How to Remove the Rear Door Panel on Vehiclesby Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017
You must remove the rear door panel on a Vehicles if you are trying to replace the panel or the door handle. Since the Vehicles door panel is held in place with more than just retaining clips--unlike most Vehicles must follow a specific procedure to prevent damaging the panel. If you've never done this job before, allow yourself Vehicles least half an hour to remove the panel. There are various plastic trim covers that can snap and break easily if you are not careful.
Under The Hood:
- How to Remove the Rear Door Panel on a GMC Sierra
- How to Remove the Rear Door Panel on a Grand Vitara
- How to Remove the Rear Door Panel on a 2004 Toyota RAV4
Pry off the small trim piece inside the grab handle on the door; use a flat-tip screwdriver to pry the piece off.
Remove the two 10 mm bolts behind the trim piece.
Pry off the trim piece on the other grab handle on the door. There is a notch in the bottom of the trim that you pry up on to remove this trim piece.
Pry off the trim piece behind the inner door handle.
Remove all the bolts underneath the removed trim pieces, and pull the grab handles off the door.
Pry off the small triangular-shaped trim piece near the door-mounted rear-view mirror.
Pry off the trim piece on top of the manual locking mechanism.
Wedge a small screwdriver into the center of the small square behind the trim piece, and very gently pry it apart. This will allow you to remove the trim piece surrounding the manual door lock mechanism.
Pull the door panel off the door. It is held in place to the frame with retaining clips. Simply pull the panel off the frame, and the clips will come along with it.
Items you will need
Small flat-tip screwdriver
10 mm socket
Pry up the top of the armrest by inserting a flat-head screwdriver under the edge and lifting up. Gently apply pressure along the edges until the top of the armrest comes off. Disconnect the wiring that connects from the door to the door and window controls. Place the top of the armrest to the side.
Locate the four Phillips screws in the door panel and remove them. There are two screws inside the pocket on the bottom of the door panel. Two more screws are inside the armrest and can be located once Step 1 is completed.
Use a flat-head screwdriver around the edge of the door panel along the sides and bottom. Slide the tip of the screwdriver between the panel and the door and gently pry up until you hear the plastic clips pop out. Remove the screwdriver and continue around the panel with your fingers, popping the plastic clips out of the door. There are four clips along the bottom and three along each side.
Reach behind the door panel and disconnect the wiring for the light and the speaker located near the bottom of the door. Pull the plastic connections away from each other and they should slide out.
Look behind the door panel at the door handle. There are two metal rods connecting the panel to the door. Tug on the plastic ends of the rod on the panels until they pop out. Lift up on the door panel and it should come away from the door.
Items you will need
Open the rear door as wide as it will go. Use the end of the removal tool to carefully pry up on the bottom-rear corner of the plastic-door panel.
Slide the tool under the edge of the panel to locate the first plastic clip. Press the tool against the clip until the clip is in the center of the tool and snapped into the 'wedge' cut into the tool. Pry the tool up until the clip pops out.
Move along the edge of the panel and remove all of the plastic clips. There are 12 clips in all around the edges of the 2004 Toyota RAV4 rear-door panel and one directly in the center. Remove the center clip last.
Items you will need
Plastic clip removal tool (found at any auto parts store)