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What are those 2" x 2" square things on the back of cars?

I notice on some cars – for the most part german cars, but others too – a single square about 2" x 2" square on or near the rear bumpers. It looks like some kind of little access door for something.

Just curious. Anybody know what this 2" x 2" square is for?

If you remove it (or on some cars, flip it up) you’ll find a bolt hole. You screw an eyebolt into it and attach a towrope to it so you can tow the car without damaging the bodywork.

Front bumpers have it too.

Pulling the car is one possible use for it, but it’s usually used as a tie down point for transporting the car. Cars that don’t have this plug will usually have loops underneath the car for the same purpose.

On the Acura its on the front and the bolt is with the spare tire. If you need to get pulled out of a ditch, you’re supposed to screw the eye bolt in to attach the winch to.

It’s the access hole to the threaded bolthole to install a tiedown eye. With my car, a tiedown eye and installation instructions are included with the vehicle, in the speare tie kit and the owner’s manual.

On some SUV’s it may be an access door for installing a hitch.

Thanks for the explanation everybody, another puzzler-while-waiting-in-traffic solved!