Is there such a thing as a decent quality license plate bolt?

Messages
1,704
Location
Northeast Nebraska
Being in the rust belt I've always purchased the ones made of nylon but when I bought my Lucerne I wanted something a little nicer than the dealership frame. These have the caps that hide the screw head, I think it looks nice.
IMG_20200817_143200678.jpg

 
Messages
50
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
There are many good answers about the bolt issue. There are additional things you can do.
I have slightly bent a plate, (small curvature), in order to put a little tension on it. With only two screws, it helps to press the plate into the car and prevents it from vibrating.
I have installed duct tape to the back of the plate, just to remove the metal to metal contact.
 

Tdbo

Thread starter
Messages
3,552
Location
Ohio
Never had a problem getting a stainless bolt from home depot in the proper metric size and length.

Getting stainless steel bolts anywhere is not a problem.
Getting quality stainless steel bolts that do not rust is the problem.
The two that I purchased that were dedicated LP bolts were Hillman brand from NAPA.
They were barely 10 months old and looked like they should have been 10 years old.
I'm looking for stainless steel that is rust resistant, not stainless steel with enough stainless in it to influence the price point.
 
Messages
670
Location
Valencia, CA
Just had this issue with our new Pilot. Go to the parts section of the dealer and ask for some license plate screws. Theyw ill GIVE you as many as you need,

Need to get some for the new Pilot, because the dealer only provided two, and four are needed to keep everything from rattling non stop.
What are the best ones to get, and where is the best place to get them?
Is there even such a thing anymore as a quality license plate bolt?
I ask this because I replaced them last fall on the van I just sold, and the stainless steel ones that I purchased looked like they were 10 years old, instead of 10 months old, when I took the plates off the van on Monday.
 
Messages
316
Location
MO, USA
Like another poster said, get stainless steel bolts at Ace Hardware, or Fastenal if you have a store near you.
there are 2 sizes, standard and metric, IIRC standard 1/4 with a fine thread and the metric is 6 mil fine.these fasteners actually screw in instead of using a sheet metal screw into a plastic piece. i prefer i/4 fine with a hex key with hole. many thieves do not have this key to steal your plates even stainless bolts can lock up, use anti seize
 
Messages
3,326
Location
Outer Banks, NC
there are 2 sizes, standard and metric, IIRC standard 1/4 with a fine thread and the metric is 6 mil fine.these fasteners actually screw in instead of using a sheet metal screw into a plastic piece. i prefer i/4 fine with a hex key with hole. many thieves do not have this key to steal your plates even stainless bolts can lock up, use anti seize
Correct about the allen hex head. With a personal license plate, it helps discourage thieves. That's what I use on my Honda.
 
Messages
47
Location
Newport, RI
I had a LP bolt rust and then snap off on wifes Toyota. I had to drill it out and then use a remover to extract it. Thought it would be a 5 min job. Over an hour later its done.
 
Messages
316
Location
MO, USA
I had a LP bolt rust and then snap off on wifes Toyota. I had to drill it out and then use a remover to extract it. Thought it would be a 5 min job. Over an hour later its done.obviosly
anti seize is your friend, it is possible to force a standard thread into a metric,the toyota needsd metric, but it is possible to jam the standard thread1/4 fine into the vehicle and almost use it as a thread chaser, it has been known.
 
Messages
316
Location
MO, USA
there reall
Just had this issue with our new Pilot. Go to the parts section of the dealer and ask for some license plate screws. Theyw ill GIVE you as many as you need,
y
of
Correct about the allen hex head. With a personal license plate, it helps discourage thieves. That's what I use on my Honda.
we had the plates stolen on a 1998 olds cutless, you call the cops and they actually come out, i make out a sign showing plate stolen. go to dmv, and the deal is, it costs more to get a full police report than it costs for just the incident report so you have to pay for the right to be robbed
 
Messages
316
Location
MO, USA
there reall

yff

we had the plates stolen on a 1998 olds cutless, you call the cops and they actually come out, i make out a sign showing plate stolen. go to dmv, and the deal is, it costs more to get a full police report than it costs for just the incident report so you have to pay for the right to be robbed
be
there reall

ybolts

we had the plates stolen on a 1998 olds cutless, you call the cops and they actually come out, i make out a sign showing plate stolen. go to dmv, and the deal is, it costs more to get a full police report than it costs for just the incident report so you have to pay for the right to be robbed
be careful with the security key screws the little key they give when new has a difficult time trying to set deep enough after 2 years, who knew you need to do maintenance on your plate bolts, i could not seat the key deep enough, care use of vice grips did the trick. i later went to home depot and bought a selection a ss fasteners, and the plates are good and expire in 5 months that is the 2005buick century that stated a long thread
 
Messages
1,999
Location
Cincinnati, USA
Who paints their license plate bolts?
Why would you even want to?
You do, if you care about how they look and can't find the following...

Getting stainless steel bolts anywhere is not a problem.
Getting quality stainless steel bolts that do not rust is the problem.
I'm looking for stainless steel that is rust resistant, not stainless steel with enough stainless in it to influence the price point.

