How to remove upper dash on 96 A4? [Archive] - Audi Forums

: How to remove upper dash on 96 A4?

09-09-2007, 12:48 PM
I have a 1996 audi A4, the dash is warping on the sides and by the pass airbag. also have a blank odometer, all other dash lights work. I was hoping someone could share some tips on how to remove the upper dash panel and repair the odometer. I have not attempted to remove it yet, I really would like to know what fixing the odometer entails before ripping anything apart.

Thank you

a8 tech
09-09-2007, 03:08 PM



50355032 lower the steering wheel to its lowest point and follow the pictures.If you require a new dash then diagnostic equipment required (vag com)to code in the dash and possible keys.



09-09-2007, 07:52 PM
Thank you very much A8 tech, I think I can fix the dash cover but my main concern is what to do about my blank odometer. Im not sure if its just a light or a gauge cluster? Will I cause myself any problems if I pull the cluster to inspect or will it disturb the computer?

11-21-2010, 09:10 PM
I have a 96 A4 Quattro V6 with the same problem. As for the blank odometer I took the instrument panel out and check it out because some of the bulbs were out and it turns out that the led odometer was indeed working but the bulb that lights it up was out. Just pull it out and take one of the working bulbs from another part of the panel and put in there and it should work. Taking out the instrument panel is fairly easy, but you’ll have to take the steering wheel off because the cables are short and you’ll need the room to work around it.

As for the dash, mine is warped at the same places so I took it out. I can’t stress how HARD and complicated this is!!!!! This things are not built to be taken out, if you really want to fix it, I urge you to pay someone to do it. If you decide to do it you should first check out the repair info in the site (some of it is what A8 Tech posted) and at least get the Haynes repair manual. What I can tell you about the procedure is the following:

You’re going to have to take out:
- Center Console (the arm rest part and the shifter part)
- Radio, A/C Control panel Assembly
- Glove compartment
- Driver side Knee Panel
- Both Covers by the doors, where the fuses are (as shown in the pictures posted by A8 Tech)
- Passenger side Airbag
- Driver side Airbag
- Steering Wheel
- Steering Column Covers
- Instrument Panel

Surprises not mentioned in the book or the site:

-You have to take out the Steering wheel because the two screws on top of the wheel are just to take out the instrument panel. Under that, deeper behind the steering column Top Cover are two more screws at a downward 45 degree angle holding the dash.

-All the air conducts are held in place by springs (I think 4 or 5 of them). You’ll have to take those out.

-The brace that holds the passenger air bag it’s held in place to the chassis and the dash. You’ll have to take that apart as well, including the electronic module on top of the air bag.

-There are two big plastic clips on each side above and behind where the radio is supposed to be (they are some wwhat hard to find). You'll have to pry those open with a long screw driver.

-The air outlet on top of the dash for the windshield defogger has some kind of sensor. You’ll have to unplug that before you pull the dash all the way out.

-Once the dash is free you’ll have to wrestle with it to take it out because all the air conducts are in the way. (there is a lip the dash has that interferes with these ducts).

This is how I managed to take the dash out I don’t even know if I’ll be able to put it back! LOL

Finally the dash is warped because the vinyl comes unglued from the foam cushioning under it. Obviously this foam it’s a very bad surface to try to glue it back together. Any suggestions on what product to use will be appreciated. Also the airbag cover is pressed on real hard, so to get it back where it belongs won’t be easy. I’ll probably take it to an upholster to fix it up that’s why I think I should’ve taken it to a professional in the first place.
Hope this is useful, best of luck!