Ashtray Fix

13th November 2019

This page shows the removal, and fix, of my 981 Boxster ashtray which Steve aka @Ringer250 on, helped me with today.

For a couple of months the ashtray hasn’t worked properly…well as ashtrays go it’s working in that you could easily flick your fag ash into it (or keep oddments or loose change in it like I do!) but the flap had stopped clasping shut. It has therefore been in an open setting for a little while (untidy and gets in the way when changing gear somewhat too).

So the first job was to recruit an able-bodied assistant to help with the task of taking apart the centre console and taking out the ashtray module to inspect it.

…when I say ‘assistant’ what I mean is someone who is both superior in knowledge and happy to take on the task!

Enter Steve aka Ringer250 on (easily bought with Rich Tea biscuits and tea).

Using a plastic prying bar (see image below of a similar set) Steve proceeded in prying away the side of the centre console on both sides.


Both sides are held on with clips.

Before starting the prying of the sides, we needed to lift the lid of the centre console.

Wedging open the gap means the sides come off. 

It is not necessary to completely remove the sides of the console, just leave them loose.

You need to remove the lose plastic ashtray insert then careflly pull upward along the whole length of the silver console trim to free it from the console.

be careful of the rubber gasket that sits underneath the silver trim, this can just be seen in the picture below (and in another picture further down too).

remove the rubber gasket

here you can see the silver trim and the gasket both removed

The switch panel has tabs, so we had to release one side and then push over the panel to make more room for the tabs on the other side to be released.

Now carefully pull upwards on the switch panel.

This is connected via an electrical connector underneath

Having removed the switch panel from the centre console disconnect the electrical connector and put the switch panel to one side. Below you can see the gear stick linkage that sits underneath, also the side panels sitting lose on either side fo the console.

To remove the ashtray itself carefully push forwards until the ashtray can be lifted upwards, free of the console. Again be careful as it is connected by electrical plugs to the wiring loom.

Disconnect the electrical connector.

Again here you can see what sits underneath, and within the centre console

The following two pictures show the left side of the ashtray.

The front of the ashtray mechanism is to the left on the pictures, rear to the right.

Note the silver pin in the centre of the image. This, it turns out was the problem with the ashtray not staying closed. it doesn’t act as a hinge or anything, instead it semi guides the locking mechanism. The pin on my ashtray was present and in position but had poped out slightly meaning whilst all the parts moved correctly, the ‘L shaped’ part behind the hinge (that the pin sits in) wasnt working correctly.

We joked about this being the ‘£150 pin’. Had we lost it, the only way to fix the issue would have been a new ashtray mechanism at circa £150!

I dropped the pin whilst trying to figure out what it did and trying to refit it. Fortunately I found the pin in between seat and door on the carpet (which given its dimunitive size is remarkably lucky – its circa 2mm diameter and about 10mm long at most).

Here you can see the connector and part number, this is for my 2013 registered 981S – 991.553.141.02

Two videos showing how the mechanism works, one from the side and the other from underneath the ashtray.

Note the odd ‘L shaped’ plastic bit that the silver pin guides into, which moves to help (somehow) keep the lid closed on the ashtray.

Lastly, as all good guides confirm, refit in the reverse order after confirming that the ashtray now works!

…and don’t forget to thank the person who helped you did it for you…

Rewards in this case given as a hot mug of tea and a packet of Rich Tea biscuits.

Thanks Steve, your help was appreciated 🙂