DEAR CAR TALK: I own a 2016 Toyota Camry. Yesterday, on my way to the gas station, I pulled out my credit card and set it on the center console. When I pulled up to the pump, I reached for my card, and it dropped down between the seat and the console.

I squeezed my hand into the space and was able to push the card forward enough to grab it. Ever the klutz, when I went to grab it, I pushed it back instead.

When I tried to grab it again, I couldn’t locate it. I got out and looked everywhere around the seat. I was on my hands and knees looking from the front and the back of the seat. I searched from every angle. The card was gone.

It was like the car opened up and swallowed it! How is that possible? My car is uncluttered; it is easy to see something out of place. Where is it? – Donna

RAY: I don’t know. But when you find it, I bet you’ll also find a bunch of single socks.

I think we’ve all done what you did, Donna. A credit card, a key, a phone drops between the seat and center console. And as you reach your two fingers in there to feel for it, you push it further into the abyss.


My guess is that your credit card slipped under the carpet. There are cuts in the carpet at the four points where the seat is bolted to the floor.

Try moving the seat all the way back. Then, from the floor of the front seat, feel around for where the seat is bolted in. You should be able to find an opening in the carpet there. If there’s no sign of the card, move the seat all the way forward and try from the back seat.

If that fails, and you’re really attached to this particular card (maybe you spent months memorizing the three-digit security code), your mechanic can definitely find it.

The first thing we’d do at our shop is we’d blow compressed air under the seat. We have a nozzle on our air hose that can blow about 150 psi of wind under there. That’s a category 4 hurricane. If something is there, it’ll usually come out.

If it doesn’t, your mechanic can always unbolt the seat. That’s not a big deal. It’s a half-hour job.

On the other hand, calling your credit card company and asking them to send you a replacement card is a five-minute job.

Got a question about cars? Email Car Talk’s Ray Magliozzi by visiting the Car Talk website,

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