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I spilled coffee in the center console cup holder, because it always moves around! I wiped it up and noticed coffee had seeped into the cracks. I was able to get the rubber pad out, barely, and saw under the clear plastic covering a lot of coffee trapped underneath it. I called the dealership to ask how to safely remove to clean and was told to bring it in because they have to take the ENTIRE console out. Is this really the design?!? Does anyone know how to remove the plastic lining covering the led lights? Thank you!
 

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I spilled coffee in the center console cup holder, because it always moves around! I wiped it up and noticed coffee had seeped into the cracks. I was able to get the rubber pad out, barely, and saw under the clear plastic covering a lot of coffee trapped underneath it. I called the dealership to ask how to safely remove to clean and was told to bring it in because they have to take the ENTIRE console out. Is this really the design?!? Does anyone know how to remove the plastic lining covering the led lights? Thank you!
Just curious if you were able to figure out a way to clean this? The exact same thing happened to me this morning, someone cut me off in traffic and my coffee tipped over.
 

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As of this morning, I have the same issue, except with spilled tea. It's just sitting there under the clear plastic on top of the light. I can't get to it. Any ideas?
 

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Unfortunately the dealer is correct. The console does in fact have to be taken apart to get access to the clear plastic cup holder. I know this for a fact because when we purchased our ascent my wife inserted one of those twist in cup adapters because her drink cup was too large to fit in the cup holder. The adapter did not hold her cup well and it left a lot of deep scrapes and scratches in the sides of the cup holder so I had to replace it for her.
 

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I spilled coffee in the center console cup holder, because it always moves around! I wiped it up and noticed coffee had seeped into the cracks. I was able to get the rubber pad out, barely, and saw under the clear plastic covering a lot of coffee trapped underneath it. I called the dealership to ask how to safely remove to clean and was told to bring it in because they have to take the ENTIRE console out. Is this really the design?!? Does anyone know how to remove the plastic lining covering the led lights? Thank you!
Any update on this? Did they charge to take it out?
 

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I would totally DIY this instead of taking a few hours out of my day with a trip tp the dealer. Here's a video that can help get you started. Just don't use a metal knife like this guy did. Get some cheap plastic pry tools.

can a small steam clean device followed by suction work?
 

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can a small steam clean device followed by suction work?
I’m really not sure. I’m sure it might help a little in getting it clean, but I would personally avoid introducing steam/moisture. It may cause corrosion if there are any electrical connections down there. I haven’t had the console apart myself so I’m not sure what’s under there.
 

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I spilled coffee in the center console cup holder, because it always moves around! I wiped it up and noticed coffee had seeped into the cracks. I was able to get the rubber pad out, barely, and saw under the clear plastic covering a lot of coffee trapped underneath it. I called the dealership to ask how to safely remove to clean and was told to bring it in because they have to take the ENTIRE console out. Is this really the design?!? Does anyone know how to remove the plastic lining covering the led lights? Thank you!
As a person that works for Subaru the best bet you have without having to go to the dealership is putting a towel in the cupholders to catch what comes out of the holes. Then take an air compressor and just blast it? saves you $100 and gets most of it out without any problems!
 

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OK. I am now in the club of Ascent owners with sticky liquid under their front cup holder light diffuser thingy. As careful as I was on my way home to keep the drinks stable with my right hand (due to the horrible design of the cup holders) some liquid got out and of course seeped down under the plastic - a major point of aggravation to my day.

However, I am thrilled to report that I was able to successfully (and pretty easily) remove the plastic layer to soak up and clean liquid that spilled and seeped under it. Absolutely THRILLED!

I am also thrilled that it is DIY (or at least DIY by someone you know that is handy) and that it is not necessary to take the console apart.

And, to complete a trifecta of great news on this crappy situation, there is no need to involve a dealer's service department.

Win, win, win. I removed the plastic and soaked up EVERY DROP of soda and it is back to clean and dry.

One caveat - I used some relatively specialized/unique tools - some may have them in their toolboxes or lying around - I don't think they are very expensive but may be hard to find.

I will post more detail and images ASAP - I am currently working from home while supervising my toddler daughter - won't be able to get back out there until later.

Stand by for more info.
 

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OK - long story shortened, the plastic piece does snap out by design. You just have to get a tool (or tools) in between the plastic piece and the base plastic and pull up very hard.

Here are the tools I used. I have had these forever and they are quite handy to have around. I believe tools like these were used frequently in the age of manual roll down windows to pull hard to reach retention pins from window handles.

3845


The trick is to get a tool in between the clear plastic piece and the Grey base plastic enough to create a little space to get a pull tool in. When seated, there is zero space in between the clear plastic piece and the grey base.

Here is an image of the underside of the clear plastic piece. You can see the retention tabs that keep it secured in the base.

3846


I used the zig-zig end of the red tool to get a tiny bit of separation and then I inserted the 90 degree end of the blue tool to use as the pull tool. (images are of the rearmost cup holder slot)

3847


3848


Once I got the pull tool in firmly, I grabbed it with both hands and yanked it up hard and the clear plastic piece popped loose.

3849


Words cannot adequately described how relieved I was after sopping up the soda that seeped under. The thought of driving around in a brand new ($45,000) car with soda seeping around and congealing in the nether regions of my crappily designed cup holders had me thoroughly p'd off.

The clear plastic piece took a really good yank to get loose - so much so that I was concerned it would crack or break because all of my up force was being transmitted thru the tiny 90 degree end of the tool. I will be dremeling down the "nodules" on the tabs significantly to make it much easier to pop it loose. I suppose using 2 pull tools (one in each oval opening of the clear plastic piece) would probably help it come less easier.

