Picture of Repairing a car console armrest
finished 2.jpg
My wife an I recently purchased a "new" used car, and one of the defects was damaged upholstery on the armrest, which also serves as the lid for the compartment between the two fronts seats. This wasn't a deal breaker, but it was annoying enough that I set out to replace it.

What I quickly found was that it was near impossible to replace just this part, without replacing the entire console. I found replacement consoles online, and I even found one in a local salvage yard, but both options involved removing and replacing the entire console - way more time and money than I was willing to invest! And why scrap a perfectly good console when all I needed to replace was the armrest/lid upholstery?

So here is how I reupholstered a damaged armrest in under an an hour, for less than US$5!

(My car is 2007 PT Cruiser, but I imagine there are plenty of damaged armrests out there on different make/model cars, that can be restored in the same way;-)

• A few feet of vinyl
• 3M Spray adhesive
• Packing foam

* Torx bit & screwdriver
• Stapler
• Scissors

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Step 1: Remove armrest

Picture of Remove armrest
This is pretty easy, as long as you have the correct tool. I believe I used a 10 or 15 torq bit to remove the three screws holding the armrest in place. Yours may be held in place with different screws, but still likely easy to remove.
Dr. P2 years ago
Nice job. And I love that you did it without caving to the lords of retail. Power to the people!
spiderham2 years ago
A good tip I've learned is to work with warm vinyl. It makes it more plyable and helps get neater corners.
Winged Fist (author)  spiderham2 years ago
Thanks Spiderham. I'll try this next time it gets damaged;-)
you plan for it to get damaged? lol
twighahn2 years ago
you could also design the cover or use a cover with elastic.
Honda Enoch2 years ago
The junkyard wouldn't let you have just the lid? Wow, crappy junkyard.

I have gotten many console lids/arm rest from junk yards.

Good write up though. :)
Winged Fist (author)  Honda Enoch2 years ago
They did give me a wheel well skirt for free when I bought a replacement passenger window (break-in on my third day of ownership!), but wouldn't budge on the console lid. They were determined to sell the whole console as a unit.