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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Automotive tail & brake light Tire Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire


The story I'm getting from my 16-year-old is that someone hit him in a parking lot. There is no damage to anything other than the license plate holder, which makes me suspect. I'm not lifted or anything but there's a pretty small number of vehicles that could bump off this without hitting the bumper.

I'm not going to kill him, or even punish him, over a $30 part I can replace myself. But I'm curious whether anyone has thoughts on what really might have happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The plate is still there and there's literally no other damage. I'm thinking "stupid 16-year-old" shenanigans like standing on it. But maybe ninjas or aliens. I think the odds of a car sideswiping just that little piece are pretty close to 0%. Shopping cart is a maybe but even that seems like it would hit the bumper.

I just ordered the replacement part. It was $85 though there are cheaper ones on Amazon. I'm going to make him work off the $85 and help me install the new part when it gets here.
 

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Every youngster is different and has to be handled in a certain manner. One of my most enforced rules was that you NEVER lie to me. Ever. Whatever you do or say we will deal with reasonably. But if you lie to me there will be punishment that you won't like at all.

I'd be more concerned about whether he is telling the truth than about what happened. Trust is paramount. And I'm NOT saying that he is lying to you .... but by reading your post you have that doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm definitely more worried about what seems like a lie than the relatively cheap/easily fixed part. I think it was probably one of his friends who broke it (he told me they bought some glue and tried to replace the broken clip so they could reconnect the housing). I don't like being mistrustful, which is why I wanted to see if I'm being reasonable here.
 

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Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds with this ................

"IF" he is being untruthful and hiding something, just remember that he needs to know that you have unconditional love for him.. Tell him again. Give him a hug. If he's not telling the whole story he's likely embarrassed about what happened and doesn't want you to be disappointed in him. Whether or not he changes the story, smile and thank him for being honest. Give him another hug. And emphasize that he can come to you with anything ... no matter what it is. At the age of 16 there are going to be many things in his life that he will want to turn to you for advice. I'd look at this as an inexpensive opportunity to build some trust.
 

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I question why you bring this here, instead of handling it like a responsible parent. If you don't believe him, take away the keys and cell phone
 

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I hit a tree with my rear license plate holder. It bent it and it's just barely still attached. My metal fenders cut a groove in the tree.

My Jeeping friends say it's pretty common to hit the rear license plate on things as it sticks out pretty far.
Lots of people relocate them to the the spare tire.
 

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They're flimsy.
I've seen them fall off all by themselves. First time for me was just bouncing down a trail when the guy behind me noticed it.
Seen them knocked off by shopping carts
Brushed against a tree and it came off
etc etc etc

Good excuse to relocate the thing and avoid the problem :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I question why you bring this here, instead of handling it like a responsible parent. If you don't believe him, take away the keys and cell phone
I'm am imperfect person and an imperfect parent. But I think the responsible approach is to do some fact finding before I make a decision. Jeep people seem like the right audience to ask about a license plate holder on a wrangler, and the responses here tell me that things like this aren't very uncommon with other jeeps (though it's uncommon to me).
 

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I remember an incident when I was maybe a year younger. (I had an unrestricted DL in Texas at the age of 14. Texas had that in 1957). My GF and I were heading back home from somewhere (I don't remember where we were - it was middle of the day on Saturday). I turned a left corner a bit hard and hit a pot hole on the edge of the pavement and it started a skid to the left, I counter steered and missed the tree, but wasn't fast enough to counter the counter steer and Mom's new '57 Buick was heading to a deep ditch. Fortunately, I was going slow and it sort eased over the edge and nosed down into the ditch. We got out, I found a phone and called home. Dad showed up. A bystander mentioned that the police were on the way. He handed me the keys to his '54 Ford (I learned to drive on that with 3 on the tree) and told me to take my GF home and then head home. He would be there as soon as he could.

When he got home (in Mom's new Buick) he told me he told the cops he was driving and hit the pot hole and lost control. They did a report but since in was a single vehicle incident with no apparent damage, no ticket. I had to wash the Buick, clean all the grass and weeds out from underneath and replace the left headlight. (Cracked so went out first time we turned them on).

Stuff happens.
 

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I'm am imperfect person and an imperfect parent. But I think the responsible approach is to do some fact finding before I make a decision. Jeep people seem like the right audience to ask about a license plate holder on a wrangler, and the responses here tell me that things like this aren't very uncommon with other jeeps (though it's uncommon to me).
That may be one reason the plates have been moved on the JL.
 

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That may be one reason the plates have been moved on the JL.
I hope somebody was fired for putting the license plate holder there or was it intentional to purchase a relo holder from MOPAR for additional bucks?
 

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I believe it was a byproduct of widening the TG. The CJ5, CJ7, YJ and TJ all had their license plate there. The illumination was provided by a clear lens on the bottom of the left tail light.
 
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@brianodle Take a look at the plastic closely. It tends to show scuffs and impacts pretty easily. That should give you an idea of where it was hit.

I have heard, like many others here, that the tag holders are always getting caught or broken. I pulled mine off and shaped the plate to the tub. Used four roofing sheetmetal screws and stuck it on that way to avoid this problem. IMHO, he told you about it and that speaks volumes. Some kids wouldn’t have said a thing and played stupid. He at least has some semblance of integrity.
 
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