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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got permanent tags and want to put them on my 09 highlander. The front did not have any tag or license plate bracket already attached. Where do I put the screws in the front for the tag? It looks like there are two divots in the bumper, and then a few inches below each, there are some plastic bump outs. Do I just screw into the divots and into the bumper? Or is there a trick with the plastic bump outs (they maybe pop out)?

Thanks for the help.
 

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<Insert title here>
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I have the same question. Since I bought my HL in North Carolina, they don't use the front plate - but here in IL we do. I was thinking maybe just stopping in to the dealer to see if they will just give me the screws and tell me how to do it.

Anyway, is there threads behind the bumper cover in the front or are the screws self tapping? I need to get this front plate on before the wife gets pulled over.
 

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2008 Highlaner Ltd
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Here in Ontario front plates are mandatory. I had a look at mine, and the front plate and cover are held on with two large screws; no bracket appears to be involved. The back of the front bumper is not easy to access because the bumper wraps well underneath the car, which makes me think the screws are self-tapping. Otherwise you'd have to pull the whole bumper off to access any nuts and washers. Also, the screw head shape is consistent with that of typical self-tapping screws.

This is, of course, speculative on my part. Perhaps someone else who has actually pulled their front plate off for some reason and can provide a definitive answer.
 

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NO, Toyota screwed the pooch on this one. The screws just screw directly into the bumper, which in my opinion is CHEAP! They could have at least made covered threaded holes, with a plug or something. They also should have made a plate holder that matches the contours of the bumper and makes the plate sit vertical to the ground. This would also allow the plate to be secured by 4 screws, not 2. The same with the rear of the vehicle, only two screws and the stupid thing rattles. WTF was Toyota thinking??
OH well, even my Mercedes did it this way also.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Highlander Base
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35,702 Posts
And it's not like Toyota doesn't know about this problem. When I bought my Avalon the front bumper was clean, and when I took it back to the dealer for its first post-purchase maintenance they said they'd mount the plate at no charge. When I saw they'd drilled straight into the bumper and slapped the plate on I had a heart attack :)D not literally). I raised hell with the dealership and also called and wrote Toyota corporate telling them how stupid it was and how unpopular it would be with other owners.

When I got my Highlander it came with the holes pre-drilled at the factory as it rolled off the car carrier with the holes already there, but there were no mounting brackets of any kind as you have with other vehicles in this class. :headbang: I still had to add all-weather stripping to the rear of the plate to prevent rubbing and degradation of the paint underneath, but at least the pre-drilled holes were clean and didn't chip and crack the paint around the holes as happened on the Avalon.

Call or write Toyota corporate and complain. The more people who do it the more likely all of us are to discover Toyota has included mounting for front plates on all their vehicles in the future.

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The Toyota Guru
2013 BMW 328i xDrive
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332 Posts
Wow, as mentioned by some members already in this thread, they should at least have threaded hole plugs.

And as on the 04-05 Sienna, it was just drill into bumper and put plate on but fallowing the facelift, they added a plate holder which made all the difference imo.
 

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Hi! I need to install front tags on my 2010 Highlander. I see the 2 dimples. Can anyone tell me what size the self tapping screws I need to get? How long should they be? How thick should they be? Thanks.
 

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Aussie TN User
Toyota Kluger KX-S
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128 Posts
I have a nudge bar mounted to the front of my vehicle, which the plate is mounted to so I can easily see the original mounting for the plate which is shown below.



It appears that a slot has been cut just below the dimple to allow for the insertion of a threaded u-clip to the bumper panel. When I stuck my finger in the slot I couldn't feel any structure behind the screw.

Front plate are the norm here in Australia and I have seen similar details on unregistered vehicles in the dealer yards.

If you have access to a dremel you could achieve the same result.

It's strong enough to mount a plate to, but personnally I would be reluctant to mount anything else (the reason I went to a nudge bar was so that I could mount my driving lights, rather than relying on a light bar attached to the plate mounts).
 

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Millions &millions served
2013 Camry SE
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8,078 Posts
This would also allow the plate to be secured by 4 screws, not 2. The same with the rear of the vehicle, only two screws and the stupid thing rattles.
i think two's fine. four's a lil overkilled for a small piece of metal.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Highlander Base
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35,702 Posts
I agree. Just place some all-weather stripping on the back of the plate to prevent it from rattling and also from damaging the paint from the metal plate vibrating against it.
 

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Millions &millions served
2013 Camry SE
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8,078 Posts
isn't there already a piece of rubber on both sides just under the threaded holes for the back plates?
 

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47 Posts
isn't there already a piece of rubber on both sides just under the threaded holes for the back plates?

Yes. I have two pieces of foam rubber on the lower portion of where the plate will go.
 

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And it's not like Toyota doesn't know about this problem. When I bought my Avalon the front bumper was clean, and when I took it back to the dealer for its first post-purchase maintenance they said they'd mount the plate at no charge. When I saw they'd drilled straight into the bumper and slapped the plate on I had a heart attack :)D not literally). I raised hell with the dealership and also called and wrote Toyota corporate telling them how stupid it was and how unpopular it would be with other owners.

When I got my Highlander it came with the holes pre-drilled at the factory as it rolled off the car carrier with the holes already there, but there were no mounting brackets of any kind as you have with other vehicles in this class. :headbang: I still had to add all-weather stripping to the rear of the plate to prevent rubbing and degradation of the paint underneath, but at least the pre-drilled holes were clean and didn't chip and crack the paint around the holes as happened on the Avalon.

Call or write Toyota corporate and complain. The more people who do it the more likely all of us are to discover Toyota has included mounting for front plates on all their vehicles in the future.

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I still can't believe that Toyota's solution is to take a drill to the exterior finish of our vehicles. We pay $30K+ and they tell the dealer to cause $2K worth of damage before it even leaves the lot!! :confused:

My HL came right off of the truck. I threatened my sales person that if they drill holes in my new vehicle the deal is off. My bumper is in pristine condition.:D Now I need to find a way to mount the plate before I get a ticket!!! :headbang:
 
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