How can I disable a GPS tracking device on a car?
This blog will answer the following questions: How can I disable a GPS tracking device on a car? What are the different types of GPS trackers in the car?
How can I disable a GPS tracking device on a car?
You can disable a GPS tracking device on a car in the following ways:
- Jamming device
- Aluminum foil
- Remove the power supply
- Mobile App
- Remove the GPS Antenna
Let’s take a look at each of the methods:
A GPS tracker in the car can be disabled by using a Jamming device. A jamming device blocks the signal of the GPS tracker by sending radio signals at the same frequency as the tracking device. Due to the interference in the frequency, it is not possible to read the signal from the GPS tracker.
A GPS Jamming device is the most effective method against any type of GPS tracker. There are plug-and-play devices available in the market that can be plugged into the cigarette lighter of the car. The device will remain active until the power supply in the cigarette lighter is present.
If the power supply of the cigarette lighter is only active when the vehicle is active then the jamming device will turn off if the car is switched off. Whether the cigarette lighter has a live battery supply or ignition On supply can be identified by checking if the cigarette lighter works when the car is switched off.
There are also handheld GPS Jamming devices, these devices work on an internal battery and do not rely on the power supply of the vehicle. As the device is not restricted to size and power, it is possible to blog all the GPS frequencies like L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5 from a single device.
The range of a GPS jamming device can be between 5-10 meters depending on the type of frequency it is blocking. However, it is most effective when placed closer to the GPS tracking device. The use of GPS Jamming devices can be illegal in some countries, consult the local authorities for more information on the use of jamming devices.
It is possible to disable a GPS tracking device by wrapping it in an aluminum foil. This method is the cheapest way to disable a tracker but the location of the GPS tracking device must be known. A GPS needs a signal from at least three geo-positioning satellites.
The satellites are orbiting the earth and after receiving the signals from three more satellites, a GPS tracking device can triangulate the position of the vehicle and send the location as well as the velocity to the monitoring device.
Wrapping the GPS device in aluminum prevents the device from triangulating the position and also affects the signal strength required for transmitting the location. It acts as a jammer but instead of jamming the output signal it blocks the input signals from the satellite and prevents the device from working.
Remove the power supply
Any GPS tracking device needs a power supply to send and receive the data. The data is transmitted over a cellular network and if there are inbuilt antennas it will need a continuous source of power supply. Without a continuous power supply, the GPS tracking device loses its link with the satellite.
The power supply of the GPS tracking device installed in the car is given from an interior fuse box. It is possible to disable the GPS tracking device by removing the corresponding fuse. Similarly, for devices with an inbuilt battery, removing the battery disables the GPS tracking device permanently.
This method only works if knowledge of the vehicle wiring diagram is available and also the installation location if the device is known to the driver. Some hard-coded devices can even prevent a car from starting if the internal battery is removed. Hence, this method does not always work.
The GPS tracking device can be disabled by the mobile app. All the popular GPS tracking devices use a smartphone application to control features like geo-fencing or emergency stops. The provision to turn off the GPS tracking is also provided in the app to protect the privacy of the customer.
Naturally, it is only possible to disable the GPS tracking device from the paired mobile app. The account used for the mobile app is password protected and the live data along with the GPS history of the vehicle can only be viewed after logging in to the mobile app.
Removing the GPS antenna
If the GPS tracking device uses an external antenna then disconnecting the antenna is one of the ways to disable the tracker. Without the antenna, the device on its own cannot receive the signal from the geo-positioning satellites.
An external antenna can be located in the outside rearview mirrors or near the windshield of the car. There should be no obstruction between the antenna and the satellite. This method is not suitable for GPS tracking devices that use a built-in antenna on the circuit board.
It is possible to disable the antenna from the circuit board but to do that the GPS tracking device must be located and disassembled. This is the most complicated method out of the above-explained ways to disable a GPS tracking device on a car.
What are the different types of GPS trackers in the car?
The different types of GPS trackers in the car are explained below
- Magnetic trackers
This type of tracker is a stand-alone device that can be attached to the underbody of the vehicle. The battery and antenna are built inside the circuit board. The internal circuit board is also protected by the rubber seals so there is no corrosion due to moisture.
The GPS tracking device will only work till there is a charge in the battery. To remove the tracker simply pull the tracker from the surface of the car. There can be a sim card inside to transfer the location and velocity of the car or a memory card is used to store the data which can be copied later on a computer.
- Hardwire trackers
This type of GPS tracking device is installed in the electrical wiring harness of the car. Usually, the fuel supply or the starter supply is connected through the tracking device. If the vehicle crosses a geo-fence it is possible to disable the car.
Special knowledge of the fuel and starter system of a car is needed to install and remove the hardwired GPS tracking device.
This blog explained the various methods that can be used to disable a GPS tracking device in a car. Different types of trackers are also explained. There are a variety of after-market trackers available in the market that offer connectivity over a cellular network.