How to Remove the Door Panel of Cars

by Contributing Writer

The door panel on your Oldsmobile car protects the power window and door lock module and various wiring from damage. If you want to work on any of the internal components of the door, you need to remove the door panel. To do this, you'll need a special tool, called a trim removal tool. This tool can be purchased at most auto parts stores and looks like a small crowbar. The exact procedure for the removal of the panel may vary according to the year of your Oldsmobile car but the process will generally be the same.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove the Door Panel of a Lincoln LS

Pry out the trim covers behind the door handle with the trim tool. Remove the screws behind the handle with the Phillips screwdriver.

Remove the screw at the top trailing edge of the door panel with the Phillips screwdriver.

Remove the three screws located along the bottom portion of the door panel with the Phillips screwdriver.

Pry the door panel away from the door with the trim tool.

Insert the head of the trim tool around each trim pin holding the panel in place. Pry the pins loose with the tool.

Grab both sides of the door panel and lift it up and off the door.

Items you will need

  • Trim tool

  • Phillips screwdriver

 Removing the Door Panel on a Buick

Removing the Door Panel

Removing the door panel on a Buick is required when changing the window regulator or the window motor. To remove the door panel, start by removing the V-shaped plastic cover concealing the mounting point for the outside mirror. Remove the two large Phillips screws in the armrest. Remove the screw holding the plastic cover on in the front of the door handle. Remove the cover. This allows the door panel to be removed leaving the door handle in place.

Using a small screwdriver, insert it in the back of the window switch and pry the switch forward and up. This will pop the rear snap out of its recess and allow the switch to be removed. Once the switch is loose, disconnect the electrical connector in the rear of the switch. Using the small screwdriver once more, release the male plugs that are inserted into the small holes running along the circumference of the door. These are plastic plugs and are held in by the friction of the mating surface of the plugs. There should be three of them on each of the three panels. Some models may have four.

Insert the screwdriver between the door panel and the door at the rear upper most side of the door panel. Slide the screwdriver down until it contacts one of the plugs and pry it out. Slide the screwdriver down until it contacts the next plug and so on around the three sides of the panel. The top of the door panel grips a ledge next to the window like a hand gripping the door and window. Lift the door panel up sufficiently to remove the top side of the door panel from the top ledge and pull away from the door about 6 or 7 inches. Look behind the panel and disconnect all electrical connectors. There is also a connector to the small marker light on the bottom rear of the panel.

Installing the Door Panel

To install the door panel, hold it close to the door and connect all the electrical connectors. Angle the door panel out at the bottom and hook the top sill of the door panel to the ledge and swing the door panel down. Make sure that the male plugs are lined up with the holes and push them in. Install the two large screws in the armrest and the plastic cover and screw in front of the door handle. Install the window switch connector and the switch into the door panel. Install the V-shaped cover to the back of the outside mirror.

 How to Remove a Door Panel on a Toyota Tundra

Remove the felt piece and small screw from inside the door handle, using a screwdriver.

Pull the door handle and remove the plastic cover and small screw behind it, using a screwdriver.

Pull carefully on the electric window button housing. Pry up on each side until it pops out. Disconnect the two sets of wires by pulling the white plastic connectors out.

Pry the triangle-shaped plastic cover at the top of the door panel that covers the bolts for the outside mirror. Just below this area there is a screw on the door panel that needs to be removed. The screw must be pushed in near the center and then it will pop out.

Move to the bottom of the door and begin to pull the panel out toward you. There are plastic clips holding the door panel in place around the outside edges of the panel. Pull until you hear these clips popping out. Lift the door up to get the lip off the top edge of the door. Do not let the panel go since it is still connected in other places.

Disconnect the wiring for the light inside the door. Reach between the door panel and the door to disconnect the wiring connectors. Reach down and unhook the door cables. Pull the green and white plastic pieces out (they simply pop out when you pull on them) and then lift out the silver ball attached to the white plastic piece.

Pull the entire door panel away from the door.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver Flat head screwdriver

 How to Remove Door Panels on a Saturn Outlook

Pry off the screw cover behind the door release panel. Use a panel tool or a thin-bladed knife. Be careful not to scratch the plastic. You'll see one Torx T30 size screw. Remove it and set the screw and screw cover aside in a safe place.

Pry away the cover of the door pull. You'll find the pry point at the bottom front edge of the pull. This will expose two T30 screws. Remove them, and set the screws and door pull cover aside in a safe place.

Pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel with your panel tool. Work around the edge in small segments to be sure you release all the clips.

Pull the panel away from the door, and unclip any wiring harnesses connected to door switches. Set the door panel off to the side. The panel is now removed, and you have access to the inside of the door.

Items you will need

  • T-30 Torx screw driver

  • panel tool

 How to Remove the Door Panel on a Honda CRV

Open the door and lower the window before you start working. Remove the speaker cover from the door panel using a flat tool to pry it off the door. Set the cover aside and locate the three screws behind the panel. Remove the three screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

Locate the three screws in the front of the armrest and remove them with a Phillips screwdriver. Set the screws aside.

