When it comes to automotive, most motorists only think about the engine, the interior, and the exterior components of the car. One area of your car that’s usually neglected is the license plate. In fact, most people think about the license plate when they notice the screws holding the plate are rusted or missing. When it gets to this, one question usually arises; what’s my car’s license plate screw size?
In case it’s your first time buying a car, then you’ll probably have to fit it with a license plate. If you’re unaware of which screw sizes to use, then you’ll definitely get confused as there are many types of license plate screws available.
In most cases, different car brands manufacture different types of license plate screws to fit their vehicles. The screw heads, the threading, and the sizes are usually different making it impossible to fit any screw on your car’s license plate. Although the standard size for license plate screws is ¼ – 14 – ¾ inches, it’s not always guaranteed that the screws will fit. So, in this guide, we’ll discuss the different types of license plate screws and the standard sizes that are available among most vehicles.
Why Choose the Correct License Plate Screw Size?
Although this is a topic that’s rarely spoken about, license plate screws come with immense benefits, especially when you use the right sizes. First, using the correct screw sizes allows you to install or remove your license plate easily without hurting it.
Secondly, the correct screw sizes allow the license plate to fit snugly without shaking or shifting. Remember, if the screws are too narrow, the plate might come off when driving giving you a hard time replacing it.
How Do You Read Screw Sizes?
Before we get to the size, it’s important that we first understand how to read screw sizes. In most cases, understanding the numbers is important as it allows you to purchase the correct screws that will fit your car. So, earlier, we mentioned the most common license plate screws are the ¼ – 14 – ¾ inch variants.
The first number you see is a ¼, which is a fraction. This number represents the threaded diameter of the screw and is measured in inches. The second number is 14 and is used to represent the total threads on the screw. The last number is ¾. This one represents the length of the screw and is also given in inches.
Types of License Plate Screw Heads
If you have read up to that point, then you’ve just learned how to read screw sizes. So, in our next section, we’re going to learn something else, which is understanding the different types of license plate heads. Remember, other than the size, license plate screws can be classified according to the shape of their heads. So, which are some of the common heads that are available?
- Pan Head: This type of screw is quite common among most license plates. It consists of a large diameter, a rounded head, a deep drive slot, and a flat underside.
- Button Heads: These types of screws are considered stylish as compared to most other screws. They have a nice finished appearance, a large head, curvy edges, and low domed-shaped heads.
- Hex Heads: These screws have hexagonal-shaped heads that allow you to use a wrench or a socket to tighten them. They also have flat flanged heads that let you use a Philips or slotted head screwdriver to tighten them.
- Flat Heads: Just as their name suggests, flat head screws have a perforated flat top and a cone-shaped underside. These types of screws are designed to either sit flush or sink a little below the surrounding surface. Among the common drivers that can be used to tighten these screws include Philips, slotted, or socket.
- Round Heads: These types of screws contain a rounded head and a flat underside. Due to their broad dome-shaped heads, these screws are considered effective for holding license plates without the need for a washer.
- Truss Heads: Lastly, we have truss head screws. These ones are equipped with low rounded heads and wide undersides. They’re widely considered in applications where there’s little clearance on the face of the license plate.
License Plate Screw Sizes for Common Car Brands
Now that you’re aware of the different license plate screw heads, the next step is to understand the available different screw sizes. You see, earlier, we mentioned the ¼ – 14 – ¾ inch screw size, which we said is the standard size of most license plate screws.
Although this is the universal size, not all screws follow this rule. Some original equipment manufacturers manufacture OEM screws that are totally different from others. These types of screws are uniquely manufactured to fit specific car brands and models.
Some screws may have different threaded diameters while others may have different types of heads. So, to ensure that you get the right screw type and size, this section will discuss the different screw types and sizes that are manufactured by popular car brands.
- Acura: For all Acura cars, the standard license plate screw size is M6 x 16mm.
- Audi: Audi vehicles are equipped with high-quality stainless steel hex head screws that can be found in standard or extended lengths. The size of these screws is M6-1.0 x 16mm.
- BMW: When it comes to BMW vehicles, you’ll be welcomed with two screw sizes that include a short 8mm screw and a long 12mm screw. So, here, you’ll get a standard size of either M5x0.8 x 8mm or M5x0.8 x 12mm.
Just like Audi screws, these ones are made of high-quality stainless steel that’s anti-rust. The screws are also panned heads and have wide undersides to provide a solid hold.
- Cadillac: As for Cadillac, the standard license plate screw size is M6-1.0 x 16mm.
