How To Remove A Door Trim Panel

How To Remove A Door Trim Panel At Home?

A door trim panel conceals the internal workings of door accessories such as that of the glass and door locking systems by covering the walls of the door.

This fitted cardboard piece is fixed in place by a sequence of bolts and door hinge pins that should be stripped in order to serve the best items such as a window circuit, locking system, window motor and controllers.

All door panels essentially serve the same function, though the process of extracting a door panel varies mildly depending on the car. In most situations, a novice can do this job.

After removing the door panel, be mindful of how that is kept during the maintenance. Often these door panels are manufactured of cloth, which easily absorbs tough stains.

Is It Really That Easy To Remove A Door Trim Panel?

Separating a door panel from a vehicle may appear to be a challenging task, but it is, basically indeed, very simple. Simply start by using a screwdriver to remove the control panel and door latch and unplug their power transmission cables.

Then, remove any remaining trim parts that may be hiding the panel’s cinching pins, and use a screwdriver to remove all of the screws that are trying to hold the panel in position. Take a tough grip on the panel and slide it away from you. It’s really that simple!

Step by Step Guide for Removing a Door Trim Panel

Opening the armrest and door locks from the panel

  • Open the handle padlock and look for a locking bolt at the latch’s bottom. Detach the screw with a screwdriver. Keep the screw somewhere safe so you wouldn’t end up losing it. To enter the fastening screw, you may also have to grab the latch free.
  • Tiny plastic clips hold the door latch in position, making it much more difficult to disable by hand. Have a better grip on the latch with hand tools, then slowly and calmly pull the latch back from the panel.
  • You risk damaging the attaching clips if you try to pull or twist the latch. If you grab the latch too tightly with the pliers, it may break or crack.
  • Try to pull up the control panel with a screwdriver wedged further into the lowest part. Above the car tires, many newer vehicles have a door panel that manages the windows and locking system as well.

Using a Flathead Screwdriver To Ply It Off

  • Insert a flathead screwdriver into the lower edge of the control panel, where it meets the door panel. Use subtle force to try and pull it up and out of the way.
  • Small connecting clips hold the control panel in position and can be easily compromised if you twist or shake the screwdriver to loosen it.
  • If you’re experiencing difficulties trying to pry up the control panel, insert a screwdriver into the edge and then the head of the panel to release the tiny connector pieces that are clutching it in position. The control panel will move out as all of the frames are detached.
  • To disable the control panel, unplug the cables from it. Spot the connectors on the panel’s back surface. Take a stronger grip on the connector and twist it slowly as you lift it out.
  • Detach any connectors that are connected to the panel. Some wires may have pieces that you must hold down while pulling to detach. You may affect them if you try and force or start pulling on the plugs.
  • Disconnect the lock cable and, if applicable, the window crank. Some automobiles might just have a manual window crank that should be separated.
  • Remove the screws from the speaker/stereo gently and detach its cables.

Detaching The Wires From The Door And The Window Motor

  • Placing a metal pick tool behind the crank is a good idea. Spot and move out the small connector cable that is clutching it in position from under the crank. Then, pull the crank right out to detach it with your fingers.
  • If you intend to reattach the door panel afterward, make absolutely sure you don’t end up losing the plastic valve behind the crank when you take it off.
  • Insert a screwdriver into the hand-rest cover’s side and pry it off. The armrest cover could be hiding a fastening screw. Insert a flathead screwdriver into the crack at the panel’s edge. Gently press down on it to open it out and start by removing it.
  • If you twist the armrest cover, you risk cracking it or damaging the clips that keep it in the spot. If you notice creaking or tearing sounds, avoid putting pressure on the coat, and consider moving the screwdriver to a different place to avoid scratching or breaking it.
  • Using a screwdriver, try to pull off the pad at the window’s edge. Search for a medium-sized, triangular protection piece just at the top edge of the door panel, where the glass joins it.
  • Position your fingertips into the side of the cover piece and slowly pull it away. If you can’t just remove the cover with your fingers, slip a screwdriver into the side and try to pull it off.

Removing The Fasteners And Taking Off The Panel

  • Remove all of the clamping screws out from the door panel with a screwdriver. A few more panel screws are made up of plastic and can be easily removed with a pair of pliers.
  • Several door panels are kept in position by specialized fasteners that are tough for replacement. Leave the screws organized and labeled in zip-lock bags, so you do not really end up losing them if you intend to reattach the door afterward.
  • To extract the door panel, pull it nicely out with your hands. Detach the small, plastic plug frames that keep the door panel in position by trying to pull it straight out in one quick motion. The plugs will unclip, and the door trim panel will fall away.
  • Pulling at an upward or downward angle will result in the frames not releasing the panel. Prevent using jerky, varying movements. Confirm that you’ve taken down all of the clamping screws and trim pieces that might have been clutching the panel in position if it’s hard to remove.


Is it possible to remove the door panel while the door is closed?

This should take a bit of time, but they’ll still end up coming off when you shut the door. Start pulling up on the door panel, and it will end up coming out!

You’ll tear the hell out of the screws, but a quick visit to the Picky will fix that. Pull with the appropriate flathead screwdriver then you’ll have a pocket full of spares.

What is the best way of opening a car door that won’t open from the outside?

Lubricating the hinges and latch is one method for repairing doors that won’t open from within or outside. Start by inspecting the keyway for obstruction.

Then, unlock the door and try to adjust the door assembly to determine what is jammed. Unclog the assembly and reposition it.

What are some precautionary measures to take while removing the door trim panel?

Several of these small screws and components hold the door panels to the door frame. Wanting to keep them in a ziplock bag will mean making them accessible during re-installation.

Bottom Line

Avoid spending a couple of bucks just to remove your door trim panel from a shop when you could do it on your own with just a help of a screwdriver, and that too within minutes. Save those dollars and follow these easy steps for removing your door trim panel on your own without a hassle. If you have lost your keys, you can check these guides on how to program keys without a master key or start your car without your keys.