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how to remove the rear license plate bracket

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how to remove the rear license plate bracket

 
Old 02-12-2017, 11:42 AM
  #31  
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OK, I just got done messing around with the rear license plate situation.

(see reply #23 for pictures posted by squarefoot)

Here's what I came up with to fix the problem. As you have already learned, the metal piece you screw into is "spinning" in the plastic mounting base thanks to someone installing a dealer ad frame with a power tool and effectively destroying it.

Along with that, the supplied screws are too long to compensate for things if you elect to remove the dealer installed frame which leads people to over tighten them to keep the plate solidly mounted which leads to a spinning bracket every time.

So, rather than buy another plastic bracket for some outrageous price I did the following:

Remove license plate frame - Loosen and remove those screws that you can and hope you only have one or two that spin without "letting go" of the screw. For those screws that just won't detach from the metal bracket, grab the head of the screw(s) with pliers or vice grips and physically remove them (don't freak out because they're not working as intended anyway).

Now, because the metal bracket spins hopelessly you will NEVER get it to tighten. At his point you need to do something to keep the metal bracket in place and limit its ability to spin freely so you can "gently" start the screws. To accomplish that, all you need is something "sticky" to place between the trunk lid and the back of the metal bracket - plumbers putty or something sticky like Locktite mounting putty.

The resulting friction will help prevent "spinning" and allow you to gently "start" the screw and then tighten it. Because these are self-tightening screws, just snug then up and then add 1/4 to 1/2 turn.

DO NOT TRY TO TIGHTEN THEM TOO MUCH OR YOUR BRACKET WILL FAIL AGAIN

Now, dig into your toolbox for a few small washers that have an outside diameter roughly the same size as the head on the screws. I put two under the head of each screw and my actual license plate and you don't really notice it.

I hope this helps someone.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:05 AM
  #32  
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Apologies to all. My last post (#31) failed to make a really key point. Specifically, if the hole in your plastic mounting bracket is totally thrashed - as in rounded out completely, there's not much you can do using the method I outlined. In my case, I still had a bit of material to grab on to the back on the plastic one by rotating it 45 degrees and then insert the self-tightening screw.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:58 AM
  #33  
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Add 4 stainless steel screws from Lowes to look the part!
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:55 AM
  #34  
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This just happened to me too. Was going to try the hair drier approach but was concerned about applying too much heat and damaging paint. How long should it take to soften up the 2 sides tape?
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:56 AM
  #35  
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Well it wasn't easy but I did it over the past weekend. Applied a fair amount of heat and was eventually pry it off. I needed to spread out the metal brackets that dropped out so that they would fit more snug. After that I was able to put it all together again. I put some scotch tape on the adhesive with the hope that if I ever need to pull it off again it will come off easier. I think the cause for metal brackets narrowing was that the dealership used bolts that were too long. When screwing them in it pushes the bracket back and causes the clips to bend in. I could actually see that on the ones that dropped behind. I added some washers for the time being and will getting some shorter bolts.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:46 AM
  #36  
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Default License mount German genius!

I think the posters on this string have it all wrong. I am no car mechanic but Iím very handy with hand tools (or a sledge hammer when my patience runs out).

What Audiís engineers have designed here is sheer Germanic genius! All four screws on my A8ís plate holder are loose, seemingly allowing the plate to fall off the car at any moment. But that is merely an illusion and hereís the ďgenius part!Ē Even though screws are loose and plate moves around, it is still on the car because the bolts will neither tighten nor come out. Surely, no American or Japanese auto maker has figured out how to make a bracket, bolts and nuts not move in either direction! Absolute Genius!

Third Audi Iíve owned and second on which I canít mount a damn license plate (an ďaccessoryĒ that most states/countries seem to take seriously!). Thatís why this will be the last Audi I own. German engineers seem to over-complicate everything to make up for failing to take over the world. Twice. Japanese cars are built just as well and more simply. Bye Audi.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:47 AM
  #37  
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When I tried to remove the dealer's licence plate frame with a plain metal one, I encountered a similar problem but not as severe. Having been over tightened by the dealer, I had trouble removing two bolts from the dreaded metal anchors that had been pushed into the plastic plate holder. I was able to remove the bolts by pulling on the corners of the licence plate causing sufficient friction between the metal anchors and the plate holder to prevent them from spinning while I removed the bolts.

I then replaced the standard bolts with four shorter ones (M6 X 10mm). They hold the licence plate (including my new black metal frame) on the Audi plastic holder without having to over tighten.

Hope this is of assistance to someone.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:13 AM
  #38  
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Default How to remove the rear license plate bracket

I'm very grateful for the advice in this thread. I still think that Audi engineering is superb, but their design of the rear license plate bracket makes me wonder. At any rate, what I did was as follows.

First, in order to be able to remove the license plate, I had to reach in between the back of the plate and the plastic holder bracket to put outward pressure on the plate, and then turn the stainless screws carefully. It took me only 30 minutes to remove the four screws.

Once I removed the Torx screws holding the plastic holder to the Audi door (I have a 2017 Allroad), I read about using a hair drier to soften the double sided tape. Without this thread, I would have had no idea that Audi did anything so stupid. Instead of using a hair drier, I used an artists thin putty knife to separate the back of the plastic holder from the body of the car. Once that was done, it was simple to pull the plastic holder away from the car.

I then notice that of the four rectangular holes for securing the nuts used for fastening the license plate, three had become so rounded that the nuts were useless. I then went to a local car parts store and bought a kit of parts that included four white fasteners, and four stainless self tapping screws. The fasteners could not be used as is because the holes in the plastic holder were rounded, but I applied some JB epoxy to the edges of the white fasteners, waited an hour, and all is well, except for my shaken belief in Audi excellence.

Dan

Originally Posted by phil9000 View Post
When I tried to remove the dealer's licence plate frame with a plain metal one, I encountered a similar problem but not as severe. Having been over tightened by the dealer, I had trouble removing two bolts from the dreaded metal anchors that had been pushed into the plastic plate holder. I was able to remove the bolts by pulling on the corners of the licence plate causing sufficient friction between the metal anchors and the plate holder to prevent them from spinning while I removed the bolts.

I then replaced the standard bolts with four shorter ones (M6 X 10mm). They hold the licence plate (including my new black metal frame) on the Audi plastic holder without having to over tighten.

Hope this is of assistance to someone.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:32 AM
  #39  
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Is this still an issue for newer model?
Mine will be registered as a new car, so the real plate should be installed by the dealership.
But I plan to replace the dealership plate with a small profile plate. ( thinner frame )
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:35 PM
  #40  
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I can tell you this is still an issue on my 2018 Q5... I ended up ordering whole new plate bracket as I had no idea the bolts were lost behind the bracket (bought it used)...
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