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How remove 2012 Cruze LS center console armrest lid so can reupholster?

28813 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  cristo111
Hello. My 2012 Chevy Cruze LS center armrest lid cover has worn down (sharp elbows) and I want to put a new leather cover on lid. But I don't see how to remove lid. Dealership says it was not designed to be removed. Has anyone found a way to remove armrest lid so can reupholster?
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Hello eddid01,

That is a great question! I'm not sure I have a good answer to give you, though.

I am curious to know how to do this, as well.
I've had the entire console out of the car when I did the heated seats install. See pictures in link in signature. However, I'm not sure that the top arm rest part of the console is removable. It's not screwed on from the inside I don't believe, unless the top piece slides off, and has some type of hidden retainer clip
I've had two of the armrests recovered with more padding for $60 ea. That thing is as hard as a rock! I don't recall exactly how it came out, but it was easy, and it was all phillips screws taken out from the underside of the armrest. I believe you need to pull the bucket out of the console to get to the hinge screws on the lid. Be careful if you have the usb port in the bucket.
Yes, removing the bucket under the armrest lid to get to the hinge screws seems to be key.... but I haven't found a way yet to remove the bucket without possibly doing some damage to the USB and aux outlets that are part of bucket. The bucket will lift up about 1/2 inch then have resistance because pulling on USB and aux cables. Maybe the entire console does have to be removed in order to get the USB and aux cable connectors and disconnect them. Gotta consider now how badly I want to repair an armrest that looks bad.
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This crazy topic has me interested in seeing how it's actually put together. Are you saying the liner bucket needs to be removed to access the screws that hold the lid on?

Can't you leave the hinge installed on the bucket and just unscrew the top armrest part?

Did you check my post of the heated seats below? Go take a look at the pictures I uploaded. I'm not sure that I got a bottom shot of the insides of the console, but I'm pretty sure that the USB goes in from the top. The problem might be trying to carefully release the "hook Barb" without snapping something.

This plastic is meant to be snapped together just one way. I guess if you had the console out, you could remove the wiring harness connector and then just lift the bucket out with the audio connectors.

Console isn't bad if you have a set of Harbor Freight trim removal tools. Granted it takes time so that you don't snap plastic. 2 footwell panels, the trim around the HVAC, (Be careful, that's over $50 if you need to buy one) And then some screws.
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Finally got it lid off I am embarrassed to say. In response to carbon2, I wanted to say that I removed all accessible Phillips screws from under the lid. I had removed 6 screws to remove the under lid plastic cover, but once that lid is removed, there are only 4 screws visible that hold a cover that had something to do with lid I didn't remove them thinking they didn't have anything to do with removal of lid plus I was concerned if I took them off, I might not easily be able to line up the sliding mechanism to put the screws back. Since I was at the point of removing the whole console cover, might as well take a chance on the 4 remaining screws and the plastic cover they held on. The lid did not come loose but it now could be slid forward off the rail and removed ... it turns out the 4 remaining screws held a plastic 'stop' tab that prevented the lid from being compleletely slid off. Sorry for taking everyone's time but thank you for your input ... it helped. Closing this thread.
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Don't feel sorry.. Share with us your pictures of what you use re-upolstering the armrest. I've always thought that arm rest was as hard as a rock and a bit too low for my tastes.

I'd like to see what you end up doing with it!

Hopefully everything goes together well for you. I found a lot of hidden fasteners when taking the seats apart, and that was my first time really getting into detailed Interior work. It took me a lot of time, not knowing how all the fasteners come apart or were put together.
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I went to Ebay and did a search using 'Cruze console lid armrest cover' ... I ordered a black lid cover designed for 2012 Cruze from one of the several hits displayed. The business that sent me the new leather cover provided the following YouTube website for instructions on how to install: I'm doing all the steps they show but will be adding a little more padding before gluing on new leather cover(but not much padding because the leather cover they sent wasn't large enough to allow adding much) ... but end-result should look just like the armrest shown on the YouTube, except no red bordering on leather cover...I ordered the all black cover instead. Great YouTube except for the first step where he shows how to remove the's too dark to see what he was doing, not enough light...but suspect his lid design was different anyway from a 2012 Cruze, so no matter .... the rest of video is helpful.
You mean like this?

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Chevrolet Car seat cover

Vehicle Car Auto part Compact car Car seat

I know that Eddid01 got the lid off, but for the people who haven't done this mod yet and want to see images of it, here you go:

You don't need to remove the entire lid from the console to get to the leather part.

Step One: Open the console lid. Once you do you will see 6 screws holding on a cover panel. Remove these screws and remove the panel:

Technology Electronic device

Step Two: With the cover panel removed you will see 4 smaller screws holding on a retaining panel. This panel holds two rollers that retain the track that allows the lid to slide back and fourth. Remove these 4 screws:

Vehicle Engine Auto part Car Scale model

Electronics Automotive lighting Technology Electronic device Headlamp

Step Three: Remove the track rollers that hold the leather console lid to the track, once the two rollers are removed slide the lid off pulling upwards:

Electronics Auto part Technology Engine Electronic device

Step Four: With the lid removed, you will see 6 more screws. Remove these screws to access the leather portion of the lid:

Technology Electronic device Metal

Step Five: Remove the leather from the lid. This is very simple as you just peel the old leather away:

Automotive lighting Metal

I don't have any images of the re-upholstery portion as I took these images from the spare console I purchased to test this on. Simply remove the old leather from the lid and re-apply this new leather the same way you removed it. I used Dap 121 ( ) to glue the new leather to the console.

