Removing a car panel is necessary during serious damage. 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 happen 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.
Once in a while, you might run into a car that’s a bit more finicky when it comes to the exact procedure. As a result, this would be another good time when you’ll want help from the professionals atTeam Acme. More or less, though, a majority of vehicles should allow a technician to open the car door panel using the following technique.
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.
Depending on the exact type of vehicle you’re dealing with, there’s a good chance that some fasteners are hidden behind a panel or possibly behind a sticker. Considering that removing decals can void a warranty, you won’t want to start taking anything apart just yet. You will, however, want to look over everything and see if there appear to be any openings disguised underneath some kind of piece of material.
Grab any tools you think you’ll need (generally a screwdriver, sometimes a ratchet and socket, maybe a flashlight). More than likely, several screws fitted on the door were installed in different head sizes. That means you’ll want to bring a couple of different tools with you. If you’re lucky enough to have a Torx screw set, then you’ll want to bring this along too because some car door panels are attached with unusual fasteners.
Some fasteners can simply be undone relatively easily. If this is the case, then you’ll want to be sure that you don’t cause any damage to them because some automakers have traditionally used plastic rivets. These are far more fragile than most types of metallic components.
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.
Be very careful to not rupture or tear any of these rubber pads and try to reserve them to the side so you don’t have to worry about figuring out where to put them in once you’re ready to put everything back together again. You may want to use one of those automotive or electronics multiple toolsets that let you swap out the screw bit so you can easily adjust to any unusual types of fasteners that you might run into unexpectedly while you’re working on the door panel.
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. Regardless of how hard they’re on, you don’t want to force them because this is certainly going to break them. Taking them off could take a bit of patience, but they should come off assuming that they were installed properly.
If your 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, look 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 again, this will likely take a little bit of patience to get off. Don’t rush things, because breaking this part off is going to cause problems down the line.
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.
If you do, then you’ll still want to remain relatively gentle even if you have to get firm when lifting it. You don’t want anything to end up getting broken. Fortunately, you should gain interior door panel access relatively quickly.
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.
In some cases, though, you might not even have to take this off depending on where the problem is.You normally want to strip the panel down as little as needed to get to the area that requires repair.
After taking a look at all of this, you’re probably thinking to yourself that it makes sense to get help from professional technicians who are experienced with this kind of work. If you’re having issues with your windows and are in the Las Vegas or 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. Contact us online with our convenient form or use our online quotes system for pricing or to set up an appointment.