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Ok this doesn't really qualify as a "mod," ha. . .just a fastener change. . .but if you're anal like me, maybe this will be of interest to you..

I noticed the other week my 6 month old CT was developing rusty license plate bolts already. . . I already ditched the dealer plate frame, but I had carried over same fasteners.




So I put in some stainless steel button head fasteners in the correct sizes, which you can order from my favorite fastener place on the web, Fastenal, individually (i.e. not by the case) - which is very rare.

Front plate: 4 @ M6 x 12mm at $0.2041 ea
Rear plate (if you have a skinnier plate frame): 4 @ M6 x 16mm at $0.2514 ea
Rear plate (if you have a slightly thicker plate frame): 4 @ M6 x 20mm at $0.3116 ea

After:
 

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Uh, I usually take it one step further. I rock the stainless bolts, but I also use the bolt covers, and i color match them to the license plate surround lol

It'd be so nice if the dealers would just pony up a few extra pennies to make them all look nice
 

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Great Advice. From LE (Law Enforcement) perspective, most license plates are stolen from thieves who carry (Pliers, Flat screwdriver, and Phillips screwdriver). Very few license plates are stolen when attached with Allen/Hex type screws/bolts. Often it is recommended to use a variety of hex sized bolts on the chance that a thief won’t have all the correct sizes.

License plates are not stolen as frequently as what use to be due to ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition), which is a system used by many police departments to quickly scan license plates. Police can quickly drive through and scan large parking lots at malls, sporting events, concerts, or just driving around while finding stolen plates, warrants, and other issues. Even with this new technology, stolen license plates are still a problem.

In Kansas only one license plate (rear) is required on a vehicle. Most car thieves and people with numerous parking ticket warrants already know to park their car 'backed-in' to a parking spot to avoid ALPR.


It’s also a good idea to NEVER put your license plate number on any forum. If someone should follow your threads/comments and you casually mention that you are going on vacation for two weeks or even that your just working late one weekday, then someone can trace your license plate and get your address and know exactly when you won’t be home.

When you take pictures of your vehicle, as people often do, always best to avoid taking pictures of your license plate or either scratch out or un-focus the numbers. Even the PAINT program that comes standard with Windows will do a great job in blotting out the numbers.
 

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Hi, I replaced the dealer screws with theft-resistant stainless steel screws (the ones with two small indented dots that require a special two-prong screwdriver bit). In addition, I used heavily dished washers with the screws to protect against someone using pliers on the edge of the screw head. BTW, I got on ebay a stainless steel license plate frame that says "Crosstour" in the right style type.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Uh, I usually take it one step further. I rock the stainless bolts, but I also use the bolt covers, and i color match them to the license plate surround lol
Personally I <heart> the look of stainless steel, and no bolt covers means I'm saving weight. :) But ya, I think the seamless uniform look is also slick for sure.

It'd be so nice if the dealers would just pony up a few extra pennies to make them all look nice
No kidding, right? An extra $2 per vehicle will keep that area nice and shiny looking, and every single owner happier. . .

Reminds me of my G35 where the dealer was either too dumb or too lazy to install a rear license plate bracket (the plate on that model sort of hung a few inches below the painted bumper area), so every time they'd put it through their free car wash, the plate would roll up from the edge like the top of a can of dog food, and I'd have to sort of press it back. It was only about 4-5 years on in my ownership experience that I looked at a parts diagram and realized something was missing.
 
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