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How would one go about removing this little wood grain trim plate that fits over the gear shifter on a 1999 STS?
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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Go and grab a flathead screwdriver, then pry it up gently around the edges. It uses metal snaps to stay down. Once you've got it loose, put your heavy foot on the brake petal, and shift the car into neutral. The engine does not have to be on, in fact it's safer to leave it off. Then turn the trim peice sideways to get it around and off the shifter. After that put it back into park. Then you can unplug the lighter outlet and the trim peice will be free from the car.
 

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I usually stick a tool like a flat screwdriver gently under the chrome trim ring around the shifter opening and lift up.
That releases some of the clips and then you can get your fingers under there and pull the plate up.
Be gentle so you don't scratch anything. Sometimes they are hard to get out.
Once you get the plate lifted, you have to disconnect the traction switch. There is a little tab on the forward side of the connector that has a keeper, just pry it gently away from the connector and pull the wires down.
Then lift up on the back of the plate and turn the key on, shift to a low gear so you can clear the shift handle (hold your foot on the brake) and then pull the plate back. Swing it out of the hole and undo the blue connector and there you have it.
 
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