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Old 07-15-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
Mango
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Armrest squeaks finally gone. How I finally fixed it. (Photos inside)

This guide will show you how to get rid of the annoying armrest squeak that virtually every E46 suffers from. I first use JJRICHAR'S or DelMarco's guide for removing the actual armrest. I cleaned everything, lubed it with lithium grease, and reinstalled.

I still had the same squeaks.

Through carefully examining the armrest and poking and proding it while listening carefully, I determined the squeaks were coming from the four halves which consist of TWO pieces:

The upper leather armrest and the lower tray that sits beneath it. These two pieces split in two making a total of four pieces.

The photos are self explanatory but basically here's what I did:

First remove armrest per this guide:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=748692

Then once armrest and lower tray removed, split upper armrest apart by removing two rubber caps and two philips-head screws as pictured below:



Then split the lower tray in the following manner by using a pry tool (in my case, I used scissors slightly spread apart then worked my way around the perimeter until the two halves split apart:



I then used foam-strip door gasket from Home Depot (about $3 a pack):



and automotive lithium grease from local auto parts store:



This is the part that sits below the leather armrest strategically covered in tape and grease:



and this is the lower tray part covered in tape and grease in the same manner:



Reinstall everything in reverse making sure you pay attention to the armrest portion where the lower half hooks into the front of the armrest first. Also make sure the armrest release button is properly functioning before you reinstall. (The release button has a tendency to knock itself out of alignment when you split the armrest in two) you'll see how it works once you have it apart. Very easy.

My armrest is now 100% squeak free. Thanks to those in another thread who gave insight on how to split them apart.
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Last edited by Mango; 07-15-2012 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Nice ill be trying this later in the week. Thanks
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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wow!

Yes sr mng^

I will be doing this asap ...

Nice write-p...
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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Np. Let me know how it works out.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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im definitely going to try this. it squeaks more than anything else in my car!

thanks for the write up
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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Skip the grease. It smells and won't help with the squeak in this location- unless you use the wrong type of gasket material.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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The grease I used is oderless unless your nose is right up to it. And I am extremely sensitive to smell. The hard plastics are rubbing at their mounting location so any help in the form of grease helps. This is my theory anyway and apparently it worked for me. I didn't feel like doing everything all over again--I don't have time for that. So I simply threw everything I had at it and it worked.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:15 AM   #8
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Awesome. This is going to have to go on that site. Glad that you found and shared a fix!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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Nice job. I got rid of my armrest squeeks to. I opted to use plasti dip though and its worked great. dissasembled like you did, sprayed the plastic pieces that rubbed together and caused squeek, reassembled and no more noise.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:14 PM   #10
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Awesome. Perhaps the rubberized coating gave the new pieces some damping properties. Hope the rubber doesn't wear away and expose the hardened/dry plastic. Let us know how it goes. If it works, I'll try it too.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #11
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I think I love you Mango. This is definitely one of the things I've been annoyed with the most.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:33 PM   #12
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I think I love you Mango. This is definitely one of the things I've been annoyed with the most.
Same here, man. Other thing that squeaks are the plastic trims that goes on the outer edge of the seats. Those are next
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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Awesome. Perhaps the rubberized coating gave the new pieces some damping properties. Hope the rubber doesn't wear away and expose the hardened/dry plastic. Let us know how it goes. If it works, I'll try it too.
Been about a year, so far so good. The rubber coating seemed to fill in the space nicely so I don't think there's enough room for the pieces to rub against each other and wear off the coating. The pieces were very tight going back together so I think it'll last quite a while. Its the only useful use I've found for plasti dip so far
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #14
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Nice. Maybe I'll use that for my seat trim...
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #15
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I have a DIY coming for the seat trim. I'll put it up tonight.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #16
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Very good. Can't wait... every time I'm in a corner... squeak squeak.. it's like my car is made out of wood.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #17
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Wallah thread!..!

Killed 2 birds with 1 stone...

Squeak hunt down
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:15 PM   #18
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I have a DIY coming for the seat trim. I'll put it up tonight.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:58 PM   #19
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Okay tomorrow, today I'm le tired.

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:02 PM   #20
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The armrest is stupid on both the E46 and the E90, it interferes with my elbow while shifting. I always leave it tilted up and out of the way.
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