View Full Version : DIY: Window switch and handle shell replacement

09-09-2011, 04:31 PM
One of the biggest issues on every 8E chassis Audi is the rubberized finish on everything your greasy hands touch. My window switches and my driver's side handle shell were starting to peel and look gross, so I decided it was time for a replacement.

Driver's side handle shell: 8E1 867 171 C 7PE $33 from GenuineAudiParts (http://genuineaudiparts.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=214407)
Passenger side handle shell: 8E1 867 162 A 7PE $36 from GenuineAudiParts (http://genuineaudiparts.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=214407)
Driver's side window switches: eBay seller: autoleague (http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/autoleague/?_trksid=p4340.l2559) $1+28 shipping (OEM Part # 8Z0 959 851 F 5PR)
Passenger side window switch: eBay seller: autoleague (http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/autoleague/?_trksid=p4340.l2559) $1+10 shipping (OEM Part # 8Z0 959 855 C 5PR)
Mirror Adjustment Switch (cars with folding): 8E0 959 565 A - you have to email GAP to get this part

Philips #2 screw driver
Flathead screwdriver
Torx 25 screw driver

Here is what I am starting with. All nasty looking and sticky

Phase 1: Door-card removal

Step 1: Remove the trim by pulling on the side closest to the inside of the car; it should just pop right off. Then, remove the four Philips head screws

Step 2: Locate the oval shaped plastic cover located right behind the grab handle. Pop off the front of the cover first with a flathead. Then, remove the two Philips screws.


Step 3: Next you have to remove this cheap piece of shit screw on the bottom of the door. Make sure your screw driver fits it snugly and press hard while backing the screw out. It is in there very tight for some reason the head is very soft making it easy to strip out. The screw is very long; about 2.5"

Step 4: Now that all of the hardware is removed, the door-card will come off. It is still held on by several nylon clips which will most likely all snap(They aren't necessary anyways). Get your paws between the door-card and the edge of the door near the bottom and pull, it will start to pop off. Once all the clips are released, you have to lift it up off the lip at the top

Step 5: There are still a few things that need to be disconnected before the panel is free. The first thing to remove is the cable for the latch. Release the white part from the clip and then just unhook it.

Step 6: The only things left now are two wiring harness'. First, remove the front-most plug on the speaker that feeds the tweeter. Then move onto the large gray harness that goes to the window motor. To remove this plug, just pull down on the purple clip and wing it to the other side of the gray plug. You do not need to pull on the plug while doing this; the purple clip will push the plug out of the connector


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Phase 2: Replacement of the window switch and handle shell

Step 1: Lay a towel down on the floor and lay the door-card down on it's face. Locate the 11 Torx 25 screws holding on the handle and remove them

Step 2: Stand the door-card up and pull off the handle assembly. There will probably be some funk from the previous owner holding it on. You will see the two harness' going into the handle. One is for the windows and one is for the power mirrors. The window switch one is a pain because the clip that you have to press is on the other side of the harness that you can't see.....thanks Audi. The mirror adjustment is and easy one to release

Step 3: In this next step, the pictures show the switch pannel already removed from the handle shell. This is not necessary at all so pretend it's still there. The next step is to remove the handle shell from the handle assembly by just pulling the two apart. It is clipped in pretty good and there will be some funk holding it on, so a very firm hard pull will be necessary

Step 4: use a flathead to pop the mirror adjustment knob out of the handle shell like so:

Step 5: snap the new window switch panel into the handle shell as well as the mirror adjustment knob. This switch fits perfectly for a $1 switch
For reference, this is the back of the OEM switch next to the Hong-Kong special:

Step 6: Snap the new handle shell into the handle assembly. Then connect the wires and re-install it into the door-card

The install of the door card is reverse of removal. One thing I would like to point is out is to make sure the the top of the door card is hooked over the ledge on top of the door.

All done!


The Chinese knockoff switches work better than the OEM units do in my opinion. The edge of the switch is more rounded which looks better and feels better. The switch has a more solid click and the click sound is slightly different between the first position and the express position. The click stroke is also longer to it is easy to roll the windows down just a little unlike the OEM ones that want to always express up/down. I had these in my A4 for about 2 years and they looked brand new the day I sold the car, so I highly recommend them

09-09-2011, 04:32 PM
Phase 3: Passenger side (Same process is used for the both the driver and passenger side rear door cards)

Step 1: Door card removal is the same as the driver side, with exception of the bolt locations in some spots. The one that is on the handle is a little hard to get to, but not impossible. Remove all the bolts and remove the door-card the same way as the driver's side, as well as the wiring harness' and latch cable

Step 2: I did not replace the handle shell, so I did not remove the entire handle assembly, but if you wanted to replace the shell, you would remove the Torx bolts holding it on, and the shell would pop out the same way the driver's side one does

Step 3: To remove the window switch, disconnect the harness, then push the switch out from the top side with your thumb. It takes quite a bit of force for it to finally pop out, but this is really the only way to do it without damaging the clips that hold it in on the shell.

