CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Can't get license plates off

Happy to hear that you got the job done. As far breaking the screwdriver if you have enough room between the shaft and handle you can try getting as much gorilla glue in it as possible might make it workable again.

3 Likes

Thank you @Renegade. I’ll give that a try. :+1:

1 Like

You’re a mere child, my dear.
:wink:

4 Likes

Aw, thank you. Besides, I’m still just a kid at heart. :blush:

Yes recommend getting the hex head screws so you can use a socket on them and not a screwdriver. Also recommend using anti-sieze on the threads. A lifetime supply for a few dollars.

3 Likes

That’s equivalent to advising somebody to buy Wagner Thermoquiet or Autozone brakes . . .

They’ll be “thanking” you later on, when the brakes either don’t fit correctly and/or make horrible noises while chewing up the rotors at the same time

To be fair, she heard “screws for license plates” and that’s what she showed me. What annoyed me was the apparent assumption that I was too dumb to find them rather than that I wanted something else. The last couple of times I’ve bought wiper blades, once at NAPA and once at Advance, the sales person has essentially shoved something down my throat rather than letting me find what I wanted. I guess I just look clueless.

Rusty bolts. A while ago there was a discussion on getting rusty bolts loose and I thought an impact driver would make it more likely to shear the bolt. I’m rebuilding some mower spindles and the nuts on one of them was severely rusted. Let it sit with PB for a couple days but wouldn’t budge with the small ratchet. So I put the battery impact driver to work on them and they came right off. So guess I changed my mind. Handy device for $100.

The Advance auto near me has counter people. I only go to the counter for parts not sold on their shelves. But I rarely if ever buy parts from Advance - just things like wiper blades and wax.

Have to agree with the vise grip solution. I’ve come across this issue many times already. The only time I had a problem with this method was on a BMW which when removing the screw it stripped the inner nut and I had to make new holes…

1 Like

Plastic bolts for the next to hold the plate on after removal?

Already been mentioned, most cars in the last 10ish years use zinc screws into plastic pieces (nuts). Every year when I get the new little sticker I remove the plate so I can wash it (and behind where the plate is). Removing once a year the screws don’t have a chance to “set” in place.

I thought it was just me. I can’t stand putting the new sticker on top of the old one so I do the same thing and strip the old sticker off of the plate before putting the new one on. When the plates came in at the dealer, the girl wanted to put them on for me but I said I would do it because I was afraid she’d put the sticker on crooked. Nice clean, waxed, car with a bad plate makes no sense.

I take joy in have a pile of stickers on the plate!

Here where I live the person in the License Office hands you your stickers and off you go to wherever your vehicle is parked. They never get anywhere near your vehicle.

Yes of course, but when you buy a vehicle, you get a 21 day tag during which time the plates are ordered from DMV. Then when the plates come in, (they are sent to the dealer) you go pick them up. As a courtesy the girl at the desk usually likes to put the sticker on the plate. Some are more careful to put them on straight than others. So I prefer to do it myself if I catch them in time or risk having crooked stickers for 5 years. Sorry to be unclear.

Okay, yes, it’s obviously different with new plates. Here in Missouri we tend to keep the same plates for years but a couple of years ago someone decided we should all have bicentennial license plates so the number I’d been so careful to memorize changed.