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Hey Everyone,

New to the site. :act030: Just bought a 2012 Ridgeline RTL in Bali Blue. Loving the truck. Quick fix question. I searched for a while and could not find a solution on the forum. The drivers side left air vent directional clip came off. I was able to pull it out with some needle nose pliers. Is there a quick fix for this? Does the entire dash cover by the steering wheel come off? Just hate to take it in for that issue if I can do a quick fix. Any solutions would be helpful. Thanks.

Ski747
 

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Yes it just snaps back in. Most people have problems with kids or dogs snapping off the ones in the backseat area. A search of the site for the rear AC should pull up pictures of the repair
 

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While moving my leftmost vent last night to detail between the blades with a Q-Tip, I heard a "clink" followed by the ejection of a small, curved piece of metal and a plastic clip. The vent is rarely moved and never touched by anything other than my own fingers. This is the kind of stuff I expect from domestics and is why I really dislike driving a vehicle without a factory, bumper-to-bumper warranty. Nothings looks broken, but there must be a reason it self-destructed with such a light touch. I searched other posts and found instructions for removing the passenger and rear vents, but not the driver vents. It appears I'm going to have to remove the trip piece that covers the left half of the dash? I'd rather pull teeth as I am NOT fond of removing trim pieces. Something ALWAYS breaks or deteriorates or gets damaged or new noises appear. I'm so mad right now I'm almost willing to go buy a new Chevrolet! Well, maybe not really, but I'm still ticked off.
 

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I popped off the instrument panel trim today then removed the left vent (3 screws secure it to the back of the trim piece). It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how the plastic clip and metal spring went back together, but I fixed it. Total time was about 10 minutes. I'm happy again...for now...until/unless it pops off again. :)
 

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So surprised and really disappointed such a thing like this is common in a few RL's. The plastic clip in my leftside vent came flying out and landed in my lap while I was driving my 3 weeks old RL. I looked inside vent to see if I can reclip this part, don't recall seeing any spring of any kind around.

I just went to the dealer last week to have my first oil change/tire rotation; they were cool and comp'ed me both services. I put that plastic clip in my console and have had it there since. I mentioned the plastic AC vent clip but they wanted more time with the RL and I just had time for the quick service I made my appointment for.

I plan to go back when I have more time and get a few things looked at then. ( still trying to track down a rear seat/window area rattle)

Til then I'm just living with it, not a real big deal, vent still moves left/right and that works OK. Seems maybe the same person/robot/whatever is installing this part in a shoddy fashion on some RL's. Grrrr....
 

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I looked inside vent to see if I can reclip this part, don't recall seeing any spring of any kind around...Seems maybe the same person/robot/whatever is installing this part in a shoddy fashion on some RL's.
The flat spring is about 4mm wide by 12mm long. It has a slight curve in the middle and a tiny alignment hole near one end. It fits in between the plastic clip that moves the inner (horizontal) louvers and the directional control lever on the center, vertical louver. Apparently, its function is to keep tension on the lever and clip so they don't rattle. The plastic clip, by the way, will fit back into the lever two ways, but it is not symmetrical and has a correct orientation. If you get it upside down, you won't have the proper range of adjustment. If re-installing, use another vent as a reference.

When mine let go the other day, I was fortunate that both pieces landed just inside the vent. I fished out the plastic clip with needle-noise pliers and the metal spring with a magnet. Chances are, your spring fell down inside the HVAC duct and is gone forever.

You can't buy the spring by itself nor is it an "off the shelf" part. The driver's left outlet (HVAC vent) is Honda part number 77206-SJC-A02ZC and currently lists for $37.08.

IMO, this is a poor design. The clip is pressed in and [somewhat] held by two tiny plastic clips in the lever. If the plastic lever or vent clip distorts in shape even the least bit, the spring tension or movement of the lever will push the two parts apart.
 

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Hey thanks alot for that detailed explanation ZR...73. Yep bad design for sure; but no real biggee I'm living with it fine.

Now worse yet, My cheating eyes are straying and they've spotted some 2013 Honda Crosstour EX-L's online. :act018: I now find I can prolly live without a truck type veh and don't ever have a need for 4wd. The Crosstour's come in 2wd, has alot of updated interior electronic features and I've always liked the way it looks. Yeah, I'm funny that way. I chose the RL right? :act002:

Well I plan a test drive next week but if the CT does not drive great, feels too small inside, dealer won't deal....then I'll just stay with my RL. I really do like my RL just kinda been doing online shopping for SUV's, 4Runner, GMC/Chevy, etc and the Honda CT caught my eye.

I signed up as a member over at CT owners club so I can read threads and post comments to learn about the Crosstour. Fairly nice/helpful folks there. AND I do brag to them about how great the ROC-er members are over here. I guess you really do "meet the nicest folks on/in a Honda". Peace y'all, e.
 

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Wow - that is why you use the search feature. I thought I was the only one who would have their 2012 RTL have this small annoyance. Dealer said it will take them time and need to make the appointment (just had the first oil change done). Might as well get those cup holder foam thingys replaced while I am at it under warranty.

It sounds like they might not have to tear the whole dash apart - my concern is anytime you pulled the dash off and put it back on you have the possibility of the dash rattling and not being as snug as before. Grrrr...
 

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They don't tear the whole dash apart. The trim around the instrument cluster/light switch/radio comes off, take out 3 screws holding the vent in, pop in a new vent, screw it in place and pop the dash trim back on. Total repair time should be 15-20 minutes tops. And, unless the newer RLs are a lot different than the older ones, you won't have any dash rattles.
I've had my dash trim off at least 8 times in the last year adding to the radio or replacing lights and it's as quiet as the day I got it.
IMO, if it's under warranty, make the dealer replace the vent. "Fixes" are for folks like me who's truck is long out of warranty.
 

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They don't tear the whole dash apart. The trim around the instrument cluster/light switch/radio comes off, take out 3 screws holding the vent in, pop in a new vent, screw it in place and pop the dash trim back on. Total repair time should be 15-20 minutes tops. And, unless the newer RLs are a lot different than the older ones, you won't have any dash rattles.
I've had my dash trim off at least 8 times in the last year adding to the radio or replacing lights and it's as quiet as the day I got it.
IMO, if it's under warranty, make the dealer replace the vent. "Fixes" are for folks like me who's truck is long out of warranty.
Cool, glad to know. Thx. Yea, its under warranty so they can have at it.
 

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As always, pictures are worth a thousand words. Next time someone has to take this trim off, how about taking an extra couple of minutes and taking some pics of the process and posting it?
 
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