Dealers who use self-tappers to fit number plates - why?

Dealers who use self-tappers to fit number plates - why?

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Discussion

Riley Blue

Original Poster:

19,235 posts

207 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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I've just used double-sided tape to fit new number plates to one of my cars. They're secure and look neat but why do dealers still use self-tappers? I've seen brand new Mercedes with four screws holding the rear plate on, two near the top and two near the bottom. It looks really cheap and shoddy so why do they do it?

Ari

18,430 posts

196 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
quotequote all
Mercedes plates should be fitted into Mercedes plate holders which are attached using four screws (invisible as hidden by plates).

Sometimes dumbarses just screw the plates straight to the car without using the holders, hence the four screws on show that you've seen.

Negative Creep

24,056 posts

208 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Reminds me of the pain of changing the rear plate on my W124. All the screws rounded off and since the holders project from the tailgate I couldn't just drill new holes. Ended up using about £15 worth of the fattest sticky pads I could find

aka_kerrly

12,279 posts

191 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Great for causing rusty tailgates!!

bitchstewie

42,845 posts

191 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Because they're cheapskates - don't over-think it smile

richs2891

866 posts

234 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Nice to know that its not just me that hates this - told the dealer when I picked my new car up I did not want the number plate attached with screws.

The Mercedes thing with 4 screws really confuses me as to why, just looks nasty

DickP

971 posts

131 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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I've seen dealers use tappers because it's quicker than them doing a proper job.

markymarkthree

1,470 posts

152 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Yep double-sided tape, plates have been on my car for 6 years now and not fallen off.

Impasse

15,099 posts

222 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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A number of vehicles have nylon or threaded inserts in factory made holes to mount the plate using screws.

loose cannon

5,971 posts

222 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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When previously working at a dealer we had to use torx screws, company policy to stop plate cloning rolleyes

spikey78

701 posts

162 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Because the mechanics don't care-i used to be one so I know. We got a certain amount of time to PDI a car, the quickest way to fit plates is to wizz a couple of holes through the plate and the panel and screw it straight on.

rallycross

11,807 posts

218 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Because the double sided tape is not long lasting like a screw and if you use the colour coded plastic caps and good screws they don't rust and you don't notice them.

Riley Blue

Original Poster:

19,235 posts

207 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
quotequote all
I see I'm not alone in hating this practice.

To those who reckon double sided tape doesn't stick well - it does, I almost snapped a stuck-on plate trying to wrestle it off. In the end I resorted to sawing with dental floss to cut through the tape and spent half an hour picking off the gooey bits. The plates had been on the 13 years without falling off.

Use the pre-drilled holes in the bodywork? There were two in the boot lid but none in the front bumper so I'll stick to what I know to be effective on my other cars; tape.

(I still think it's shoddy work to use shiny self tappers, irrespective of how much a car cost).

LouD86

3,252 posts

134 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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I use 3m double sided plate tape on a roll for my cars. Helps being in the trade. As some have said, getting it off is a nightmare! I have 3 plates on top of each other on my caravan now, as the rear panel flexes so much when trying to remove now!

However, certain vehicles, Ford's Specifically, and some vauxhalls have threads in the tailgate, so Ill use those at work when I can. Makes it nicer.

Jim AK

4,029 posts

105 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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richs2891 said:
Nice to know that its not just me that hates this - told the dealer when I picked my new car up I did not want the number plate attached with screws.

The Mercedes thing with 4 screws really confuses me as to why, just looks nasty
I have 4 Stainless Steel Pan Head Machine Screws on my Merc rear plate.

Classy. Doncha Know!!

HTP99

20,220 posts

121 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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Tape is all very well and good, however if it is cold, they don't stick very well and if the surface isn't cleaned properly they don't stick very well, however a properly stuck on plate is a real bugger to remove.

Renault say that their dealers have to use rivets now; we used to use self tappers, the problem with rivets is, sometimes a bit of metal pops off in the tailgate so you get a bit rattling around and if the plates need to be changed, they have to be drilled out if attached to a metal panel and this is a pain and time consuming.

Edited by HTP99 on Saturday 11th April 15:01

gus607

875 posts

117 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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I'm glad this question was asked ! My biggest moan is to see a new car with bleddy great self tappers holding the No plate on !

Idle mechanics !

rallycross

11,807 posts

218 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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The 3m tape is the proper stuff and is indeed difficult to get off, most of the other tape I have used is not upto the job.

spikey78

701 posts

162 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
quotequote all
Because the mechanics don't care-i used to be one so I know. We got a certain amount of time to PDI a car, the quickest way to fit plates is to wizz a couple of holes through the plate and the panel and screw it straight on.

Martin_M

2,068 posts

208 months

Saturday 11th April 2015
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I have just fitted small plates to my Abarth 595 which left 4 holes behind - bought a set of number plates caps online to cover them up.