A Major Boo Boo

With my 2009 Pontiac Vibe, I knocked the windshield washer fluid bottle cap under the radiator. Not the cap on the reservoir, the cap on the bottle of washer fluid.
The “Grab It” tool I use to pick up trash, only pushes the cap further under the radiator.
Any ideas on what I should have used to grab the cap, and how I can access this area
in order to remove the cap?

Thank you for your replies.

Just get another cap.


I don’t think that this is anything for the OP to truly worry about. Either the cap will be dislodged while driving, or it will stay in place and melt slightly, with no danger to any adjacent parts.

Just take a piece of aluminum foil, and crimp it over the opening of the fluid bottle to reduce evaporation.


Could you maneuver a hose into position to blast it out? If it were my vehicle I’d just have to remove the gravel guard - a drag, but not terrible.

Thank you very much, I was worried about the adjacent parts.
I can relax now, problem solved.

Me! Take anything apart? You’re an excellent comedian. I’m limited to replacing air
filters, replacing wiper blades, and adding fluids, except washer fluid. LOL The probles is solved now. Thanks anyway.

Wire hanger can be user as a tool to retrieve that cap or to push it down where it falls top the floor.

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There is nothing under the radiator a plastic bottle cap can hurt. I’d just leave it alone, you might do more damage trying to get it out. There is really nothing that low on the vehicle that it could hurt if it migrated to another location.

But if this is going to cost you sleep at night, try this. On the top of the radiator, there should be two straps that go from the backside of the top tank, over the top and forward to the cross member in front of the radiator. A bolt in each strap holds the strap to the cross member. Loosen the bolts enough to move the straps aside, or remove the bolts and the straps.

Now you can lift the radiator an inch or two without any further disassembly and reach under it with your fingers and remove the cap. Then bolt the straps back in place.

This type of tool might be able to grab that cap


The OP already stated…

Yeah I saw that, but its only two bolts, and this was only if the OP was going to loose sleep over this which really is of no concern.

Perhaps compressed air will do it, if you know someone with a compressor.