When you’re installing a vehicle tracking device on any car or truck, there are two primary objectives that you need to be concerned with. The first is that you maintain a clear line of sight with the satellites above, which provide GPS positioning information.
This is critical because if at least three of these satellites cannot be used to determine your position, it will be impossible to know with certainty where the vehicle happens to be at any given point in time.
The second objective of installing a vehicle tracking device is generally to put it in a place where it will not be discovered. If it doesn’t matter to you or the vehicle driver that they’re being tracked, then this becomes a non-issue, and you can disregard any attempt to install the device discreetly.
If you’re installing it to keep tabs on your teen’s driving habits, however, you’ll undoubtedly want to be a bit more discreet about the installation. In that case, you can choose any of the ideal locations on a vehicle described below for optimal installation.
Can you track a vehicle with GPS?
The short answer to this is: absolutely. There are several reasons why you might want to track a specific vehicle, for instance, in the event that your car would be stolen. Knowing where the vehicle is at all times will allow authorities to track it down much more quickly, and hopefully avoid any damage done.
You might also want to install a vehicle tracker in your teenager’s car so that you can be aware of their driving habits, as well as their locations at all times.
Whatever the reason for installing a vehicle tracker in a specific car, you should know that they’re very effective and that they use GPS tracking to be extremely accurate. Some GPS tracking systems are designed so that they plug into the onboard diagnostics connector, which is located on the driver’s side under the dashboard.
These types of trackers derive their power directly from the diagnostic connector, which makes them very easy to use.
Some GPS trackers are designed to plug directly into a cigarette lighter, which means they have to be installed somewhere near that device. With this type of tracker, you’ll have to remember to unplug it when you’re not driving, because it may continue to draw power from your battery, and eventually drain it.
Some of the most versatile GPS trackers have their own batteries as a power source, which allows them to be installed almost anywhere. The drawback to this type of tracker is that you have to remember to recharge the batteries, or else it will stop functioning. Once you install the GPS tracker in your vehicle, you can make use of software to find its location at any time.
How do vehicle GPS systems work?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was originally developed by the U.S. Government for military purposes, but it can now be used by anyone who owns a GPS device.
When you use that GPS device, you will receive signals from a network of 30 satellites that are constantly orbiting the earth at approximately 20,000 km above the planet. Regardless of where you happen to be on earth, there will always be at least four GPS satellites that you can connect with and receive signals from.
Signals which your GPS receiver gets from the satellites will tell it how far away those satellites are, based on the length of time it took for the signals to arrive.
When your GPS device has information from any three of those satellites, it will be able to pinpoint a precise location for your position by using a method known as trilateration.
It may be important that you situate your hidden GPS tracker for cars so that it won’t be detected by the driver. While there are a number of reasons why you may wish to install the device discreetly, probably the most common of which is a parent wishing to monitor their teenager’s driving habits.
If someone were to discover the installation of a vehicle tracking device, it’s entirely possible that it could be removed and damaged by the driver.
There would also be all kinds of issues about trust and credibility, which you probably don’t want to get into. This makes it advantageous to avoid all that drama by installing a vehicle tracking device so that it just won’t be found. Here are some of the best places to install:
- Inside the dashboard – probably the very best place to hide your GPS tracking device is inside your dashboard since it is not at all likely that it will be discovered in this location. At the same time, the device will still have great access to the satellites, which it needs to pinpoint its location.
- Attach it to the undercarriage – many of the best GPS trackers are magnetic and are equipped with a waterproof casing that prevents damage to the critical internal components. This means snow, ice, and water will not affect the tracking device, so you can safely place it underneath the car on a magnetic surface.
- Inside the bumper – by placing the device inside the front or rear bumper, you will effectively have hidden it, because there is rarely a cause for anyone to inspect inside a vehicle’s bumpers.
- Inside the back-brake lights – this might involve a little more work, but it virtually eliminates the possibility of discovery. You’ll have to remove the back-brake lights cover, then insert the device, and re-attach the cover in order to hide your tracking device.
- Inside a seat cushion – this is a little more complicated option, and there’s also a chance that satellite signals could be interfered with by the seat cushion. Still, it’s appealing in that there is virtually no chance of discovery.
- Clip onto the sun visor – if you click the device onto the passenger-side sun visor, it probably won’t be discovered anytime soon, and it does offer the advantage of excellent connectivity with the satellite signals.
No matter where you decide to place your tracking device on your vehicle, the vehicle of your teen driver, or your feel vehicles, as long as it is not obstructed or prevented from connecting to the satellite network, you can count on accurate, timely data.