You’ve probably heard the word “LoJack” in many places including car dealerships, TV shows, or law enforcement agencies. But what exactly is a LoJack and how does it works? In short, a LoJack device is a stolen vehicle recovery system. This device, paired with its service, is used by vehicle owners, dealerships, fleet owners, and law enforcement agencies.
Note: Many people mistakenly use the word “LoJack” to refer to any type of vehicle tracking and disabling unit. LoJack is the brand name of a stolen vehicle recovery system owned by Spireon, a company dedicated to fleet tracking services using telematics technology.
How does LoJack work?
Firstly, unlike other modern stolen vehicle recovery systems, the classic Lojack does not rely on GPS or any cellular network technology to communicate its location. Instead, the classic LoJack uses Radio Frequency technology to communicate its location to the nearest police patrol vehicle equipped with a LoJack Police Tracking Computer (PTC).
A stolen car owner must first report their stolen vehicle to the police, who will then proceed to add the vehicle to the National Crime Information Center. This will automatically activate the LockJack transponder found in the vehicle and will transmit its location to a law enforcement officer equipped with a LoJack Police Tracking Computer.
The method of locating vehicles by using radiofrequency has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few advantages:
- No need to be within a cellular network range
- No need for satellite coverage
- Includes a backup battery in case the thief unplugs the car battery.
- Not all police patrol units are equipped with a LoJack Police Tracking Computer.
- Stolen vehicles must be within 5 to 7 miles of a police unit equipped with a receiver.
- Will be useless if the stolen vehicle gets taken to a rural area or an isolated place.
- Does not transmit a GPS-based location, which makes it harder to detect the exact location.
New modern LoJack GO
A newer version of LoJack was released in May 2021. This means that if your LoJack was installed after May 2021, it is likely to be the new model with the Connected Car features. Unlike the old LoJack, the newer LoJack now has GPS and cellular capability which add modern features such as:
- Tracking your vehicle in real-time with GPS coordinates.
- Alerting you when going over the speed limit.
- Monitor your battery and alert you when it’s getting low.
- GeoFences – Alerts you when your vehicle crosses a certain location.
How to remove LoJack from my car?
Unless you’re a specialized LoJack installer, removing or disabling one of these devices will not be easy. Since there’s no standardized location to install the device, it will be hard to find it in the first place. Also, the dealership/installer will not let you know where they installed it.
Common LoJack locations
There are more than 20 locations where the LoJack unit can be found. Here are a few common locations where installers might hide it:
- Behind or underneath the glove compartment
- In the trunk, behind the fabric trunk liner
- Beneath the dash’s under panel
- Vehicle’s ceiling headliner, near the dome or courtesy lights
- Under or behind the instrument cluster
- Behind radio
- Hidden inside door panel
- Behind airbags
- Inside unibody holes
If you don’t feel comfortable tearing apart your car, you can contact a LoJack dealer and have them remove it for a hefty fee.
What does a LoJack look like?
Once you find your LoJack, it should look like a black, rectangular box shaped like a battery. The device does not have any logo other than some FCC ID and other basic information about the particular model. It has three cables which include power and ground cable along an antenna line.
Is LoJack still in business?
During the last few years, LoJack Corporation has been sold and acquired multiple times. The company was acquired by CalAmp in 2016. Four years later, on February 2121, this same company announced that it was going to discontinue LoJack sales on the American market by June 18, 2021.
Three days before reaching that date, CalAmp sold its LoJack division to Spireon. This company decided to integrate LoJack with its current stolen vehicle recovery system called Kahu. Spireon rebranded Kahu and relaunched it as LoJack.
Using Apple AirTag as a LoJack
If you know what Apple AirTag is, you’re probably wondering if it can be used as a LoJack replacement. The reality is that an AirTag is a very bad device to be used as a LoJack replacement.