The Idea

If you own a car then you may want the ability to track it. In this article I will explain an idea that I had which will allow you to build your own DIY car tracker cheaply and with minimal expertise. You may need a manual that shows some of the electrical systems in your car, namely the layout of the ignition switch. If you do not have one you can find out the information with a circuit testing device.

You will need two mobile phones such as an iPhone or another suitable smart phone but they must both be capable of using GPS. One of these will be built into the car and the other should be the phone which you want to use normally. The phone you use will determine which apps you use to make this work as a car locator.

What Needs Doing

Firstly the "in car" phone needs to be set up properly. It will need an app that broadcasts its GPS position in some way. There are several apps available that perform this function in varying ways. You will want to set it on silent so that it does not ring if someone dials to it by accident and bluetooth will need to be turned off so it is more difficult to find. Once that is all set up use your regular smart phone to see if you can detect the in car phone using the GPS app. The particular apps that you use will determine how this works.

You will need a way to keep the in car tracking phone charged. My succession is by wiring a car phone charger to the ignition switch. In this way the phone will be charged when the car is in use but it will not drain the battery when it is not. Finding the correct terminal to achieve this is important, however all cars are different so I will not be able to go into detail about this point. As I said before a manual such as a Haynes manual for your car may be required.

The phone will need to be mounted in a hidden place. This place will need to be in range of a GPS signal, Underneath the dashboard will probably be best but it would be advisable to thoroughly test any position before taking for granted that it is working. If you wish you could even set the phone t answer itself when called and then it becomes an effective bug.

This article is deliberately vague. The reason is that I do not want to be held responsible for any damage you might do to your car. If there are any points in this article that you do not understand then it is probably best that you get help if you want to do this hack. If you have done this then it would be great to hear about how you did it, and anything that we should look out for if we try it.