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Cup Holder Won't Open; Napkin Stuck Inside. Difficult to Fix?

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Old 09-05-12, 10:38 AM   #1
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Default Cup Holder Won't Open; Napkin Stuck Inside. Difficult to Fix?

My wife was trying to prevent damage to our 2003 LS. There was condensation from her bottle of ice water, and she didn't want water drops touching the polished walnut below. Very commendable, but it led her to make a mistake.

She put a napkin under the bottle, but neglected to remove the napkin, which eventually slipped down and into the open/exposed retraction mechanism. Now the cup holder is stuck in its retracted position.

I showed this to the service manager at my local Lexus and he said his guys would need to remove the wood in order to access the napkin. I told him I'd have it done at my next servicing.

What I'd really like is to do it myself, since I'm unemployed right now, but I'm extremely NOT handy. Does anyone know if this is something I can easily fix on my own? Thanks!

In my car, unlike in newer LS models, the cup holder retracts into a spot at the front of the armrest.
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Old 09-05-12, 10:40 AM   #2
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Is the napkin that strong? Pics would help.
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Old 09-05-12, 11:07 AM   #3
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Use some force and pull the cupholder out, I'm sure you can overpower some limpy paper.
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Old 09-05-12, 12:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. There's really nothing to show in a picture, since everything looks in order.

As napkins go, this one is pretty robust. Still, I hear you guys--it is just paper. But I always baby everything in this car, and I'm concerned that pulling hard might break the cup holder, thereby compounding my problem. Although I'm tempted now....
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Old 09-05-12, 12:12 PM   #5
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Wet the napkin. It will come apart.
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Old 09-05-12, 01:12 PM   #6
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It shouldn't be to hard to get it open enough to try n pull out that super napkin she lost
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Old 09-05-12, 01:27 PM   #7
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Can you see any of the napkin at all or is it entirely under the mechanism?
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Old 09-05-12, 01:45 PM   #8
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Retarded napkin. If it bothers you that much, just break the cup holder and replace it.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:15 PM   #9
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The wetting method could work, but be extremely careful as you don't want liquids reaching anything electrical. Perhaps you could muscle it out enough to slide in a turkey baster type thing and concentrate water ON the napkin. I also agree that the mechanism is quite robust, so careful tugs should eventually crush the paper.
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Old 09-05-12, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Can you see any of the napkin at all or is it entirely under the mechanism?
Totally out of sight. In fact, for a while the tray was open, and only a tiny bit of the napkin was visible. But then she decided to shut it--I don't know why. And that's where the story has so far stalled.
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Old 09-06-12, 05:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SC400slide View Post
Retarded napkin. If it bothers you that much, just break the cup holder and replace it.
Just so you folks know..the cupholder part alone is 184 bucks....dont ask me how I know. I believe there is a way to access the cupholder by taking the bottom out of the center console box. thats how dealers change them.

read these postshttp://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62993

Last edited by honeygee2; 09-06-12 at 05:49 AM..
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Old 09-06-12, 11:04 AM   #12
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Removing the wood yourself is straight forward to get to the cup mechanism... there should be a tutorial with pics so just do a search. If I remember correctly, first unscrew shift ***, lever up and remove chrome bezel off shift plate, pull lowest wood trim off center stack, then pull up and remove big wood piece (careful not to crack it)... then 2 bolts holding down cup mechanism in case you need to pull that up to work on it.

Note - I would make sure you use taped up tools like screw driver to do all the levering, or better yet get trim removal tools that are plastic and won't scratch...

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Old 09-06-12, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeygee2 View Post
Just so you folks know..the cupholder part alone is 184 bucks....dont ask me how I know. I believe there is a way to access the cupholder by taking the bottom out of the center console box. thats how dealers change them.

read these postshttp://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62993
That's nothing... if you break that wood I think it is over $1k to replace... be careful if you are trying at home and know the clip locations to focus where to lever the wood up/out from
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Old 09-06-12, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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That's nothing... if you break that wood I think it is over $1k to replace... be careful if you are trying at home and know the clip locations to focus where to lever the wood up/out from
There are photo tutorial in Club Lexus for the removal of the wood panel. It's found in the area where folks were installing the ViasTech unit for the stereo. I did that, and removal of this panel is a piece of cake for even those with no mechanical confidence. Do a search and go do it!
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Old 09-09-12, 01:04 PM   #15
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You shouldnt have to remove the shift **** just remove the wood grain located at the heated seat controls then remove chrome trim around shift **** and then remove wood panel around shift **** . Then there should be 4 screws that hold the cup holder in place.
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