Date registered: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia, PA (USA)
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Removing overhead console, lessons learned
I had intended to remove the overhead console in order to tap into an ignition switched power source for a windshield mounted Garmin c340 GPS unit. I managed to remove the console without breaking any plastic parts but I did damage a couple of things. Fortunately I was able to recover without a visit to the dealer.
After an unsuccessful attempt to identify an ignition switched power source, I ended up giving up and picking up power from the lighter socket in the ashtray.
Just in case anyone needs to remove the console to replace a light bulb, here are the basic steps.
1) Unsnap the cover around the stem of the mirror.
2) Disengage the retainer from this cover in order to completely remove the cover to allow access to the remote clip disengagement buttons (not sure what these are really called).
3) There are two black "buttons" on either side of opening around the mirror stem. Press in slightly while pulling down on the front edge of the console.
4) Pull down the rear edge of the console but be careful not to damage any cables. There are a lot of cables attached to the console. If you disconnect the cables, I recommend taking several digital pictures first to use as a reference. The cable ends are color coded to the various sockets.
When re-installing the console I found that it is easier to start by putting the front edge in place first then push up the back edge.
The plastic cover in front of the console that covers the rain sensor can be removed by applying steady downward pressure on both sides, one side at a time. It's not easy to remove but it's possible.
I managed to tear the ribbon cable runing from the console to the rain sensor. One of the three leads was severed. I scraped off a small amount of insulation on each side of the tear and soldered a "jumper" across the break. I wrapped some electrical tape around the repair. Seems to work okay. I will price a new cable and replace it if I ever need to deal with a warranty repair in the console.
I also managed to screw up the sun roof by probing around with a volt meter and ohm meter. Messing up the sun roof was the thing that convinced me to give up on tapping into the power in the overhead console. It's relatively easy to tap into the lighter power plug and run the cable to the lower corner of the windshield on the driver side (US model).
After exploring the various power sources in the overhead console, the sun roof behaved very oddly. I lost the express open/close feature and the sunroof would only move an inch or so at a time in either direction. Up and down movement did not correspond with the up and down motion of the switch in the console. I was fully expecting to be facing a $500+ repair bill.
I decided to verify that the relevant fuses were not blown before visiting the dealer and trying to explain what happened. The sunroof and just about everything else in the console is run through fuse 009 in the trunk (9th position starting from floor of trunk. I removed the fuse and confirmed that it was NOT blown. I verified that this was the correct fuse by confirming nothing in the console worked when it was removed. However I did note that the SOS light still lit when starting the car.
I was very fortunate. Removing the fuse apparently reset the sunroof system. It now works normally.
Recommendation: Don't fool around with the circuits in the overhead console.