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How to Remove the Dashboard on a Pontiac Vibe

by Chris Moore

Removing the dashboard on a Pontiac Vibe depends on how much of it you need to take off. You may just need to remove one or more of the trim panels. If you have to perform some maintenance that requires full removal of the instrument panel, you will need to remove several components along with both the upper and lower halves of the panel. This can take a lot of time and may require the help of another person.

Removing the Trim Panels

Step 1

Disconnect the negative terminal of the Vibe's battery, loosening the cable clamp with a wrench.

Step 2

Pull out the center knob on the heating/air conditioning controls and remove the screw behind the knob with a screwdriver. Pry out all the switches on the lower center panel with a flat-head screwdriver. Disconnect the electrical connectors behind the switches and pry the panel off its clips.

Step 3

Pry out the upper center trim panel in the same manner as the lower one and disconnect the electrical connectors behind it.

Step 4

Detach the screws for the lower half of the steering column cover with the screwdriver. Separate the two halves of the cover.

Step 5

Open the armrest compartment on the center console. Remove the screws for the console, some of which are in the compartment, and remove the console.

Step 6

Open the glove box and remove the single screw in the right corner. Squeeze the box on its sides to clear the stoppers and pull the box off its clips.

Pry off the scuff plates at the lower corners of the inner door frame. Remove the one screw for the kick panel that is behind the plate and remove the kick panel at each side of the dash.

Removing the Instrument Panel

Step 1

Unplug the electrical connector for the passenger's air bag, which is located inside the glove box opening.

Step 2

Loosen the screws for the driver's air bag with a Torx wrench until the screw's grooves catch on the screw case. Remove the air bag module from the wheel and disconnect its electrical connectors with a screwdriver.

Step 3

Mark the steering wheel's relationship to the shaft with a marker if there are no marks already. Unplug the cruise control's electrical connector if so equipped. Remove the wheel's retaining nut with a wrench. Remove the wheel with a steering wheel puller.

Step 4

Lower the steering column and pry the instrument cluster bezel from the panel. Remove the cluster's top mounting screw with a screwdriver. Pry out the bottom clips with a flat tool. Pull out the cluster and disconnect its connectors.

Step 5

Pry out the air vents in the upper instrument panel and the trim panels along the windshield pillars using a trim stick.

Step 6

Remove the three screws for the upper instrument panel with your screwdriver. Release its clips and claw tabs. Pull the panel toward the rear of the car to remove it.

Step 7

Disconnect the hood release handle from the lower instrument panel. Pry open its clip with a flat tool. Release the cable end and pryi off the plastic housing. Pry up the pins fastening the lower air ducts.

Remove the fasteners for the lower panel, which were concealed by the upper panel, and pull off the panel. If it doesn't come off easily, you have not removed all the fasteners.

Items you will need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Trim stick
  • Thin, flat tool
  • Steering wheel puller

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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