Auto Repair Q&A



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Auto Repair Products

Interior Door Panel Replacement

door panel

by Aaron Turpen

There are many reasons you may have to remove or replace your interior door panel. Perhaps doing so will increase the vehicle's resale value or maybe it's become torn, broken, or otherwise would look better if replaced. It might be that you need access to the window transmission, electrical components, or are adding new sound system speakers and wiring.

Whatever the reason, removing and replacing the door panel is not difficult, but it does need to be done correctly.

Removing the Old Panel

If you are not concerned with the old panel as it will be replaced and if you have new clips or fasteners to replace what's there, then you can remove only those components you wish to keep (door handle covers, screw covers, door lock posts, etc.) and can pull the rest out quickly.

If the panel is to be re-used or if you are going to use the fasteners and some parts again, then you will need to be more careful. Remove items that will inhibit the removal of the panel and that will likely need to be re-used, such as:

  • Door lock post
  • Door lever/latch cover
  • Window crank handle or button panel cover
  • Interior door handle or assembly
  • Armrest securement screw(s)
  • Speaker covers or rings

Using a flat-headed screwdriver, carefully locate and pry up each of the panel's locking clips. These are plastic retainers that pass through the panel into slots in the metal door frame, holding it in place. If pried carefully, they can be removed without breaking them allowing you to use them again. Be aware that even experts will break these, so be prepared to replace at least a few of them.

Once the retainers have been removed, the panel should be loose on the frame. Lifting out (to remove it from the door handle and other impediments) and then upwards off the window edge will remove the panel. Replace in reverse order.