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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Repairing the Cupholder Release Button

The passenger side cupholder in my large, top of the line German luxury car failed to rise up when I commanded it to do so this week. The little release button inside the cupholder appeared to have come loose (see photo below).
Needless to say, I was not impressed. Never mind the fact that the car is 6 years old, or has been out of OEM warranty for two years now, or even that the cupholder has worked just fine for the last 6 years. I doesn't work now.
After giving this matter some serious thought, I identified the following possible actions that I could take:
a) Call Fidelity Warranty and make a claim. After all, I spent a few thousand buying an extended warranty for this car when the OEM warranty ran out, and if Fidelity think that they are going to get away without paying me back at least 3 times what I spent on that warranty, they are dreaming.
b) Visit my VW dealer and rant and rave. After all, if this has happened to me, it has probably happened to other Phaeton owners too - and if it has happened to others, then it is a "well known" problem. If it is a well known problem, then VW ought to have an extended warranty program in place - or, at the very least, fix my problem free of charge (and give me a loaner car) just to keep my goodwill.
c) Make one of those 'noob' posts on Vortex. You know, something that has a title like "Need Help" and a body like "my cupholder is broken - how do I fix it?" After all, that should be all the information anyone needs to know what it is I am talking about.
In the end, though, I figured it was simplest to just remove the cupholder and see what was wrong with it. Here's what I did.
1) I went to Vortex and looked in the Phaeton Forum 'Table of Contents' (FAQ by Category). Son of a gun, would you believe that there were two fully illustrated posts there dealing with Phaeton cupholders, and one contained complete information about how to remove and replace them?
2) Because a cupholder cannot be removed unless it is in the 'up' (not depressed) position, I first had to remove the neighboring cupholder, observe how the release mechanism worked on it, then stick my finger through the hole created by removing the neighboring cupholder, and press the appropriate place on the bottom of the problem cupholder to let it pop up. Then I removed the problem cupholder.
3) I inspected the problem cupholder and found that the loose release button was the result of a small drift pin working its way loose - likely .000000001 mm loose each time I have used the cupholder over the past 6 years. Such engineering neglect!
4) I pushed the drift pin back into place using the tip of a small screwdriver.
5) I re-installed the two cupholders.
6) Everything works now.
7) I no longer have anything to complain about.
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Re: Repairing the Cupholder Release Button (PanEuropean)

Here's a photo showing how the drift pin (the hinge) for the cupholder release button had worked its way loose from one side after only 6 years of daily operation.
To fix this, I just pushed the drift pin to the right about 1/16th of an inch with the tip of a screwdriver. I then put a tiny drop of carpenter's glue on each end of the drift pin, to capture it so it would not work loose in another 6 years.
Michael

Loose Drift Pin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Re: Repairing the Cupholder Release Button (PanEuropean)

Here is what the drift pin looks like after being pushed back into the correct position. I used the tip of a small screwdriver to push it back into the middle.
Michael

Drift Pin Recentered
 

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This looks like a useful (and witty) post, thanks, once again, to Michael. I missed it before.

Assuming others cannot see the photos too, is there any chance they could be re-linked to it?

PETER M
 

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Yes that was a great post and i had missed it too. The only step in the process, i think Michael missed was when one rants about getting rid of their Phaeton because of poor engineering of the cupholder on an $80 to $100k vehicle. This should probably be inserted between steps b & c, but definitely after being rebuffed by Fidelity and VW. ;)
 

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i Have the same problem and i have searched the forums and cant find what must be the original posts on how to remove them to fix the drift pin. As a newbie (1 month /W12) i have poured over this forum and find it a daily reference and absolute necessity. Thank all of you who post.
 

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Are you asking how to remove the cupholders or have you already found it? Anyway, in case you are asking, it's pretty easy, much easier than the instructions make it seem. Look inside with the holder down and on the surface closest to you you'll see a small hex screw, take it out and guard it with your life (they're a non-standard size). Next, rotate the whole cupholder about quarter of an inch using the top rim, anti-clockwise on the left one, clockwise on the right one (it stops when you've turned it far enough). It can be a bit difficult to turn especially if they haven't been removed before. After that it pulls out, but I can't remember whether it has to be in the up or down position, I think it's down so that the tabs are in, it'll only work one way. Essentially it comes straight out, but you have to wiggle it a bit or work on one side first to get the tabs past the lip, this is the only sticky bit of the operation, just be patient. Sometimes one holder comes out more easily than the other, so if you're having trouble with one side, see if the other one will come out which makes it much easier to get at the difficult one. If you take both out, mark them so you know which is which. Going back is the reverse, once out you'll be able to see the guide slot on the cupholder that fits over the guide pin on the car, I found that marking them (as the instructions indicate) to line them up for reinstalling isn't necessary.
 

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Thank you ...I will be on it this weekend

Rob
I can't find Michael's post, but on this thread I placed a slideshow of my cupholder re-surfacing project with original parts (not paint), see a few replies below on the thread I posted.

The third picture of the slide show has a picture of the chromed plastic bit where the pin has to be re-centered. The pic is below

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?4886821-Cupholder-resurfacing

Below, I draw a little arrow where the pin needs to be pushed. The pin is made metal so it should not be broken but be careful. The pic is huge, sorry.




Hope this helps.
 

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Happened to me a few days ago. Thanks to this thread I was able to fix it on my own. Great thanks.
I wonder what this repair would have cost at an original VW OEM garage in Germany.
At least 100 euros for reading and deleting the system error codes. No joke, they always insist in doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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This happened to me last month, dreaded drift pin shift.:laugh: Good time to clean and lube them both.
 

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I just did this project this weekend. After studying the posts on this thread and the related threads, I went ahead with the repair.

It turns out, though, that my problem was more extensive. The plastic had actually broken (probably because some fool :eek: pressed the button too hard after the pin shift occurred.) I was able to repair it, though, and thought I would add my experience to the body of knowledge here, as I would have never tackled this project without the information and help on this board.

Lots of pictures, as this is what I consider among the most helpful features of DIY threads.

The broken piece:


This is a big problem, as the entire release is held in place by the two loops at the end. The center section is just a channel with no structural support as you can see in this picture of the back side of the plastic piece:


Even though this looked bad, I decided to see if it could be fixed. I went to the Ace hardware store down the block where "the helpful hardware man" suggested this stuff:


It is pretty amazing. I applied it and then trimmed it before it fully hardened with an Exacto knife to get this:


This is what it looks like from the back side:


Once dry, I had to slip it back over the pin:


I did the good side first, then eased the repaired side back:


The extra glue layer of about 1mm made this a little fiddly, but patience worked:


Once in, the pin was not quite long enough for both edges to sit in their entirty on the plastic support:


Closeup of good side:


Closeup of pin in corresponding repaired side:


I had been able to press the pin in with a needlenosed screwdriver until it was flush with the edge of the plastic on the good side, as it had stuck out:


I wound up using a small torx bit on my precision screwdriver set to press it in beyond flush:


The final product has both sides distributed fairly evenly:


I tested it multiple times and it held well. I then put it back into the car and, so far, all is well.

The glue is pretty amazing and I am hopeful this will hold. If this repair fails, I will likely need to buy an entire replacement cupholder. All for a small crack in a piece of plastic that probably costs less than 1 cent to produce.

Again, many thanks to all who posted on this, especially Michael.

Victor
 

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Nice work Victor, and a great resource for future reference!

I believe the Devcon Plastic Weld is the same product (in black) that I used to repair my trunk harness tube/pivot ball. It has held wonderfully after a large number of trunk cycles!
 
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