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Finding Hidden Trackers on Your Car: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Car Care Tips
  • Nova Kainen
  • 5 minutes

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You might have heard or seen private detectives in movies hiding trackers on the suspect’s car to track their journey. But are you aware that it’s not just private investigation firms that engage in this practice but regular folks and businesses as well? That sounds pretty invasive, and you may not want it. But do you know how to find a tracker on a car if there is one inside? We’ll break down all the different ways to find a hidden tracker. 

how to find tracker on car

Methods to find a hidden tracker on your car

It is awkward to know someone is secretly following you wherever you go. What if they follow your vehicle regularly? That’s not that good, right?  

We’re here to help you avoid this happening to your vehicle by explaining the various techniques to find the hidden tracker. Here are the various methods. 

Inspect the vehicle’s exterior

GPS trackers are not easily noticeable due to their small size. To not miss any areas, use a flashlight and mirror. While doing your search, keep the vehicle manual with you to confirm whether a particular object or thing belongs to the car or not.  

Car Repair GIF by Ilves Motors


Here are the various ways to do the inspection: 

  • Lift your car on jack stands to inspect the vehicle’s underside easily. Look at the gas tank where you can usually find trackers. On seeing any unusual object, try to pull it since most GPS trackers are magnetic and can get detached easily. 
  • Check the wheel wells, especially the portion under the metal or plastic guard that covers the top of the wheel. Look for any suspected objects or boxes. 
  • Using a mirror, look inside the bumpers and search for any extra objects using your fingers. If the tracker is wired, remove the wiring only by referring to the vehicle manual. 
  • Inspect the vehicle’s roof from different angles to spot any unusual objects. 
  • Another portion you need to inspect is below the hood’s panel. Compare it with the engine bay model picture, which can help you identify any bugs. 

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Inspect the vehicle’s interior

While inspecting the vehicle’s interior, prioritize the areas mentioned below. 

  • People usually hide trackers in the OBD port. Get help from a manual to find the port’s exact location and see whether there is something plugged into the port.  
  • Check all the storage compartments, pouches, gloveboxes, and pockets on each seat’s backside. You can find the tracker if it is hidden there. 
  • Look under the seat covers, under any removable parts, and below the floor mats. If you can unzip the seat cushions, you can check inside them too.  
  • Inspect the trunk and the spare wheel well. 
More: What Triggers your Car Alarm? Read on to Know More!

Get help from an expert and use bug detectors

An expert mechanic can help you find the tracker hidden inside your car if any. Since they have good knowledge about your vehicle, the mechanic can easily locate the tracker. Apple AirTag alerts that you get on your iPhone indicate the presence of an Apple AirTag. Use apps like ‘Find My Phone’ to locate the tag. In the case of Android devices, you download other tracker apps.  

You can also use RF bug detectors to sweep the vehicle and thus find the tracker. 

More: All You Need to Know about Car Alarm Systems

What should you do once you find the tracker?

If the tracker is battery-powered and if they are connected using a magnet or tape, give it a light tug and easily detach it. On the other hand, if the tracker is hard-wired, get help from a professional to avoid removing the wrong wires. Only an expert can rightly remove the wires. 

how to find tracker on car

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What is the purpose of using hidden trackers?

Private investigators and others use GPS trackers for various reasons. Here are some: 

  1. Fleet companies place trackers inside company vehicles to track them. 
  2. For vehicle dispatching, taxi companies place trackers inside vehicles. 
  3. To keep tabs on you and ensure you’re secure, your parents hide trackers in your car. If your spouse or partner suspects you of cheating, they may place hidden trackers. 
  4. Investigators hide trackers to know the whereabouts of a person.  
  5. For theft recovery, owners will place trackers inside the car.

Bottom line

Tracking a car without the owner’s knowledge is a very bad thing to do. If you want to avoid your car being tracked, try using any of the strategies described in the blog. Easily identify the location of the tracker you know is in your vehicle. 


Is there an app for detecting a GPS tracker?

There are apps like the Tracker Detect app that you can download in an Android device.

Where are trackers hidden in cars?

You can hide trackers on your car’s exterior or interior, like the vehicle’s underside, wheel wells, gas tanks, below the hood’s panel, OBD port, storage compartments, etc.

How do I know if my car is being tracked?

You can use bug detectors to scan both the car’s inside and outside.

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