How to remove the center console mk5 VW

back to 1000q: mk5 VW Jetta and Golf FAQ and "how to"
difficulty: 1/5


This article shows how to remove and replace the mk5 VW Jetta/Golf center console and armrest

If you wish to convert the regular center console to the MDI/CD changer slot center console it needs to come out. I rate this procedure 1/5 but it's a pain in the butt because of clearance and all the small screws. If you just need to adjust the parking brake, you can dremel a small hole as shown in 1000q: mk5 parking brake adjustment. If you need to replace the parking brake cable the center console has to come out. If you need to replace the cupholders the screws are under the center console so it needs to come out as well.

If you have any questions about this procedure, please ask in the VW and Audi TDI forum.


T20 torx screwdriver
plastic trim removal tools


Remove the rear console trim.  2009 and later VW Jetta TDI have a 115V household outlet plug, 2005-2006 have a cubby which can be removed with 2x torx screws.
center console removal

Remove the MDI adapter, iPod dock, or CD changer you have the media bay armrest.  If yours doesn't look like this you have the regular armrest - remove the rubber mat and the screw underneath.  See 1000q: ipod and aux-in for a compatibility chart of OEM iPod adapters and solutions and how to remove the media bay. As a quick tip, after you insert the removal keys, stick your hand through the rear of the armrest hole where the cubby was and press the cd changer up from the bottom. It's too heavy to pull up using the keys - the keys just release the locks.
vw cd changer

Pull the rear panel off and remove 4x T-20 torx screws (3 visible below). If you don't want to remove the upper armrest, just remove the white screw and the one on the other side. The cover under the armrest can now be removed.
armrest removal

Slide the front seats all the way back. If you want more clearance you can remove them, see 1000q: mk5 seat removal for details.

Remove this cover using a pick and the T20 screw underneath it. Remove the trim. There are some hooks along the side so wiggle it while pulling it down.
center console removal

Also remove 2x T20 screws shown below. Use trim tools to pry off the outlined piece. A metal screwdriver will gouge the soft plastic so just buy the trim tools - you can find them very cheaply at harbor freight.
center console removal

Underneath it are 2x T20 screws per side. Remove them.
console removal vw

Pull the shifter boot up and/or pop the shifter boot surround trim up. Remove the 2x T20 screws holding the ashtray and unplug the cigarette lighter and any buttons. Set the ashtray assembly aside. Work around the boot and the beige soundproofing, no need to remove it.
shifter removal vw

Remove any remaining screws. It helps to remove the handbrake trim (middle left and right T20 screws) so you can get some more movement. Once the handbrake trim is removed, pull the handbrake HARD. This will give you maximum clearance to get the console out.
handbrake removal vw

Wiggle it out. Here are some pics with the trim removed showing the screw holes.
vw handbrake adjustment

Note the rear air vent duct - it goes under the center console.
vw handbrake lever

Here are some removed pieces. I removed the front-inner trim pieces (T20 with painted screws) but I don't think you have to remove them to get the console off.
center console removal jetta

Installation is the reverse of removal. The side-lower panels (the long ones with 1 screw) and the front-inner (the ones with the painted screws) should clip and click into place, no click = isn't sitting right. Pat yourself on the back if you don't have any "leftover" screws!

If you have any questions on center console removal or replacement on the mk5 Jetta/Golf or Audi A3 TDI, feel free to ask in the myturbodiesel Audi and VW TDI forum or search below: