How to Scan Your Car for a Tracking Device with Your Phone – Step-by-Step Methods Explained!

Do you suspect someone might have placed a tracking device on your car? It’s not something that many of us think about, but it is possible. Knowing how to scan your car for tracking device is an important skill and can help you keep yourself and your property safe. This article shares simple steps and methods that will help you give your car a thorough scan for any suspicious devices.

How to Scan Your Car for a Tracking Device with Your Phone? | Methods Explained! 

If you are suspicious that your car has a tracking device and you want to scan it with your phone, here are some of the steps you will have to follow – 

Step 1 – Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, you can download a tracker detection app. You have to ensure that they are particularly designed for that job. 

Step 2 – Download the app and install it on your phone. Fill in the required details. After that, you have to start the scanning process. 

Step 3 – Once you start the scanning process, you will see how that app will constantly ask for multiple permissions (Bluetooth and other connecting devices). To ensure that it functions to the optimum, you must give in the required permits. 

Step 4 – Now comes the central part – how to detect a tracker on your car? For this, you will have to move your phone throughout the car, especially in the corners, pockets, center console, dashboards, cargo area, glove box, trunks, tires, and specifically the OBD area. 

Step 5 – After a specific point in time, the scan will come to a stop. Now you have to go through the results and find out what type of, and where the tracking device is to be found. 

Step 6-  Finding the ODB port can be tricky because its location varies by the make and model of the vehicle. Some newer models will have a connector in plain sight, while others may require some disassembly or further investigation. To determine exactly where yours is located, consult your owner’s manual or contact your local dealership or auto repair shop. The ODB (On-Board Diagnostics) port is used for various diagnostic functions and is typically found under the dashboard of a car or truck. Knowing its location will allow you to access information and look for any devices installed without your knowledge.

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Step 7 – If a tracker is detected in the scan, you need to immediately consult a professional/legal entity and remove it without breaching any security protocol. 

Types of Car Tracking Devices and How They Work?

Once you are done listing out the correct way to scan your car’s tracking device, it is time to know the varieties of trackers that are available and the procedures by which they work – 

Plug and Play GPS tracker 

Particularly targeted to fit into the OBD port of the vehicle, this play-and-plug GPS tracker is easy to install and portable, thereby offering real-time trafficking. Since they are immediately activated, this one, unlike others, is easy to use! 

Battery-powered GPS tracker 

These are the easiest to use and after a single charge, it can run a long time (even up to a month). One of the easiest to fit into a vehicle, they share the location updates at specific frequencies. 

Hardwired GPS tracker 

This type of tracker is discrete in nature and is installed right into the vehicle’s electrical system. What’s more, this requires professional help for removal. 

Passive GPS tracker

As one of the most cost-effective of the trackers, this internally stores the location-related data and can be only accessed when analyzed and processed on a PC/laptop. 

Active GPS tracker 

Utilizing real-time satellite technology to relay the locational data, they take in information related to the speed, route, and time associated with the car’s movement. 

They work when connected to a power source and require regular charging.

How to Scan Your Car for Tracking Device

If you feel like your privacy is being invaded, there are ways to scan your car for a tracking device. Some of the steps included are:

How to know what you are looking for

Scanning your car for a tracking device may sound like something from a spy movie, but it is an important preventative measure to protect yourself from theft and malicious surveillance. Knowing what you are looking for is the key to scanning your car effectively.

It is not always easy to recognize the appearance of a tracking device. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small GPS chips to wired boxes. The most common types of trackers are magnetic or battery-powered devices that can be hidden underneath your car’s chassis. To detect them, you must inspect underneath the vehicle and along the wheel wells for anything that looks out of place or unfamiliar.

A good flashlight is essential for scanning dark and hard-to-reach spaces in your vehicle. You should also purchase a telescopic mirror to look under the dashboard without crouching awkwardly. An electronic sweeper can detect more sophisticated tracking devices that may have been installed in remote locations inside your car.

Perform the physical inspection

You only need a few tools and patience to perform a physical inspection. It’s best to start with the car’s interior and look for anything that appears out of place or strange. You should also check under seats, in compartments, within the dashboard, and on door panels. Then move to the exterior of the car. Inspect around windows and door frames, as this is where trackers are most often placed. Don’t forget to check underneath the car too! If any suspicious items are wired to your vehicle, they may be connected to a tracking device, so make sure to take photographs of them in case you need evidence later.

Use the electronic sweeper

One potential threat is a tracking device placed on your car without your knowledge. It would be best to use an electronic sweeper to scan your car for tracking devices to protect yourself from this.

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Using an electronic sweeper is easy and thorough. All you need to do is plug it in and pass it around the outside of your vehicle, looking for any odd signals or sounds that may indicate a tracking device has been planted on your vehicle. As long as the sweeper detects no suspicious signals or sounds, you can be assured that no one has placed a tracker on your car without your knowledge.

Get professional assistance

Hiring a professional service to scan and detect any hidden tracking device in your car will give you peace of mind and save you time and money. Professional services are experienced and knowledgeable about the latest technology criminals use to track vehicles. They know exactly where to look and what equipment is needed to perform a thorough scan and detection process on your vehicle. They also provide detailed reports so that you can take the necessary steps should any suspicious activity be discovered by them.

Remove the tracking device.

