Install

These instructions are written in a (hopefully) easy to understand, step-by-step way.

We believe our devices should be easy to install, even if it requires a bit of light reading and possibly hearing something you already know.

“Circuit” here will mean the loop of power that involves something specific in your car. So you can have a headlight circuit that is the power to your headlights. Or a moonroof circuit, or a heated seats circuit, or a climate control circuit, etc. An unused/spare circuit is one that doesn’t control anything. Many cars offer many features, and not all features are on every car, which leaves a handful of spare circuits.

“Ignition circuit” here is instead any circuit after the key. Put simply: These are things that only work if the key is on. The horn is not on an ignition circuit because it will work without the key. However power windows are often on an ignition circuit, because they only work with the key. Put another way, if you think of putting your car key in and turning it on as turning on a normal light switch, and taking the key out as turning the light off, an ignition circuit is one that’s powered/live only when the “switch” (key) is on and the “light” here is some accessory in the car.

A “fuse” is a small piece of plastic with two metal teeth that gets put before the thing it’s protecting along the circuit, so that hopefully the fuse gets damaged before your headlights or moonroof or heated seats. Fuses are much easier to replace. Fuses get placed in a “fuse box” which is more like a fuse panel, typically under your driver side dash (which we will use), or under the hood. Here you can easily inspect or test the fuses that are protecting each circuit of your vehicle.

A “circuit tester” is a device which looks like really sharp ink pen with a cord coming out of it. We sell one on our site if you’d like to see what one looks like. The end of the cord usually has an alligator style clip. The clip will attach to a “ground” (which just means an unpainted bare bit of metal or bolt or screw somewhere nearby) and the pointy end touches something you believe should or shouldn’t have live electricity. It’s best to make sure your circuit tester works first, which is easily done by holding both ends and touching one to the + of your battery and one to the – side under your hood. If the circuit tester lights up, you’ve made a circuit! You can try putting the clip end on other grounded metals under the hood to see what works and what doesn’t. Learning is fun!

“Chassis power” (or similar) on an RV usually refers to the switch or battery or power source that controls things that aren’t the lights inside for example. Chassis power refers to things like the trailer plug, which is relevant to us.

“Coach power” (or similar) on an RV usually refers to the switch or battery or power source that controls things inside the motorhome, like the lights. Sometimes, this also controls the fuse box under the driver side dash, so check this if the fuses under there are not lighting up.

“Splice” means to interweave or join separate strands, like with rope or wire, into one. So a single, uninterrupted wire in our case will then have a junction point so to speak, with wire going off in three directions. One coming from the original source, and now two that go off to various locations.

Click on your tracker to go to the instructions.

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Car/truck/van/etc

Under dash fuse box with Add-a-circuit

Installing the GPS Tracker for Custom Applications in a car, truck, van, RV, or similar via the fuse box under the driver side dash.

Trailer

Hardwiring with in-line fuse

Installing the GPS Tracker for Custom Applications into a trailer or similar where there is no fuse box available.

Installing the GPS Tracker for Custom Applications in the fuse box

Car/truck/van/etc

1. Ensure tracker and wiring are assembled properly - red to power, black to ground

GPS Tracker With Add A Circuit
  • The ring terminal will be installed on the end of the black wire for grounding bolts/screws. If you have a known ground wire you’re directly splicing to, cut the ring terminal off if and strip the insulation if needed.
  • Attach the properly sized Add-a-circuit – shown here is the mini – to the tracker’s red wire by pushing together bullet plugs. Chances are extremely high for fuse boxes you’ll use the mini Add-a-circuit as shown, as this is the style in most anything. If you aren’t sure or want to check, just take a peek under the driver’s side dash and pull or pinch-and-pull the plastic cover off the fuse box panel.

2. Find out which fuses under your dash are "unused" or spare circuits

Fuse box spares
  • If you gave us (or still want to give us) your vehicle year, make, and model and we were able to give you a custom fuse box cheat sheet like this one, get that and go to step 3.
  • If not, get your vehicle’s user manual and find the under-the-dash fuse box layout. (Sometimes the fuse box cap will have the fuses numbered which helps. Sometimes layout diagrams will need to be rotated to match the layout, which is just visually compared and verified by the shapes.) You can also search Google, usually you can try something like 2009 Chevy Malibu fuse box diagram.
  • Write down or note the numbers/locations of the fuses that go with an unused/spare circuit. These will be the ones you test first. In the example above, we will want to test fuses in spots 5, 6, 7, and 19 first.

