How to Remove The Centre Console in a W202 Mercedes

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My W202 has three small holes in the passenger side of the dashboard. These would have housed an old Nokia phone holder that would be attached to the Bluetooth system in the car. The rest of the system is still present but the holder was removed as it was simply made redundant as technology progressed.

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I couldn’t stand the sight of the three holes though, or having a system in my car that didn’t work. So I picked up the missing holder on a popular auction site!

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The screw holes in the bracket line up to those on my dashboard. Why the original fitter decided to only use three of the holes rather than four is a bit beyond me.

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Some people just use self tapping screws to hold these in place but I wanted it to be really secure and thus wanted to use a nut and bolt.

To secure the nut, I would have to get inside the dashboard which means removing the lower part of the centre console.

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It can look a little daunting to take this apart but it’s actually really easy. All you’ll need is a small Phillips head screw driver.

First thing you need to do is to take off the switch panel that surrounds the gear lever. Pop your car into neutral (making sure the parking brake is applied) and open the small compartment door to the rear of the panel/on the front of the centre arm rest.

Once you can get your hand in there, simply get your fingers under the panel and pull up. This panel will be either plastic or wood depending on the trim level of your car.

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Lift the panel up over the top of the gear stick and place it out of the way. There is a wiring loom coming away from this panel held in place by a plug. You could remove this but I just rested the panel on the driver’s seat. The wires were more than long enough!

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The next step is to remove the little rubber compartment in front of the ashtray.

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I believe on pre-facelifted cars this is held in place by two screws, however on my facelifted car it was held in place by two tabs. They can be a little stiff but it is just a case of pulling it up and out of the way.

Here was can see one of the tabs. There is one on each side of the compartment.

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Here are the grooves in which that tab sits. You’ll also notice the two brass coloured screws to either side. These hold the ash tray in and will need to be removed.

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The ashtray compartment is so tightly pressed against the rubber compartment above it that you will need to remove them as a pair rather than individually. Inside the top of  the compartment, beneath the stereo, you will see two black screws. Remove these and the two compartments will pull out as one.

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With those two compartments removed, we now have access to the back of the holes!

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It’s now attached and the wires are tucked away!

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The only advice I have for putting it back together is put the ashtray in before the little compartment. I found it made things a lot easier haha!

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Now all I have to do is get myself a nice early 2000s Nokia and I’ll be able to make business calls from my car phone!

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By Richard Francis

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