Tech Article Title Author Date
S4 Armrest Fix Mike Hawley 2005
Many people on this forum have had their armrest pivot function break which causes the armrest to be stuck in the up position, but still allows the armrest lid to open and close. A list of tools you will need is here:
  1. Ratchet
  2. Long extension (~6in)
  3. 14mm socket
  4. 10mm socket
  5. 8 mm socket
  6. Small flat screwdriver
  7. medium size flat screwdriver
  8. wire cutters
  9. T8 size torx
  10. 3/32 drill bit and drill
  11. Instant adhesive
  12. wire coat hanger
To begin you must remove the center console. I followed the FAQ in the tech section to do this, but basically remove the rear ashtray and you will see two 14 mm nuts; remove these nuts (see pic). Next, pull out the cup holder next to the parking brake and remove the 14mm nut there (see pic).

Next, slide the front seats all the way back and you will see to rubber covers on the side of the center console, take the rubber covers off (one on each side) and remove the 8mm bolt (see pic).

Then you have to pull the leather covers off the parking brake; there is a tab between the handle section and the rear plastic/leather trim (see pic).

Flip the tab using the small screwdriver (best done when the parking brake pulled up high, see pic of tab).

Pull the covers off towards the front of the car. Now you can remove the center console: pull up the shifter surround (don't remove) then lift up the center console and pull it back slightly. Reach under the center console and disconnect the R45 connector and the lighter connector and remove the center console with armrest.

Now there are two ways to go from here. One way is to work on the armrest attached to the center console, but this is a bit bulky - I removed it. To remove the armrest, undo the 10 mm screw on the underside of the armrest casting (don't use it to drive the armrest taper out, the screw is aluminum and will bend, see pic).

This is a slight press-fit, so in order to get the armrest out if the casting, I actually had to put it back into the car. I placed the center console back in using the three 14mm nuts and then pulled the armrest up by wiggling it back and forth to break the taper fit.

Now the fun begins. Feel on the front inside felt liner of the armrest and you should be able to find 4 screws (They have the fuzz on them but you can feel the cool metal, see pic for location).

Remove these torx screws and pull the front trim and release handle forward and separate the release handle from the trim. Now you will see where the tabs are broken (see pic).

Audi used small plastic tabs that eventually break (see pics).

Use the 3/32 drill bit to drill through the location where the tab broke, drill through both bulkheads on one
side and repeat on the other side (see pic).

Now slide the coat hanger through the holes to the center, cut the coat hanger to length and repeat on the other side (see pic).

Apply a little instant adhesive to the coat hanger wires to lock them in place (see pic).

To put the trim and the release handle back onto the armrest, you must put the release handle back into the trim surround. Press the handle to the release position and slide the assembly around the metal tabs on the armrest making sure the spring goes back onto its stub correctly. Screw the four torx screws back into the trim. Reassemble the armrest and center console and put it back into the car. Enjoy - you are done.

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