3. Find out which of those spare circuits from step 2 are ignition circuits

  • Clip or touch a circuit tester to a ground. The diagram in step 2 has been rotated to proper up/down after looking at the real one, and we can see there is a mounting tab in the lower right hand side by fuse 28. This can work as a ground for us in this example.
  • Use pointy end of pen circuit tester to slowly and carefully touch a few different small silver metal dots you can see on either side of the number on a fuse.
  • Ultimately, the fuse you want does like the gif above: a) does not illuminate the tester when the key is off; and b) does illuminate the tester when the key is on.

4. Pull that fuse out and place it in your Add-a-circuit

  • Some cars feature a plastic tweezer-like tool to help pull them out, found on or against the fuse box or fuse box cover. If you can’t find it, gently grab the sides of the fuse and wiggle it out of there.
  • Take the fuse you removed and place it next to the existing fuse in the Add-a-circuit. The slots closer to the blades are for the original fuse box fuse, the one further from the blades is for the tracker.

5. Find an unpainted screw or bolt and attach the ring terminal as the ground

Ground it
  • This could be what you used as the ground in step 3. Many vehicles’ fuse boxes are secured against the firewall with a large nut and bolt. If it’s easily accessible, this is a perfect option. Otherwise, find another bolt nearby. You can check if it’s a good ground by using your circuit tester from step 3.
  • Take off the nut with a wrench or socket, slide on the ring terminal, and tighten back down the nut.

6. Install Add-a-circuit

AAC into fusebox
  • Install it into the now empty fuse slot on the fuse box.
  • It doesn’t require much force at all or you will bend the fuse blades. Gently wiggle it into place. Take your time.

7. Secure the device

  • Use the included zip ties and/or double-sided tape to secure the device under the dash somehow on the driver’s side, more towards the driver door and away from the gas/brake pedal mechanisms or any other moving parts. Many cars will have a metal support bar or some other thick wiring harness you can attach to.

8. To test the device for the first time

  • Reattach your negative battery cable if necessary and turn on the ignition, either by actually starting the car or turning the key and stopping just before the point of starting.
  • Your chances of a quick GPS lock are better if you are out in the open.
  • Give the device at least 60 seconds to power on (or more if you’re not out in the open, it may need to work a little harder).
  • After a while, text the device to find your location using the information included on the instructions included in the box. The information may have also been emailed to you after we shipped the device. This is to confirm operation. If you do not receive a text within two minutes, you either don’t have a) power, or b) signal. Confirm there is in fact power to the device (key on, any switches, etc), and move to somewhere with less blocking the view of the sky (out of the garage, away from the woods, out from behind the 
  • To view your device as much as you like, log in to “My Account” to access the map online or on your phone. Remember to use a new, difficult password. For easy, repeated access, go to the page with your map and click your mobile browser’s settings icon and pick “Add to home”. Now just click your new desktop icon to go straight to your map!
  • You can check out our Map Help page for a system walk-through.

Installing the GPS Tracker for Custom Applications via hardwire in a trailer etc

Trailer

1. Ensure tracker and wiring are assembled properly - red to power, black to ground

GPS Tracker With In-Line Fuse Holder
  • The ring terminal will be attached to the black wire for grounding bolts/screws. If you have a known ground wire you’re directly splicing to, cut the ring terminal off if and strip the insulation if needed.
  • Connect the in-line fuse holder to the red wire. If you see your trailer has a fuse box you think you can use, you might read through these instructions and then go back to the fuse box with Add-a-circuit instructions.

2. For trailers with a spare battery: Find 12v+ hot from batteries and a ground

  • Use a circuit tester to find a hot wire from the trailer batteries to use. If you aren’t sure, you can test the wire by grounding the circuit tester with the clip and push the pointy end through the insulation of the wire you believe to have power.
  • Skip 2-b, but see warning just below 2-b.

2-b. For trailers without a spare battery: Double check how power is supplied to trailer plug

  • Whether you’ve got a 7-wire plug or 4-wire or whatever, you need to find a power wire for your tracker, same as if your trailer had a battery. First, you might start at the truck plug and see where the power is coming from. Trace the wires or consult your manual to determine the best way to get constant power.
  • When tracing power to plugs, note that most RVs have switches to control chassis power
  • It might be useful later to write down which wire in the plug does what for later reference.
  • In either case, it’s important to note that by using this 7-wire plug always-on power from a truck (or with the RV chassis switch on) the device will likely be powered even if the vehicle is off, which could slowly drain your truck/RV battery.

