Removing front license plate holder

Removing front license plate holder

My 2017 model S has a front license holder which is not required where I live. I tried to remove it, but there seems to be a permanent plastic block on the front of the car. My service center told me they could not take it off, blaming the NTSB. Does anyone have any experience with this?

p.c.mcavoy | 29 mars 2017

There are many posts providing information on how to remove. If you already have removed the body colored piece so you are just seeing the black plastic block, its held on by adhesive strips. You just need to pry it off. Get your fingers under one corner and apply constant force and you can slowly peel it away. Some use a hairdryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive to make it easier. Another method is to have a plastic knife (like take-out food variety) and once you start to pull it away, use the knife to split the adhesive.

Once you have it off, you can rub off the any remaining adhesive with your finger. Then use something like Goo Gone to remove any final residue.

The two screw holding the body colored frame from underneath as a "tamper resistant" pentalobe head. You can use a pair of 90 degree needle nose pliers to get them started then remove with fingers.

todd | 29 mars 2017

Yeah it's relatively easy and won't leave a mark if your careful. Pretty sure there is a thread. Also search YouTube. Heat from a hair dryer and gentle firm pressure does the trick.

todd | 29 mars 2017

Sorry... pc beat me to it with better details. :)

p.c.mcavoy | 29 mars 2017

If you search for youtube videos, you'll find one where the author shows using a drummel tool with a cutting disk to slot the heads of the tamper resistant bolts. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THAT! No way I'd every get a power tool cutting/grinding disk near my front bumper.

p.c.mcavoy | 29 mars 2017

This thread on TMC is one of the best I've seen for sensible information on how to remove. It's what I reviewed before I removed mine last July.

p.c.mcavoy | 29 mars 2017

Sorry, but way more helpful if I pasted in the link ... dooh!

Loveemmabean | 29 mars 2017

What's TMC? I would like to get my license plate holder off my Tesla ASAP

Loveemmabean | 29 mars 2017

oh I see. hit send 1 second too soon

GeneH | 29 mars 2017

A tool to remove the two small recessed bolts is available from AutoZone for $9.99. Duralast 11" Long Nose 90 degree angle pliers makes that task easy.

Nguy0951 | 1 avril 2017

I have tried it the dremel and it works great. I used an old towel and place it on the front lip to catch the shaving and slowly start cutting a slot in the bolt headyou don't need to go that deep. Have a thin flat head to check and see if it catches and if it does then use a ratchet wrench to unscrew the bolt. It atually super easy took me no longer than 20min to cut the slot and unscrew the bolt. Just go slow and turn of the dremel before you move to avoid accidents. Only hard part was those damn adhesive tape but a heat gun on low power and slowly heat the plastic from side to side, enough heat where it feels like a hot car hood on a hot day is enough to soften the adhesive. Then just gently pull of the plastic plate. If it's still too hard just reheat again. Takes me about 40min to remove the front plate. Clay bar and wax afterwards and didn't even know a front plate existed on the front bumper.

Mchenry7 | 2 avril 2017

The locking screws are easy to remove. Find a socket that barely slides over the bolt head. Put a small piece of double sided tape over the socket and place back on bolt head. Then turn gently. Works perfect and no chance of damage.

Victorg-90D | 2 avril 2017

Removal can be done in 5 mins. Before removal remember that SF and LA parking enforcers will give you $100 tickets.

1. Black plastic frame is vinyl and this kind of plastic bends under pressure. Push down on frame where it is screwed with those fancy bolts, and at about 20 lbs pressure bolt heads will snap though plastic. After that tighten bolts with you fingers so they dont fall off. This step takes 1 min.

2. Get 3-4 feet long white polypropylene wrapping twine - free at the entrance of Lowes and Home depot. Hold twine vertically, insert behind glued plastic block and sew it off with pressure and up-down motion. This step takes less than 1 min and does not damage paint.

3. Use 90% alcohol with paper towel, and wipe off remains of glue from front bumper. Cleaning takes few mins.

RickyBobby | 20 octobre 2017

There's actually a tool available online to fit over the pentalobe screws. I found this on another thread:

The plastic version costs $6.25 + shipping and worked great. This was after I had tried with the angled, needle-nose pliers.

SO | 20 octobre 2017

I concur that the tool mentioned by @Ricky Bobby’s works great.

smrose17 | 27 juillet 2019

I live in Palm Springs, CA. It is 115 degrees here today. I just parked the car south facing for 20 minutes to let the bracket heat up, and it peeled right off. Easily, cleanly, no residue or scratches. While we have extreme heat here, it can get hot in most places, and with direct sun, surface temperatures can get pretty high. It concerns me that these front brackets could weaken in time and fall off.

akikiki | 27 juillet 2019

Well, if you have already taken it off, you shouldn't have to worry about it weakening in time and falling off.

scott | 28 juillet 2019

@smrose17 doesn’t CA require a plate on the front..?

EVRider | 30 juillet 2019

@smrose17: I don’t know which car you’re talking about, but the Model S front plate is secured by both bolts and adhesive, and those bolts aren’t going anywhere on their own.

gilsnolan | 22 août 2019

the Tesla service center removed mine and charged me $18.00.