License Plate Screws Won’t Come Out – How To Fix

If you have not looked at your vehicle’s license plate number in a while, you might not be able to undo its screws.

Changing your car’s license plate, which is seen as an easy procedure, may become tiresome and time-consuming when the license plate screws won’t come out.

So, what should you do in this situation? Do not worry; we have got you covered!

This guide will teach you different methods to fix the problem with license plate screws stuck. We also bring you some tips that can help you prevent this issue from happening again. Let’s get started!

Why License Plate Screws Won’t Come Out?

License Plate Screws Won’t Come Out

There is a high chance that you can’t unscrew license plate after a while of use. The rusted screws may be the reason behind this problem.

Just like when the hood latch doesn’t close, the screws on the plate are also exposed to moisture, dust, and other debris when you drive.

If you don’t clean your vehicle often, the cogged-up dirt will create an ideal environment for corrosion to develop, resulting in stuck and unscrewable rusted license plate screws.

Another reason for the issue of license plate screws not coming out is that you might accidentally over-tighten your screw.

It won’t be a problem at first, but you will find it hard to remove the screws after a period of time.

How To Fix License Plate Screws Won’t Come Out

Now you know why you can’t remove license plate screws. Fortunately, there are several techniques for removing these stubborn screws.

This section will walk you through every detailed step of each method.

Utilize Penetrating Oil

Utilize Penetrating Oil

You can quickly remedy the problem by using penetrating oil when your license plate won’t unscrew.

Penetrating oil, as suggested by the name, is utilized to lubricate the rusty screws, allowing them to loosen up and facilitate removal.

  • Before attempting to loosen the rusty screws, apply penetrating oil to them and wait for 15 minutes.
  • You may correctly apply the oil to your screws without causing the entire license plate to be dented by employing a nozzle spray.
  • If the screw still doesn’t budge after 15 minutes, you can add oil and let it soak for roughly an hour.
  • You may also apply oil to the back of the plate to help the oil penetrate the screw more deeply and facilitate subsequent removal.
  • After this process, you can easily get your screws removed with a screwdriver.

It should not be difficult to get your hands on penetrating oil because you can find it at any automotive repair shop.

We recommend using WD-40 as a penetrating lubricant for any corroded parts, but NEVER use WD-40 for brakes.

Utilize White Vinegar

Utilize White Vinegar

Suppose the license plate screw turns but won’t come out; another simple remedy is to apply white vinegar to them, which is also a decent cleaner for your car. Follow the steps below to remove the stuck plate screws.

  • Soak a piece of cloth in white vinegar, then use it to wipe over the rusted plate screws.
  • Wait for around 10 or 15 minutes for the vinegar to work.
  • Loosen the obstinate screw with a screwdriver of the proper size.
  • Use a scrub or fine brush to brush off as much rust as you can from the screws.
  • You can apply more vinegar if needed.

Utilize Different Screwdrivers

Utilize Different Screwdrivers

When the screws holding your license plate still budge and they were accidentally loosened, you might try to remove them with a different screwdriver.

  • Use a tiny screwdriver with a large head first.
  • Apply downward pressure and make incremental attempts to unscrew the number plate screw.
  • Use a hammer to smash the screwdriver head into place.
  • When using a hammer, strike the bottom of your screwdriver while keeping the head of the screwdriver in place. This way, you can have a firmer and more secure hold while unscrewing the screws.
  • Set your screwdriver down and make an attempt to remove the screw.

Utilize Rubber Band

Utilize Rubber Band

A rubber band can also help you remove license plate screws. It may sound odd at first, but this method is quite effective.

  • Place a thick rubber band between the screw head and screwdriver to improve the grip on the license plate screw.
  • Place your band flat over the plate screw head, then insert the screwdriver.
  • Try to remove the screw by slowly rotating the screwdriver. Keep doing so until you get it out.

Utilize Rotary Equipment

Utilize Rotary Equipment

When your screw groove has been stripped, your flathead screw’s point cannot be inserted anywhere to turn the stuck screw.

In this situation, it would be best to cut the groove with rotary equipment to the size of your flat screwdriver. Check out the steps below.

  • Find yourself a rotary piece of equipment with the right attachment to make the proper-sized groove size on the screw’s head.
  • Remember to utilize gloves and safety goggles to avoid getting cuts while working.
  • Verify if the groove’s depth and size are suitable for the screwdriver.
  • When you have a deep enough groove on the screw head, try to remove the screw from its holder with the flat head screwdriver.
  • Spray the screw with penetrating oil before you start unscrewing it to facilitate the process.
  • After lubricating the screw, try to remove it from the holes using the flat head screwdriver.

Utilize Heat

Utilize Heat

In case the screw is obstinate and resistant to all of your attempts, heat can be used to reduce its resistance.

The metal screws will enlarge after being heated, becoming more malleable to the force applied by the screwdriver.

Still, you need to be cautious when applying this license plate screws remove method since it is quite dangerous.

  • Cleaning rusty screws with a water-based degreaser or detergent. Notice that since you will be applying heat to the screws, any oil-based solutions are not appropriate here. Use baking soda or vinegar instead.
  • Heat the plate screws with a propane gas torch. Do this until smoke starts to flow out of your screws. Stop once they turn red.
  • Apply cold water to the screws right away.
  • Keep repeating the heating and cooling process three or four times in a row. Your screws will loosen from the holes eventually.
  • Once they do, use the screwdriver to take them out of the holes.
  • To be extra safe, prepare a fire extinguisher so you can take action in case the fire is out of control.

Utilize An Impact Wrench

Utilize An Impact Wrench

If your number plate screws still haven’t budged, you might need to use a lot of power to get them to move. In this case, try to use your impact wrench that has the appropriate bits attached to it.

  • First, coat the rusty screws with penetrating oil.
  • Remove any remaining rust with an impact/torque wrench.
  • Keep in mind that when working with an impact wrench, always wear safety glasses to avoid damage.

Notice that this license plate screw stuck removal method can destroy the rusty screw.

Thus, the impact wrench approach should be your last resort, after you try the other procedures mentioned above.

How To Prevent License Plate Screws From Jamming

It is critical to install the replacement number plate screws in a method that prevents jamming once you have removed the rusted-out ones.

Suitable Tightening

More time will be required to remove screws that are tightly inserted into the holes.

The threads will start to peel if the screws are tightened past their breaking point, resulting in a cracked number plate screw.

Therefore, be careful not to over-tighten your screws. Simply spin each bolt head the required number of times with an impact wrench or screwdriver with enough force or tension to prevent this from happening.

Utilize Coarse Threaded Bolts

One of the main reasons why things become jammed up is because screws and nuts have such tiny threads.

Fine threaded bolts won’t last very long since it is challenging for them to develop a strong grip around the screw holes that you have tried to screw them into.

Use coarse-thread screws instead of fine bolts, if possible, for your number plate attachment needs so that they can provide a better grip with the holes you’re trying to fix them into.

They will grasp the surface better and won’t corrode as quickly as those with fine threads.

Wrapping Up

Now you know what to do when your license plate screws won’t come out.

Although this problem is not very destructive or significant, it can still be quite frustrating since it will take longer than you’d like to switch your number plate.

Thanks to the solutions we have given you above, you won’t need to worry about this toyota license plate screws stuck problem any longer. Put these methods to the test, and see how they work.

Also, it would be best to apply our tips to prevent the screws from jamming. This way, you can lessen the likelihood that this problem will occur to you again.

We also have other articles that can help you acquire more skills, so check them out now!

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