Take the 2-minute tour ×
Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So I was putting my girlfriend's plates+frame on her Civic, and being the he-man that I'm not, I managed to break the heads off both screws in two tries.

I went to Home Depot and picked up one of those $20 removal kits for my drill and I managed to get one screw out, but the other one is seriously stuck in there.

To make matters worse, during my initial try to get it out I broke off a crummy reverse threaded drill bit in there, so the new reverse bit while a quality part won't even dig into the screw.

-edit- I don't have access to the screw from inside the trunk either, it's got a panel welded on it.

Her plate+frame is on for now, but it's basically on with one screw and falls to the side every now and then...

Is there any trick I can use to get the other screw out, or something decent I can do to secure the plate?

share|improve this question
    
Did you check if you can access it through the trunk and it may be under some carpet? On my Toyota Tercel I once break a nylon licence plate, but I was able to access it by the rear. –  Gabriel Mongeon Oct 31 '11 at 14:07
    
I did actually; the way the inside of the trunk is laid out you can't get at the screws from behind, there's another plate welded inside it. –  Bob Oct 31 '11 at 19:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Depending on how mechanism for holding the screw is attached to the car, you might have a couple of options.

Some cars have plastic blocks embedded in the bumper. (Something like this) If that the case, you can probably simply drill out the broken screw, and then either replace the block, or use a larger-size self-threading screw.

Another method is a clip (Like this). If that's the case, you can probably use wire cutters to break apart the clip, spin it apart, and then replace it.

Most auto parts stores will have many universal replacement parts what'll probably replace whatever you have if you destroy the existing mount.

share|improve this answer

You could use EZ outs, like these at Sears

You have to be precise though or it won't work. enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
That's basically what I have, but like I said I somehow broke off a drill bit in the screw, and so the new bit wont dig into the old bit. –  Bob Nov 1 '11 at 17:07
    
oh sorry didn't read that, yea same thing happened to me. Was impossible to drill, it is too hard. Mechanic wound up just tapping a new screw right next it. :) –  riotburn Nov 1 '11 at 17:35

Is there ANY of the screw available? You could try cutting a potato in half, then freezing it. Use a rubber mallet to pound onto the exposed screw shaft and then turn. Good luck.

share|improve this answer
    
First time I heard that trick!! –  Gabriel Mongeon Oct 31 '11 at 15:49
    
There's just a few millimeters sadly; still I might give this a shot! –  Bob Oct 31 '11 at 19:56
    
Maybe vice-grips? –  chris Oct 31 '11 at 20:33
    
I tried a pair but had no luck, it's pretty impressive how stuck in there the screws were. I used a pair with an oval center wrapped around the screw while I was drilling to keep from messing the paint up on the car if the drill bit came loose –  Bob Oct 31 '11 at 23:14

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.