Shifter knob and boot installation with leather replacement
How to install a replacement leather shifter boot and knob.
This article shows how to install a new shifter boot. The knob must be removed if you're replacing the knob. If you're using an entire replacement assembly, it doesn't.
The stock shifter boot and knob may be vinyl and plastic or leather. Even on top trim level cars, the shifter boot is very cheap material - I think it might be the thinnest bonded leather I've ever seen or leatherette.
Here's my source for replacement shifter boots for your Volkswagen or Audi. They sell OEM, vinyl, and leather replacement parts. The one I chose was a complete assembly.
Use a plastic pry tool to remove the surround trim and pull it up. Do not use a screwdriver as this may leave gouges in the plastic!
Flip the boot up and remove the ring clamp. You can now remove the whole assembly. Note the shaft of the shifter and how the knob will only go on one way.
If you have a replacement assembly, installation is the reverse of removal. Make sure the soundproofing rubber is in place or else you'll probably notice additional noise! If the shifter is not seated all the way, use a gentle mallet with cloth padding to tap the shifter down. Also double check the shifter shaft vs. the shifter knob orientation.
If you only have a boot or knob, you have to separate the knob. Pry the plastic ring clamp away from the knob. The knob is now loose. If you only have a boot, you have to remove the staples from the plastic inner holder and restaple them. Installation is the reverse of removal.