How to Remove a Door Panel

A door panel is used to cover the inside part of the door and hide the inner working of the door accessory's such as the window and door latch mechanisms. This padded cardboard item is held on by a series of screws and plastic clips that must be removed to service such items as a window switch, door lock and window motor and regulator. All door panels basically perform the same task though the process a door panel removal will vary slightly for each vehicle. In most cases a novice can perform this job. Once the door panel has been removed be cautious of how it is stored during the repair. Most door panels are made of cloth and can pick up dirt and stains easily.

What Goes Wrong?

In most cases a door panel will have nothing wrong with it. The reason for removing the door panel is to access other problems inside the door. Once the problem is repairs the door panel can be reinstalled.

What Does it Cost?

When you are taking you car into a repair garage or dealership to have the door panel removed it will cost between $55.00 and $95.00(US) depending on the design or manufacturer.

There is a video of this job being done at the bottom of this guide.

Let's Get Started

1. Remove Small Trim Pieces

Most door panels will have small trim pieces located at the top of the panel at either the right or left side. Use a small screw driver or trim removal tool and detach (pop off) any trim pieces above the door panel.

remove trim

Here is an upper trim piece to the left of the panel. These pieces must be removed before removing the panel.

front trim

2. Remove Plastic Fascia Pieces

There could be a series of plastic fascia pieces that need to be removed which house the inner door handle, arm rest or window switch. Look for hidden plastic covers which will need to be removed to access the hidden screws.

remove cover

After all mounting bolt covers have been removed loosen and remove the panel mounting screws. These screws can be a little hidden so look around and under arm rests.

remove door panel screws

3. Remove Door Handle

Remove any screws holding the inner door handle. Grasp the handle and remove it by pulling upward. Be cautious of the linkage attached to the handle as not to bend or break it.

remove door handle

Use a small screwdriver to push the plastic clip over the linkage and release it from the handle.

disconnect door handle linkage

4. Remove Door Speaker

Some car door panels are equipped with a speaker which will need to be removed before the panel can be taken off in some cases. Grasp the speaker cover and gently pull outward to unclip the cover to access the speaker screws.

remove speaker cover

Remove speaker mounting screws to remove the speaker. Be careful not to puncher the speaker cone with the tool.

remove speaker screws

Once the speaker is loose disconnect the wire harness connector by releasing the wiring connector safety clips.

disconnect speaker wiring connector

5. Remove Door Panel

Check that all mounting hardware and small hidden doors have been opened. Some screws can be well hidden as in the image below.

hidden screw door panel

Watch the Video!

Please watch this video of the job being done, then continue down the guide to glean additional helpful information.

Use a screwdriver or door panel removal tool and wedge it in-between the panel and the door. This will release (pop) the plastic clips holding the panel to the door. Follow this action around the bottom of the door until completely released.

release door panel clips

Once all mounting screws or bolts and plastic mounting clips have been released or removed lift up on the door panel to release it from the window sill. Hold it in place as wiring may still be attached at the rear of the panel.

remove door panel

6. Disconnect Window Switch Wiring

Locate the wiring connector to any accessories such as a window switch or light. Some window switches can be removed before the panel removal.

remove wiring connector window switch

Release the window switch electrical connector by pushing downward on the safety release clip.

window switch connector released

7. Finish Removing the Door Panel

Once the electrical connector has been released the door panel will become free from the door. Remove it and gently place it away from the work area to keep it free from dirt and grease.

door panel removed

8. Door Panel Reinstallation

After repairs have been made and the door panel is ready to be reinstalled grasp the door panel and hold in position while reconnecting the window and door light electrical connectors.

reinstall window switch connector

Make sure the latch control rods are safely in place and hook the door panel into the window sill and push down to secure.

reinstall door panel

Once the door panel is secured at the window sill pop the plastic clips back into place. Physical alignment of the clips into their respective holes maybe needed.

pop door panel into place

9. Reinstall Speaker

Hold the speaker while reconnecting the electrical connector and then set the speaker back into place.

reconnect speaker wiring

Reinsert and tighten speaker mounting bolts and reinstall the cover.

reinstall speaker screws

10. Install Inner Door Handle

While holding the door handle reattach the door handle linkage by popping the plastic clip over the control rod.

reconnect door handle linkage

Snap the door handle back into place while ensuring the linkage can move freely.

install door handle

Reinstall and tighten the handle mounting screws.

install door handle screw

11. Reinstall Door Panel Mounting Screws

Reinstall all door panel screws or bolts and recover them with the small hidden plastic panels or doors.

reinstall door panel screws

12. Reinstall Trim Pieces

Once the door panel is properly secured reinstall the front and rear trim pieces and you are all set. Be sure the watch the video of the job being down below this image.

reinstall front trim

Got Any Questions?

If you have any door panel questions, please visit our forum. If you need car repair advice, please ask our community of mechanics is happy to help you and it is always 100% free.

We hope you enjoyed this guide and video. We are creating a full set of car repair guides. Please subscribe to our 2CarPros YouTube channel and check back often for new videos which are uploaded almost every day.

Article published