BMW 3 Series Sedan Dash, Shifter, and Door Trim Replacement
Written by: Tim Jones May 23, 2001

Tools and Parts Needed:
Flat Head Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Estimated time: 30 minutes


Dash Trim:
1. Start on the passenger side on the end closest to the door.
2. Use one hand to push the dash away from the trim.
3. While holding the dash slide the screwdriver under the trim. If done right the screwdriver can be placed under the trim with out touching the side of the trim.
4. Gently pry up on the trim, working slowly. Position the screwdriver so it is in the center of the trim.
5. Pry the trim up until you can get your fingers under the edges.
6. Slowly pull the edge until it release from the clip.
7. Now start working on the end near the radio gently pulling on the trim as close to the retainer pin as possible.
8. With the passenger side trim off the radio trim is next. One side should be already loose; the other side comes off just like the other trim.
9. Remove the trim by the headlight switch the same way. Working from the side closest to the door in.
10. With the entire trim removed take the new trim and install in the reverse order. It is a good idea to wax the new trim before installing it to help keep it clean.
Shifter Trim:
11. Remove the shift boot by pushing in the side and pulling up. The boot will pop out easily. You do not need to remove the shift knob to do this. The shift knob was removed for visability in these pictures.
12. Pull the boot up and over the knob so it is out of the way.
13. Remove the two Phillips screws.
14. Lift up the trim from the back to expose the wires.
15. Disconnect the passenger side window controls.
16. Disconnect the driver side window controls.
17. Lift the trim off over the shift lever.
18. To remove the window controls from the trim there are two tabs next to each other. Compress the tabs and the controls should come free.
19. Install the window controls in the new trim by locking in the one end and then snapping in the other
20. Reconnect the wiring.
21. Put the trim in place.
22. Tighten the two Phillips screws.
23. Snap the boot back into place.
Door trim:
The door trim is held on with clips like the dash but the doors takes a bit more work
24. Start on any door from the outside edge of the door.
25. Pull the trim back and insert a screwdriver.
26. The trick is to get the screwdriver to rest on the thick part of the trim right by the connector. Feel around for the connector with the screwdriver.
27. The just gently pry on the trim until it pops out.
28. Slide your fingers under the edges and work on the next connector
29. Work your way to the last connector; be careful as the end of the trim near the handle has small pegs that locking the door handle.
30. On my car most of the white clips came out with the trim. If you are swapping trim with someone coordinate so that you send the trim with or without the clips.
31. If you are getting new trim either buy new clips from the dealership or remove them from the old trim by pulling and twisting.
32. If your clips are not on the trim (took them off or got new ones) insert them in the door. Otherwise just leave them on the trim.
33. Insert the pegs on the trim into the door handle and line up the clips with the holes in the door. Or if your clips are in the door line up the mounting points with the clips.
34. Snap the clips (or mounting pegs) into the door working from the inside out.
35. Make sure all the clips are snapped in.
36. Move on to the next door.