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Removing Your Audi A4 Instrument Cluster
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your Audi A4 Instrument Cluster

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$500

Talent:

**

Tools:

T25 Torx, small flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New instrument cluster

Hot Tip:

Slide the steering wheel as far away from the dash as it will go

Performance Gain:

Reliable, bright gauges

Complementary Modification:

Clean everything while you're in there

The instrument cluster on your car is the primary method for transmitting the information on the performance and health of the vehicle. Not only does the instrument cluster tell you how fast you are going it also monitors the vital systems on the vehicle and reports any trouble. Most modern gauge clusters are now mostly digital and take the signal from the sensors and transmit them into trouble lights (commonly referred to as idiot lights) in the cluster). When instruments were analog and directly connected to the system by a cable or other means you could see when problems would start to arise in the vehicle. Now when something malfunctions you only know about if from a check engine or other light; this is one reason why you need to have a proper functioning instrument cluster or gauge pod.

Removing the instrument cluster on your Audi A4 is not a difficult job; you can even do it without removing the steering wheel. The instrument cluster is a self-contained sealed unit and unfortunately there is very little work you can do on it other than clean the contact points or replace it.

Note: If you are replacing the instrument cluster you will have to have the new cluster coded after you install it.

Open the hood and slide the cover located by the windshield over and off the battery.
Figure 1

Open the hood and slide the cover located by the windshield over and off the battery. Disconnect the negative battery cable (red arrow). Make sure you place it so it can't make accidental contact with the battery.

Using the steering column adjustment located on the underside of the steering column, pull the steering wheel away from the dash (yellow arrow) and lower (green arrow) it as far is it will go.
Figure 2

Using the steering column adjustment located on the underside of the steering column, pull the steering wheel away from the dash (yellow arrow) and lower (green arrow) it as far is it will go. This will give you more room to work. While the cluster can be removed with the steering wheel on, if you are getting frustrated by the lack of working space you can remove the wheel. Please see our article on steering wheel removal for additional assistance.

Pull the center trim piece straight back from the cluster (red arrow).
Figure 3

Pull the center trim piece straight back from the cluster (red arrow). The piece is fragile and will only need hand pressure to get it out. It simply pulls straight back and out from the two plastic clips (one on each side).

In the center of the cluster on each side of the steering column is access for the T25 Torx screws that hold the cluster in place (red arrows).
Figure 4

In the center of the cluster on each side of the steering column is access for the T25 Torx screws that hold the cluster in place (red arrows). If you have a magnetic Torx driver you should use it to help remove the screws from the tight space in the dash.

Use a long handled T25 Torx and remove the screws (red arrows).
Figure 5

Use a long handled T25 Torx and remove the screws (red arrows).

Wiggle and pull and slide the cluster out from the dash (red arrow).
Figure 6

Wiggle and pull and slide the cluster out from the dash (red arrow). If the cluster is really stuck and you are sure that the screws are unfastened. you can use or make a small hook on the end of a wire coat hanger to slip behind the cluster and assist in pulling it forward.

Tilt the cluster on one side; we started disconnecting on the left side.
Figure 7

Tilt the cluster on one side; we started disconnecting on the left side. Use a small flathead screwdriver and slide the hinge (red arrow) on the harness back away from the cluster.

The hinge will push the harness out from the cluster so you can unplug it.
Figure 8

The hinge will push the harness out from the cluster so you can unplug it.

There is less room to work on the right side so use care and slide the hinge away from the cluster (red arrow).
Figure 9

There is less room to work on the right side so use care and slide the hinge away from the cluster (red arrow).

This photo illustrates the two wiring harnesses (red arrows) that need to connect to the back of the cluster.
Figure 10

This photo illustrates the two wiring harnesses (red arrows) that need to connect to the back of the cluster. Installation is the reverse of removal. Remember, if you are installing a new cluster you will need to reprogram it.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Bearuk Comments: Thanks Nick. Too complicated for me so I decided to sell it instead! Removing the steering wheel and sourcing the Audi tool was much more than I had hoped for. I won't miss it, something was always breaking or going wrong with it!
September 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
BearUK Comments: Seems my photo didn't upload. Well, my Audi A4 2004 convertible is a 3.0,and it seems to have a different dashboard to the other variants!
September 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Seems Quattro models also have that style cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BearUK Comments: Seemsd my photo didn't upload. Well, my Audi A4 2004 convertible is a 3.0,and it seems to have a different dashboard to the other variants!
September 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Seems Quattro models also have that style cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BEARUK Comments: I don't know what Audi A4 the photos show, but my Audi A4 2004 convertible doesn't have a dash like that. Mine looks like the photo...there's no trim piece to remove.
September 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On your model, remove the steering wheel and column trim, then use Audi tool 3370 to pull the cluster out, inserting the hook at the bottom and pulling. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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