Help my fix my boneheaded car mistake!
November 12, 2008 10:20 AM   Subscribe

I pulled out an AC/heat vent on my 2005 Kia Spectra 5 and now I can't get it to go back in. Help me either figure out how to get it back in, or at least ID the parts I'm looking at to help focus my Googling.

A couple years ago, the wheel you use to adjust the airflow on my passenger side air vent got kicked and slid out of place. Drunk with power and overconfidence after a successful DIY stereo installation, I had the crazy idea that I could just pull out the vent and pop the wheel back into place.

In the process of trying pry/pull the air vent out in order to "fix" it, I managed to get the air vent stuck looking like this. It's not entirely clear from the picture, but it's out at maybe a 20 degree angle, and the right side is still flush where it should be. It feels like I pulled something out of a slot, and because of the angle it's stuck at, can't get it back in.

It looks like the right side is connected to the car by a screw under this piece in the center, and I feel pretty confident that if I can get that piece off, I can get this all realigned and back to the way it was before I started.

The problems are that a)I have no idea how to get that part off, and b) I have no idea what it's called.

Any help would be appreciated. I could take this to a mechanic, I'm sure, but I'd love to not have to explain my idiocy to someone face to face.
posted by frankdrebin to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
Maybe the information might be in the Haynes Manual?
posted by Comrade_robot at 10:47 AM on November 12, 2008

Maybe the information might be in the Haynes Manual?

I agree. Try the service manual. The part in question should be called a "dash vent" or something similar. You may need to remove the glove box to properly fix it.
posted by nel at 11:54 AM on November 12, 2008

I think you can get it realigned without accessing the right side. I noticed in your picture that at the top of the vent (just below the curve, top, driver's side) there's a gray plastic tab with a white accent on top of it. Behind that (toward engine) there's an ivory colored plastic slot. It looks like the gray tab is misaligned with the ivory slot.

On the bottom of the vent (just above the curve, bottom, driver's side), there's another gray plastic tab and probably an ivory colored slot (not visible in the picture).

I think you need to shove the vent downward to realign these tabs with their slots, and then shove it back in.
posted by luckypozzo at 4:41 PM on November 12, 2008

Response by poster: luckypozzo- hey, good eye, but I did a pretty poor job explaining why it doesn't fit in. The misalignment is further inside the car and bigger. Keeping in mind I have no idea how this piece looks inside, it feels like it's misaligned where the plastic dash vent part fits into the car's air system, if that makes sense.

nel + Comrade_robot - thanks! There doesn't seem to be a 2005 manual, so I'm going to see if I can get to a local store with the copy you linked to and see if the 2004 info applies.
posted by frankdrebin at 5:51 PM on November 12, 2008

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