How-To Guides

How to Install a GPS tracking device on a car?

Nowadays it has become a common practice for car owners to install a tracking device in their cars.  The reasons they do that might be to track the whereabouts of their loved ones or to protect their cars from theft.  Installing a real time GPS tracking device lets you obtain real time location of your car right on your mobile phone instantly, else you could also install a passive tracking device that do everything an active tracker device does expect real-time location updates.

No matter what type of tracking devices you like to install in your car always go for one that is provided by the professional tracking device manufacturers.  Cheap ones that you’ll find on the market can work good for some time but it might cause problems during prolonged usage.

Car GPS tracking device installation guide

Difficulty level of installing a tracking device on your car varies from easy to hard depending upon the type of GPS tracker you wish to install.  The most common type of tracker device you would find in the market are either hardwired or portable ones. While the portable trackers are easy to install, hardwired tracking devices sometimes requires trained professional help if you are not familiar with your cars internal wiring.

install gps on car

Where should I install the GPS tracker?

As always, the location and placement of the GPS tracker device is very important for uninterrupted data transformation and accurate tracking.  As a car owner you can decide where the tracker device to be installed, but if you are someone who might be renting your cars or someone else drives it in your family and you want to keep a track on them, then it is preferred to install it somewhere that is hidden from the view of the drivers.  In such cases, you can install the device under the dashboard.  Keep the device away from any radio frequency disturbances and also never put the GPS tracker device under the metal hood as it might deteriorate the signal quality of the device.

Installing portable OBD GPS tracking device on your car

OBD type tracking devices are recommended for people who want hassle-free installation.  You can find the OBD port mostly under the steering wheel or dashboard, but it varies by the make and model of the car, hence you should refer to the car’s manual for its exact location.

Once you find the OBD port, you can simply plug in the GPS tracking device to it without any trouble. OBD type trackers doesn’t require dedicated power source (like batteries) other than the power it derives from the port itself, so you can start its operation right away.

If you want to install a tracking device for personal cars then OBD plug-in type GPS trackers are the best, since it requires less wiring and can also be easily removed and fixed on to a different car if required.

Installing Hard wired GPS tracking device on your car

As mentioned earlier installing hard wired GPS tracker device requires little bit of knowledge about your cars wiring system as it requires splicing wires and using “Poke & Wrap” technique.  So, if you are unsure about these methods and do not want to mess with your cars internal wiring’s which might in turn void the car’s warranty, then seeking “professional GPS tracker installers” help is advised.  If done incorrectly it could cause serious impact to your car’s performance as well as to overall safety.

Follow the below given steps for successful installation:

  • First step is to attach the wiring harness to the transceiver.
  • Next, using the “poke and wrap” technique connect the red wire on the tracking device to a constant 12 VDC power source.
  • Third step is to connect the white wire on the tracking device to the ignition and accessory wire of the car.
  • Final step is to connect the ground wire on the GPS tracker device to the cars ground wire.

You should always take the power for your tracking device directly from the ignition column and not from car’s radio, as the GPS device requires constant 12 V power for it to operate properly.  Next thing you should remember is white wire on the tracking device must be strictly connected to an ignition/accessory wire of the car and not together with the red wire to a constant power source. You can use zip-tie to secure the wires.


Finally, once everything is connected you need to test the GPS tracker device to make sure all its lights and functions are working properly.  Take your car for a test drive and note down the location and other details manually.  Now use your mobile phone or laptop to open the GPS APPS and compare the data against the one you have collected.  If everything is matching properly then good, else you can start troubleshooting, first with the wiring and then move on to the power source.