Tech Article Title Author Date
Solution to the "Stuck Ashtray" Keoni Ahlo 2003

As everyone knows, if a coin or two slips behind (under) the ashtray, the ashtray gets stuck in its bay. Some have recommended removing the radio and HVAC to get to the coins...too much of a hassle. Some have said to blow air...it don't work. Here's what I did and it took me 10 minutes to remove 6 coins:

1. Using a couple of small suction cups (the kind you hang Xmas lights on the window with), pull out the ashtray. If it's really stuck, us a hot glue gun with clear sticks and put a big drop on the end of a new glue stick. Press it agains the ashtray while it's still melted. Let dry. Pull. Peel off excess glue.

2. Now take a piece of cardstock (like business card weight) and cut it about 6" wide and whatever deep. Now using 2" masking tape (6" long) and two pieces of 1/2" masking tape, tape the 2" piece sticky side up with the 1/2" tape along the 6" edge. All you're trying to do is make a card with a sticky side up along the 6" edge.

Figure 1:

1/2" tape, sticky down, holding 2" tape
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 2" tape here, sticky side up, edges held by 1/2"

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1/2" tape, sticky down, holding 2" tape

3. Now, slide the cardstock with the sticky side DOWN under the ashtray and insert it as far back as it can go. Now gently push the ashtray in, but NOT all the way. What you're doing here is using the ashtray to help exert some downward force--this will push the sticky tape against the coins. Now pull the ashtray along with the paper slowly. Once the ashtray is all the way out, continue to pull on the paper. Some of the coins will come right out, some may get lodged at the bottom edge. If you can see the coin, move it towards the holes in the ashtray and fish them out. I used a flat screwdriver and attached a piece of masking tape to it, pressed it agains the visible coin, pulled it out. If it's a quarter or larger, it'll have to be coaxed out with the screwdriver (or similar tool) out under the ashtray.

Tap (bang lightly) on the open ashtray and you'll know if there are coins still floating back there (you'll hear the clinking sound of loose coins). It didn't take very long once I developed this  system that I've just described. Try it...it sure beats the heck out of removing the radio and AC control!




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