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Dash Removal Instructions

Updated March 21, 2017

There may be a variety of reasons for removing part or all of the dashboard or console components on your vehicle. If you are installing a remote starter, then you will need to remove the dash to access a location for your receiver unit. If you are replacing your vehicle's ignition switch, then you will need to remove parts of the steering wheel console and lower driver's side dash components. Regardless of the reason for removing part or all of the dashboard, the process is fairly straightforward.

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  1. Disconnect the negative battery terminal from the vehicle's battery. Look underneath the steering wheel for access to the air bag electrical connection. Disconnect the air bag's electrical connection and wait for 10 minutes. It is important to not trigger the airbag safety device -- not only for your own safety and protection but also to avoid the cost of having the airbag reinstalled. Disengage the side airbags or passenger airbag if your vehicle is equipped with them.

  2. Plan which parts of the dash need to be removed for the job that you are doing. If you are removing the entire dash, make sure that you have enough space to store your dash components and their screws and bolts without losing anything.

  3. Unscrew the mounting screws (or bolts) that connect the underside of the dashboard console. Different vehicle models use different designs for the dashboard, but most will use panel bolts located on the top and underside of the dashboard assembly, meaning that you will need to expose the lower panel bolts, which are often hidden beneath the knee bolster and underside dash panels.

  4. Open the glove box of the vehicle and unscrew the glove box mounting screws. Pull out the glove box from the dashboard.

  5. Unscrew and pry off the lower, upper and centre trim panels with a flathead screwdriver. As you remove each of the components, you may want to label them with sticky notes and a pen, indicating how they fit together with each other, the order of reinstallation (the reverse of the removal process) and the screws or bolts that are used to install them. Clean each of the dash components with a lint-free cloth as the dash can collect a large amount of dust. Label each electrical connection with tape and a pen to mark the male and female ends of each electrical component.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench set with adaptors
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Sticky notes
  • Pen
  • Tape

About the Author

David McGuffin is a writer from Asheville, N.C. and began writing professionally in 2009. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and Montreat College in history and music, and a Bachelor of Science in outdoor education. McGuffin is recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar for publishing original research on postmodern music theory and analysis.

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