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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Went to put the rear plate renewal sticker on my wife's 2013 RAV 4 and thought that maybe arthritis had made my hands weaker due to old age. Couldn't get them to budge. I got a Craftsman screwdriver and channel locks and just barely got them to break free. I mean, it was REALLY TOUGH to get them out. I really effed up the screwdriver handle in removing them. I see that they are metal screws into metal nuts attached to the inside of the rear hatch(thank goodness neither broke loose or I would have been in real trouble. Most cars I've bought have had plastic or nylon inserts that the bolts went into. These are metal to metal. I'm going to pick up stainless screws for both front and rear and will coat them with anti-seize paste and re-install so this should not be an issue in the future.


Just a heads up for other RAV 4 owners of a possible issue for you!
 

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Apparently the dealer used non-stainless screws for that rear plate. So far I've had no problem with the rear plate screws which came with my '11 RAV.
 

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When I got my permanent plate I mounted it with stainless steel screws. My previous vehicle's screws rusted and stained a couple of brown trails onto the plate.
 

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Yeah just did our plate and put in stainless steel screws. They just drilled holes in the tailgate and whoever did it put masking tape down before they drilled the holes and the tape was still there surrounding the holes.

Took the tape off clean everything with spray detailer and a coat of wax. There was rust on the inside of the holes. I was kind of pissed. It looked like a back yard mechanic drilled the holes.

I sprayed everything and soaked everything with Amsoil Heavy Duty Metal protector and put a rubber washer between the plate and the tailgate around the stainless steel screw. I hope the rubber washer will help keep moisture out and the Amsoil Heavy Duty Metal protector will help keep moisture away.

There has to be a better way than just drilling into the metal just for a stupid license plate. Will definitely have to keep an eye on it for rust.
 

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Hey I just took off my dealer license plate holder. I can't recall the real name. But would it help if you spray coated the stuff you would put on your battery terminals so they dont rust? Just wondering. Or just some oil on it is best?
 

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Hey I just took off my dealer license plate holder. I can't recall the real name. But would it help if you spray coated the stuff you would put on your battery terminals so they dont rust? Just wondering. Or just some oil on it is best?
AMSOIL Heavy Duty Metal Protector

That is what I used but wd40 would work too you just want something to display the moisture while not gathering dirt.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Hey I just took off my dealer license plate holder. I can't recall the real name. But would it help if you spray coated the stuff you would put on your battery terminals so they dont rust? Just wondering. Or just some oil on it is best?
Just go to Lowe's or Home Depot and get a couple 6MM X 25MM stainless steel screws and be done with it.
 

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I hate the rusty streaks from non stainless bolts. I've used stainless bolts for many years without a problem. Just as an aside, many years ago here in the great white north of Ontario we used to get new plates every year. The changeover time always happened during the winter months and it was always a pita to have to try and fight rusted nuts and bolts in the snow and cold so that's when I decided to pay a little more for stainless bolts and I've used nothing but since.?
 

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We used to get new plates every year or every couple of years in at least some U.S. states as well, but they often were made of stamped steel which rusted, and unless we changed out the steel mounting screws which the dealers supplied for stainless ones the screws rusted as well. Changing those plates was a real problem - chiseling was sometimes needed! Now we have plates which generally are supposed to last for the life of the vehicle and we keep piling registration renewal stickers onto them - at least in Oregon the plates now are non-rusting aluminum and the dealers I've dealt with have supplied stainless steel screws.
 

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I bought some license plate bolts at Wal Mart that had a jewel on the end. My wife likes the bling look. I noticed about a year later one of the jewels had cracked, so I attempted to remove them. The bolts snapped off like they were twigs. When I put the bolts in, I used anti-seize like I do on all license plate bolts. I had to drill the bolts and rethread the holes in the hatch. Now I have stainless steel bolts holding the plates on.
 

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We just moved cross country and went to put the new state plates on. Couldn't get the right one to move. Tried a few things including some screw extractors and a left handed drill for extraction. In the process the bolt head broke off and now I'm left with a mostly drilled out bolt and no idea how to get the rest out. I've got that side stuck up with clear duck tape...
 

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My 2015 Rav4 LE has black plastic screws.

Suggest that those black plastic screws be replaced. One of my motorcycles had the plate attached with black plastic screws, and after a year or so they self-destructed by breaking - I found the plate lying on the carport floor. White nylon screws are better, and stainless steel screws are better still.
 
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