Be sure to place some foam on the console before putting the new leather on to soften the armrest. You can re-use the old foam if you want.

Also be sure to make the fit as snug as possible trimming any overlap from the underside of the console. If you don't ensure a tight fit the panel with the 6 screws won't fit just right and the console lid won't open as smoothly. The button you press up to open the lid will stick and you will have to remove everything all over again and trim. Trust me, I know.. lol

I hope this helps anybody interested.
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Excellent write up.

Did your cruze come with that leather interior? Did you replace seat covers and shifter leather as well? If you did I'd be interested in hearing where you bought the covers.

I've removed most of the seat cover for adding the heated seats. I removed the headrest just fine, but couldn't figure out how to remove the headrest plugs in the seat. In order to change the entire cover.

I'd really like to do the entire interior from the factory gray cloth to light tan leather. I'm not sure I can justify $800-$1000 for new seat covers though, but if I could get covers for the right price I think maybe I'd start playing with more of the interior.
Carbon02 -

My cruze was originally a 1LT. with grey cloth interior.

I had the entire interior re-done. I had the seats reupholstered with Katzkin leather. I took it to a shop near where I live to have them color match the leather to my door inserts. As you can see it looks like it came factory.

I replaced all the trim with the upper lever LTZ trim even went as far as replacing the solid grey trim around the gauges with the chrome trim from the LTZ.

The steering wheel is a flat bottom from a 2015 Camaro 1LE / ZL1. It's suede with stone stitching.

The Shifter took a little bit to figure out. it's completely custom. As you can see from the pictures. The shifter boot is also from a 1LE camaro. Suede with stone stitching.

The Shifter is actually from a 2015 Mustang GT. I purchased an entire shifter boot/knob from Ford OEM. I then cut the boot off of the chrome piece that lifts up as you put the car into reverse. I cut the chrome piece (which is actually plastic just like in the cruze) in half and took the original lift up plastic piece from the cruze and cut that in half as well. I then used a soldering Iron to merge the two halves together as you would with metal. This created a new lift up mechanism with the chrome upper trim from the mustang and the lower trim from the cruze. The knob had to be machined out to fit the spring the cruze uses to push the reverse collar back down.

If you were in my car you would see it looks perfectly stock and feels like it too. Very solid, much much better than original.

If enough people cared how I did it, I'm sure I could take better pictures and do a write up.
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I've followed the Cruze and available North American factory options since 2011. I knew by looking that those cool color combinations didn't come on a Factory North American Model.

It's very sharp. I like the two tone leather, and the stitching. It looks very classy and above factory. If someone didn't follow the Cruze factory interiors as close as a nerd like me, you would never guess that your's wasn't a special trim level!

I'm guessing that maybe the Camaro wheel when installed in the Camaro is heated? If so were you able to get that figured out? I know the Verano has it, I think it would be a nice touch, but going based on what I've learned about Cruze Electrical wiring, I bet it's not anywhere near plug and play.

I think you should start a new thead about your interior, and take a run at Cruze of the Month.. While there's been others that have done interior seats, and some that have done door panel/dash panel inserts. I think your the first with that shifter.

At first I thought you were one of the posters to this forum from outside North America, with an Asian built Cruze.

I spent two months in Thailand. They really get into car modifications. And often times have more unique aftermarket parts. I'll never forget the $100,000 USD Mercedes on jack stands. Two local Thai men under it crawling around. They custom fabricated the resonators and mufflers out of electropolished 316 stainless steel sheet, bent, rolled, welded and buffed. Amazing what that little car shop did every morning as I walked to work. Amazing work for a $100 bucks.
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2011 Chevy Cruze armrest recovering

I just went through this with my 2011 Cruze LTZ and I ran into a few problems but once I figured it out, it was quite easy! All you need to do this job is 1) a Philips screw diver (preferably a magnetic one, as I dropped 2 screws before I thought of it and they were hard to find), 2) a can of Loctite spray adhesive 3) a pair of scissors or I used a razor knife and 4) clamps to hold the leather in place once you've glued it (I found 8 of them at a dollar general store for 2 bucks). There is no need to take the hinge off, just open the lid and remove the 6 screws on the bottom and slide it up and out of the way. Next there are 4 smaller screws in the middle of the lid, this is the stop that prevents your lid from sliding off. ( I've had this car since 2011 and I never even knew that the cover slid forward and I bet there are a lot out there that don't!) Under the stop there is 2 gears that ride on the slide, I got them out by first emptying the console and gently slamming the lid closed a few times. Now the lid will slide all the way off! There are 6 more screws that hold the tray directly beneath the cover that also need to be removed. then after trying on the new cover on to see which way it went, I sprayed just the bottom of it first and then positioned it by pulling it from the corners and sides, then I clamped it in place to hold it for 10 minutes and by the way I did not remove the old cover as this gives it more cushion. I then sprayed one side at a time and clamped them and let them set for 10 minutes each. Then do the back and front the same way but with the front I had to take it back off and cut the leather behind the latch away because this was making it hard to open the lid after I installed it, with that piece gone it works fine and I'm completely satisfied with the job.
I hope this helps some of you out, I wish someone had posted it a long time ago!!!:tongue:


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