How to DIY install homelink or a garage door remote in the center console in a VW Golf or Jetta

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This article shows a hidden installation of a homelink remote as a garage door opener.  The switch used is the blank button next to the ESP button.  If your car has a tire pressure monitor reset button there, just use the next blank button.  It will work on any 2005/2006 and newer Volkswagen Golf or VW Jetta.  The detailed pictures and procedure are from 71sbeetle who got the original idea from Fuze and richbking.  Another writeup was done by yanimac.

Parts for home link installation in a VW Golf TDI

* Torx 20 driver
* Trim tool (not necessary but recommended)
* Flashlight or well lit work area where the car is
* Soldering iron
* Solder
* Electrical wires (I used black/red for remote power and yellow for remote switch)
* Wire cutters
* Wire stripper/crimper
* Momentary push button switch (I used Radio Shack 275-1566 which is a soft touch, if you'd like a click type for more button feedback you can use 275-618 which I believe has the same dimensions around the switch button)
* 2 wire taps with their male electrical connector
* Screwdriver to take your remote apart (mine had a small Phillips screw on it)
* Garage door remote (I used the one that came with my Garage door opener since it was powered by a 12 volt battery, it's a Genie GIT-1)
* Rotary tool (Dremel) with cutting disc and round file
* File
* Super Glue (gel type is best)

Most of these are shown here:

Start by removing your stock shifter base trim, you can use the trim tool there, I just grabbed the front part of it and pulled it off (passenger side came out much easier on my car).  

Here is a picture of the clips that hold the trim in:

Below that, you will see two Torx 20 screws holding the ashtray piece that contains the buttons, remove these:

Lift the ashtray piece up and unplug the two connectors (one for the ESP switch, one for the cigarette lighter), then take the ashtray piece out of the car:

As you can see, there is plenty of room below the ashtray to fit your remote:

Take your remote apart.  You will be left with the circuit board with battery in place (mine uses a 12 volt battery, but a lot of garage door opener use a 3 volt battery). If your remote uses a 12V battery, you can hardwire it to the car and never have to worry about the battery going bad (you do not re-use the battery). If it uses a 3V battery, you will not be hard wiring the remote to the car, you will have to replace your remote's battery when it goes bad (to give you an idea, my remote's battery went bad after almost 9 years of daily use so they last quite a long time usually).

Now locate the switch on the remote, on the opposite side you will see that all the switch does is connect 2 parts of the PC board and that activates your remote. Now what you have to do is solder a wire to each one of these point. Each wire will go to one of the two terminals on your switch. If you have a 12V remote and want to hard wire it, now is the time to solder wires to the battery terminals, please pay attention to the polarity. I used black for ground (-) and red for power (+). I know both wires look red but one is red/black on my wires. Make the wires long enough for them to come out of the remote and to your switch and power connection:

Use the round file on the Dremel to make 4 notches in the case of the remote to feed the wires thru, and re-assemble your remote (I removed the rubber button from the remote so it wouldn't get pressed inadvertently:

Take your ashtray piece, flip it over and remove the blank switch you wish to use, I am using the one next to the ESP button, you can always swap the 3 center buttons around later if you change your mind on the location of the switch, each end switch are a different shape though:

This is what the blank switch looks like when removed:

Now take your push button switch and match it up to the blank, you will see that the switch surround is a little too big to fit into the blank so you need to file two sides down in order to make it fit. While you're at it, file the top of the push button switch to roughen it up, it will make the super glue stick better:

Now the switch should fit in the blank freely, insert it in the blank until the top of the button touches the underside of the blank (the part you will be pressing), make sure you do not compress the button when you do that. Now superglue the switch into the blank, doing it that way ensures the switch will be level/even with the other blanks when not in use:

When the superglue has dried, you will need to take your Dremel with the cutting tool and cut the whole top part of the blank off, which will become your button:

You will need to clearance the top "button" in order for it not to hit the ashtray trim and allow it to move down, in order to do so, you will need to cut or shave two sides of the underside of the button, front and back (as viewed when installed in the car), this is what it will look like:

Now place your push button switch with the blank surround into the ashtray trim piece:

Glue the top button onto the push button switch, do not use too much glue, or it will run down the sides of the push button and lock it in place. Also make sure your button is centered. The switch will have a little side to side play so the button may look a little off center but can be centered:

Solder each wire coming from the remote's switch to each post of the push button switch, make sure they do not short out:

(optional) Wrap the remote into some foam to prevent rattles/creaks once it is in the center console, it is also a good idea to put some velcro on it if you want to secure in there.

Go back to your car and get ready to re-install the ashtray assembly. If you have the remote hard wired, you will need to tap the ground and power wires off of the cigarette lighter (brown is ground, red/black is power). This will provide a switched power source, so if your key is not in the accessory position or ignition on position, the remote will not work. You can also wire it to the fuse box if you want it powered all the time. If you are not hard wiring it, you will always have power since it will be powered by the internal remote battery. Now place the remote in your desired location below the ashtray area

Re-install the ashtray pieces, re-install the two Torx 20 screws, and clip the shifter base trim back on, that's it, you're done, enjoy the stealth garage door opener and the extra space of not having to keep the remote somewhere

There's also the option of labeled buttons but they are expensive:

If you have any questions, please post in the forums or search for the post below: