Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stuck Glove Box Door on a 2005 Volvo S40

I love my Volvo S40. I've posted about my adventures with repairing the windshield washer fluid system, and I'm surprised how many people end up here to read that article. So here I am at 3am, writing more Volvo S40 linkbait for my fellow shabby arrogant bastards.

Many people, myself included, have run into a problem with the glove box. The problem is that it won't open. You can lock and unlock it all you want, but the handle doesn't engage the locking bar under the dash. I've read a few posts that say you should drill a hole in the front of the door which will destroy the lock and open the box. But you'll still need to fix the lock at some point, and you'll have a hole in the door.

I managed to find a way to open the glove compartment when this happens, and it doesn't cause permanent, or even temporary damage to the car. Here's how:


  1. Pop off the access panel on the passenger side of the dash (do this while the passenger door is open).
  2. Remove the door vent deflector (a hard, black piece of plastic behind the access panel).
  3. Use a flashlight to locate the locking pin. It's about 4" into the access space. You should see a small black pin, round with a flat side. See image to the right. 
  4. Use a long screwdriver to push that pin in until the glove box door opens.
Next, I'll figure out how to repair the locking mechanism. Until then, this will at least let you get into the glove box. My advice is to keep your registration and insurance information elsewhere until that pesky lock is fixed.