Pry the four clips along the bottom of the panel loose with a flat pry tool or trim stick. The clips may break but are replaceable. New clips are available from the dealer.

Locate the clip on the upper panel near the mirror. Pry it loose with a flat pry tool or a trim stick.

Pull the bottom of the door panel out slightly and lift the panel off the window track at the top of the door. Lift the panel off the door and put it in a safe spot until you are ready to reinstall it.

Items you will need

  • Flat pry tool or trim stick

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Remove the Door Panel on Oldsmobile Alero

Pry the trim covers off of the door panel. There may be small trim covers on your model year Alero. These trim covers will always have small notches cut into the bottom or sides of the trim covers allowing you to pry them off with a small, flat head, screwdriver. The trim covers, if there are any, are located on the door handle and armrest.

Unscrew the screws behind the trim covers.

Wedge the tip of the trim removal tool behind the door panel and pry the panel off. The panel is always held in place with retaining clips on the Alero. You will need to work your way around the outside edge of the panel while you continuously pry up on the panel.

Items you will need

  • Trim removal tool

  • Screwdriver (phillips)

  • Screwdriver (flat head)

 How to Remove the Door Panel on a Mazda MX5

Turn the engine and air-conditioner switch off. Open the hood. Lift the battery cover to expose the battery. Loosen the nut around the negative (--) battery cable. Lift the negative cable away from the battery.

Remove the Phillips-head screw from the inside of the door bottled-water holder.

Pry the cap off the top of the door-panel grip handle. Use a plastic trim tool or a flat-head screwdriver with the tip wrapped in tape (this prevents damage to the cap). Remove the Phillips-head screw from the behind the cap.

Pull the interior-door handle open. Pry off the interior cover with a plastic-trim tool or a flat-head screwdriver with the tip wrapped in tape. Remove the Phillips-head screw behind the cover.

Pry off the interior-door handle surround panel. This panel attaches to the handle. Once you pry it loose, it will hang freely.

Grasp the entire door panel. Place your fingers behind the left and right edges. Pull firmly to unhook the panel clips.

Maneuver the interior-door handle sideways to slide it through the opening on the panel. Lift the door panel away from the door.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Tape

  • Plastic trim tool (optional)

 How to Remove the Door Panel on a Honda Civic

Set the blade of the flat-head screwdriver on the inside of the interior door handle, in the seam around the square panel inside the handle. Pop off the panel using the flat-head screwdriver, then remove the two screws underneath using the Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the handle off the door and use the flat-head screwdriver to remove the clip holding the handle to the door linkage. Unplug the power-lock switch and set the handle to the side.

Set the blade of the flat-head screwdriver between the armrest and the door panel, then use the tool to pop off the armrest cover. Remove the Phillips-head screws underneath using the Phillips-head screwdriver. Unplug the power-window controls.

Pull off the interior panel in the corner of the door, opposite the mirror. Pull the door panel towards you to release the clips holding it in place, then lift the door panel off the window ledge and away from the car.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

 How to Remove a Door Panel on an Infiniti G35

Gather the tools needed to remove the door panel, shut the engine off and disconnect the negative battery cable. The G35 battery is located at the passenger side corner of the engine bay, close to the windshield.

Use the flathead screwdriver to pry off the courtesy light lens at the bottom of the door panel.

Pry off the silver trim panel from the door panel armrest to access the mounting screws. Remove the two screws located behind the panel.

Remove the power window control panel from the door panel and disconnect the electrical module from behind it.

Pull the interior door handle towards you to access the mounting screw behind it. Remove the screw, and then slide the panel around the door handle.

Use the door trim tool to disengage the clips around the perimeter of the door panel. There are nine clips in all: three on the bottom and three on each side.

Carefully pull the door panel from the door.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Door trim tool

  • Screwdriver

 How to Remove the Door Panel From a 2004 Lincoln Towncar

Lower the Town Car's window. Pry the trim caps off the ends of the door pull strap. Pry the trim cover out of the inner door handle bezel.

Remove the two screws holding the door pull strap to the door, using a socket wrench and an 8-mm socket. Remove the screw inside the inner door handle bezel, using the socket and wrench.

Lift the door panel up and off the door. Reach between the door panel and door to disconnect the power window and lock switches from the wiring harness.

Disconnect the inner door handle cable from the door handle. Unplug the courtesy light wiring harness. Move the panel away from the door to complete removal.

Move the door panel next to the door. Plug the wiring harnesses into the courtesy light and window and lock switches. Connect the inner door handle cable to the inner door handle.

Lower the Town Car's door panel onto the door, guiding the upper portion of the panel into the window well and the retainer tabs located on the backside of the panel into their respective slots on the inner door skin.

Reinstall the three screws -- two in the door pull and one in the inner door handle bezel -- using the socket wrench and socket. Reinstall the inner door handle trim bezel and door pull trim caps to complete reinstallation.

