How to Change the Shift Knob on a B6/B7 Audi A4/S4/RS4

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RS4 Shift Knob and E-Brake Handle

Now that my suspension is sorted out and my exterior is looking how I want it, I decided to tackle some interior modifications next. I had my RS4 e-brake handle leftover from my Audi A4, so I went ahead and installed that first. With my previous A4 I had no desire to change the automatic shift knob, mostly because the S-Line came with a perforated air-leather already. My S4; however, came with a smooth leather shift knob that looked tired, dated and kind of cheap (see below for a side-by-side comparison). Keeping with the OEM+ theme I like to modify my car with, I sought out an RS4 shift knob for my S4, and the results are pictured in this post…I’m super happy with how it came out, and for a relatively low investment of about $225 for the handle + shift knob I gave the interior a new & fresh look. To buy the shift knob, check out eBay:

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RS4 vs S4 Shift Knobs

I’ll go into some installation tips next as it’s not entirely straightforward, although it’s easy to install yourself after reading this. These tips apply the B6/B7 Audi A4, S4, RS4, as well as other models with a manual transmission ranging from the TT to the Audi Q5. One interesting thing you may not expect is that the shift knob comes with the leather boot attached, so it’s all one assembly. To install, start by removing the leather shift boot – there are two tabs along each side of the bottom of the shift boot (they’re on the long side – see below) that you’ll try to grab and pull inward toward the center of the shifter. I’ve pictured these tabs below – you only need to get one side out and the other side will simply fall out of place:

Shift Boot Removal

Once the boot is loose from the interior trim, you can pull the boot up and above the knob to expose the metal fastener that holds the knob down. You can’t simply pull the knob off, but instead this metal clip must be removed. Audi designed these retainer clips to be a one-time use, so you’ll basically destroy it. I picked up a new hose clamp from a nearby hardware store for $1.50 to replace it. To make sure I had the right size I just brought the shift knob & boot into the store and sized it up in the aisle.


I was able to break the OEM metal clip off using a flat head screwdriver – it’s super strong and you can basically just bend it until it breaks. Once it is removed, the knob will pull off very easily, leaving you with an exposed metal pole:

Shift Knob Removed

Next, place your replacement clip over the bottom of the boot but keep it loose so you can slide the new knob on over the pole:

Shift Knob Clamp

Make sure the top of the knob is lined up correctly, then push down all of the way until you hear it pop or click into place. Once it’s in, tighten the screw down as tight as you can so the knob never pops off during spirited driving or hard shifting.

Shift Knob Clamp

Lastly, pull the shift boot down and snap it back into place with the interior trim, and you’re set.

RS4 Shift Knob

Here’s one more picture to show how well the knob matches both the RS4 e-brake handle and the perforated leather steering wheel of my S4:

Audi S4 Interior

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.


  1. Hi Nick and all, I purchased a new S-Line gear knob and turns out the inner white plastic shaft is longer than the original. The fit does not seem right. Has anyone come across this problem?

  2. Thanks Nick. So I got the new S-Line gear knob installed, with my original leather boot. It certainly is higher than original fit, once clamped down. The gear change feel is not so good.
    The photo of your RS4 gear knob where the clip fits looks like original part fit, right where the boot fits. Mine is probably 1-1.5 inch longer from where the boot fits, making for a higher gear knob. Gear change is now notchy.
    I might consider buying the RS4 gear knob with new boot fitted.

  3. Hi Nick, im in the middle of changing my S4 b6 cabriolet auto to look like a manual, it all works very smooth, my one thing im kinda juggling around is how to fit a leather gaiter so it covers the silver auto faceplate.
    My guess is the plate has to stay on as it has a circuit board under it, therefore a modified gear surround with possibly a glued and stapled gaiter gets fitted then the chrome surround bar slips over to finish it off .. i bought used surround off ebay to practise on but not done yet.
    Do you have any suggestions please, am i on the right track or im wrong.
    Thanks for ant assistance

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