incoming and outgoing GPS signals. This is a cheap and easy method to prevent yourself from being tracked.
Case 3: The device isn’t detected yet
If you haven’t been able to locate the GPS device, using a GPS blocker or jammer is another way to disable it. A GPS blocker will jam the signal so the unit will be unable to report. These devices use a rechargeable battery and will block all signals coming from the GPS tracking device. It’s important to check with local laws before using a jammer or blocker, though, since it’s illegal to purchase one in certain states (such as Florida, for instance).
If all else fails, call a professional Spy Investigator to assist in detecting the device or visit a mechanic.