Cruising for a Cool Console Lid
If you are like a greater majority of people, then the only time you even discovered what this is was when it actually broke down. Spring all broken up, latch all fudged and non-functioning-it's actually irritating that a seemingly non-essential thing is causing so much trouble. That's why we threw together this simple little guide to help you get your console up and functional in no time at all.
Fits your car
The first and most important thing to consider is whether or not the replacement console lid you are going to get is an exact fit for your center console. There are far too many differences between the design and layout of the center console among different years, makes, and models that you can't just hope for a one-size-fits-all type of deal.
There are two ways to go about shopping so you make sure you get "fit" right. First, use your original console lid as a point of reference-you cannot go wrong matching like for like. Second, if you have no idea what the dimensions of your original lid are, you can opt for online shopping-some sites help you narrow the search for a lid specific to your vehicle.
Where quality lies
No two console lids are alike. Some are faux leather with foam stuffing; some are hard plastics, and others still have a velvet feel about them. There are people who will argue back and forth about quality when it comes to materials-the truth is that you should be looking at the springs and the latch-lock before considering anything else.
You can tell the quality of a spring by its ability to retain its form when flexed. If possible, test the latch a couple of time and look at how fast it reacts after being released. If you're the type who uses the center console as a storage compartment, you are certainly going to be fiddling around with this latch a whole lot.
So, what design should you go for? Well-that, my friend, is a really all up to you and your sense of personal style!
Putting in a New Console Lid
Whether you're replacing an old, worn out console lid or are upgrading to a stylish, sexy leather one, this guide will help walk you through the step-by-step. You can do it yourself, you see. It will not only save you gas and money driving down to a shop, but it will be a project you can truly show off to the world. All you really need is a couple of tools, a new console lid-obviously-and a lot of patience. So, let's get to it.
Difficulty level: Easy
Stuff that you will need:
- New console lid
- Your vehicle's owner's manual
- Philips screwdriver
- Flat screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Socket set and ratchet
Step 1: Refer to your vehicle's manual for the specifics of you console lid. Differences are small between lids, but it pays to do the homework on things like number of points of attachment as well as means of attachment.
Step 2: Take out any aftermarket attachments like extra cup holders, ashtrays, or coin trays that might make it difficult to remove the chairs.
*Note* You might have to pry these out with a flat-head screwdriver-do this carefully.
Step 3: Slide back your chairs as far as they can go to make it easier for you to work with the console.
Step 4: Lift your console up and open as wide as you can, and remove both the spring and bolt (or nut) securing the lid in place.
*Note* The standard number of attachment points is two-a pair of bolts and a single spring for each.
Step 5: Compare the attachment points of the old lid with the replacement that you are about to put in to confirm that you have the right match.
Step 6: Carefully attach the new console lid-make sure to secure the bolt before you affix the spring.
Step 7: Test the latch-listen for an audible click-to make sure that it will work properly. This makes having to undo the installation much simpler.
Step 8: Keep the old spring and bolts as a possible emergency repair kit!
In this instance, it is actually much safer to work without gloves as they tend to make it harder to grip smaller parts-like the bolts and the spring!