If you need to get access to the heater controls or your stereo unit on your W201, you will need to remove the center console. While this is a relatively straight forward job, I would recommend you take lots of pictures of the wiring behind the console for reinstallation purposes. Mercedes-Benz made several changes to the interior on the different years and models of the 190-Series, but they are all similar enough that this article should get you through it.
Begin by pulling the knob on the fan control switch straight back and off.
Next, open the ashtray panel and remove the ashtray. With the ashtray out you will be able to see the two screws holding the ashtray assembly to the console. Using a Phillips-head screwdriver remove these two screws and the ashtray assembly from the console by disconnecting the wiring harness. With the ashtray assembly out you can now remove the two Phillips-head screws holding the bottom of the console to the tunnel mounting plate.
There are two Phillips-head screws under the climate control panel that you will need to remove. You will need to look up and under the bottom of the face plate to see these.
Next, using small needle-nose pliers, remove the center vents. If your vents are in good shape, place a rag around the pliers and pull the vents straight out. They are just held in by friction. With the vents out, remove the two Phillips-head screws at each end of the center vent plate.
You can now pull the center console up and out from the center tunnel.
Carefully turn it sideways and remove the wires connecting to the radio and climate controls.
Installation is the reverse of removal.
Begin by removing the knob on the fan switch, it just pulls straight off.
Next, remove the center vents. If your vents are in good shape wrap a small cloth around some needle-nose pliers and pull them straight out. If your vents are in the same shape as the ones on our project car, using a cloth will not make any difference.
Comments: This was very informative. I found the two screws that are holding my ashtray in on my 1991 300E2.6 but the ashtray only comes out partly. It seems that it is binding or something else is holding it in. Any ideas what could be holding it in partially? I need to remove it so that I can access the window switches situated between the car seats.
January 20, 2014
Followup from the Pelican Staff: There may be a retaining spring. Can you share a photo of how far out you have it? - Nick at Pelican Parts
Comments: Thanks Nick - I'll have a look when it stops raining in UK!
January 4, 2014
Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Comments: Very useful info - thank you. have got 1993 190E no aircon fitted. No hot air on drivers side right hand drive Right hand heater control knob is easier to turn than one on left I think something may have become detached. What is minimum to dismantle please to see if rod or hydraulics detached? thank you - happy new year!
December 25, 2013
Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can remove the control panel and see if manually selecting modes helps. This will help you narrow down the control panel or other component. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Comments: Found your answer to someone else concerning removal of center console and ashtray with pictures very satisfying. Thank you for your site
July 23, 2013
Followup from the Pelican Staff: You are welcome, glad the diy was helpful.
Check out some other sample projects from the book: