Problems with license plates are never-ending stories of finger-pointing within the government. And for those of us lucky enough to get ours, we obviously want to take care of them and keep them secure on our vehicles. But just when we think we’ve properly bolted the plates to our cars, they get sheared off just like in the photo above. And only heaven knows when replacements will arrive (if they ever will).
You can attach your plates simply by using the bolts. However, a bolt head exerts a lot of pressure on a small area around the hole, which is the weakest part. Any type of pulling force will end up enlarging the hole and could lead to your plate eventually shearing off.
One way to solve this is to sandwich a washer between the bolt and the plate. The idea is that the increased surface area will spread out the pulling force so that the hole better resists deformation, ensuring that your plate stays put. The larger the washer, the better it works.
The good thing about this is that stainless-steel washers cost no more than a few pesos each from a hardware store. And while you’re at it, get stainless-steel bolts as well in order to avoid rust problems. You may also add lock washers so the bolts don’t unscrew themselves. And finally, avoid overtightening as doing so might make the plate scratch or dent your bodywork.