How to Remove Door Panels from Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Several different reasons exist for removing a door panel on a Chevrolet car. Side window repair, speaker replacement, window control module, window motor, upgrading to a directional side-view mirror (one that displays the directional light on the mirror when you turn on the directional switch) or even replacing the door panel itself are all reasons that require removing the door panel. The procedure is not overly complicated, but there are a few precautions to take into consideration.

Under The Hood:

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Use the pliers to unhook the negative (-) battery cable before beginning to remove the door panels. You will be removing electrical components; unhooking the battery cable will keep you safe.

Pry up the power window control panel. Once the panel is removed, disconnect the electrical harness from beneath it and set the panel to the side.

Use the screwdrvier to remove the screw in the hole left by the power window control panel.

Look closely underneath the interior door handle to find the access screw. Remove the screw.

Pry off the top portion of the window sail panel (across from the outside mirror). You cannot remove the sail panel; the bottom of it is attached to the door panel.

Insert the door panel clip tool between the panel and the door around the perimeter of the panel. There are nine clips attaching the panel to the door; use the panel clip tool to disengage them.

Lift up the door panel and then pull it away from the door. Disconnect the power mirror control harness to completely remove it from the door. Repeat the procedure for the other door panels.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Screwdriver

  • Pry tool

  • Door panel clip tool

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Roll down the windows completely, and then unhook the negative battery cable with a pair of pliers.

Unscrew the door lock indicator knob (on top of the door panel). Pry off the plastic cup panel located behind the inside door handle. Open the door handle and slide the cup out.

Remove the 10mm bolt behind the inside door handle (it's visible with the cup panel removed). Pull the entire chrome door handle surround assembly off (it extends to the other side of the door panel).

Remove the two bolts on the door armrest with a 10mm socket (these bolts are visible with the chrome piece removed).

Insert the door trim tool between the door panel and the door skin. Push the tool back to release the door panel clips. Work your way around the panel's perimeter (except for the top).

Push the door panel straight up, and then away a few inches. Unplug the connection for the power mirror motor, and then pull the door panel off.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Door trim tool

  • Socket wrench (10mm)

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Open your door and roll the window all the way down.

Use a door clip remover to unhook the c-clip holding the window crank in place.

Remove the window crank.

Unscrew three screws along the bottom of the door panel and one on the side of the panel.

Take out the two screws in the cup near the handle.

Undo the screw near your mirror adjustment. Then remove the plastic baffle around the mirror adjustment that is now loose.

Pop the bottom of the door panel loose from the retaining pins with steady even pressure.

Stand outside the car and pull out at the bottom of the panel. Then pull up and the door panel will slide right out.

Items you will need

  • Standard head screwdriver

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Door clip remover

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Roll down the window on the door you'll be working on.

Insert the edge of a panel tool behind the edge of the sail panel at the front upper edge of the door and pry the panel off.

Pry out two small plastic round screw covers in the the door handle. Unscrew the screws located underneath the covers with a Phillips screwdriver.

Unscrew the Phillips screw located in the trim surrounding the door release handle.

Insert a screwdriver blade behind the window crank and pry out the C-clip that holds the crank on. Remove the crank handle.

Pry around the sides and bottom edge of the door panel with a panel tool. When the panel is loose, lift it straight up and off the door.

Items you will need

  • Panel tool

  • Phillips screw

  • Flat-bladed screwdriver

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Open the door and power the window all the way down if possible. (If you're replacing the window motor and the window does not work, it's not required that you have the window down, but it gives you more room to work with without the risk of scratching the window.)

Remove the side view mirror sail located in the upper corner of the door panel. This trim piece covers the interior side of the side view mirror. Pry it off with the small, angled trim tool from the top and rear side. Once the two retaining caps are released, pivot the top of the sail out and extract it from the bottom anchor on the door frame.

Pry the door lock trim bezel from the rear toward the front of the door using the trim tool. Push it forward once the rear retaining clip is released to remove it from the door panel.

Use the trim pry tool to pry the window control module up away from the front of the arm rest. Be aware it has wire harness connections beneath it.

Disconnect the wire harness connections. The have specific plug connections so you don't have to worry about mixing them up for reassembly. Use a small, bladed, straight-edge screwdriver to depress the plug locks, and then pull the plug connection from the window control module. The three plug connections include the power mirror, window motor and power lock harnesses.

Locate and remove the door panel retaining screw underneath the rear of the window control module cavity. Use a 7-mm socket wrench, or a ratchet, extension and 7-mm socket.

Remove the retaining screw beneath the door pull handle with the socket wrench or ratchet.

Pry the door handle trim bezel, again from the rear toward the front of the door like the door lock trim bezel. Unseat the door handle trim bezel and work it off of the door handle.

Pry the interior door light lens from the lower rear portion of the door panel. Pry it from the bottom to unseat the clips, and then unplug the wire harness connection.

Pry the door panel from the door frame with the trim tool. Start at the bottom and work your way up both sides.

Lift the door panel upward once unseated from the door frame to remove the upper retaining lip of the panel from the door frame. Again, be aware that one or two more wire harness connections will still be connected to the backside of the panel.

Reach behind the door panel while supporting it and disconnect the speaker wire harness and, if applicable, the heated seat wire harness. Remove the door panel.

Items you will need

  • Small, angled trim pry tool

  • Small, bladed straight-edge screwdriver

  • 7-mm socket wrench or ratchet with a small extension and 7-mm socket

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Unplug the battery's negative cable if there are any power locks and/or windows on the doors. Set this cable away from the negative battery terminal so it can't accidentally come into contact with it.

Pry the power switch out of the door with a flat-bladed trim tool and disconnect its electrical connector. If the door has a manual window, remove the window crank by inserting a window crank removal tool or other hooked tool behind the crank to detach its clip.

Disconnect all smaller trim panels by removing their screws with a Phillips screwdriver and/or prying them off with the trim stick. This should include the triangular panel covering the mirror's mount, the trim surrounding the inside door handle and the trim that surrounded the window power switch (this panel will have electrical connectors to unplug).

Remove the door panel's mounting screws with the screwdriver. There should be two mounting screws in between the inner door handle and the pull handle.

Pull the door upward and outward to disconnect it from its clips on the door and unplug any wiring harnesses behind it.

Disconnect any optional lights and switches in the door. This can include courtesy lights that are pried off and disconnected and heated seat switches you must pry off with the trim stick.

Items you will need

  • Trim tool

  • Hooked tool

  • Phillips screwdriver

About the Author

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