Dropped piece of tinfoil into oil-pan? Need advice!

Hey Guys,
Forgive me for not knowing anything about cars, but I have a problem I really need some advice on.
My girlfriend lost the oil cap on her 1995 Honda Civic last week. When I
noticed the leaking oil and the missing cap, I sealed the hole with tinfoil and tape so she could drive a few days until I got a new cap.
Well, yesterday we got the new cap and when I went to put it on a pieces of tinfoil (small crunched up balls of it...probably 1 cm diameter) fell in. I don't know the correct name for what it fell in to (the same place you pour the oil when you're low). Two of the pieces just sat close to the top and I managed to get them out with my finger, but one (maybe more) fell into this small hole (again sorry for not knowing the name...but it seems that is where the oil flows when you pour it in). I can see it a bit by looking down with a flashlight, but haven't been able to get it out. The car hasn't been started since then.
My questions are: What would be your advice on getting the piece(s) out? If I dont manage to get it out and they stay in there could this cause any problems?
Thanks a lot
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Here is what I would do:
Take the valve cover (a.k.a. "cylinder head cover") off. This will require removal of all connections to and above the valve cover. Then remove the four cap bolts that hold the cover on. Bang on the cover lightly with a rubber mallet to free it. Lift as straight up as possible, because there's a gasket that can get twisted and get oil everywhere. Now extensively inspect the exposed region for bits of tin foil. is the foil magnetic? Re-install with a new valve cover gasket. Torque the four cap bolts with a torque wrench, tightening first to half the spec, then 3/4 spec, then full spec.
Run the car, staying on the lookout for odd running sounds. Maybe change the oil after running it a day.
http://www.honda.co.uk/car/owner/workshop.html has a manual for the 95 Civic. It may have illustrations that can help you.

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thanks for the reply
but i think the pieces are too far down now for that to help...
they are sitting in the tunnel heading for the oil pan right now, do u have any advice for getting them out of there?
if i dont manage to get it out, what problems could this cause?
thanks a lot
Elle wrote:

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off and drain bolt out. I would get a 5 quart jug of affordable oil and keep pouring through and through into a clean pan. Maybe 2 clean pans and you could flush it at a good clip (look for the foil balls in between of course)! I'm not too knowledgeable of engine block specifics and the oil passageways and filter may render this a moot exercise but it seems easy enough.

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deniskrupka wrote:

if you can get them out, fine. if not, just push them down all the way through to the crank case. there, they'll either stay put, get drained out with the next oil change, or find their way through to the oil filter. none of the above are likely to be a problem.

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If they were actually 'tin' foil you could get them with a magnet (one of those on a flexible stalk). But since I suspect you mean 'aluminum' foil, I go along with what Jim B said - once they get into the crankcase the oil pump filter would prevent them from getting back up into the engine.
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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Dano58 wrote:

<pedantry warning> /real/ tin, chemical symbol Sn, is not magnetic. "tin", thin iron sheet, is Fe, and that is. there's very little Fe or Sn foil used and i definitely doubt the op has access to sufficient quantity to want to plug the oil filler cap with it.
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