Is the color center screen in your Audi burned-out, pixelated, or intermittent? Have you cracked a button? Or do you want to replace a scratched bezel without changing the whole cluster? If so, you may need to take apart the instrument cluster itself. Luckily, we’ve documented the entire disassembly process below, in detail, so you can do it right the first time- without breaking clips, scratching parts, or spend more time than you’d like playing with a German Rubiks Cube.
You may also find this guide useful if you’re in the process of fitting different gauge faces to your cluster, whether it be for A4, A5, S4, or S5 (B8 based Q series vehicles will also be similar). It’s also possible to fit an A5/S5 cluster into an A4/S4 (or vice versa) by swapping the faceplate flashing of the cluster, as well as some dashboard trim pieces. See here for a brief guide (credit to avanttag). You’ll see in the guide below that the cluster effectively has a clip on modular flashing that can be interchanged to achieve the unified-instruments (A4/S4) or pod-instruments (A5/S5) look.
Here we’ve assumed you’ve already got the instrument cluster panel removed from the dashboard, disconnected from the harnesses, and sitting on your bench. We’ll show you how to open it up!
A: Taking The Instrument Panel Apart
Step 1: Remove The Front Faceplate Screws
Step 2: Remove The Back Chassis Screws (Not The Middle 3!)
Step 3: Release The Faceplate Flashing (4 Clips)
B: Disassemble The Faceplate Flashing (If Required)
Step 1: Release The Pod-Assembly (4 Clips)
Step 1: Remove The Buttons
C: Remove The Center Info Screen
Step 1: Remove The Screen Mounting Screws
Step 1: Remove The Screen From Its Socket
D: Remove The Indicator Cover (If Required)
Step 1: Slowly Peel Away From Cluster
E: Remove The Panel From Housing
Step 1: Release The Instrument Panel Assembly (4 Clips)
F: Pay It Forward
Doing something beyond regular maintenance? Customizing your electronics, fixing a fault, or reverse engineering it for a new application? Share your work with the world- and tell us about it! We’d love to feature (or discuss) your work- no matter how marginally related.
At this point, you’re basically done. The cluster is apart! Be sure to protect the screen, gauge faces, and indicator faces prior to storage with a soft cloth or other encasement, they’re not particularly easy to clean dust off of without causing scratching, and to clean them, you’ll have to take it apart again. To reassemble it, just do the same in reverse. We won’t cover removing the needles and gauges in this post, stay tuned for the next one.