How to remove the DSG shifter

This article shows removal of the automatic transmission shift handle on a VW Passat TDI 2012+


This owner wanted to change their DSG shifter handle from leather to the wood handle equipped on the Chinese market Passsat. For support on this topic, please refer to this Passat TDI forum thread. It may also be possible to switch from the trigger style button to the side button style.

Procedure to replace VW Passat shifter handle

Step 1: Lift up the boot or skirt whatever you want to call it.

Step 2: Disengage the shift cable. To get to this remove top cover that has DSG on it. Pry it up at the gap between the trigger. Now the cable you do this by pushing the trigger on the knob and lifting the white plastic loop that is the shift "cable" off the small metal pin with small screw driver.

With cable off the trigger the pin will fold down into the knob.

Step 3: Remove the old knob. First pry at the metal ring clamp at the base of the knob.

Then just let it fall to the base of the shaft on the shifter.

Then pull up hard on the knob and it will come off the shaft.

Step 4: Remove boot from old knob. This step and the next suck because it's tedious. To do this get the black plastic cup like piece off the base of the knob. Careful I broke off the black plastic taps that hold it on while doing this. But I think that made easy to get off.

There is black plastic ring inside here that helps hold the boot in place. Keep this peace to use with the new knob.

Step 5: Put boot on new knob. It's helps to mark which side of the boot is the front or trigger side. The black plastic cup has a higher side to it that goes to the front. Also there are som notches around the top of it that stitches of the boot to line up with. With the boot flipped right side out put the cup part up at the narrow opening of the boot. Fold the leather down into the cup, you should be able to see where it was originally folded. While folding the leather in line up the stitches and place the black ring into the cup to hold the boot in. It should all line up like this you can see the ring.

Now that the boot is in the cup and secure with the ring push all up on the base of the knob. Make sure its pushed up tight to the knob.

Step 6: Put knob and boot back on the stick. Just work it down on the stick and the tabs at the base of the knob will seat into a groove around the stick.

Next push the metal ring back over the tabs on bottom of the knob and squeeze it back tight with pliers. Last put boot back into the bezel around the shifter.

Step 7: Admire your new shift knob. Take pictures and post them on this website.

As you can see my knob has the chrome trim on it which I like. And wood matches perfectly with the rest of the trim in the SEL.

Article from TDI Brad

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