I was searching for a solution to my sticky cup holder problem and saw many posts about the
dealer replacing them under warranty. This must be the case for others so maybe you'll find this useful.
Sticky caused by:
Sugar (i.e. Soda): use hot water to get the sugars off
Other sticky stuff: try WD-40
No good reason: See below.
I had a cup holder that would not come out, so I had to take it all apart.
Once I got it out, I found that the cup holder was unable to move freely.
To fix this, I used a nail file (emery board) to file down the left and right sides of
the cup holder where it touches the cup holder housing.
I had to file off quite a bit before it was able to slide free again. Once it was
working, I added some graphite lubricant and all was good again.
To remove the cup holder from the seats:
1. Pull the rear bench seat up. (Optional, Recommended)
Pull up on the outermost corner (either) or the bench seat and as the seat
lifts, continue tugging the seat and move your hands in towards the center
hump. Pull up until the clips which hold the seat in pop out. Repeat this
process for the other side. (I did not remove the seat from the car, just
brought it up far enough to work on it.)
2. Remove the cup holder trim frame. Four clips hold the
trim frame in place.
Insert a flat-bladed screwdriver behind one
side of the trim frame and pry the screwdriver's handle away from the seat.
You may want to do this in several locations along one side to keep the trim
frame from breaking. The clips may make a popping noise when released.
Repeat this process on the opposite side, and then move to the top to
release the clips there.
3. Remove the cup holder assembly. Two clips above the
cup holder assembly hold it in place.
Using two very
small flat-bladed screwdrivers, wedge the tips of the screwdrivers between
the edge of the cup holder assembly and the clips. With the screwdrivers in
place, pull the cup holder assembly out (I used needle-nose pliers). Repeat
this process for the other cup holder assembly. This process can be done
with the cup holder extended or retracted.
To disassemble the cup holder:
1. Remove the tensioning gear. Two clips hold the
tensioning gear in place. With the cup holder retracted, the rear tensioning
gear can be accessed through a circular opening in the cup holder housing.
Using a very small flat-bladed screw driver, release the gear's clip. After
one is released, the other will come out without using a tool.
2. Remove the cup holder from the cup holder housing.
Extend the cup holder. A square plastic protrusion slides with the cup
holder in the rail on the bottom of the cup holder housing. To release this,
pull up on the inside of the rail on the cup holder housing so that the square plastic piece can slip
out and the cup holder will come away from the cup holder housing. Be careful
not to lose the spring when sliding the cup holder out.