Sometimes it happens that something in your car breaks. Maybe the windows won’t roll up or down. Maybe the handle won’t open the car door. Or maybe the lock is broken. If any of these things happens and you find that you’re the do-it-yourself type, you’ll need to remove the inside door panel to access what you can’t from the outside. With some small variations, this will usually work on any make or model. However, if you’re typically not the handy type, we would suggest seeking professional help.
Open the door and take a look at the inside to determine how the door panels are attached to the car. A lot of cars use screws and bolts, but some have snaps that you won’t see right away. Others will use a combination of all of these.
Grab any tools you think you’ll need (generally a screwdriver, sometimes a ratchet and socket, maybe a flashlight).
Locate all of the screws and bolts before you start. Look along the bottom, near lights, around or in the armrest. Sometimes they will be hidden beneath rubber pads, so be sure to lift these as well.
If you can, roll down the window. Remove all of the screws / bolts that are holding the door panel on. If the panel still won’t come off, you probably have snap-in fittings that can be loosened with a flathead screwdriver. GENTLY pry on the bottom corner of the door panel until the fittings pop out. Be careful, though. If you’re too rough you can break these.
If you car has power windows, you may need to remove the window control panel. This shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you have it out, unplug the control from the wire connection and put it off to the side.
If you have crank windows, looks for the metal clip that holds the crank in place and use an L pick to remove the clip and pull the crank off.
You’ll also need to remove the door handle. There should be a small screw located near the center, unscrew it and put it somewhere that it won’t get lost. Pull the handle out as if you’re opening the door and slide the plastic casing off around it. This may vary a bit, so be gentle and take the time to do it right.
Once everything is removed (and unsnapped), you should be able to pop off the door panel by gently prying on the bottom edge of the panel. Sometimes there will be hooks that hold the panel in place, which means you may need to lift up before you pull the panel away from the door.
Now you have access to the inside door panel and can diagnose whatever issues you’re having. Fix whatever you need to fix and reverse these steps to reinstall the panel. Just make sure that you firmly reattach the plastic guard if you find you need to remove that. It’s what keeps electrical components safe from moisture.
If you’re having issues with your windows and are in the Las Vegas / Henderson area, you can always swing by Team Acme off the 215 to have your problem diagnosed. While we specialize in auto glass, we can repair or replace a faulty window regulator or motor. We only use OEM parts and ensure that any new parts we install are an exact match for your vehicle. Give us a call at (702) 566-8326 for pricing or to set up an appointment.