BMW 5 Series Trim Removal – Shifter/Radio/AC E60 All Models

BMW 5 Series Trim Removal – 30 minutes
Basic level repair
Repair cost level 1

The BMW Repair Guide used this 2010 528i for the following article.

Repair Summary
This article gives detailed instructions on removing the center console and dashboard trim in a BMW E60 5 series vehicle. Even though we used a 2010 528i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2004-2010 5 series vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.

A BMW 5 series trim removal from the center console and dash is necessary for a variety of standard repairs to all 2004-2010 E60 models.

One of the greatest deterrents keeping many “Do it Yourself” mechanics from taking on interior repairs to their BMWs is removing trim. Let’s face it…trim scares us. There is nothing worse than that disgusting sound of plastic cracking as we try to pry off a piece of dash trim. Who ever gets used to the sound of plastic clips snapping as we attempt to pull off a door panel? We don’t…and we have a whole drawer full of spare door clips at the Repair Guide.

Nope…it’s not breaking a 20 cent clip that scares us. What scares us is that hidden screw that we didn’t know about that shreds the $700 door trim panel when we try to remove it with force. It’s the plastic tabs that break off of the $200 piece of A-pillar trim when we don’t know which direction to pull on it. And it’s cracking the $485 center dash bezel by prying to aggressively with a plastic trim tool while distracted. Starting to get the picture? Yep…it’s the kick in our wallet that scares us.

The center console shifter trim and center dash bezel are probably two of the most removed interior trim parts in all BMW’s. They are also two of the easiest to break if you don’t remove all of the screws or pry the parts out incorrectly. The following repair article deals with the BMW 5 Series trim removal of the shifter and center dash bezel trim parts and applies to all E60 models, including the 528i/530i/535i/545i/550i and M5 vehicles built between 2004 and 2010.

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No parts are necessary for this repair (unless you break some).

Section 1 – Upper trim removal
  1. Use a plastic trim tool to remove central lock/hazard light switch. Disconnect wire from back of switch.5 Series Trim Removal
  2. Use trim tool to remove the center dashboard trim, starting on one side and slowly moving your way towards the other.5 Series Trim Removal
  3. Remove the two phillips screws from top of IHKA control (climate control) trim panel. Using your hands, gently pull the top of the control unit away from the dash. This should give you enough room to get a plastic trim tool behind the unit. Slowly lever forward with the tool until the trim clips on the unit release. Once the unit is free of the dash, disconnect the three wiring harnesses (a flat blade screwdriver comes in handy).5 Series Trim Removal5 Series Trim Removal


Section 2 – Lower trim removal
  1. Using a pick or other small trim tool (I just use my fingernails), remove the plastic shifter bezel trim. It pops out very easily once you get under the edge of it. You can also try slipping your fingers under the trim by the shift knob and pulling up on it to release.
  2. Remove the three T20 torx screws holding the center console trim in place. Using your hands, gently pull until the trim releases and remove.5 Series Trim Removal


BMW 5 Series Trim Removal Finished
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. And congratulations for Doing It Yourself!