Different grades of stainless cost more. Imp4 got it right several posts back, just pay what it costs for 316 stainless aka marine grade. Or don't, this topic could exist for many products... "I want the best but want to pay no more than the average price of lesser quality".

If you're just venting that the quality of the cheap ones isn't good, there's nothing we can do about that unless someone here owns a bolt factory and wants to eat the cost, operate a charity? Granted sometimes you can find a price outlier like an Amazon Warehouse listing for a small count so you're not buying a big box when you only need a handful, but we're only talking single-digit dollars difference, hardly worth much checking and waiting and hoping for a unicorn to appear. :)
 
Last edited:

Tdbo

Thread starter
Messages
3,552
Location
Ohio
You do, if you care about how they look and can't find the following...



Different grades of stainless cost more. Imp4 got it right several posts back, just pay what it costs for 316 stainless aka marine grade. Or don't, this topic could exist for many products... "I want the best but want to pay no more than the average price of lesser quality".

If you're just venting that the quality of the cheap ones isn't good, there's nothing we can do about that unless someone here owns a bolt factory and wants to eat the cost, operate a charity? Granted sometimes you can find a price outlier like an Amazon Warehouse listing for a small count so you're not buying a big box when you only need a handful, but we're only talking single-digit dollars difference, hardly worth much checking and waiting and hoping for a unicorn to appear. :)


I'm not venting anything.
I merely asked a question.
Is that not the purpose of this forum?
I agree with Imp4's post. I had never thought about marine grade stainless, as I have never had any reason to.
I've never owned a boat before in my life.
I am attempting to access such locally.
Nobody asked you or anyone else to do anything about the quality nor am I asking for any charity.
I can more than tote the note on four license plate bolts.
"I want the best but want to pay no more than the average price of lesser quality"
Where did I say this? I Didn't. I commented that I bought what was represented as stainless steel license plate bolts, and that I felt that the life span of those should have been more than 10 months.
BTW, the vast majority of people do not take the time to paint their license plate bolts (except, perhaps you.)
Thanks to the rest of you that actually took the time to respond with constructive input.
 

BlueOvalFitter

Site Donor 2021
Messages
9,141
Location
Cajun Country, La.
I have Tapcons (haven't rusted in 13 years) holding my back plate on. My nice chrome F150 plate on the front came with chrome bolts and chrome button covers to cover the bolt heads.
 
Messages
1,999
Location
Cincinnati, USA
I'm not venting anything.
I merely asked a question.
Is that not the purpose of this forum?

Did I ever state, "don't ask"? No.

I agree with Imp4's post. I had never thought about marine grade stainless, as I have never had any reason to.

It doesn't have to be called marine, many times it won't be, just 316 instead of some other grade.

Nobody asked you or anyone else to do anything about the quality nor am I asking for any charity.
I can more than tote the note on four license plate bolts.
"I want the best but want to pay no more than the average price of lesser quality"
Where did I say this? I Didn't.

OH? Then what about this quote from you:

I'm looking for stainless steel that is rust resistant, not stainless steel with enough stainless in it to influence the price point.

Seems clear to me that you did essentially state that, that it's about price, or you wouldn't have mentioned price, and it needs to be recognized that like anything else, some grades of stainless cost more than others.

I commented that I bought what was represented as stainless steel license plate bolts, and that I felt that the life span of those should have been more than 10 months.
BTW, the vast majority of people do not take the time to paint their license plate bolts (except, perhaps you.)

The vast majority of people don't care that much about their license plate bolts to even give them a second thought, let alone start a forum topic, let alone get touchy about replies that WERE applicable to what you wrote.

If you don't want to paint your bolts I don't blame you but it is in fact a solution, that costs less than buying special bolts (since you did mention price) if you have some paint lying around which most of us do.
 
Messages
12,858
Location
Indiana
Stainless steel all the way.

If the threads don’t quite add up to the original, stick a zip tie in the hole when installing the new screw. It’ll tighten up.
 

Tdbo

Thread starter
Messages
3,552
Location
Ohio
Did I ever state, "don't ask"? No.



It doesn't have to be called marine, many times it won't be, just 316 instead of some other grade.



OH? Then what about this quote from you:



Seems clear to me that you did essentially state that, that it's about price, or you wouldn't have mentioned price, and it needs to be recognized that like anything else, some grades of stainless cost more than others.



The vast majority of people don't care that much about their license plate bolts to even give them a second thought, let alone start a forum topic, let alone get touchy about replies that WERE applicable to what you wrote.

If you don't want to paint your bolts I don't blame you but it is in fact a solution, that costs less than buying special bolts (since you did mention price) if you have some paint lying around which most of us do.


Buh-bye, Biff.
 
Messages
670
Location
Valencia, CA
I've used weatherstripping foam tape on the back of my plates to kee them from rattling. Similar to this:




There are many good answers about the bolt issue. There are additional things you can do.
I have slightly bent a plate, (small curvature), in order to put a little tension on it. With only two screws, it helps to press the plate into the car and prevents it from vibrating.
I have installed duct tape to the back of the plate, just to remove the metal to metal contact.
 
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