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Old 01-25-2009, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 6
x3inthechi is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb Complete How To on Replacing Passenger Cup Holder

How to Replace Passenger Cup Holder

So your X3 or other BMW model passenger cup holder is broken like mine was or is in need of replacement for some reason. No need to worry it can be done without any tools and for around $50 and some patience. Here is how I replaced my 2004 X3 Passenger Side Cup Holder with a replacement part.

Required Items:
1.Replacement Cup Holder Ė I bought one from Bavarian (http://www.bmrparts.com) for ~$50
2.WD-40 if you bought a used part, not required but helpful
3.Decent finger nails Ė Not fake hooker press-on but you need a little something there
4.A little patience

Total Time Required: 25 minutes

1.If you bought a used part like I did I would suggest cleaning it first if itís dirty/dusty. Itís easier to clean when itís out of the car and you will appreciate it later. Additionally I would recommend spraying a little WD-40 on the drive gear and on the metal tension bar inside the part. This makes the ejection and insertion of the cup holder much smoother.

2.After your part is prepped itís time to remove the old cup holder. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE A SCREWDRIVER OR TOOLS YOU WILL SCRATCH/DAMAGE YOUR PARTS! Be patient when removing the old part, itís a little tough at first to pry off. First locate and remove the vent cover just above the cup holder. The vent cover is just pressure snapped on with clips. Stick your finger nails of both hands in the crack above the vent cover and pry outward and down. This will take some decent pressure and is not the easiest thing to do. You will feel like you are going to break it but just keep pulling and it will snap loose. Once the top is loose and the right side is loose work on getting the left side loose. The clips for the left side of the vent are looped on so donít just yank them out, work them back and forth and they will pop loose. After the vent cover is off you are about 75% of the way through, this is by far the hardest part. Now itís time to remove the cup holder cover. Pry the cover off in a similar manner as the vent cover. You may be able to see the clips for the cup holder cover which will make it easier to remove. The picture below is of the vent cover removed and the cup holder cover removed, my old part was broke which is why the face part with the picture of the cup is missing, see the picture at the end of the post to see how my holder was broken off.

3. Now that both covers are moved its time to take out the cup holder itself. It can be pulled straight out, however you will need to make sure you have clearance from the dashboard when pulling it out, in other words donít just yank it out. The back of the cup holder may be clipped down in the dashboard so if itís stuck keep pulling with constant pressure, it will snap loose.

4. Now itís time to put your new cup holder in. Perform the same steps as above but in reverse. I would recommend that you put the cup holder back in with the face already attached, this helps line up everything and will make it much easier to put back in place.

5. Now snap the vent cover back one starting with the left side of the cover first. Then pressure push the rest of the cover into place.

6. Thatís it your done! Donít forget to save the old cover that came off the broken cup holder if itís in good shape. You never know if the part may get scratched in the future and the older cover could be used to replace it.

I hope this has been helpful to someone. The dealer wanted $450 - $550 to replace the part when I asked them so you can save yourself quite a lot doing it yourself.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:03 AM
UCrewX5's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hockeytown, USA
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Thanks for sharing this. I copied this over into an article and also added it to the X3world.com home page.

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Old 01-26-2009, 12:11 PM
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Location: Chicago
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No problem happy I could contribute!
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:45 PM
bnarramore619's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
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Does anyone know the part number for this, I cant find this replacement anywhere...My cup holder has been broken for two years now uggggggggg thanks!
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:06 PM
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item 10 on the list
RealOEM.com * BMW E83 X3 3.0i Trim panel dashboard mounting parts
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NorCal
Posts: 77
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That piece always seem to jam.

Macan Turbo / 997.1TT (gone) / e83 (gone)/ e46 M3 / e90 335xi (gone)/ Sienna XLE Ltd
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 18
srhorn is on a distinguished road
A note of caution...

Having just replaced a broken cupholder...the rear of the cupholder is screwed in. If the screw is loose you'll be okay. BUT, if it's in there tightly (like mine) you have to drop the glovebox to take that screw out!

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