How to Remove a Car's Dashboard

Updated February 21, 2017

A car's dashboard is often exposed to the sun and other elements that can cause the material to contract and expand, creating fading and brittle fabric. It will often develop cracks or other damage that warrants replacement of the dashboard. Removing the dashboard from your vehicle, while challenging, is not prohibitively difficult to do. By following a few simple procedures, you can remove your dashboard in a very short time.

Detach the negative battery cable from the car's battery to prevent any electrical damage when removing the dashboard. Be careful to put the cable in a position where it will not come in contact with any metal, creating sparks.

Undo the screws in the glovebox and pull the box out of the dashboard. Unhook any fasteners or clips holding the glovebox door in place. Undo all the screws on the lower piece of the dashboard and allow the lower dashboard to come loose and drop to the floor board.

Unhook the faceplate of the car radio and use a screwdriver to unfasten the radio bracket. Unhook the electrical wiring from the back of the radio and slide the radio out of the dashboard.

Undo all the screws on the top section of the dashboard with a screwdriver. You will also find screws on the sides and underneath the dashboard that need to be removed in order to loosen the dashboard.

Slide the dashboard forward so you can get access to the back of it. You will need to get underneath the dashboard in order to undo the electrical wiring for the gauges and other devices on the dashboard. Once you have removed all the wiring and attachments, pull the upper dashboard out and remove it from the vehicle.


Label the wiring and harnesses with masking tape so you can remember where the wires were attached.

Things You'll Need

  • Crescent wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Black marker
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About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.