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How To Install A Hardwired GPS Tracker

Vehicle Tracking Installation Guide

Battery-powered GPS tracking devices and vehicle GPS trackers that connect to OBDii ports are frequently used for vehicle management. Whether it is a personal GPS for making sure teen drivers are safe or a GPS tracking system to observe cars and trucks in the workplace, it is clear that tracking systems can help any parent or fleet manager improve safety. Although battery powered GPS devices and systems that pull power from OBD ports are the most popular vehicle tracking devices, hardwired GPS solutions are the best when it comes to vehicle security. If you recently purchased a hardwired device and need some assistance with GPS tracker installation, this article will help guide you to installing GPS equipment without hiring a professional.

Best Hard Wired GPS Vehicle Tracker 2023

Hardwired GPS Tracker With Kill Switch

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This hardwired GPS tracker with kill switch is the ideal car tracker and equipment tracking solution. Simply connect the GPS fleet tracking solution to any asset to find the location of your vehicle, trailer, or asset 24/7. The best part is you can use the GPS car tracker to disable the starter, observe temperature monitoring, and even get a speed alert if someone is driving at dangerous speeds. 

GPS Car Tracker

Related Content: GPS Asset Tracking Guide 2023

Dos And Don’ts Of GPS Tracking Installation 

Before we get into the steps of installing a wired GPS tracker, let’s first go over some basic dos and don’ts. That way you won’t fry your GPS vehicle tracking device or mess up the 12-volt system of your automobile. 

Dos: What You Should Do When Installing Hardwired GPS Tracking Devices

  • Do read the installation guide thoroughly: Before starting the installation process, read the provided tracker installation guide to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps, tools, and safety precautions.
  • Do choose a discreet location: When installing a GPS tracker, it’s essential to select a hidden location to protect it from tampering or theft. Consider places like under the dashboard or behind interior panels.
  • Do ensure a strong GPS signal: Ensure your tracker’s location offers a strong GPS signal. Avoid placing the tracker near large metal objects or other signal-obstructing materials.
  • Do test the GPS tracker before final installation: Before completing the installation, power up and test the GPS tracker to ensure it’s functioning correctly and transmitting location data.
  • Do use high-quality components: When installing a wired GPS tracker, use high-quality connectors, fuses, and wires to ensure reliable connections and prevent electrical issues.

Don’ts: What You Should Not Do When Installing Hardwired GPS Tracking Devices

  • Don’t rush the installation process: Take your time during the installation process to avoid making mistakes or causing damage to your vehicle’s electrical system.
  • Don’t interfere with other vehicle components: Be cautious not to interfere with your vehicle’s existing wiring, airbags, or other critical components while installing the GPS tracker.
  • Don’t forget to check legal requirements: Be aware of the legal requirements for GPS tracking in your jurisdiction. In some cases, tracking someone without their consent can be illegal and result in legal consequences.
  • Don’t skip grounding the GPS tracker: Proper grounding is crucial for the GPS tracker’s functionality and safety. Always connect the grounding wire to a secure grounding point on the vehicle.
  • Don’t ignore potential warranty issues: Installing a hardwired GPS tracker may void your vehicle’s warranty. If you’re concerned about preserving your warranty, consider using an OBD2 or plug-and-play GPS tracker instead.

Basic Tools For Installing GPS Equipment

Before you begin the installation process of your vehicle locator it is best to have some basic tools readily available. These basic vehicle tracking installation items include simple tools, electrical tape, fleet management system user manuals, a flashlight, and maybe an extension cable.

GPS Unit Placement

  • Before drilling any holes or running any wires (as applicable), decide where each hardware component will be located (device, mounting bracket, cable, etc.).
  • Locate a suitable mounting location with a clear view of the sky (GPS satellites), preferably above any metal that could obstruct receiving GPS signals. GPS signals can be received through glass and plastic.
  • Typically, for vehicles, the unit should be placed near the dashboard of the vehicle to the right of the driver with open exposure to the front windshield. It is important that the unit does not interfere with the vehicle’s airbag system in any manner.
  • It is also a good idea to consider the visibility of the LEDs on the unit, as you may periodically need to see the LEDs to ensure the unit is working properly.
  • Make sure that the device will not be exposed to damage from the sun, heat, rain, moisture, people, or objects.
  • Attach the unit to the solid body of the vehicle or asset, not to plastic panels, and be sure that the cables (if any) to the unit are not cut, bent, or constricted in any way. Secure the unit and any excess wire (if applicable) with non-conductive fasteners and ties — making sure not to crimp or flatten the wires. Do not re-use any wire tie that surrounds the cable used in shipping. Do not glue the unit to the dashboard.

POWER CABLE

Wire Color Description Feature
RED WIRE Primary Power  
WHITE WIRE Input 0 – Ignition Ignition detection
BLACK WIRE Ground  
GREEN WIRE Output 0 – Starter disable relay driver Starter Disable/Enable – Output 0 is grounded when starter is disabled. Output 0 is neutral when starter is enabled.
YELLOW WIRE Output 2 – Digital Output Door unlocking – pulsed to ground twice, each pulse least 0.5 s
BLUE WIRE Input 1 – Digital Input Alarm 2 – trigged when power lost
ORANGE WIRE Input 2 – Digital Input ONLY USED FOR CUSTOM FEATURES
BROWN WIRE Output 1 – Digital Output ONLY USED FOR CUSTOM FEATURES
Green/Black Serial Output ONLY USED FOR CUSTOM FEATURES
Blue/Black Serial Input ONLY USED FOR CUSTOM FEATURES
White/Blue 1-Bit Bus Data Line ONLY USED FOR CUSTOM FEATURES
Pink ADC Input ONLY USED FOR CUSTOM FEATURES

Power Cable Installation 

Before you begin:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ANY PRODUCT WARRANTY RETURNS:

AirIQ’s product warranty terms state that any form of modification or alteration to a device will void the warranty. As a result, in the event you need to return a device, please be sure to remove and return it in its entirety or you may be charged for the full replacement value of the unit. 

