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DIY Guide to Fixing Loose Air Vents

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DIY Guide to Fixing Loose Air Vents

Postby SmilieStu » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:29 pm

Greetings All,

One of the air vents on the center console of my Wife's 206cc was loose and flopping down. On removing the vent I found that the little plastic shim was missing and that the vent on the other side was loose due to the shim wearing out. I could not find where I could get the little plastic shims alone, without purchasing an entire used dash centre console, so I thought I would have to implement an alternative solution.

I have now resolved the issue and thought that I would share my solution, in case anybody had a similar issue. The solution actually makes for a tighter fitting vent, which is nice.

Please note: I had removed the dash console from the dashboard to give it a good clean and fix the air intake open/close mechanism, but this procedure can be done in situ.

Time: 10-20 minutes
Tools: Scissors, Flat-head Screwdriver, Small Phillips Screwdriver
Materials: 7mm diameter 3-core mains cable (Having been in IT, I used a computer mains cable)


Step 1 - Remove Air Vents
Removing the air vents is a simple procedure. Using a flat-head screwdriver (I tape mine with insulating tape to prevent scratching the plastic), gently prise the bottom of the vent outwards to loosen the vent. Using a little wiggle, the vent should come free.

Make sure to prise the more vertical side of the vent as this side is where they push in/out.

1- Air Vent Removal.jpg

Step 2 - Make New Shims
From the mains cable, cut 2 (or how many you need) lengths of cable about 6mm long, no longer. This is around the same size as the orginal shim, which I have placed in the picture for comparison:

Once the cable is cut, remove the wire from the inside of the cable to produce the hole required for placing over the shim pins in the air vent voids.

NOTE: Depending on whether the holes in the cable are large enough to fit the pins, it may be necessary, as it was for me, to stretch the hole of the new shims immediately prior to fitting them. This can easily be done with a small Phillips screwdriver (the wider head of a flat head screwdriver flays out too much).

2 - Making Shims.jpg

Step 3 - Installing the Shims
All that needs to be done now is to push the new shims on to the pins inside the air vent recess. Because the hole may be slightly smaller than the diameter of the pin, a bit of pressure and wiggling will be necessary to push it into place.

The cable diameter will then expand in order to grip the vent nicely once installed.

3 - Installing the Shims.jpg

Step 4 - Replacing the Vent
All that needs to be done now is to reinstall the air vent in the opposite way that it came out (insert the curved end first, then push the straighter end into place.

Perfect job! Hope it lasts....

Good Luck!
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206cc SE 2.0 2003 (Aluminium Silver)
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: DIY Guide to Fixing Loose Air Vents

Postby Capncol » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:48 pm

Simple and effective. I've made it a "sticky" to help others
Cheers Col.

206cc 1.6ltr (Wifes toy)
Mercedes ML (workhorse)
Corvette C3 (my toy)

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