How do I put a front plate on my Scion XB?
July 24, 2006 2:41 PM   Subscribe

How do I mount a front license plate on my Scion XB? I got a fixit ticket for having only a rear plate, but there's no holes to screw on a front plate.

My girlfriend bought a 2004 Scion XB used a few months ago, and the other day, we got a fixit ticket for not having a front plate. I took a good look at the front bumper, and while it looks like there may be two little indentations where holes would be, there are no holes to screw on another plate. What should we do? I'm scared to drill the indentations and mess something up.
posted by YoungAmerican to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
My Dakota had the same thing. Buy a holder for the plate and just put the screws right through the plastic. Ask the dealer what kind of holder to get if you're not sure.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:47 PM on July 24, 2006

We have a Scion XB. If you bought it new, take it back to the dealer and ask them to put the front frame on for you.

If not, look closely at the front center of your front bumper. You'll see two small divets where you put the screws for the plate. Buy a cheap frame and mount it using the supplied screws and the divets on the bumper.

That's it!
posted by richardhay at 2:56 PM on July 24, 2006

I had to drill them on a car of mine before. It's pretty normal for them to not be there by default, since some states don't require a front plate. You can do it yourself, easily, but if you're scared, bring it in and have it done.
posted by knave at 3:09 PM on July 24, 2006

You can get self tapping sheet metal screws that will go through the holes of the license plate and self-tap into the plastic of your front bumper. Most cars now have no set holes in the front. The ones i used on a Corolla were 3/8" hex head with a #14 shaft No bracket required unless you want something for esthetics - like "I'd rather be sailing."
posted by ptm at 3:10 PM on July 24, 2006

Response by poster: If I screw it in to the divots without puting anything on the back side, will it be secure? Do I have to drill first, then screw?
posted by YoungAmerican at 3:31 PM on July 24, 2006

I needed a front plate for my Dodge. I called the dealership, they wanted to charge way too much to install it, so I just purchased the holder and drilled it myself.
posted by illek at 3:31 PM on July 24, 2006

I had this problem too on a Honda. I feared drilling through the bumper but when I got the plate I found it wrapped under the bumper where some pre-existing holes received the bolts. Took ten minutes to install. If you just order the plate for your car you can see what you're in for.

Front license plates sure are ugly, I have to say, when you're used to living in a state without them.
posted by zek at 3:33 PM on July 24, 2006

If the attachment site is plastic all the way through you probably don't have to drill. I didn't have to.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 3:39 PM on July 24, 2006

I think the divits already have threaded sleeves beneath them. This was true of a Honda I had years ago.
posted by pointilist at 7:45 PM on July 24, 2006

I had to do the same with my Toyota when I moved to California. I took it to the local Toyota dealer and they installed it for free - gave them the license plate, came back in an hour. One caveat -- they asked me if I wanted a "Nobody beats Berkeley!" license plate holder and I said "No," but they went ahead and did it anyway. Small price...
posted by one_bean at 8:27 PM on July 24, 2006

I looked up "front plate" on the Scion Life forums and found this.
It mounts the plate from the grill so you don't have to drill holes in the bumper.
posted by zonkout at 7:07 AM on July 25, 2006

i was just going to post about that zonkout! i got one on ebay for my xB and it works great. a little tricky to put on, reaching under this a small nut and all, but does not require holes in my car and seems very secure. look on ebay for "xb plate" or something like that.
posted by annoyance at 7:31 AM on July 25, 2006

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