Aside from hiding the unsightly hole at the floor pan or the base of the vehicle's stick shift, the shift boot also keeps dirt and dust out of the transmission system. More importantly, it also keeps the fulcrum of the shifter linkage constantly lubricated by acting as a protective cover. If the boot of your vehicle's shifter gets torn, develops a hole, or becomes tattered, it will cease to provide the transmission components with maximum protection. And not only that, it will also make your vehicle look bad. To prevent this from happening, the best thing that you can do would be to address the damage of the shift boot immediately. If a quick fix is not enough, then it may be time to buy a replacement. Here's a brief guide on how to install shift boots.
Note: Some of the steps may vary or may not be applicable depending on the vehicle that you drive.
Step 1: To begin, loosen the nut that's securing the shift knob in place to be able to remove the knob.
Step 2: After removing the shift knob, you should be able to pry the center console out with ease. Remove it from the transmission tunnel by taking out the plastic tabs that secure it in position.
Step 3: Next, disconnect the wiring plugs right beneath the center console to be able to remove the console completely. During this process, make sure you are careful enough not to cause any kind of damage to the console.
Step 4: After successfully removing the console, it's time to clean the dirt and dust that have accumulated on the installation area.
Step 5: When it's already clean, you might need to remove several screws that hold the base of the stick shift and its two switches.
Step 6: After that, you need to remove the old and damaged shift boot from the console. This particular step can be tedious, depending on how the old boot was mounted. In case it's held on by heat-melted plastic tabs, you might need to use a Dremel tool, drill bit, or any other grinding device to take the tabs off.
Step 7: After scraping the tabs out, releasing the old boot from the console should already be easy, though some may require you to use needle nose pliers to push the component out.
Step 8: Next, you need to take the stock shift boot from the mount by removing it from the base of the stick shift all the way up. Note that some boots are also installed using glue.
Step 9: Once it's out, install the new shift boot by fitting it on the mount. For best results, make sure you get a product that's a direct fit to your vehicle. This will minimize your worries during installation and you'll also get your money's worth.
Step 10: When the boot is on the mount, position the mount back to the console and then reinstall the other components that you had to remove earlier like the base of the shifter and its switches.