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Tech Article

Audi C5 A6 Center Console Blues

Last Updated: 02/26/2017
Parts Group: Center console
This article discusses the center console on our project cars, various 2000/2001 Audi A6 cars. My focus here is on identifying how starkly an icky center console can detract from the joy of ownership.

If you're not here for the technical analysis but would rather buy a used unit from us ... then please select the link below.When new, the Audi A6 was priced at $60K or so in "today" money. So, when I buy a 1999-2004 C5 Audi A6 for $1K, I know the new-car feeling isn’t going to be there, but does it have to be so starkly evident that this is a very, very used car? Ideally, no – and the worst culprit might well be the center console.

How the car looks from the outside isn’t something I look at most of the time. The inside of the car, however, is. That includes the center console.

It doesn’t take much imagination to envision a depressing center console. Let’s work it front to back:
  • The wood trim around the transmission shifter is sticky with 15 years of spilled sodas, and the front part has some stuff stuck below the ashtray
  • The pretty metal plate around the transmission shifter is scratched and dented
  • The knob on the external mirror control has broken off
  • Only the ruins of the center console cup-holder remain
  • The center console top and sides show more evidence of spilled, sticky sodas
  • The center console storage bin next to the handbrake is all scratched up, which looks extra ugly if the interior color scheme is "melange" (taupe) because every scratch shows the black plastic behind the paint
  • The carpeting inside the center console storage bin looks like a petri dish
  • The center armrest top leather piece is cracked
  • The center armrest plastic section shows 15 years’ worth of fingernail scratches
  • The center armrest storage bin has accumulated both dirt and sticky stuff
  • The satin-finish metal around the vents at the rear of the console are almost always scratched and dented, so any rear seat passenger is clear that this is a very, very used car.
Sad, isn’t it? I’m trying to see what I can do about it, to make my own C5 Audi A6 cars look and feel newer in this respect. So far, the best ideas seem to be:
  • Take everything apart and clean it thoroughly
  • Combine the best parts from several average-condition center consoles to get one above-average center console
Some of the problems, however, seem near-universal, specifically broken-off mirror control knobs and cup-holders. I also have yet to see a "melange" storage bin inside that wasn’t thoroughly scratched up.
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