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2003 9-5 Linear Wagon
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't find a definite consensus on how to do this properly before I did it, so I figured I'd do a quick write up for anyone who (like me) hates the gross sticky buttons in your car. It's a pretty easy fix, but you've gotta be a little careful.
For anyone curious, here's an image showing sticky vs clean (these knobs pull right off, I couldn't get the volume knob off): View attachment 272276

Required Materials:
Isopropyl Alcohol (Probably 90%+, I used 91, maybe 70 would work but I had this on hand)
Rag (I used a microfiber, terry cloth or whatever is probably fine, just make sure you're not concerned about possibly throwing it away afterward)
Optional Materials:
Radio Tools (I opted to remove my radio and other components to fully remove the buttons, if you want to do it while it's in the car you probably can but you might just miss the last half mm around the edges)
Various Screwdrivers (again only if you want to disassemble everything)

Steps taken:
1. Removed radio, SID, and ACC units (Note: I couldn't get the ACC buttons out of the faceplate even after disassembling and it still came out well, so you might not need/want to bother removing them all.)
  • Put your radio tools in either side, pull outwards while jiggling the radio left and right and pulling slightly. Eventually it'll come out. You'll have to pull harder until the connections are undone, then it'll come out nicely.
  • Once the radio's out, stick your hand in and push the SID and ACC out from behind. Disconnect them and bring everything inside if you want.
2. Wet your rag/cloth with more isopropyl than you think, I found that the less I used the harsher it was on the plastic underneath. More on that later.
3. Rub gently in different directions, you should see the rubber coming off slowly even while it's wet. Once it looks smooth while wet, dry it with the rag and then inspect it. If you need to clean it, wet the whole thing again.
4. This was the basic procedure I used for all of them, the SID and radio buttons were relatively easy to remove and isolate for cleaning, provided you have some random small screwdrivers and a little patience. Honestly, if I were trying to save time doing this again, I might not bother.

Some more notes:
Don't rub too hard, be gentle on them. The radio was the first thing I did and I got a little too aggressive on a couple of them (pics below) but the other ones were all easier (or I got better at it). Some result pictures below. Overall, I'm really glad I did this "mod", I hated the way the buttons looked/felt before, now they're like new! (apart from the few I messed up, if anyone has an extra set I'd take em off your hands, otherwise, I'll be heading to a junkyard soon).

View attachment 272278 View attachment 272277
View attachment 272279
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