Preventing the common Audi A4/S4 Glovebox hinge break

Broken glove box hinges are another common issue with the B6 A4 and S4 (maybe the B7 A4/S4 and RS4 too?), if yours is broken, it’s broken, there’s not much you can do about it. You either replace the whole thing or mess around with brackets from your local hardware store and try to come up with something that looks respectable. I’ve seen varying degrees of success with this over on, but by far the best way to deal with it is to stop it happening in the first place.

Here’s the glovebox out of the car showing the hinge/damper mechanism..

2013-07-03 14.19.15

And here’s the cause of all these broken hinges!

2013-11-30 13.28.20

You’ll notice this isn’t the hinge, this is the soft-open damper mechanism and light switch. Over time this thing stiffens up and puts loads of extra stress on the hinge, eventually snapping it or opening so slowly that people force it open and snap it themselves.

You need to remove it, take it apart and lube it up.

To get it off the glovebox the little split pin needs to be pulled out (needle nose pliers will do the trick), this will release the arm that attaches to the glovebox door and allow the whole thing to rotate. You twist it maybe 45 degrees or so until it comes free from the glovebox.

2013-11-30 13.29.25

Seeing it all in bits should give you an idea of how to take it apart, but you just have to carefully pry the end off (that houses the light switch), and then pull out the arm with the rubber end.

Coat the barrel in something slippery. “SwissJetPilot” from recommends, “Silicone and mineral-oil-based lubricants are the best choice since they wonโ€™t attack most plastics.” (thank you for your comment).

Then slide the arm back in (obviously rubber end first).

Reassemble and you should find there’s much less friction and less stress on the glovebox hinge. A really easy little preventative fix.


12 thoughts on “Preventing the common Audi A4/S4 Glovebox hinge break

  1. Very good tutorial and I also used silicone grease, works great!

    Actually to pry off the end of the damper is easy, could do it by hand. (although still taking into consideration the switch is build in, so I was careful)


  2. You should be aware of what these parts are made of so you can select the best lubricant and don’t inadvertently ruin the part. All Audi plastic parts include the material identification molded into the part, usually near the part number and located between these two symbols > ABS/POMPOM/TPE/PA6+GF<".This means the outer housing is primarily ABS plastic, but the parts on the inside include POM/TPE/PA6+GF. So we have POM (Polyoxmethylene or Delrin), TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and PA6+GF which is Glass filled Nylon. Since TPE is a mix of plastic and rubber, it's a pretty safe bet that the TPE refers to the sealing ring.

    ABS, Nylon and especially TPE do not react well to petroleum-based materials since these compounds typically contain hydrocarbons in the form of alcohol, MEK or acetone which can destroy plastics.

    Silicone and mineral-oil-based lubricants are they best choice since they wonโ€™t attack most plastics. White lithium is generally a good choice, just be sure it doesn't include zinc oxide, which is found in heat sink compounds. However it may be too heavy, or thick, for this application and is better suited for hinges and gears.

    For this application, any commercial mineral oil would be the best choice.

    Hope this helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thanks for this, a very useful guide. Just had to do my dads Audi after the hinge broke off due to the stiffness of this part. Even after cleaning up and greasing the seal the plunger still seemed stiff with too much resistance when opening so I took another look.

    Looking at the seal it looks slightly tapered with bit of flappy rubber on the outer edge. When you close the plunger the air escapes past that flappy bit so it’s easier to close, but when you open the plunger the air going the other forces that flappy bit of rubber open to cause a tighter seal and more resistance. It looks like the rubber has swollen with age and not allowing enough air past on opening causing too much resistance making it very stiff.

    What I did is take the rubber off and placing it flat on a piece of sandpaper I ran it up & down the sandpaper to trim off a bit of that flappy excess. It now works a treat and no longer stiff. Just got to sort the broken hinge now.

    1. Nice one, Martin. Pleased you got it sorted in the end. Hopefully your comment will help someone else in future, thanks.

Leave a Reply to Martin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *