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How to Remove a Door Panel from your Car

Suketu Mehta
Car repairs are expensive. However, you can do some minor repairs yourself right at home. Removing door panels is simple and this story takes you through the steps on how it's done.
There could be various reasons to remove a car's door panels. Sometimes your windows are not rolling down properly, there could be a problem with your door handle, the door locks could be jammed, and other times you want to install speakers on your door panel.
Apart from all these reasons, you might simply want to replace it with a new one. Whatever your motive, removing them is a simple process.

Materials Required
  • Ratchet
  • Socket
  • 'L' pick
  • Set of screwdrivers
  • Small flashlight

Step 1

Before removing the door panels, you should figure out how these panels are fitted. A majority of panels are attached with screws and bolts, while a few of them have snap-in fittings. Accordingly determine which tools to keep with you. For snap-in fittings, a flat-headed screwdriver should be able to do the job, while a ratchet or socket will be needed to remove screws and bolts.

Step 2

Normally, screws and bolts are present near the door lights or below the arm rest area. Determine their exact location. Roll down your car windows and start removing them. In case your car has snap-in fittings, pry them out from the bottom corner of the panel. In case you have power windows, take out its control panel.

Step 3

If your car has manual windows, you will have to locate the window crank using a flashlight. With the help of an 'L' pick, remove the metal clip which keeps the crank in its position. Once the clip is removed, simply pull the crank out.

Step 4

Next, you will have to take out the door handle. Unscrew a small screw found at the center of the handle. Carefully pull the door handle slightly out, remove the clip from behind it to release it from the rod. After this, remove screws from the panel's lock.

Step 5

Once everything is removed, gently take the door panel off by prying its bottom edge. Pull it upwards and off with your hands.

Tips and Tricks

  • Panel locks are not usually attached to the handle with a rod. In case they are, you will have to remove the clips which are holding the rod and door panel locks.
  • Be gentle. You do not want to damage the panel while removing it.
  • If you are replacing it, ensure that you buy only original parts or parts recommended by the manufacturer. Sub-standard parts do not always fit well.
  • Keep your car manual with you as a reference.
  • Not all cars have the exact mechanism. There may be minor alterations which you can find by going through the manual.
Follow the steps, and you can easily finish the task of removing your car's door panels. This will also help you save money which you would have, otherwise, spent on a simple car repair job.