You must scan your vehicle for suspicious components to remove the tracking device. Start by looking under the hood of your car and checking around the battery and fuse boxes. Also, check around antenna connectors, indicating that a GPS tracker has been installed in your vehicle.

Suppose you don’t have time or don’t feel comfortable checking under the hood of your car. In that case, you can hire a local mechanic or security expert who can help detect any potential trackers or other surveillance items that may have been placed on your vehicle.

How to Find a Hidden GPS Tracker on a Car 

What does a tracking device look like on a car and how will you find it?

You must consult professionals and use a GPS tracker to deal with this problem. Here are some of the steps that will ease the process for you – 

Step 1 – Check the On-Board Diagnostic Area

The first step in your hunt for the tracking devices is the on-board diagnostic area. If the concerned tracker requires operating power from the battery, then the OBD is the best place to fit the tracking device. 

Step 2 – The car’s tire and trunk are two key areas 

Since most novices are unaware, people with malicious intent tend to fit trackers on the car’s trunk area or tires. Hence, while checking, you must see these areas as well. 

Step 3 – Dashboard is another crucial area 

Seat cushions and dashboards are another two of the key areas wherein most of these car trackers are hidden. Hence you must check these areas very well. In most cases, you will find a tracker popping up from any of the two above-mentioned areas. 

Step 4 – Check the pockets well 

The last of the steps to follow is checking the small pockets of your car. This includes – storage compartments, seat pockets, pouches, and glove boxes. These are some of the primary areas where the GPS trackers can be hidden. 

Signs that Indicate Your Car Might Have a Tracking Device 

You might be doubting the presence of a tracker in your car, but you’re unsure of the same. So, how to detect a tracker on your car? We will tell you the signs – 

Sign 1 – If your phones are constantly interrupted, or you are hearing popping/buzzing sounds, the chances are high that your car has a tracker.

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Sign 2 – Apart from your phone, if your car’s radio also has untoward interference or a static signal – then there’s a high probability that your vehicle is bugged.

Sign 3 – If you see your car’s battery getting drained unusually fast, or you need to visit the garage way too often, be assured that there’s a bug attached to your vehicle. 

Use a bug detector to confirm your suspicions. In most cases, the answer will be positive. 

Understanding the Legal Implications of Vehicle Tracking Devices and Your Rights as a Driver 

In the above-mentioned sections, you have seen for yourself how to scan your car for a tracking device with your phone and you can do the needful. But what after that? Is there any legal way by which you can handle this whole situation? Yes, there is! 

For starters, you must know for a fact that if you install a tracking device on someone’s vehicle without consent, then that is a legally punishable offense. You will be held responsible and legal charges can be pressed by the concerned victim. 

However, there are certain cases where a vehicle driver (or if it is registered in his/her name) can install a tracking device without any legal repercussions – 

  • As a vehicle owner, you can install a tracker on your vehicle to ensure that it is not utilized wrongly. 
  • If you are a parent, then you can track your car, especially if children are also driving the same car. 
  • In recent times, the drive-safe programs have gained popularity. Hence, many business owners, in return for discounts, attach a tracker to the concerned cars and monitor their performance levels. 

Preventative Measures to Protect Your Car from Tracking Devices

You have figured out how to find a tracker in your car. But how will you prevent it from other tracking devices or instead protect it so that the other devices do not interfere with your GPS? Here are some of the ways – 

  1. You must thoroughly inspect your car. Most of these tracking devices are fixed at the sturdy areas of your car like – its trunk, wheels, engine, or interior parts. If possible use a metal detector. The very moment you find it, you can disconnect it! 
  2. There is a new type of concealed tracker available in current times. In order to prevent that from monitoring your whereabouts, we suggest you make use of a GPS device detector. 
  3. There are multiple apps, which interfere with the signals of these tracking devices. Install one of those, and you will soon find how they disrupt the signals of the hidden GPS (if you are in doubt). 
  4. If you cannot figure it out yourself, consult a car professional for the specifics.

If you follow these steps regularly, assuredly, you will be able to maintain your privacy, and no tracking device will be able to monitor your movements. 


Knowing “How to Scan your Car for Tracking devices” is an important step in ensuring the safety and privacy of your vehicle. Completing the task with the right steps and methods takes only a few minutes. By regularly scanning your car, you can keep tabs on any suspicious activity before it becomes a significant issue. Please don’t wait until it’s too late; take control by scanning your car today! It’s an easy and powerful way to protect yourself and your property from unwanted surveillance or other activities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q.1 What should I do if I find a tracking device on my car?

If you find a tracking device on your car, you should first call the police. It’s important to report any suspicious activity or items that could be related to a crime. The police can investigate and determine if the device is used for criminal purposes.

Q.2 What are the benefits of using a tracking device scanner?

  • It can help to reduce losses due to theft or misplacement of items.
  • A tracking device scanner can help you keep track of your inventory more efficiently.
  • A tracking device scanner helps to improve customer service by providing accurate information about products in real-time.

Q.3 What types of tracking devices are available?

Some of the tracking devices are:

  • GPS tracker: It uses satellite technology to track an object’s or person’s location in real time.
  • Radiofrequency identification (RFID) tag: These tags contain a small chip that emits a signal when an RFID reader scans.
  • Bluetooth tracking devices use short-range wireless technology to connect with smartphones or other compatible devices.