Fixing Loose GM Garnish Moldings - BodyShop Business

Fixing Loose GM Garnish Moldings

Often, it’s the small things that eat up time. For example, let’s say you repair a 2010 Buick that had been in a minor fender bender. When you’re done, the owner is happy and drives away. One week later, however, she returns to complain about a poor-fitting interior garnish molding. She’s sure your shop overlooked it when repairing the damage. After all, the car is brand new. What other explanation could there be?

Well, how about what it says in the Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that General Motors issued to address this problem? Published by vehicle manufacturers, TSBs acknowledge known issues with vehicles and provide repair procedures. Having the OE repair information readily available can save a great deal of time – and time, of course, translates to money.

The GM TSB on this problem reads:

Interior – L/H/R/H Windshield Molding Loose/Gap At Top

Subject: Driver and/or Passenger Side Windshield Pillar Garnish Molding Loose, Gap at Top (Install New Fasteners)


• 2010 Buick LaCrosse
• 2008-2010 Cadillac CTS, CTS Sport Wagon, DTS
• 2008-2010 Chevrolet Captiva Sport, Malibu, Express
• 2009-2010 Chevrolet Cruze
• 2008-2010 GMC Savana
• 2008-2010 Saturn VUE
• 2009-2010 Daewoo Lacetti

Parts Information

Part No. 1157111    upper fastener     Chevrolet Captiva, Saturn VUE
Part No. 1156138     upper fastener    Chevrolet Express, Savana
Part No. 1161095    upper fastener    Chevrolet Malibu
Part No. 1157072    upper fastener    Cadillac CTS, CTS Wagon, Chevrolet Cruze, Daewoo Lacetti
Part No. 1161125    upper fastener    Buick LaCrosse


Some customers may comment that the driver and/or passenger side windshield garnish molding is loose, has a gap at the top or is falling off (Figure 1). This condition may be caused by the garnish molding retaining clips not fully engaging or not being replaced at a previous service event. The tether clip is a “one- time-only” use clip and isn’t designed for multiple cycles of engaging and releasing.

CAUTION: Whenever the windshield side garnish molding is removed or replaced, the upper retaining clip and tether must be replaced with a new service retainer clip. Failure to replace the clip may cause the windshield side garnish molding to not fit or function as designed. Do not reuse the old clip – it’s a one-time-only use design. Do not separate the two halves of the service retainer clip.

Service Information

Always refer to ALLDATA Collision for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, and removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information.

Repair Procedure

IMPORTANT: Do not replace the windshield garnish molding assembly if it isn’t affected. The upper tether fastener is available as a service part. Replace only the fastener as instructed in the TSB procedure.

Use the following steps to install the new service garnish molding upper retaining clip:

• Disable the SIR system.

• Remove the windshield side garnish molding by inserting your fingers between the top of the garnish molding and the headliner. Pull gently to release the clip (Figure 2).

• With the tether clip open and attached to the body, disengage the clip from the garnish molding (Figure 3).

• Slide the garnish molding upward to release the molding from the top of the instrument panel.

• Remove the molding from the vehicle.

• Depress the tab holding the tether to the metal retainer and remove the tether (Figure 4).

• Grip the metal retainer with a pair of needle nose pliers as shown (Figure 5).

• Using a small screwdriver in the hole in the clip, release the inner tab on the metal retainer.

• Twisting the clip with the needle nose pliers will help access the tabs (Figure 6). Use a small screwdriver to release two outer tabs on the metal retainer and remove the retainer from the vehicle.

• Insert the new service retaining clip into the garnish molding. Ensure the clip is fully seated into the molding (Figure 7).

• Insert the lower mounting tabs into the top of the instrument panel. No gap should be present between the molding and the top of the instrument panel.

• Insert the retaining clip into the body and ensure that the clips are fully seated. Inspect the upper molding area and verify that there is no gap at the headliner.

• Enable SIR system.

For more on OE repair information, visit

NOTE: This repair/service procedure is excerpted from a TSB published by the vehicle manufacturer and is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. It’s recommended that this procedure not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”

Dan Espersen is the ALLDATA Collision Senior Program Manager. He holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology and has 17 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.

© 2010 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from ALLDATA Collision. ALLDATA is a registered trademark and ALLDATA Collision is a mark of ALLDATA LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective holders.

© GM, General Motors, Buick, LaCrosse, Cadillac, CTS, CTS Sport Wagon, DTS, Chevrolet, Captiva Sport, Malibu, Express, Cruze, GMC, Savana, Saturn, VUE, Daewoo and Lacetti  are registered trademark names and model designations of General Motors. All trademark names and model designations are being used solely for reference and application purposes.
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