Basics Of Car Tracking Systems

Each year, over 1 million vehicles are stolen in the U.S. Most of them are either never retrieved or found only after having been stripped for parts. Decades ago, if your car or truck were stolen, you were forced to rely upon the diligence of your local police department. By the time they found it, it was often damaged or stripped past the point of repair. Today, millions of drivers have invested in auto tracking units. If taken, the vehicle can be tracked instantly and recovered before it sustains damage.

In this article, I’ll explain how these systems work and how they help the police locate stolen vehicles. Then, I’ll describe a few additional benefits that may encourage you to purchase one.

How They Track Your Vehicle

We’ve talked about GPS devices in the past, including the technology that allows them to function properly. Auto tracking systems use GPS technology and combine it with cellular functionality to monitor location and movement. You may remember that most GPS receivers require a signal from 4 satellites in order to pinpoint location. Your auto tracker only needs 3 to work. Once the 3 signals are received, the cellular technology built into the system sends your vehicle’s coordinates to the service which monitors its whereabouts.

There are some hurdles, however. For example, the satellites which send the signals are often unable to penetrate concrete. So, if a thief has parked in the lower levels of a concrete garage, the tracker may not work. Also, there are plenty of “black out” spots which lack cellular coverage. Even if your tracking system receives the 3 satellite signals, it may not be able to transmit the coordinates to your monitoring service.

Reasons To Buy A Tracker

The obvious reason to buy an auto tracking system, of course, is to provide the police with one more tool with which to locate your vehicle in the event that it’s stolen. But, there are other advantages. For example, the popular LoJack unit allows you to track your car’s movement on your laptop. If you’re a parent with a teenage child who borrows your car for the evening, you can confirm his or her whereabouts easily. Some systems can even be programmed to email you automatically when your car arrives at a predetermined location.

Another advantage of equipping your car with a tracker is that your insurance rates will decrease. Auto insurers consider the potential theft of a vehicle to be a significant financial risk. A tracking unit that leads to a quick recovery reduces that risk, which rewards you with lower rates.

These systems aren’t cheap; they can cost several hundreds of dollars. However, they may save you thousands of dollars over the long haul.

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