3. Find a physical location for the device and ground the device; don’t mount it yet

Ground with self-tapping screw
  • For trailers: Trace the wire you found in Step 2-a/b to where you think you want to mount it. With the trailer or spare battery plugged in, use the circuit tester to verify the wire still behaves as you expect. (Example: if you choose the taillight wire method with a 4-wire plug, you would plug in the trailer and find the color wire you think controls the taillights. Clip or hold to a ground and push the pointy end through the insulation. The wire you want for taillights will cause the tester light to go on and off as you turn on and off the lights.)
  • Use the ring terminal already on the black wire to attach to a grounding screw nearby, or make a new one using the included self-tapping screw and washer to create your own ground into a part of the metal frame. Or you can cut off the terminal and splice into an existing ground wire.
  • You might not completely mount it just yet to first verify it works in its location (step 6).

4. Splice in the tracker

  • Disconnect the trailer or battery powering the system
  • Use the included terminals or your own preferred splicing method.

5. Turn on power and wait for signals to lock on

  • Reattach any battery cables and turn power back on to the trailer
  • Your chances of a quick GPS lock are better if you are out in the open. For example, if your trailer is also behind a big garage and under trees and it’s cloudy, it may not lock on. If you happen to live out in a rural area, the GPS signal might be good but you may be in an area of poor cell reception.
  • Required step: Give the device at least 5 minutes to power on if you’re mostly in the open.
  • Required step: Then send the Location Code to your device’s phone number found on the included Cheat Sheet. If you don’t get a response within 2 minutes, your signal is not good enough or you’ve hidden it a little too well. Get to a more open location and when you do the text should arrive, no need to send multiple times. Then you’ll know the location is good enough. If the text doesn’t arrive (and you’re sure it has power) literally hold it out in the open. Note that after the device has been on power for a while, it will last up to 1 hour completely unplugged to give you time to get to an open area. If it still doesn’t arrive, you might be in a pocket of bad cell phone coverage, especially if you’re out in the country. If it does arrive, mount it how you want it, give it another 5-10 minutes and try the Location Code again as a double check. After a response, you can now set a GeoFence if desired.
  • If you want to try it in your daily driver for a while, simply connect the (mini) Add-a-circuit instead and use your vehicle’s manual to find a working spare/Acc fuse and hide it under the dash! You can usually ground it on the bolt holding the fuse box.
  • If you cannot get a response at all, double check you’ve got power to that wire and the device has the best view of the sky possible. If there’s still no response after all of these steps, contact us.
  • To learn more about the technology, visit gpstrackingmadeeasy.com/how-gps-works
  • Note GeoFencing (and all other functions) require battery power. If the battery powering the device is dead, the device will not be on and therefore will not send data or texts. If the dead battery gets recharged and there is adequate reception, the device will turn back on and automatically begin transmitting to your online map.

Installing the Car Tracking Device with the OBDII plug

Modern car

1. Find your OBDII plug

obdii plug location
  • Can be in various places but typically under driver side dash. In our example car, it’s directly under the wheel behind a flap door.
  • Looks exactly like it fits the tracker, there’s only one plug like it.

2. Hook up extension?

Plug with extension and tracker
  • Decide if you want to use the extension cable. In most situations it will be better to use it because it allows you to secure the tracker out of sight. In our example car, the extension is better so we can close the flap and avoid hitting our knee on the tracker.
  • It’s like most other plugs, it only goes one way so don’t force it. Note the angles of the plug.

3. Plug in device

Plugged in extension and tracker
  • Again, it only goes one way like a phone charger, however it may be a bit snug.
  • Once plugged in, the device lights should begin to blink then they will go solid.

4. Secure device

Away from moving parts
  • In our example, we secured the device up behind the dash high up on the left side. We just used the zip ties around another wiring harness.
  • Close any panels.

6. To test the device for the first time

  • Your chances of a quick GPS lock are better if you are out in the open.
  • Give the device at least 60 seconds to power on (or more if you’re not out in the open, it may need to work a little harder).
  • After a while, text the device to find your location using the information included on the instructions included in the box. The information may have also been emailed to you after we shipped the device. This is to confirm operation. If you do not receive a text within two minutes, you either don’t have a) power, or b) signal. Confirm there is in fact power to the device (key on, any switches, etc), and move to somewhere with less blocking the view of the sky (out of the garage, away from the woods, out from behind the 
  • To view your device as much as you like, log in to “My Account” to access the map online or on your phone. Remember to use a new, difficult password. For easy, repeated access, go to the page with your map and click your mobile browser’s settings icon and pick “Add to home”. Now just click your new desktop icon to go straight to your map!
  • You can check out our Map Help page for a system walk-through.