How to Remove the Dash in an Oldsmobile Alero

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Removing the dash in your Oldsmobile Alero may be necessary if you need to access certain components behind the dash, or if the dash is cracked and you want to replace it with a new one. There are about 15 fasteners that hold the dash in place on most models, though the exact number will vary with the year of your vehicle. It takes about four hours to take apart the dash on an Alero, and you may need an assistant to help you pull the dash out of the vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Flat tip screwdriver
  • Torx head screwdriver
  • Socket wrench with socket set
  • Trim removal tool
  • Remove the screws on the ash tray housing and pull the housing forward.

  • Disconnect the cigarette lighter's electrical connection. This is a plug-style connector that can be pulled straight off.

  • Pry up on the spring clip under the steering wheel to release the pin that holds the tilt lever in place.

  • Remove the fuse box cover on the passenger side of the dash as well as the screw that holds the lower part of the c-pillar trim in place.

  • Remove the screws on the driver's side of the dash (labeled "A"), remove the screws holding the cup holder in place (labeled "B" - you may or may not have this optional equipment in your Alero), and the fuse box relay (labeled "C").

  • Slide the end of a trim removal tool under the pillar trim panel and pry it off. The vent and the trim will come off as one unit.

  • Remove the three Torx screws under the steering column that hold the lower steering wheel cover in place and pull the cover off.

  • Remove all of the screws holding the dash in place on the passenger side (labeled "A") and unplug the electrical connectors (labeled "B").

  • Pry out the defroster grille using either a flat tip screwdriver or, if you can fit the trim removal tool under the trim here, use the trim removal tool. The defroster grille is located at the base of the windshield.

  • Remove the four bolts holding the dash in place under the defroster grille.

  • Pry the center dash instrument panel off using the trim removal tool.

  • Pry the ignition switch bezel off with the trim removal tool.

  • Remove the screws located on the driver's side kick panel.

  • Open the glove box and push in the two spring loaded pins on either side of the glove box to remove the glove box assembly.

  • Remove the screws holding the dash cluster (speedometer, tachometer, fuel and water temperature) in place.

  • Remove the screws on the passenger's side kick panel.

  • Pry around the edges of the dash at the base of the windshield (on the defroster grille) with the trim removal tool to pry up the retaining clips holding the dash in place.

  • Pull the dash assembly off and disconnect any electrical wires running from the chassis wiring harness (exact wiring may differ according to specific year and vehicle options installed).

References

  • Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Alero & Cutlass, Pontiac Grand Am Repair Manual 1997-2003; Jay Storer, John H. Haynes; 2005
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