I dropped something in the HVAC?

I did something really stupid. I tried to determine the airflow direction with a piece of paper to change cabin air filter and I dropped it and it went in…

Is it fine or do I need to remove it all and take it out?

Don’t worry about it.


No, but you do need to edit out your unnecessary profanity.

So the paper won’t get shred and cause issues?


It’ll probably end up inside the blower fan, and remain there until the blower motor requires replacing.


How big was the piece of paper?
It’s possible that if the piece of paper blocks the fan, the fan motor could burn up. The airflow cools the motor as well as moving air through the ductwork.

I would say it’s slightly smaller than something like this

It’s like the label that was on the glovebox for it’s part number and all

Hard to say. Unlikely to damage anything, but it might block airflow somewhat, so your car might not cool off or heat up as quickly. And it could jam a vent door into a fixed position which would adversely affect certain hvac functions. If you start to hear a sound like a playing card hitting against bicycle spokes, that’s probably the blower’s fan blade hitting the paper. If that part is difficult to remove, I’d wait a while, as the paper might just get shredded into small bits and pushed off into a niche where it causes no problems. At that point the sound should go away.

If the paper fell into the blower wheel it will cause a flutter noise when the blower is on. Any idea what make/model this vehicle is?

So it can’t really cause any major damage? Just annoyance? Like, it won’t melt or something I dunno, and if it catches into the blower it shouldn’t like, if it shreds it should be fine?

Oh wow ok. I went back to reinstall filter and well with a flashlight I was seeing the paper. Was able to put my hand in there and pull it out!


All’s well that ends well :slight_smile:

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I usually just remove the debris from the blower wheel, it is helpful to know what vehicle this is to tell you if it was easy to reach.

BTW the paper would last about 5 years if you had left it there.

I would have thought actually looking for it would be done long before wasting time asking the internet.


Mr. Public , there you go being logical again !

My parents bought a new Studebaker Lark in 1963. They’ve had the car about two months when my brother dropped a quarter down the defroster slot. It didn’t hurt anything, but my brother was hard up for some change, so he spent an entire morning under the dashboard retrieving his quarter. I often wonder if he would have gone to all that trouble if it had been a lesser amount. I was tempted to drop a dime down the defroster slot. If he had retrieved that, I would have then tried a nickel, then a penny.

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On my wedding day some clowns managed to get into my car and dropped a lot of confetti in the defroster ducts.

On the way to Niagara Falls the car blew confetti for quite a distance since it rained and I needed the defrosters to clear the windshield.

Afterwards, for several years there was the odd bit of confetti blown out of the ducts.

Advice: Hide your car when you’re getting married!

It did not harm the fan operation.

Good work.
Happy motoring.

That quarter probably would have bought 3or 4 gallons of gasoline way back then. In kid terms, that quarter represented over 20 pieces of penny candy at a time when penny candy was substantial.