Removing And Cleaning The Front Cup Holder

by: Bonthron


After having many problems with my front cup-holders sticking due to spilled beverages and since the Bentley manual has mistakenly omitted the procedure for removing it, cleaning the cup-holder has become my Holy Grail since the first few months of owning my B5 and what follows is the final chapter in that quest.


  • Small Flathead screwdriver
  • #15 Torx


  • none

1. Carefully pull (or pry) the large front trim piece off the part of the cup-holder that swings out.

2. Carefully pry off the small front trim piece from the part of the cup-holder that doesn't swing out.

3. Insert a very small flat blade screwdriver into the right side of the cup-holder and lever out the small tab on the metal spring clip. The small tab sits flat against the inside of the plastic housing so you need a screwdriver with a very thin flat blade to get it under the tab. Pry it out so that it releases that side and then with a slight bit of force, pull on the extended cup-holder tray to ensure it this clip doesn't re-engage.

4. Insert the small screwdriver into this hole at an angle to disengage the left side clip. You are almost working blind here because it is very hard to see the clip or the tab you need to lift so it may actually be easier to do this step before step #3… but first attempt the right side to see how the clips work.

5. Once both clips are disengaged you can slide out the cup-holder assembly.

Here's a picture of the bottom of the cup-holder assembly that shows the two spring clips:

And here are two close-ups of the clips. I've put the red rectangles where the screwdriver needs to be inserted and a green line on the left side showing how the screwdriver is inserted:

6. Place the cup-holder assembly on your work surface with the bottom facing up and remove the six #15 Torx screws and remove the metal cover.

7. Make note of the spring (marked red), it's attachment points and orientation, that is used to eject the rotating section from the cup-holder pocket. You can then pull the rotating section off it's pivot (marked blue).

8. With the rotating section off the pivot you need to remove the inner sliding section from the rotating section. To do this you need to remove the pivot sleeve (marked blue) from within the assembly.

Gently pull apart the plastic sides of the opening to allow the pivot sleeve to be removed. It only sits in there loosely and can easily be removed. Here's a picture of it part way out:

And here's a shot of the pivot sleeve out. Make note of the orientation of the wider flange and ensure that it is placed properly on reassembly. Mine may not be oriented properly in this picture relative to the cup-holder assembly:

9. The inner sliding section in the rotating section can now be removed for cleaning. Slide it out slowly because there is a small detent pin with an attached spring that can fly away if you're not careful. This is the pin that detents at the sliding section in the closed, single cup or double cup cup-holder positions. The detent holes are marked red so you can guesstimate when the pin/spring are about to come loose:

Here's the pin (the spring can't be seen):

10. You can now easily remove the inner sliding section. Note that it slides out of the rotating section opposite of how it

Here are the sections separated:

11. Now you can properly clean all the sticky spots with the appropriate cleaning product. I would suggest that you not clean off the factory grease since it seems that two different products are used — one for the pivot and a different one for the locking mechanism, and I don't know the composition of either. You really don't need to worry about the greased areas anyway since those spots are nowhere near the spots that'll be sticky.

12. Reassemble following the above steps in reverse and snap back into the dash.

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