Toyota Corolla Door Panel Removal

by Chris Moore

Removing one of the door panels on a Toyota Corolla car may need to be done for one reason or another. If the panels have become worn out or damaged, you may need to replace them altogether. If you need to perform any repairs to the door itself or any of the components within, you'll need to remove the trim panel to do this.

Detaching the Panel

Numerous electrical connectors lie behind the door panel, whether the door itself has power windows and locks or not. Disconnect the negative battery cable--the black one--before working on the door. The cable may have a clamp nut that you need to loosen with a wrench--otherwise, it will snap off. If the door has a manual window crank, you need to remove it. A special hooked tool is available at auto parts stores that will detach the clip to the crank from the door panel. However, you can also insert the edge of a rag behind the handle and rub it back and forth to dislodge the clip. If the door has power controls for the windows or locks, pry the switch panel(s) off with a trim removal tool and unplug the electrical connectors. A large, flat-blade screwdriver or putty knife could work, but a specialized trim tool is often shaped to give you more leverage. You also need to pry off all trim panels on the armrest and door handle, as these panels conceal the main panel's mounting screws. To remove the trim cover near the mirror, use a small screwdriver to pry its retainers free from the doors; if the Corolla has manual mirrors, unscrew and remove the control handle. Remove the mounting screws for the panel; three of them should be within the armrest and door handle. Insert your trim removal tool into the edge of the door panel and work it around the entire edge to disengage its clips. Some of the clips on the panel may come off and stay on the clips on the door; you need to transfer those clips back onto the panel before you connect the door back. To detach the trim panel, lift it upward and away from the door and unplug any electrical connectors behind it. If you need to reach any components within the door like the window, you need to peel back the plastic water shield covering the door.

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