Items you will need

  • Trim tool

  • Socket wrench

  • 8-mm socket

 How to Remove the Door Panels on a Dodge RAM

Open the door to access the bottom edge of the door panel. Inspect the area to find two screws.

Remove the two screws along the bottom edge of the door panel with a Phillips-head screwdriver (front-door panels only)

Remove the Phillips-head screw on the top part of the door panel (front-door panels only). This screw is directly across from the exterior side-view mirror.

Pull the interior door handle to the open position. Remove the Phillips-head screw hidden behind it. Inspect the area closely to find the Torx screw mounting the door handle to the door. Remove it with a T30 Torx screwdriver. Pull the interior-door handle off.

Position your hands on either side of the door panel. Push the panel up, and then pull it away from the door carefully. Behind the panel, you'll find the electrical connections for the window and lock switches. Squeeze the tab in the center of each connection to unplug them.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • T30 Torx screwdriver

 Removing the Door Panel From a Jeep Commander

Gather the necessary tools

To remove the door panel from a Jeep Commander, you'll need some simple tools. Gather together a Phillips screwdriver and a panel tool, and you'll be ready to begin.

Undo the screws

Open the door so you have full access to it. Remove the Phillips screw located in a recess in the upper front of the door panel. Then take out the rubber mat in the bottom of the door pull cup. Remove the Phillips screw located there. Finally, take out the Phillips screw located behind the door release latch.

Remove the door panel

Pry around the bottom and the edges of the door panel to release the clips holding it in place. Lift the panel up, disconnect any electrical plugs, and lift the door panel away from the door proper.

 How to Remove a Door Panel From a Buick LeSabre

Park the car safely positioned on level ground. Take the key out of the ignition.

Open the door from which you want to remove the door panel.

Take off the small, v-shaped piece of plastic covering the area where the outside mirror is mounted using a flat head screwdriver.

Remove the screws holding the armrest with a screwdriver. Pry the plastic cover of the door handle using the same screwdriver, and remove the cover of the door handle.

Remove the screws on the door panel using a flat head screwdriver. The number of screws that hold the door panel depends on the model of your LeSabre. There are hidden screws behind the door handle, inside the pocket and at the bottom of the panel. Make sure to pull out all the screws. Save all the screws and store them in a safe place. You will need these screws again when you reinstall the door panel.

Lift the cover of the window and door lock with a screwdriver and gently pry it off. Pull the wires from behind the covers. Pull out the wire connections from the speaker to disconnect them.

Pull the panel away from the car door slowly, starting from the bottom of the panel. Reach behind the panel and pop out the two plastic snap clips that connect the door handle to a metal rod. Remove the metal rod, then the whole door panel.

Items you will need

  • Flat head screwdriver

 How to Remove the Door Panel on a 1996 Jaguar XJ6

Locate the small, black cover underneath the interior door handle. Pry up and remove the black cover with a flat-head screwdriver, exposing the screw securing the handle bezel to the door. Remove the screw and slide off the door handle bezel with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Slide the wood insert toward the interior door handle in order to lift it from the door panel with your hands. Remove the three screws that are exposed from taking off the wood insert with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Pry three circular screw hole covers on the armrest up with a flat-head screwdriver. One mounting screw will be located on the upper portion of the armrest handle, while the remaining two screws are found underneath the armrest pad. Remove the three screws securing the armrest to the lower door panel with a Phillips-head screwdrive, and place the screws as well as the armrest off to the side.

Pull up on the upper door panel so it clears the door lock actuator and remove it from the door. Slide a door removal tool between the bottom panel and door, around the edges to locate the small plastic retainers. You may be able to lift the bottom door panel away from the door slightly enough to see the small plastic retainers to better position the removal tool’s splayed end between the slotted portion of the retainers.

Pry off the plastic retainers along the bottom and sides of the lower door panel gently with the removal tool. Once you have successfully popped off the plastic retainers from the door, the lower door panel should come off the door easily. Disconnect the electrical terminal connections on the back of the lower door panel to complete the removal process.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Door removal tool

 How to Remove the Door Panel on a Nissan Altima

Loosen the negative battery cable (-) nut with a pair of pliers and then pull the cable away from the battery terminal.

Remove the two screw covers with a flat-head screwdriver. One cover is behind the interior door handle (pull the handle open to access it); the other is in the armrest storage compartment.

Remove the two Phillips-head screws from behind the screw covers.

Pop off the door panel courtesy light lens (bottom part of door panel). Unplug the light connection from behind it and set the lens aside.

Pry up the power window control trim. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry up a corner, and then lift the trim away from the door panel. Disconnect the electrical connection behind the trim.

Remove the Phillips screw from the cavity where the power window control trim was mounted.

Grasp the door panel along the sides and pull it sharply to disconnect the panel clips. Repeat the process for the bottom (there are no clips on top).

Push the door panel straight up and then pull it away from the door panel carefully. Unplug the connection for the trunk release (behind the door panel).

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver