Updated: 7-May-2024

For interior/upholstery styles and related information, please head over to the Interior Styles page in the Museum.


How the Rear Seat Folds Forward

Folding Rear Seat

  1. Open trunk. (Note: 1979-1980 convertibles do not have the locking mechanism; skip to step 3.)
  2. Pull out black knob and leave trunk lid open.
  3. Pull rear seatback forward with driver's side strap.

If your rear seat does not have the pull strap, follow steps 1 and 2 above. Then, lean inside the trunk and push the rear seatback hooks (one on each side of seatback) up and away from you. Replacement straps can be made or bought; see the Parts page for more info.

How to Remove the Headrests

There should be a metal spring clip in the center of the black plastic trim pieces where the headrest slides into the seatback. That spring clip needs to be pulled out/off of the trim piece in order to pull the headrest out. Tap here for picture.

Installing Seats From Another Volkswagen

Front seats:

Rear seat:

Heated Seats

Heated Seat Switch Only the front seats are heated. There is a switch for each seat in the instrument panel that controls the heating elements. Heated seats were an option on particular Cabriolet trim levels from '91-'93*; the "Cabriolet Classic" trim level for 1993 came standard with heated leather seats.

*Cold-weather climate nations, such as Canada, had heated front seats as an option from about 1984 onward.

Seat Fabric

Many people have asked where to obtain the original seat fabric for restoration projects. Unfortunately, almost all OEM seat fabric is unavailable (there are a few covers still available through VW's ClassicParts in Germany). You'll either have to source a close match, have all four seats re-upholstered, or have matching fabric custom-made (you might try contacting sitzklinik.de in Germany).

Seat Belts

Front Seat Belts

Front seat belts are no longer available new. You will have to source good used belts, or adapt other belts to fit.

Installing Rear Shoulder Belts

Rear Belts The rear shoulder belts in the '91.5+ North American Cabriolets are installed as such: the belt guides are mounted to the seatback and the belt retractor assemblies are welded to the car (inside the trunk and behind the rear seat). Therefore, if you want to install the rear shoulder belts from a '91.5+ Cabriolet, you have some work to do. If you feel uncomfortable with only lap belts in the rear seat, it would be wise to buy a '91.5+ Cabriolet. Installing rear shoulder belts, whether OEM or aftermarket harnesses, is, however, a doable project. Tap here for further information.

Dash & Kneebar

Removing Dash and/or Kneebar

Dash & kneebar removal guide: Dash Removal Download

Installing 1990+ USA Kneebar Into a 1980-1989 Cabriolet

Can be done, but be aware that your stock manual window cranks will not work in the stock location. The 1990+ USA kneebar was specific to these cars due to the addition of the airbag and was, probably, the main reason for the addtion of power front windows being standard equipment. Countries outside of the USA received these kneebars only if the cars had center console gauges along with power windows.

Installing a Dash from Another Volkswagen

Another model's dash can be installed, but with major or minor modifications depending on the replacement dash and its compatibility with the kneebar.

Removing the Kneebar Permanently

It has been done by many, but it's not recommended. The metal kneebar (behind the external padding) is part of the structural reinforcement Karmann added to the cars.

Glove Box

Removing Glove Box

The glove box is heat-welded to the dash. The dash must be removed first before attempting to remove the glove box.

Removing Glove Box Lid

The glove box lid is separate from the glove box; however, to remove the lid completely the side vent must be removed in order to gain access to the lid's spring. Remove the lid screws and the spring to lift out the glove box lid.

Center Console

Removing Cassette Tape Holder

The cassette tape holder in the center console simply pulls out. The later cassette holders that are lighted will have a wiring harness to disconnect prior to removing the cassette holder completely.

Swapping the Console Gauges and Radio

This is a common swap; it's simply a matter of some re-wiring and cutting (and obtaining/making a new gauge face-plate). Note 1: Depending on the head unit, the heater core may block the head unit from being installed properly. Note 2: Airbag-equipped Cabriolets will have a problem: The airbag control module is located in the space behind the cassette storage/cubby and will need to be removed if the radio head unit is to be placed in the center console (this means your Cabriolet will be without an airbag, not that it presently works anyway); cutting all of the wires will result in your Cabriolet not starting; please read the airbag page thoroughly before proceeding (it is possible to move the module to another location as well). The gauges can also be installed in place of the center vent in the dash.


Trunk Contents

Tap here to see what your trunk contained from the factory (guide does not include the top boot, which came with the car from the factory and just flopped around inside the trunk when not in use).

If you would like a nice way to store your top boot when not in use, purchase a boot storage bag from the Cabby Info Store.

Making The Trunk Floor More Sturdy

Have a piece of plywood cut, insert it into the trunk and lay the carpet over it.

Trunk Floor

Trunk Strut (aka Lift Support)

Replacement part numbers:

Tired of replacing the strut? Cut a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe slightly shorter than the strut's rod, disconnect the strut at one end, slide the pipe onto the strut, reconnect the strut. When opening the trunk lid, simply slide the pipe into place, over the rod; to close the trunk, dislodge the pipe, slide it off the rod, and close the lid. Example shown below.

Trunk Strut Mod

Help Icons No AttributionTrunk Light Does Not Work

The trunk light is wired into the lighting circuit with a separate "switch" installed at the trunk opening. The light switch on the dash must be turned to the parking light and/or headlight-on position(s) in order for the trunk light to switch on when opening the trunk lid. If this doesn't solve your problem, check the bulb.


Help Icons No AttributionRear Windows do Not Roll Down All the Way

The rear windows will not roll down all the way due to a) the shape of the glass and the space inside the rear quarter panels; b) the speakers are in the way.

For power window issues, please refer to the electrical page.

Tonneau Cover

Tonneau Cover A tonneau cover is an accessory that covers the interior of a convertible when the top/roof is down. Volkswagen sold an OEM accessory tonneau cover to European Cabriolet owners, part number 155871045A, which is now available through VW's ClassicParts and its retailers. North American Cabriolet owners: You will need to source these tonneau covers from a European seller who is willing to ship to North America (use your browser to search for the part number). Tap thumbnail for larger view.


Many folks have asked what type of cupholders are available for Cabriolets. Tap here for a list of various options folks use.


Keys Your Car Came With


Key Codes

Master Key

Valet Key

The HV key is also considered to be a universal key. This means that if your car originally came with an AH key, you can also use an HV key, if need be.

Key blanks are on eBay, at WatercooledKeys.com and/or at your local VW dealer. Some dealers will cut the keys for you, or a local locksmith will too.

Cleaning Products

Vinyl Surfaces

Leather Surfaces

Cloth Surfaces