PRE-INSTALL NOTE: Do NOT wire your device behind/into your vehicle’s ECM port.
This is not recommended as the connection is unreliable and will affect the performance of the device. PRE-INSTALL NOTE 2:

IF YOU REQUIRE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING FEATURES: 

  • Engine Hours
  • Unauthorized Movement
  • Ignition On/Off Alerts

PLEASE BE SURE TO WIRE THE DEVICE HARNESS TO YOUR VEHICLE’S ENGINE IGNITION. These features are captured using engine ignition, so it is required for them to perform correctly. The wiring diagram with lull instructions can be found on page 3.

Wire Color Scheme for the Power Cable
1. Connect the RED wire to a +12/24V constant power source.
2. Connect the WHITE wire to a +12/24V ignition power source.
3. Connect the BLACK wire to negative ground or a metal surface on the vehicle frame. 

All 3 of these wires must be connected. Failure to connect these lines in the manner described may result in the discharge of the vehicle battery.

POWERING UNIT

  1. Connect the power cable to the unit. The unit should now be powered. PLEASE NOTE: Once the unit powers up it will automatically connect to AirIQ’s network and download its configuration. PLEASE WAIT 5-10 MINUTES BEFORE YOU TEST ANY OF YOUR FEATURES SO THAT YOU DO NOT INTERRUPT THE DOWNLOAD PROCESS. In addition, do not disconnect the device from the power source during this time as it may also interrupt the download process.
  2. Every unit has an internal backup battery. The unit is shipped with the battery enabled.

LED OPERATION

COMM LED (RED/ORANGE LIGHT)
Condition COMM LED
Modem Off Off
COMM On —Searching Slow Blinking
Network Available Fast Blinking
Registered but no Inbound Acknowledgement Alternates from Solid to Fast Blink every 1 second
Registered & Received Inbound Acknowledgment Solid

The device is equipped with two status LED’s — one for GPS and one for COMM (wireless network status). The LED’s are located on the end of the device — as shown below— and use the blink patterns shown in the table below: 

GPS LED (GREEN LIGHT)
Condition GPS LED
GPS Off Off
GPS On Slow Blinking
GPS Time Sync Fast Blinking
GPS Fix Solid

CONFIRMING PROPER OPERATION

It is highly recommended to perform an Action request from the AirIQFleetTM website to confirm GPS Fix with current location and test other optional features before releasing the vehicle or asset.

TROUBLESHOOTING

NO GPS FIX (SOLID LED)

  • Ensure the vehicle is outside.
  • Ensure the unit is not mounted directly under metal and the P/N sticker on the unit faces upwards.

NO POWER (NO LED)

  • Verify there is constant power on the RED wire on the power cable.
  • The BLACK wire on the power cable must be attached to a good ground source. 

OPTIONAL OUTPUTS ON POWER CABLE

Output Starter Disable (GREEN WIRE)

Note: Optional Relay Is For  +12 Volt Vehicle Tracker Installation

Vehicle Tracking Installation

  1. Locate the +12V starter wire in the vehicle’s ignition harness and cut it.
  2. Connect the BLUE wire from the disable relay to the ignition switch side of the cut starter wire.
  3. Once cut, this wire will show voltage during cranking.
  4. Connect the RED wire from the disable relay to the Solenoid side of the cut Starter Wire.
  5. Using a butt connector, crimp the GREEN wire from the Starter disable relay and the GREEN wire from the device harness together.

IF YOU HAVE A FIVE (5) WIRE RELAY:

Wire Color Description
GREEN (85) To GREEN wire on harness
BROWN (86) To WHITE wire on harness
BLUE (30) To Ignition Side of Cut Starter Wire
RED (87a) To Starter Side of Cut Starter Wire
YELLOW (87) Not used
  1. Locate the starter wire in the vehicle and cut it. Connect the BLUE wire from the relay and connect it to the ignition side of the starter wire. Connect the RED wire on the relay and connect to the starter side of the starter wire.
  2. Connect the GREEN wire on the relay to the GREEN wire on the harness/power cable.
  3. Connect the BROWN wire from the relay to TRUE IGNITION (a wire with +12VDC when the engine is cranking and running). 

There are numerous types of vehicle door unlock systems and not all systems in every vehicle will allow for the unlock feature to be connected. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do I Start Installing GPS Trackers For My Fleet Of Vehicles?

Begin by choosing the right fleet management software and GPS vehicle tracking devices for your needs. Research and compare different fleet tracking systems to find the best fit.

What Are The Benefits Of Hardwired GPS Trackers Compared To OBD2 GPS Trackers?

Hardwired trackers provide more reliable connections, better input monitoring, and can be hidden easier than OBD2 trackers. They also offer data on vehicle idling, fuel consumption, and are tamper resistance.

Are There Any Cons Of Hardwiring GPS Trackers In My Fleet Vehicles?

Yes, hardwired GPS tracking can be more difficult to install and may void vehicle warranties. Additionally, hardwired trackers may require professional installation, adding to the cost.

What Types Of Businesses Can Benefit From GPS Tracking Systems?

Car dealerships, logistics companies, and businesses with a fleet of vehicles can benefit from GPS tracking systems. They enable better fleet management, improved safety, and reduced fuel consumption.

How Do I Install A Hardwired GPS Car Tracker In A Connected Vehicle?

Follow the tracker installation guide provided by the manufacturer. You’ll need to connect the power, ignition, and grounding wires to the vehicle’s electrical system.

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