Center console and shifter trim removal - B5 Passat
How to remove the center console on a B5.5 Volkswagen Passat
This article shows how to remove the center console, armrest, and shifter trim on a VW Passat TDI.
Other B5.5 models are similar. The B5.5 center console will fit onto a B5 but it requires minor trimming to the handbrake area.
8, 13mm socket
T25 torx screwdriver
plastic pry or screwdriver
Center console removal procedure
Slide both front seats all the way back for clearance. Pry off the trim cover and remove the 8mm bolt in the front shown in the zoom box below. Seat removed for illustration.
Gently pry off the rear 12V plug trim. There are clips at the top and bottom around the 12V plug. Unplug the 12V plug and set aside.
Reach in and pry off the 12V plug wire tie from it's stud. This will release the wiring from the center console.
Pry off the black felt glovebox liner. Reach inside and remove the 3x 13mm nuts holding the console. Ignore the 3x bolts for the handbrake.
The manual says to remove the 2x T20 torx screws, shown below, that hold the rear of the center console on. They are under the rear ashtray. You can remove the console with it on and I suggest leaving it on because the snaps at the bottom usually break.
To remove the shifter trim, first move the shifter to position 3. Push the chrome sleeve trim (below the knob) down. This releases the knob hooks. Pull the chrome shifter button out by about 8mm. You will feel something release. Then pull the shifter knob straight off. The service manual mentions that you have to pull the shifter button off and pull on a release arrow if the burgundy colored plastic that you see beneath the shifter knob is black, mine didn't have this. If you press on the knob when it's off the button will snap and retract in, just grab it and pull it back out.
The front of the console has some hooks. Lift the shifter trim up along with the console and then push the front of the console down to release the hooks. The white arrow below shows the carpet line vs. the console while it's being tilted up for removal.
The front of the shifter trim has hooks so pull it down and out to avoid breaking them.
Note the horns at the front. These go into holes at the bottom of the radio stack trim. Also unplug the 12V outlet in the ashtray to remove.