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GPS Tracker Problems

Problems With GPS Vehicle Tracking

Families, companies, and government entities rely on vehicle GPS tracking for everything from GPS fleet management to teen driving safety. The truth is GPS tracking devices have a number of advantageous features that include a business managing a fleet of vehicles or a parent making sure their teenager is driving safely. Although tracking systems are highly accurate at reporting speed, positioning data, time zones, and address information, the technology does have some limitations. Anyone who has ever used a GPS device and received wrong directions on a mobile tracking platform understands firsthand! In this article, we will discuss common GPS tracking issues and what you can do to keep your vehicle’s GPS as accurate and reliable as possible.

Related Article: Does Foil Block GPS?

Why Is My Car GPS Tracker Offline – 4 Common Reasons

GPS tracking problems experienced by users are typically caused by four (4) particular issues; a SIM card, weak GPS signal, a GPS device that has been tampered with, or bad connection between the vehicle and the asset GPS tracker. Let’s go over each one of these common GPS tracking problems one-by-one.

  1. Weak Cell Phone Service
  2. Metal Or Concrete Causing Weak GPS Signal
  3. Driver Tampering With GPS Device
  4. Bad Connection To 12-Volt System

1. Weak Cell Phone Service

Most people assume tracking devices only work offsatellites orbiting out in space. Although it is true that positional and locational data is acquired from GPS signals sent by satellites in space, the recorded GPS data stored on the tracker is transmitted through cell towers to a computer server. This is done with the assistance of a SIM card stored inside the 4G GPS tracker. Therefore, if a person is using a GPS monitoring device in a remote area where cell coverage is not present, the vehicle tracker won’t be able to send any real-time GPS data. Basically, the SIM card won’t be able to transmit data and the GPS won’t work.

2. Metal Or Concrete Causing Weak GPS Signal

GPS navigation devices and GPS receivers all adhere to the same principles. What does that mean? It means GPS signals can penetrate plastic, fiberglass, and glass. However, metal and concrete are too dense for the satellite signals to penetrate. That means if a person places a GPS tracking system inside the trunk of an automobile the GPS device will most likely not be able to acquire a signal. This is why users need to think long and hard about where they intend on placing vehicle GPS trackers.

3. Driver Tampering With GPS Device

If you use an OBD GPS tracker that means the fleet tracking system will be visible to the driver. Once an OBD2 tracker is removed from the OBD2 port the device will no longer work. This is a common GPS tracking problem among businesses that have sneaky employees or teens who don’t want their parents to know what they are doing. The good news is vehicle GPS tracking devices are also designed to be wireless. Therefore, it is easy to hide a 4G or even 3G GPS tracker in a location in the vehicle where the driver will not see the device!

4. Bad Connection To 12-Volt System

People that use tracking solutions often hard-wire them to the vehicle. This is a great idea if you want to keep the GPS tracking system out of view from the driver, as well as give you additional features a wireless GPS tracker can’t like a kill switch. With that said, if a person hard-wires the hidden GPS tracker incorrectly, the vehicle tracker will drain power and will power down within a couple of weeks. This is why it is highly recommended that you have your tracking solutions installed by a professional. Also, refer to the user manual and contact the manufacturer if you need any technical support.

GPS trackers are one of the most efficient surveillance tools a person can use to track the location movements of any asset. However, the combination of GPS satellites and cellular networks can result in some potential limitations. Knowing the 4 reasons why any common GPS tracking device is likely offline will help you avoid any potential headaches and allow you safely monitor your teen driver or all your fleet vehicles!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My GPS Tracker Show Incorrect Location Movements?

GPS trackers may show incorrect location movements due to signal loss or interference, outdated GPS technology, or weak satellite signals. Updating your device, ensuring a clear view of the sky, and using supported devices can help improve accuracy.

How Can I Avoid Getting Lost Using GPS Navigation?

To avoid getting lost, ensure that you have the latest GPS map updates installed and that you have chosen the correct destination. It is also helpful to have a dash cam and to monitor driver behavior for safer and more accurate navigation.

What Are Common Problems With GPS Tracking Devices?

Common problems with GPS tracking devices include incorrect time or time zones, location jumps or bounces, and issues with satellite signals. Fleet tracking systems with better GPS receivers and 4G GPS trackers can help mitigate these problems.

Can GPS Trackers Be Used For Asset Tracking Besides Vehicles?

Yes, GPS vehicle tracking systems can be used for asset tracking besides vehicles, such as for school buses, pest control equipment, and rental cars. OBD GPS trackers can also be used to monitor engine health and prevent breakdowns.

Matthew Henson
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