I have recently bought a used 2006 BMW 520D E61 and have found 2 devices wired into the electrics next to the rear fuse box.

One of these I'm pretty sure is a GPS and the other one looks like a speaker. Neither of these devices have any text other than the country of origin.

The GPS could have been left over by a previous owner if it had been used as a taxi or part of a company fleet. If so, would this be safe to remove? (There is a black sticky residue on it from where it was stuck to the car).

The other device I'm a bit more confused about, it seems to be a speaker but I cannot think of a reason that it would have been installed and therefore I am not sure whether it can or should be removed.

My questions are: What are these devices? Are they safe to remove?

Speaker Looking Device Front View Speaker Looking Device Side View Speaker Looking Device Wires Entering Cars Wiring GPS Looking Device Front View GPS Looking Device Back View

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sep 5, 2022 at 22:01
  • I can't say for sure, but if it's a GPS it could be an aftermarket security device to help track the car if stolen.
    – GdD
    Sep 6, 2022 at 9:18
  • 1
    looks like a speaker for an alarm (first picture) You can image search it as well. pretty sure thats what it is) and a rf receiver for alarm or a gps for recover (second picture). Definently aftermarket so it should be ok (and a good idea) to remove it.
    – narkeleptk
    Sep 6, 2022 at 12:43
  • If the speaker is connnected to the gps unit, it may be a tracker when the vehicle was leased or rented as a method against non payment or theft. Other gps units may be tied into the engine computer to disable the EFI system when a command is sent from the leasing/rental company. If you can locate the power connection, disabling power shouldn't interfere with everyday driving prior to removal.
    – F Dryer
    Sep 6, 2022 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming there are no brand name tags or model number on these devices so we're pretty much left to speculate. I suspect what you have is one of:

  1. An aftermarket alarm system that was self-installed by the previous owner.
  2. A tracking device and possibly a disabling device installed by a lender when the car was financed. These are common in the "buy here - pay here" market where most buyers have poor credit histories and the lender wants to be able to easily locate the vehicle in case of missed payments.
  • An aftermarket security system is an interesting idea, I guess they could have been installed at the same time (both are very amateurly wired in and taped with the same kind of electrical tape). I tested whether the cars original alarm worked by unlocking it with the actual key rather than the remote central locking and it definitely works but isnt coming from the speaker looking device. Any ideas how else this could be tested? I did an image search of the device and aftermarket alarm systems and couldnt see anything similar, though I guess theres likely a way to do it with an old speaker.
    – samsonM
    Sep 6, 2022 at 14:51
  • 1
    I'm thinking self-installed because the installation looks to be very primitive. I suppose a "shop" might have done it though.
    – jwh20
    Sep 6, 2022 at 16:01

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