How to Take the Dash Out of Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The dash on a Vehicles is separated into two sections, and each half contains multiple trim panels in addition to the components such as the radio, the heater controls and the instrument cluster. How much of the dash you need to remove depends on the service you need to perform and the parts within that you need to replace. Removing the entire dash is a long process, and you must keep track of every part removed Vehicles reinstallation.

Under The Hood:

 How to Take the Dash Out of a 2005 Corolla

Trim Panels

Disconnect the car's negative battery cable.

Pry off the bezel beneath the gear shift lever using a trim stick. Disconnect the electrical connector behind the shift lever.

Pull out the center knob on the heater panel and remove the screw behind it. Detach the clips at each corner of the lower center trim panel with a small screwdriver. Remove the panel and unplug its electrical connectors.

Remove the screws at the bottom of the upper center trim panel. These are only accessible after removing the lower panel. Pry off the upper panel with the trim stick and disconnect the electrical connectors.

Detach the three screws at the bottom of the steering column cover with your screwdriver. Detach both halves of the cover. Tilt the column to its lowest position.

Pull out the single push pin along the underside of the instrument cluster bezel. Pry the bezel off its clips with your trim stick or screwdriver to remove it.

Open the glove box and remove the single screw located at the right side of the compartment. Squeeze the compartment on its sides and remove it.

Unscrew and remove the center console. Some of the screws are within the console storage compartment.


Loosen the Torx screws on the steering wheel with a Torx wrench. The wheel needs to be turned straight, and the screws still won't completely come out. Slide the air bag off the wheel and unplug its electrical connectors.

Unplug the cruise control's electrical connector if there is one. Mark the steering wheel's relationship to the shaft with a marker. Remove the central nut with a wrench and disconnect the steering wheel with a puller.

Disconnect the passenger air bag's yellow electrical connectors, located within the open glove box space.

Remove the single screw for the instrument cluster with your screwdriver. Pry and release the two bottom clips, pull out the instrument cluster and disconnect its electrical connectors.

Pull the heater control panel out of the dash, disconnecting the heater control cables and the electrical connectors to the AC and blower switches.

Pry out the trim panels along the front door scuff plates and the windshield pillars. Pry off all the vent grilles. Unscrew and remove the kick panels near the corners of the door frame.

Remove the two screws and one bolt for the upper half of the dash with your screwdriver/wrench. Release the dash from its clips to remove it.

Disconnect the hood release handle from the lower dash, prying out its clip, releasing the cable from the handle and prying off the plastic housing. Separate the diagnostic connector, located at the left edge of the dash.

Remove all the screws and pins for the lower dash and remove it. If the dash does not come off easily, locate and remove any remaining fasteners.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Trim stick

  • Torx wrench

 How to Take Off the Dash on a Corolla

1999 to 2002 Corolla

Find the edges of the dash panel where the stereo is located.

Look up from the bottom to find the two rectangular holes for a flat tool, such as a screwdriver.

Insert the end of a screwdriver into one of the rectangular holes and pry out the panel. Repeat this step for the other rectangular hole.

Pull the plastic panel out to separate it from the rest of the dash.

2003 to 2008 Corolla

Remove the trim panel that is covering the gear shifter, if you have a standard transmission vehicle. Insert the end of a screwdriver into the edges of the panel and gently pry up.

Pull off the air conditioning knob in the center of the console to expose a Phillips screw. Remove the screw with a Phillips screwdriver. You will need to remove this screw to pull out the stereo assembly unit from the dash.

Remove the trim panel by inserting a flat object, such as a screwdriver, into the edges of the panel. Gently pry it out.

2009 Corolla

Find the edges of the trim panels that are located on each side of the factory-installed radio.

Insert a flat object, such as a screwdriver, into the edges of the side trim panels and gently pry them off.

Insert the screwdriver under the vent panel above the radio and gently pry up to release the clips. Once the clips have been released, pull the panel out.

Items you will need

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Take The Dash Off Of a 2004 Dodge Neon

Disconnect the negative battery cable by loosening the bolt with a wrench and sliding it off the battery terminal. The battery is on the right side of the engine compartment and the negative cable is black. Wait two minutes before disassembling the dash.

Pry out the A-pillar trim pieces. Start from the top of the panels.

Pull sharply on the leading edge of the top cover above the instrument panel, then pull the panel towards you to remove.

Remove the instrument panel bezel by pulling it towards you.

Unscrew the two screws from the bottom edge of the lower left panel. Pull back on the lower edge of the panel to remove it.

Pry the storage bin out from under the dash by pulling on the corners.

Pull off the climate control knobs. Tilt the center vents down and pull them straight out.

Unscrew the two screws located in the vent openings. Rotate the top of the bezel out, then pull straight back.

Remove the three screws from the underside of the glovebox. Open the glovebox and squeeze the sides in to slide it out the bottom of the dash.

Items you will need

  • Wrench, 10mm

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

More Articles

article divider