How Do I Find an Unauthorized GPS Unit on My Car?

Inquisitive/Jealous Boyfriend may have installed a gps unit inside my car. How do I find out?

P.S. A simple, non-technical explanation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Sorry if he did install a tracking device, it would not be a non-technical answer.

However let me suggest this. You need a new boyfriend. It makes no difference if you think he is jealous or if he really is. If he is jealous, your really don’t want him. If you just think (maybe hope?) he is, he is not the right guy for you. You need someone else and as long as you hang on to this one, the next one is not likely to show up.

Thank you for your reply. I agree about needing a new boyfriend!

But I’d still like to know if a gps device was installed. What if I say “adios,” but he’s still able to track me??? …I’d like to know for peace of mind.

I think you can buy scramblers of some kind, but they’re probably very expensive. Your best bet would probably be to carefully search the entire car for anything that looks suspicious. I’d think that underneath your bumper, in the engine compartment, underneath the dashboard, underneath the seats, and in the trunk would be likely locations.

If you aren’t familiar enough with cars to understand what would be out of place, maybe you could go to a mechanic. If you off to pay them the labor costs to search your car for an hour or two, I’m pretty sure they’d be more than willing to do so.

And I agree with Joseph. If you even think your boyfriend would do something like this, it’s time to move on. Clearly there are trust issues, and I’d even go so far as to say your safety could be at stake.

Oh, and a call to your local police might help. They might have some sort of way to search for signals (or maybe I just watch too much TV).

Thank you. I’ll go look. Also, thanks for the advice to see a mechanic. I’d thought about it before, but wondered if they’d think I was out of my mind to conduct a gps search!!! (and they probably wouldn’t be wrong…)

And yes, you are right—if there are trust issues, I should move on. It’s just hard to start over…

I second the idea of going to your nearest major police station and asking them if they have a way to check a vehicle for a tracking device.
Tell them you have an ex-bf who keeps randomly showing up where you are when you drive somewhere, and that he has always been a technology freak, and you think he might have done something like this.

Overall, your best choice might be to replace the car with another one.
Let him follow the wrong person around for a while.


I suggest that you google “gps tracking”. You will get a lot of hits. Many of them are advertisements for tracking devices. Check them out to see what the devices look like. Once you know what you are looking for, get it up on a lift and see if one is there. You could look under the hood and in the truck, too.

Contact a womans protection group in your area and tell them your concerns. They will not think you’re at all silly or paranoid. This type of thing happens more than you think, and they’ll know what the next step is.
IF a tracking devise is found it will be time for someone in authority to talk to your boyfriend. This is called stalking. There are laws in every state to protect you from the stalker.A restraining order is somewhat effective in some cases. Someone who does this has serious issues and it could be escalating to somewhere you don’t want to go.

I know it’s hard to start over, but staying in a bad relationship is hard too. A womans protection advocate will have answers for you. Don’t delay

Thanks for the ideas–going to the police station, learning what gps devices look like, and thanks especially for taking me seriously, and advising me about womens’ protection groups. I’m not afraid he’d actually do anything; and I still don’t know if there’s even a gps hidden somewhere in my car. But there sure have been a lot of “coincinces” lately, when he seems to know exactly where I am. However all of you are right—if I’m even thinking this, I should probably leave. Just to summon the courage to do so!

This is not easy(large understatement). But thanks to all you helpful folks in cyberspace, I don’t feel quite so alone. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

From Lojac to Lojil. He did not, and don’t worry. Put a few crumpled up pieces of aluminum foil in the trunk and it will foil the unit.

You might consider talking to a well established audio store or even a chain store like Best Buy. I think? that BB may sell and install GPS units so they can probably give you an answer on this.

Won’t get into the relationship end of this subject too much but if your BF is using GPS to track you now then you really need to consider what it’s going to be like in the future if the BF becomes the wedded better half.

Loved the idea about foil–nice and low tech, until I find the answer. Also, I loved the Best Buy idea. Tomorrow’s Saturday, so I think I’ll go and have a chat with them. Thank you so much.

If/when you do find a tracking device, go throw it off a huge cliff or something. Maybe dude will follow it.

I found some GPS tracking devices on ebay, this should at least give you an idea what they look like.

Some of these devices use batteries, so their life would be limited to how long the batteries last. Otherwise they need to be connected to a power source such as the battery. You would want to check under the hood and body for a boxe, an antenna and any wiring that don’t belong.

For the tracking unit to get the location out, it would have to transmit some sort of radio signal (RF). An RF or Bug detector should be able to pick up a signal if it exists. You might want to run this past the police. GPS jammers exist (at least on the internet) but are expensive and very likely illegal. The Government and the FAA frown upon such things.

Ed B.

If they do find and remove a GPS unit, maybe you could package it up and mail it to some government office in Nigeria.
Wrap it in plastic and duct tape it to a piece of wood before allowing it to float downriver.
Chunk it into an empty railroad boxcar.
Wonder how many heavy duty helium balloons (a dozen maybe?) it would take to lift that thing into the 150 MPH jetstream; a la weather balloon?

Let the BF figure any of those out!
(Personally, the balloon one intrigues me a lot.) :slight_smile:

I’d like to hear the explanation on how crumpled aluminum foil is going to do anything when the whole car is made of steel and aluminum.

Josh–I believe that our friend, pleasedodgevan, is speaking in jest–as he frequently does.

Notice his words–“Foil the unit”. Get it?
He is just taking a light-hearted approach to the situation, IMHO.

I was gonna suggest that if it was a portable unit(battery operated), leave it on the car and take a trip down the interstate to the closest rest stop. When you get there, remove it and chuck it on a semi truck. Or, for an even stranger effect, put it on HIS car.

Or, something else for you to worry about, what if it isn’t on/in your car, but in your purse/cell phone?

bscar has an EXCELLENT thought. did you buy cell phones with this guy? if so, he may have a tracking program which you can subscribe to, for a monthly fee to see where you are. you CAN disable this gps function in your phone, (but i don’t know how… sorry) but i would go to the phone store to have them help you shut this off.

by any chance is this “great guy” a cop? if he is, then he is abusing the technology, by using the gps locating for personal use. the gps can be turned off for commercial locating use (as above), but is remains ON for police/govt use.

check this out for an idea of how this works…