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2011 Malibu LT - Dashboard center dual-vent replacement

933 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bz80121
My kid just did an "emergency stop" with some 8 ft long steel rods spanning between the trunk and the front seat, which of course caused one of these rods to plunge through the center dual vent in the dashboard, breaking out the vent louvers on the right side. It's his 'first car' and he loves it, so we're going to try to disassemble the center console sufficiently to replace this dual vent louver. I found a 2011 Malibu LT with the same black interior in the salvage yard that had the bulk of interior parts and panels removed and stacked on his shelves - and the center dual vent was in great shape so I grabbed it. Now the focus is to disassemble this center console WITHOUT causing additional damage, and I'm looking to see if anyone can guide me to a disassembly video (YouTube..?) or any sort of diagram which could lead us to the correct means of taking this apart and putting it back together. I found a couple of YouTube vids that KINDA show the process, but this one guy was actually accessing the radio, and it also looks as though this person did some damage to the surrounding panels in his efforts. But this video also (inadvertently) showed this center vent and how it is installed (or so I hope) which I think is what we need to do. So I'm here to ask it anyone has any knowledge of this dash disassembly, or maybe a diagram that I might use to achieve this task?
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To gain access to the back of the vents, first try removing the center dashboard upper glove box. To access the screws, remove the 2 little rubber bumpers nearest the latch. Remove them, then lift from the side with the latch and continue rotating until the back part clears the dash. You'll understand better once you do it.

If that isn't enough access, then you're gonna learn how much Lego mentality went into this car:
  1. set the parking brake
  2. turn key to ON but don't start engine
  3. move shifter to N or D
  4. turn key to ACC
  5. at the back of the shifter bezel where it meets the console, lift to unsnap it, then push down on the front to clear the tabs from the center stack trim
  6. unscrew the bottom of the center stack trim and carefully unsnap it
Continue with the same Lego mentality until you get where you need to go.
Great.. Thanks for the reply.. We're "on it" ASAP. Let you know how it goes...
Great.. Thanks for the reply.. We're "on it" ASAP. Let you know how it goes...
First thing, bend the steel rod around his neck, so that he can’t cause any further damage!
NOT that I am not tempted, but I was 18 once upon a LONG time ago, myself, but because of his 'varied and sundry' interests (including his intent to go to college to study metallurgy) is pretty much a point of personal pride. And when it come to things like this, we all had to learn lessons like this the hard way, am I right? Besides.. HE is paying for all this PLUS my time in making the repairs happen. So...
Beer-thirty, y'all...!
Just to finish this: FINALLY had the opportunity to get back to this after many delays, and as you say... this is quite the Legoland assembly arrangement, absolutely. But I suppose this is also how Chevy designed this in order to prevent "squeaks and jiggles" in this dashboard assembly... it all sort of interlocks into place, doesn't it? But I have to say your instructions were right on the mark, and I guess it surprised me that the whole thing was held in place by just 6 screws, not counting the two in the upper 'glove' compartment under those rubber bumpers, but it was useful to have removed this and put out of the way just so I could see how the replacment slipped back into place. But those god awful 'spring clips' !? (or whatever Chevy actually calls them). If you don't know where they are or can't see exactly how they grip, it leads one to being overly cautious for certain. But ultimately, the entire process took less time and effort than I had anticipated, even though much of this was also mostly due to the fact that I was being very 'procedural' and (as I said) VERY cautious about the whole thing (plastic trim and decor panels are probably everyone's foe, IMHO..). But then I have to be honest... I aso put more than a bit of focus and encouragement into the concept of "... just be patient, son..." who was... well yes, quite a bit more impatient with the whole effort. But we're both pretty pleased at how easily it came apart and went back together, and of course now he has been duly cautioned about such incidents that might appear in the future. Steel rods, kid? OMG... this coulda been much worse than this, JR...
But thanks for the guide, DrivenDaily. Much appreciated.
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