Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My plates had an expiration date of April 15th, so I went down to the BMV to get them renewed. The license branch was closed, but I was able to get a new license plate sticker and registration slip from the automatic renewal machine. But this is one of those arbitrarily chosen years in which all Indiana motorist have to get new plates. The sticker gave me a 29 day extension, and I had until today, May 14, to get a new plate.

When I tried to remove the old plate, I found that the bolts holding it in had rusted in place. When I tried a little elbow grease, the brackets that the bolts screwed into had broken free. So whenever I turned the bolt, the bracket inside the rear bumper rotated as well. The bolts would not come off with just the use of a wrench. Nor was there enough room inside the bumper for me to fit a pair of pliers.

I actually had to use different techniques to remove both bolts. I found that with the bolt on the right side, the bracket had an extra small hole. I tried sticking an Allen wrench into that hole, to try and wedge it into place so I could loosen the bolt. I ended up twisted the head of the bolt right off, and the Allen wrench was bent into sort of a cross between a "V" and a "U" shape.

I tried to decapitate the remaining bolt by pulling on the plate. I ended up ripping the plate right off the car.

So then I got out my hacksaw, a tool second only to duct tape in versitility. Since there was about 1/16 to 1/8 inch clearance between the bumper and the bolt head, I removed the hacksaw blade from the handle in order to cut within a tight space.

I mounted the new plate by drilling two wood screws into the plastic bumper. I hope it is the last plate I ever have to have to attach to this car.


  1. Rob.....NEXT time, drop by MY place...I could have taken care of that with NO collateral damage to car or plate.

    I'm from Philly, remember?
    (we specialize in car things like plate removal & keyless entry)



  2. Anonymous12:29 AM

    Hmm.... How old is your car anyway?

  3. It's a 1995 Suzuki Swift. Legally, cars and horses age exactly one year every January 1st. So the car is 13 years old.

  4. Wow, that sounds like what happens whenever I do any type of work on a vehicle.

  5. Oil changes are relatively uneventful.

  6. It's not all horses that age one year January 1, only Thoroughbreds. They do it to make it easier to group horses according to what races they should be running in. So if a horse is foaled in June, he or she will be considered a year old the following January, even though he/she is only six months old. I THINK, if I'm correct, this is how it works. However, you want to be sure that you don't have your colt/filly born on Dec. 31, because on January 1, he/she will be considered a year old when it can barely walk.