As you know, I have custom carbon fiber trim by oCarbon installed on my Audi A4, so when I went to trade it in, I put the factory (OEM) trim back in so I could keep my carbon fiber trim for my S4. I took pictures of the whole process so I could create a trim removal guide. This applies to any B6 or B7 Audi in sedan or avant format (cabrio/convertible is different) including the A4, S4 and RS4. I used this guide as a basis (also worth a read) then elaborated on a few areas that needed a little more detail. By the way, if you want a new look for your trim, I highly recommend oCarbon – they are experts at what they do and can let you customize the carbon fiber color, weave & pattern to you’re liking. I went with a custom pattern called 5HS which you’ll see pictured below, and I think it came out awesome, just slightly more aggressive looking than OEM for that OEM+ look I know and love.
Step 1 – Door Trim Removal
Start with the doors because they’re easiest, and I’d recommend starting with the rear doors because if you mess up those will be the least noticeable. Use a flat headed screwdriver and wrap the tip in tape so it doesn’t scratch anything. Gently pry the piece out starting near the front of the car – there are 6 prongs that hold it in. Once the first one or two pop out you can pretty much remove the rest by just pulling on it with your hands:
Repeat on all four doors. The new trim just pops right in using your hands. Like I said, this is the easiest part…it will probably only take a few minutes per door.
Step 2 – Rear Ashtray Removal
I did the rear ashtray next because it’s also very easy. There are two prongs on either side that hold it in. wedge your screwdriver on the side of it and pry it out. It works best to push it either all the way towards the left side or all the way towards the right side to get one of the prongs out, then once one side is out it will simply fall right out.
The new unit just pops right in. We’re making good progress!
Step 3 – Front Ashtray & Shifter Plate Removal
Now we’re starting to get a little trickier, although still fairly easy. Remove the ashtray cover first as it makes it easier to access the shifter. There are three prongs on the bottom of the trim that go into the three holes above. Pull the trim towards you (towards the shifter) and it will come unhooked from the plastic part below it. You may have to give it a good tug. Here is a picture of the underside of the trim:
The replacement piece pops in the same way, but don’t put that in quite yet, remove & replace the shifter trim first.
For an automatic, the shifter trim can also be removed using the tape-wrapped screwdriver. Be VERY gentle! If you have aluminum or fishscale trim, you can bend or warp the trim which looks really bad.
For a manual you need to remove the leather shifter boot first, which can be done by squeezing together the clips that hold the boot in place. Now that you have the shifter trim out, replace the shifter trim and ashtray by popping in the shifter trim then aligning the asthtray prongs with the holes and sliding it in place.
Step 4 – Headlight Switch Trim Removal
Okay, now on to the somewhat more difficult stuff. It’s not really that hard, but it requires tools other than a tape-wrapped screwdriver, haha. Start by removing the plastic covers on both sides of the car (the fuse panel on the drivers side and the passengers side cover)
Next, you’ll remove the trim underneath the steering wheel. It’s fairly easy, just three bolts and it comes out. They are pictured below:
With those three bolts removed, the entire lower dash drops to the floor and out of your way. You can also pull the big fuse labeled “640” at this time to disable the Servotronic/power steering assist and give your car a much tighter and firmer steering wheel feel.
Next, go ahead and remove the trim. There are two bolts holding it in, one on either side of the trim:
One more minor thing – you need to remove the headlight switch from the trim. Turn the switch between the 0 and Auto positions and push it in. It will go in about an inch and you’ll feel it when it goes in, so if you’re having trouble adjust the position of the knob until it works. Once the switch/knob is pushed in, you need to turn it to the right and it will pull out.
The wiring harness just pops out of the back when you press in the clips on either side of the plug, and then you can remove the switch from the trim completely:
You can then install the new trim in the same way (but reverse order) that you removed the trim. You can go ahead and reinstall the lower dash area and fuse box cover as well – you’re done with those! Only one piece left…
Step 5 – Dash Trim Removal
The last piece! First, pop out the plastic trim above the warning symbol/drink holder/card holder. It just pulls right off. That will expose a few bolts you need to remove. Also pull of the cover on the side of the passengers dashboard (exactly where the fuse box cover was on the drivers side, only there are no fuses on this side). Lastly, open the glove box.
With the bolts removed, gently pull on the trim to remove it.
To install the new trim, pop it into place then tighten all four bolts. Then replace the two plastic covers and you’re all done!
If you’re anything like me, the last step of any mod install is to admire it by going on a nice, long spirited drive. Enjoy your new trim!