2002 Toyota Camry front bumper--what's the little square panel for?

I got hit by a chunk of asphalt on the freeway and it knocked out the small square-ish panel that’s on the front bumper. What’s that thing for? Is it bad for me to drive with it uncovered?

Is there a threaded hole behind the cover? If so, that’s for inserting a tow hook, which should be mentioned in your manual.

Bottom, top, center, left, right? How big is small?

Yep I was going with Lion9Car on this one… ALso Keith has a point…where on your bumper cover is the panel? Many X there are panels that snap out to plug up where the fog lights would normally reside…if you didnt get that option they use these snap in panels. On VW’s and many other cars they have small snap in panels to hide where you screw in your tow hook or tow device…etc.

In either case it shouldnt be a cause for alarm as neither type of cover up panel will cause any issues other than being ugly.

Yes, Lion9Car, there is a threaded hole. Duh. I tried looking this up on the internet and didn’t even think to check my manual.

It’s located about a 1/4 of the way over from the passenger side, about the point where the headlight and grille meet (but below that, of course, so I’m still talking about the bumper).

And yes, Honda Blackbird, it is ugly.

Thanks for the quick responses and putting my mind at ease!

The threaded hole is actually for a marine tie down eye. There are special tie down hooks used specificall for transporting cars by cargo ship. Their loads must be very well secured, as a loose object in high seas could do a lot of damage.

You might still have the panel. Check carefully again and maybe you’ll find it on the car.

Pretty common car, so you be able to get replacement at salvage yard or mall parking lot. Just kidding with the last option. Toyota will charge you lots of $$$$$ for their parts.

The owner’s manual calls it a place for the emergency tow hook. If you look inside the bag that holds the jacking tools that came with your car, you should find a threaded tow hook (or eyebolt actually). I have a RAV4 and took a quick look.

If you install the bolt and say that they do it in Europe everybody will want to copy you. We should call it an i-bolt.

Yup that threaded hole is for your tow loop or hook or whathaveyou… Its how you can tow the vehicle with such a big plastic bumper…there would be no way to do so otherwise.