I have a Ford Fiesta, a friend of mine dropped a cigarette inside the left air conditioning vent..Should I worry about it catching fire? Even if not, how do I get it out?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Dec 7 '19 at 15:48
  • 1
    Some air vent grilles are designed to "pull out" from the pipe behind to aid cleaning... Be careful though.
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 7 '19 at 17:04
  • 4
    If you smoke in the car then the cigarette won't make a difference.
    – MaxW
    Dec 7 '19 at 21:48
  • Only if the rest of the car catches on fire.
    – 111
    Dec 8 '19 at 0:14
  • 3
    make your idiot friend dig it out of there.
    – Z4-tier
    Dec 8 '19 at 11:51

Any damage done to the car (likely, none) will have already been done. What you will have, however, is a car that will smell like theres a cigarette in the vent when the AC or heating is on.

You'll have to dismantle the dashboard to get to it, unless you can see it. The easiest solution is to take it to a garage, and send the bill to your 'friend' who deliberately did this.

  • 2
    The OP never specified that the cigarette down the vent was intentional.
    – Vikki
    Dec 7 '19 at 23:40
  • 2
    @Sean: He knows that. He's expressing his doubt that such a thing could've happened by accident via sarcasm. Dec 8 '19 at 3:25
  • 7
    @Sean As an ex smoker, I have to say that it's damn near impossible to accidentally drop one in an air vent.
    – 3Dave
    Dec 8 '19 at 3:56

You need to get it out or your car will smell like a lucky strike forever! Fortunately, it's dead easy to remove the side air vents on a fiesta, they are easily popped out using a plastic body tool. There's a decent video of the process here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8NTu6YYQ2M

If you don't have the right tools you can get sets pretty cheaply, or you can use anything of the right size and shape as long as it isn't sharp. There's often things around the home or toolbox that you can use to improvise, just be very careful so you don't damage the dash!

Once you get the vent out you have a few options to get the cigarette out, if you can see it a long tweezers may do the trick, I've had success getting objects out of strange places by using a ball of tape on a stick. A vacuum may work very well too, if you can get the nozzle positioned right, the only thing is you may not know if you've got the cig out unless you hear it go down! I'd vacuum it out after you get the butt out to remove any ash, and on general principles to get it clean.

Once you have your problem solved the vent easily pops back in, just make sure you line up the clips right.

  • If you smoke in the car, it's not gonna make much difference anyway.
    – Aequitas
    Dec 9 '19 at 0:16

One way to get it (them out easily is to use a shop vac with really strong suction. First try without removing the vent. If they doesn’t work try a house vacuum with a long attachment. I have a 2001 Camry and my husband shoved a bunch of butts in there. Most likely to start a fire. Anyone know how to get rid of a jerk like that? He’s like a piece of gum stuck to my shoe.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Nice add! Feb 1 at 2:47

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