- Chevrolet: Chevrolet uses a screw size that measures 1/4-14 x ¾. The screws can be as long as 12mm or as short as 8mm. These screws are made of high-quality stainless steel and are available in either truss head or hex head styles.
- Chrysler: As for Chrysler, the standard license plate screw size is 1/4-14×3/4.
- Ford & Ford F-150: If you own a Ford, the standard screw size for the license plate is 1/4″ x 3/4″ with a 3/8” hex slotted head. The screw can either be driven with a flathead screwdriver or a 3/8” drive socket.
If you have a Ford F-150, the standard screw head for the license plate is 1/4-14-5/8 inch. Here, ¼ represents the thread diameter, 14 represents the threads and 5/8 represents the length of the screw. This particular screw has a hex head and is made from stainless steel with a chrome or black zinc finish.
- GM: For most GM vehicles, the standard license plate screw size you’ll find is #14 1/4″ x 3/4″. These screws are hex heads and are made from 18-8 stainless steel to withstand rust and deterioration.
- Honda: Whether it’s domestic, imported, trucks, or motorcycles, the standard screws for all Honda vehicles is M6-1.0 x 20mm. These screws have pan head styles and are made using zinc-plated stainless steel to make them resistant to rust and corrosion.
- Hyundai: About Hyundai vehicles, the standard license plate screw size is M6 x 1.0 x 16-25mm.
- Jeep: When it comes to Jeep vehicles, the standard size for the license plate screws is 1/4-14-3/4″.
- Kia: If you own a Kia vehicle, the standard screw size for the licensing plate is M6 x 1.0 x 16-25mm. The screws are made of zinc or black coated stainless steel to protect them from rust and corrosion.
- Lexus: Lexus on their part have done things a little bit differently. Their license plate screws measure 6.3mm X25mm and have fine threads that make them unique.
- Mazda: About Mazda, the standard size for their license plate screws is M5 or M6 12-16mm depending on the exact model you own.
- Mercedes Benz: When it comes to Mercedes Benz, you’ll get a choice of 5mm and 6mm screws with a standard length of 16mm. The screws are pan-head and are made from stainless steel.
- Mitsubishi: If you have a Mitsubishi vehicle, the standard size for the license plate screws is M6 x 1.0 x 10-16mm.
- Nissan: If you’re fixing a Nissan license plate, you’ll need standard screws that measure 1/4-14-3/4 inches. These screws are made from zinc-coated stainless steel and are pan heads meaning you’ll need a Philips driver to tighten them.
- Subaru: For Subaru vehicles, the type of screws you’ll find are slotted hex washer heads with 6mm diameter, 1mm thread pitch, and a length of roughly 15mm.
- Toyota: As for Toyota vehicles, the standard screws for the license plates measure M6 1 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches. These screws are made from stainless steel and are installed using Philips’s head screwdrivers.
- Dodge & Dodge RAM Trucks: If you have a Dodge or Dodge RAM vehicle, the standard size for the license plate screws is 1/4-14-3/4 inches. These screws have external hex slotted heads and are self-tapping to make installation easier.
- Suzuki: To those that own Suzuki vehicles, the standard size for the license plate screws is #14 1/4″ x 3/4″.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What are Self-Tapping Screws?
Self-tapping screws are unique types of screws that don’t require nuts to hold tightly. These types of screws have sharp threads that cut mating threads on a material. This way, the screws gather an excellent holding force when they’re driven.
Q2. Are License Plate Screws Universal?
Certainly not. From our discussion, it’s clear every car manufacturer has its own distinctive screw sizes. So, when making your choice about which type and size to buy, you need to keep your car’s brand and model name in mind.
Q3. How Do You Mount a License Plate?
Mounting a license plate is quite easy provided you have the right size screws and of course, the right tools. So, here, all you’ll need is to attach the license plate on the car’s bracket and match the holes. Insert the screws on these holes and use the right driver to drive the screws clockwise to tighten them.
As you can see, different manufacturers use different types of screws when it comes to mounting license plates. However, some vehicles use the standard 1/4 – 14 – 3/4 inches screw size for their cars. Most cars that use this universal license plate screw size are the ones that contain black nylon inserts or plastic retainer kits.
However, if your car contains threaded metal holes, then you’re quite unlucky as you’ll have to find specific screws that fit your specific car model. So, in this guide, we’ve included a long list of cars and the exact license plate screw sizes they use. Hopefully, we believe that this list will serve as a reference when purchasing screws to mount your license plates.