How to Remove Rusted License Plate Screws Step-by-Step?

Many car owners are faced with the problem of rusting license plate screws that need to be removed. But removing license plate screws is not as easy as it might seem at first glance. But still, if the screw does not lend itself to untwisting, do not despair.

The main reason why the threaded connection ceases to function is metal corrosion. In the course of this process, the oxides are replenished in volume and the connection is stuck. Often, the situation is aggravated by the ingress of fine dust and dirt on the threads, which in turn greatly increases the friction between the mating parts.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide to help you fix the problem and remove the rusted license plate screws.

Items You Need for Work

Penetrating solvent

Source: YouTube

Before start working, collect the following tools:

  • Penetrating solvent;
  • Hard metal brush;
  • Box wrench;
  • Long lever;
  • Acetylene cutter or mini gas burner;
  • Flat screwdriver;
  • A hammer.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Remove Rusted Screws

Try to read the guide below attentively. Follow the guidelines and as a result, you will be able to eliminate the rusted screws from the license plate.

Step 1 – Arm Yourself with Patience

The first and most important thing to do to effectively remove rusty screws from a license plate is to stock up on endurance and patience. If the rusty screw cannot be removed, you do not need to use extra force to move it immediately.

You can tear off the head of the bolt, which will significantly extend the repair time. Today there are a number of powerful methods that can be used to solve the problem. Read about them in more detail below.

Step 2 – Remove the Rust

To make it easier for you to remove the rusty screw, you first need to remove the rust. For this, you can use a stiff metal brush. It is recommended to thoroughly remove rust from the threads.

Such penetrating solvents as Rust Busters or Liquid Wrench can also be applied to quickly remove rust. Already after five minutes after spraying the screw, the solvent will penetrate deeply into the threads and remove the rust.

penetrating solvents can be applied to quickly remove rust

Source: YouTube

Step 3 – Choose the Right Tool

To unscrew a stuck license plate screw, it is advised to use a box wrench, preferably with 6 edges. You should not use a regular open-end wrench as it will not give the desired result. It will most likely slip off and cause some kind of injury. There is a high probability of slippage in using a 12 or 18 sided tool.

Step 4 – Select the Correct Direction of Rotation

We all know that most screws are turned clockwise and unscrewed counterclockwise. However, often in cars, fasteners with a reverse thread direction are used. Therefore, before you start unscrewing the license plate screws, you need to set the correct direction of rotation in advance.

Step 5 – Lubricate Rusty Threads

Today there are many different products for lubricating rusty threads. You should pay attention to them. This will definitely help remove the rusty license plate screws faster and more efficiently.

Car enthusiasts often prefer WD-40 oil. It is applied to the mating surfaces of the parts and left for some time. If your screws are very rusty, then it is appropriate to leave the oil to act overnight. You can use kerosene, solvent, Coca-Cola, or water. This will also help soften the rusty threads a little.

Step 6 – Find the Long Lever

A long lever is highly recommended for loosening rusty license plate screws. The longer the handle of the tool, the more likely you will be able to remove the screw. Working with a long lever is much easier than with a tool with a short handle.

Try unscrewing the screw. If still not successful, go to the next step.

Step 7 – Warm up the Part

preheat the joint with an acetylene cutter

Source: YouTube

If applying the above instructions did not help you unscrew the rusted screws from the license plate, you should warm up the connection. An acetylene cutter is often used for this. But if you don’t have one, you can use a mini gas burner.

You need to warm up the block itself around the threads. In this case, you should periodically tap the connection using a hammer.

Step 8 – Additional Tools You Can Use

If even the heating of the part did not bring the desired result, then most likely the rusted fasteners can no longer be saved. You can also try using pneumatic or electric percussion tools. But keep in mind that these wrenches often break off bolt heads.

Unscrewing the problem screws often ends with their mechanical removal. In this case, the screw is cut with a saw or grinder and then removed.

So, follow the instructions above and remove rusty license plate screws quickly and efficiently!

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