Most Difficult License Swap Ever

Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
195
Location
Hammonton, NJ
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
Back in December when I received my tags in the mail, I ran into an issue when swapping out the temp tag for the permanent (semi-permanent) tags. I purchased a new thin chrome plate holder because I wasn't a fan of the the one with the large bottom that said Tesla. I used the new screws that the new plate holder came with, realizing only after the last one was in that they were destroying the plastic inserts in the trunk. I didn't worry too much since the plate was in and all was good for the time. I decided later to order custom tags and got them in the mail a couple weeks ago. I had the hardest time taking the plate holder off again (2nd time) since the plastic inserts were now mangled due to using the wrong sized screw before. They just turned in place and I had to use pliers to get the screws out while pulling.

Well it turns out the screws I used that came with the replacement plate holder not only mangled the plastic inserts, they also didn't stand up so well to all of the salt and snow/rain we've received the last few weeks in NJ. The screws completely rusted all over the plate holder. I ordered a new screw set and a new license holder a few days ago and got them today. I installed the new holder with the new screws just 20 minutes ago (after a 2 hour ordeal detailed next). Here is where things really got messed up.

I went to take off the plate again tonight (3rd time now) and 3 of the 4 plastic inserts somehow popped INTO the trunk compartment. I realized there is a trunk panel on the inside behind the plate so I looked up online how to remove that panel and did so. Turns out that the plastic license inserts fell down the sides of the trunk where I'm unable to retrieve them and now they make rattling noises when I open or close the trunk as those plastic pieces move in the hollow part that makes up the sides of the trunk.

I also could not access the other side of where the plate holes are (to use a nut and bolt idea) as the trunk metal is covered with a bump out away from access to the other side of the license plate holes. I wound up finding some drywall anchors and cutting them to perfect size to wedge in the holes where the license plastic inserts used to be. Got them in there after a ton of trial and error and finally got the license on. I then tried to put the trunk panel back on and was able to get maybe 1/2 of the clips back in place as about 1/2 of them stayed with the trunk when I pulled it off. After mangling 2 of those clips trying to get them out of the trunk metal with pliers (to put back in the panel before putting it up) i gave up and banged the panel back in place "good enough" to keep it in place. It still is loose in places and so I've made a service center appointment to hopefully fix the license inserts and put the trunk panel back on correctly.

Sorry for the long winded post but man has the last 2 hours been stressful all because I wanted to put a license plate on!
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2018
Messages
54
Location
California
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#2
I hear your pain. Tesla was installing a new plate holder on cars around January (2019) timeframe.


It looks like it requires drilling, but if you are not pleased with the current plate mount, maybe this is a possible solution?
I asked Tesla about this part, but they just sent me a URL for the silver beauty ring... not what I was looking for.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
35
Location
CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#3
Sorry to hear about the plastic piece that dropped into the trunk. I have the same issue. Except I think it is something else rattling around there. I plan to take out the plug that holds the rubber conduit (for inner brake lights) that is connected to the side with the rattle and use a vacuum hose attachment to dig in there and retrieve what it is.