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Old 08-13-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
atwnsw
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Help: Dropped gold wedding band in a/c vent on dash...

I was picking up my wife from the airport and messing around with my wedding band when I could hear it slide down the top of the dashboard. I wasn't worried until I realized it slid into the A/C vent.

I could hear it slide all the way to the left when I took a right turn.

Unfortunately I couldn't see anything with a flashlight....

How difficult is it to access?

Any ideas?



P.S. It is gold so magnets won't work...
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
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I don't think you'll get to it without taking the dash out. You may get lucky and be able to take out your cabin air filter and see far enough back from the engine bay area to get to it but I highly doubt it. I wish I had better news for you, but I think that's your only option. I see you are in Florida. If you need help taking the dash out, I recently did mine and am quite familiar with it now. Let me know if you decide that's your last alternative.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #3
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Can you actually see where it's sliding around? maybe reach inside one of the vents and hope it goes all the way through? feel around?
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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Do you need a new windshield? If so you could always take it in to get done and while the windshield is out attempt to retrieve it. Also what setting was your heater last on in terms of mode. Could always turn it on to the floor setting and drive around for a bit and perhaps get into the floor vents and get it from there?
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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There's no way you can retrieve that. Dash has to come out I'm afraid.

The good thing is it sounds more of a job than it actually is.

EDIT: You could try taking the grill/s off around where you heard it slide and mess around with a coat hanger. You might get lucky. I retrieved a Motorola that way, but it was buried into the floor vents not on top of dash.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:38 PM   #6
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Let us know how this story works out for you after you tell it to your wife...

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Yeah, dash will most likely have to come out. That's a pretty large duct to be all one piece.

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
atwnsw
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My wife and I could hear it sliding around earlier. Fortunately she doesn't question how I lost it....

1) Is it possible to remove the grill only? That would be the easiest option.

2) I am not a DIY person so if I go to an Independent shop, what should I expect to pay? My concern is that removing the dash will cost more than the $800 ring.

3) Can the ring cause any damage to a fan blade or other component?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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I wonder why manufacturers never bothered to put some sort of mesh on such vents.


Having the dash removed is rather expensive, I would be concerned it will definitely cost more than the ring. Think of the car as the ring now!

And surely it has more sentimental value than dollar value?
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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Any guess on the cost of removing the dash?
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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labor on replacing the evap core typically gets quoted around $1000. Which basically requires removing the entire dash as you would need to do. My offer still stands if you work up the nerve to DIY. The blower/fan you are talking about are only a few inches below where the ring fell in, but much more forward towards the engine. It would be pretty much impossible for the ring to hit them. My best advice on this issue would be to go do some extremely spirited driving with hard turns far away from people and other vehicles. If you can some how get the ring to slide all the way to the bottom vents, it would be possible, just maybe, to get it that way. I just have a feeling if you stop hearing it, it may have fallen on top of the heater core and the vents for the foot wells are a few inches above the heater core. That would basically cause the ring to just sit there on top of the heater core and never be able to be retrieved until you pull out the dash and remove the plastic cover over the heater core.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:35 AM   #12
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Any guess on the cost of removing the dash?
take a look and let us know how many hours this takes?
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:52 AM   #13
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I think this is rather simple, take to car ut for a drive and make a sharp right turn before you stop this will cause the ring hopefully to slide to the drivers side AC vent. This is rather easy then undo the trim piece on the drivers close to LCM, then unscrew the AC vent 2 screws on the bottom, unclip and take it out. Now u should be able to reach your hand inside and grab to ring. If not get someone with smaller hands Use your phone to take a picture inside the duct with flash and see where the ring is located.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:33 AM   #14
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I think this is rather simple, take to car ut for a drive and make a sharp right turn before you stop this will cause the ring hopefully to slide to the drivers side AC vent. This is rather easy then undo the trim piece on the drivers close to LCM, then unscrew the AC vent 2 screws on the bottom, unclip and take it out. Now u should be able to reach your hand inside and grab to ring. If not get someone with smaller hands Use your phone to take a picture inside the duct with flash and see where the ring is located.
I like the logical and goal oriented way you think. What do you do for a living?
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:36 AM   #15
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P.S. It is gold so magnets won't work...
The wife thinks it's gold, maybe magnet will work
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:44 AM   #16
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I like the logical and goal oriented way you think. What do you do for a living?
I break into cars and steal wedding rings that have been dropped in the ac vents ofc what else?
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:58 AM   #17
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I break into cars and steal wedding rings that have been dropped in the ac vents ofc what else?
Dude really thts sweet, how does one put tht on there resume hehe



But relly tho ya good luck with the dash thing, I personal hate AC boxs.. but if u go after it take a lot of pics subscribe to alldata or michele ondemand, have a back up car redy, and ooh have a lot of beer(I'm sure a lot of ppl will agree with me on tht part)

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Old 08-14-2012, 05:10 AM   #18
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Besides the range of options listed, all I can suggest is a fishing expedition with a 1/2" hose attached to end of vacuum cleaner...with enough suction, you should be able to pull the ring out if it's anywhere accessible.

An inspection mirror and 100 lumen led flashlight like the xl50 (available at HD for only $30!) should help. Removing the vents is easy compared to removing the dash!

If you can't suck it out...maybe you can blow it out using the same hose (on a wet/dry vac)? Compressed air from shop?

You're not the first here, btw. Had another lost ring incident before that I can recall. Pretty much the same story..."I was fiddling with my ring while waiting to pick up wife from airport"!

Oh, you could also just divorce her and marry a gold digger. 'She'd' get it for free!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:16 AM   #19
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You guys are very funny. Seriously I appreciate the humor.

I like the right turn idea. I did it yesterday on the street and heard it slide to the left corner but still couldn't see anything. However with a scope from HD, I might be in business.

Is there a DIY on how to remove the far left driver side A/C vent?

Thanks for all your input and keep the ideas coming.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #20
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It's good news if you can still hear it sliding. If the noise is coming from about steering wheel height in the dash then you are still in business. All you have to do to remove your driver side a/c vent is go grab a wide blade butter knife from inside. Wrap it once or twice on the tip with tape (in order to not damage/scratch your trim). Stick your blade between the far left bottom edge of your far left trim piece. Wiggle it in enough to get some leverage and begin slightly putting torque on the knife. You will see the trim piece begin to be worked out. Besides the far left tab, the trim piece is also held in with another tab where it ends close to the middle trim piece that sits above the radio. Once the trim is out, there will be either 1 or 2 Phillips head screws holding in the vent. Remove those and the vent simply pulls out. Hope this helps. Let me know if you get stuck or need more explanation.
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