Step 4: Take your new switch, and install it by pressing it from the back side. You will hear the clips engage. Then install the wiring harness and you're done

Same rules apply for re-installing the door card as with the driver's side.

09-09-2011, 04:45 PM
your greasy hands touch

speak for yourself, greaseball lol

09-09-2011, 05:25 PM
Very nice Joe. My door handle is a little crusty and could use replacing.

09-09-2011, 05:29 PM
Nice write up. Thanks.

09-09-2011, 05:50 PM
Joe, very nice write up... *2 on these switches also have one installed and seem to work better then the OEM ones.

09-09-2011, 05:57 PM
My driver's window switch has failed. I'll need this. Thanks man.

09-10-2011, 08:18 AM
Great DIY [up] [up] as it is one of the most common issues on B6/7 platforms.
Joe, out of curiosity, why not just repaint them with flat black color for less than $15, just like in Peeling Fix DIY? Less hassle, convenience factor?

09-10-2011, 09:47 AM
I think we ALL needed this. I've just been too lazy to order the parts. Thanks for the writeup though. I need to tackle this, my right rear window switch on the drivers console is starting to go, and they all are starting to look a little rough. Thanks a lot joe, will be using this in the future.

Also, the B6 & B7 window switches are the same, correct? And the mirror switch is a separate part, correct? Do you have the part number for that, I think that may be starting to die on mine.

09-10-2011, 09:48 AM
Mr. Wrong i think that its cheap enough to do it the way joe did it. Looks great and will def last longer then paint, plus it wont smell. Joe you made me now want to do this and i will prob start my interior project (suede inserts). just trying to finalize on a color, Charcoal, Red, or Black. Car is DG. Great job Joe

09-10-2011, 10:13 AM
Thanks a lot guys. I am just as shocked as you that nobody has ever made a diy like this before

09-10-2011, 10:17 AM
Mr. Wrong - The parts only cost about $60 total and painting them would never look as good. It would be hard to make all the window icons look perfect too

mgbt - The B6 and B7 switches are identical. Early '02 A4's had a slightly different connector so make sure you get the one I got or one that is specified to work with all B6 and B7 cars (besides cabs). I'll get the part number for the mirror switch and add it to the DIY

fas4tt, make a diy for the suede stuff. I've been wanting to do my headliner and the inserts on the doors for quite some time now

09-10-2011, 11:35 AM
Added part numbers for the mirror switch, all window switches, and the passenger side handle shell.

Finsihed the passenger side DIY too

09-11-2011, 11:37 AM
Great write up on this DIY. Seems to be common problem with Audi between any model line with the rubberized window switch trim. My B5 A4 windor switch trim looks just a little worse then in the 1st picture.

Patrick Bateman
09-12-2011, 03:19 PM
Joe...you are one picky F**K! ... thought those greasy hands looked farmiliar. wish we were neighbors...i need my switches replaced too. nice writeup as usual.


west coast
09-18-2011, 04:53 AM
Anyone have a pic of the non folding handle shell, I'm out of the country but would like make sure that what I order is correct so I can get this done when I get home.
Thanks for the great DIY

09-18-2011, 09:54 AM
The non-folding looks the same but it doesn't have the little icon for folding the mirrors at the 6 o-clock position on the knob. I'll get the PN for you today

09-18-2011, 10:06 AM
great write up

west coast
09-18-2011, 03:24 PM
Thanks for that!!
The non-folding looks the same but it doesn't have the little icon for folding the mirrors at the 6 o-clock position on the knob. I'll get the PN for you today

07-14-2012, 02:24 PM
It says its for a c5 a6 the look identical to ours. Is it the same switch you ordered?

11-09-2013, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the great writeup, Joe.
It was very helpful.
Got my driver door apart, replaced the window switches and grab handle without incident.
Reassembled to find i hadn't gotten the window motor connector fully seated even though the purple lever was in the captured position (stupidest nazi plug design i've seen yet), took it back apart, seated the plug with a ridiculously hard push, and everything works.
Except i managed to punch a hole in the woofer with one of the panel pins! <slap self in face>.
(easy fix w/ some crazyglue and a bit of card stock).
moral - pay attention, don't work in the dark, and check your connections *before* reassembly....none of which i did despite knowing better.

11-06-2014, 09:30 AM
I'm dealing with a failed driver window switch as well, is it simple as replacing that one switch? The part number you posted was for the whole assembly on GAP. Thanks in advance

05-19-2015, 08:39 AM
So is the Mfg Part# 8E0959851D5PR working in the the B6s? Cause I can't get a 100% yes or no. I have one switch on my drivers side not working. I'm thinking it is the drivers side switch as the passengers switch is still working for the window on that door, but not on the switch on the drivers. Let me know cause I've been wondering as even ECS has it for 35.52. http://www.ecstuning.com/ES2586727/

05-19-2015, 11:54 AM
You should just buy them from the seller on ebay. I purchased mine a couple months back before I sold the car and they worked great.

11-24-2016, 02:59 PM
Bumping this cause I REALLY need to do this!