Here is an image of the base under the clear plastic piece - where the liquid would end up after seeping down into the holes, I don't even want to ponder. It looks like this may be the service route to the bulbs - maybe twisting out the blue lenses provides access to replace the bulbs?

3850


I am looking forward to getting my OEM cup holder insert - but even when I have the insert, I don't think I will be putting any sweaty or leaky beverage cups in there without a couple layers of napkins underneath.

By the way, I talked to a parts guy at my dealer today about the status of my back-ordered insert - he looked my order up in the system and said it is now showing a May 27 ship date. (WTH)?
 

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OK - long story shortened, the plastic piece does snap out by design. You just have to get a tool (or tools) in between the plastic piece and the base plastic and pull up very hard.

Here are the tools I used. I have had these forever and they are quite handy to have around. I believe tools like these were used frequently in the age of manual roll down windows to pull hard to reach retention pins from window handles.

View attachment 3845

The trick is to get a tool in between the clear plastic piece and the Grey base plastic enough to create a little space to get a pull tool in. When seated, there is zero space in between the clear plastic piece and the grey base.

Here is an image of the underside of the clear plastic piece. You can see the retention tabs that keep it secured in the base.

View attachment 3846

I used the zig-zig end of the red tool to get a tiny bit of separation and then I inserted the 90 degree end of the blue tool to use as the pull tool. (images are of the rearmost cup holder slot)

View attachment 3847

View attachment 3848

Once I got the pull tool in firmly, I grabbed it with both hands and yanked it up hard and the clear plastic piece popped loose.

View attachment 3849

Words cannot adequately described how relieved I was after sopping up the soda that seeped under. The thought of driving around in a brand new ($45,000) car with soda seeping around and congealing in the nether regions of my crappily designed cup holders had me thoroughly p'd off.

The clear plastic piece took a really good yank to get loose - so much so that I was concerned it would crack or break because all of my up force was being transmitted thru the tiny 90 degree end of the tool. I will be dremeling down the "nodules" on the tabs significantly to make it much easier to pop it loose. I suppose using 2 pull tools (one in each oval opening of the clear plastic piece) would probably help it come less easier.

Here is an image of the base under the clear plastic piece - where the liquid would end up after seeping down into the holes, I don't even want to ponder. It looks like this may be the service route to the bulbs - maybe twisting out the blue lenses provides access to replace the bulbs?

View attachment 3850

I am looking forward to getting my OEM cup holder insert - but even when I have the insert, I don't think I will be putting any sweaty or leaky beverage cups in there without a couple layers of napkins underneath.

By the way, I talked to a parts guy at my dealer today about the status of my back-ordered insert - he looked my order up in the system and said it is now showing a May 27 ship date. (WTH)?
I've asked a few local dealers about when they believe the cup holder insert will be in stock for purchase and they've all say they expect end of May as well.

One other non-dealer Subaru OEM parts source said it's out of stock and they don't have an estimate on when they will get any.
 

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I used the zig-zig end of the red tool to get a tiny bit of separation and then I inserted the 90 degree end of the blue tool to use as the pull tool. (images are of the rearmost cup holder slot)
I have you all beat: 5 minutes into a 30 minute drive, our 9 month old Australian Shepherd puked an entire stomach of partially digested kibble into the front cup holders. It was mostly undigested, but there was enough syrupy mucus that it had worked its way down under the light diffuser. I was ready to torch the car and call the insurance company, but @MSCM 's pictures and tool descriptions are exactly what I needed. (THANK YOU!!) I didn't have his specialty tools, but I found a small alan wrench and a pair of locking pliers gave me the perfect right-angle tip and strength to pull up on the diffuser and have it pop right out. It was actually much easier than I expected, and I was able to get everything cleaned out, and only gagged a couple times. :sick: Thanks again @MSCM for taking the time to post photos and descriptions. Saved me a lot of hassle. (And higher insurance premiums.)
 

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For those more video inclined, watching my cupholder insert installation video will show you how to do it in video.

 

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For those more video inclined, watching my cupholder insert installation video will show you how to do it in video.
I didn't know such a thing existed. Just placed an order for one. Thank you, @Robert.Mauro ! (I'm new here... can you tell?)

I gotta say, though... I feel like Subaru should issue these for free to anyone that asks. The stock design is shit. Subaru profits from their poor design by selling people the correction.
 

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I spilled coffee in the center console cup holder, because it always moves around! I wiped it up and noticed coffee had seeped into the cracks. I was able to get the rubber pad out, barely, and saw under the clear plastic covering a lot of coffee trapped underneath it. I called the dealership to ask how to safely remove to clean and was told to bring it in because they have to take the ENTIRE console out. Is this really the design?!? Does anyone know how to remove the plastic lining covering the led lights? Thank you!
Thanks for all of the tips and sorry that everyone was having this same issue.
I also spilled a bunch of Coffee and needed to remove the plastic piece. Since I didn’t have dental-like tools, my neighbor suggested the tool used to open a paint can. IT WORKED! So, if anyone has a paint can opener, that’s your go to tool!
 

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Thanks for all of the tips and sorry that everyone was having this same issue.
I also spilled a bunch of Coffee and needed to remove the plastic piece. Since I didn’t have dental-like tools, my neighbor suggested the tool used to open a paint can. IT WORKED! So, if anyone has a paint can opener, that’s your go to tool!
Thankyou! I have many of those, guess one is going to live in my new Ascent when it arrives.. I'm forever spilling drinks in my outbacks cupholders.. eep!
 
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