Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Replace a Car Door Panel

How to Replace a Car Door Panel

door panel

You may have that annoying rattle coming from your door as you drive, your window may no longer work,our door locks or handles may not function properly, or you may even have a problem with the switches on the door. No matter the reason, removing your door panel at some point in time may become necessary. Door panels can be difficult to remove if you do not have the proper direction or the right tools and knowledge. Knowing how most door panels are mounted will be invaluable when you need y to remove them.

Part 1 of 4: Have the right parts and tools

Prior to removing the door panel it is a good idea to prepare yourself. There are some parts that commonly break when removing a door panel and there are a few tools that make the job easier.

Materials Needed

assortment of plastic clips

  • Long and short flat-head screwdrivers
  • Metal pick (small)
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Plastic door panel clips

  • Note: If you are repairing any other parts of the door, such as a window motor, make sure that you purchase this ahead of time also.

Part 2 of 4: Removal of the door panel

Step 1: Get your car ready. You should put your car into park and turn the engine off. It is best to park the car in a shaded area as you will be working outside of the vehicle, and it can get hot without any shade.

screws indicated by red arrows

Step 2: Pry away covers and lights. The covers and lights on the door panel can be removed by lightly prying on them, which will expose the mounting screws.

Step 3: Locate all of the mounting screws. Most door panels have about 4 or 5 mounting screws which are now visible.

person using a prying tool

Step 4: Separate the door panel from the door. Once all of the screws and panels are removed, grab the bottom of the door panel and pull it firmly from the door. This should help release the locking tabs.

  • Tip: If the door panel does not release, you can push the long flat-head screwdriver behind the bottom of the panel between the door and the panel.

Step 5: Lift the panel off the door. You can then pry the panel from the door, which will allow you to lift the door panel up and off the door.

  • Tip: Once you remove the door panel you must be careful of the wiring if you have power locks and windows. Remove any electrical connections so that you can remove the door panel.

backside of a door panel

Step 6: Inspect the door clips. After you have removed the panel, it is important that you examine it to find any clips that may have broken in the process of removal and be sure to replace any that are broken.

Part 3 of 4: Installing the door panel

Step 1: Hold the door panel close enough to the door so that you can connect all of the electrical connections that were detached during the process of removal.

person installing car door panel

Step 2: Install the panel. In order to attach the new panel, you should start by installing the top of it into the window seal. Once the top is in place, you can push on the door panel until you hear the clips snap in place.

  • Tip: You can look behind the panel when installing it to make sure that the panel clips and the mounting holes are aligned before you push it into place.

Step 3: Return the screws and plastic covers. Reinstall all of the mounting screws and plastic covers by pushing the covers back into place. This makes sure that the door is correctly attached.

  • Warning: Plastic interior parts will become brittle over time. These parts can easily break if they are not removed and installed correctly.

Step 4: Check the door. Turn on the ignition and check the operation of all of the switches on the door to make sure that the normal functions of the door are restored as expected.

  • Warning: Some door panels contain side airbags. If you do not follow the correct procedures, these airbags can deploy, causing serious harm.

Whether you are removing the door panel to install a new one or do other repairs within the door, the process is painless and straightforward, especially if you are prepared with the proper tools and materials. Don’t be afraid to remove the door panel because the task seems too difficult or daunting; instead, armed with the proper guidelines, you can finish the job happy with a new door panel.

If you are having additional problems with your car door, such as one that does not lock or shut properly, then the service professionals at YourMechanic can inspect it and help solve your issue.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

How Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...

Related questions

Q: Door doesn't open from inside

Hello. The outside door handle has plastic taps that connect to rods that go to the door latch. This is what enables the door to open. If the plastic taps have broken, this could be the reason you can only...

Q: How do I program a personal entry code for the Keyless Entry Keypad to the memory feature?

They Keyless Entry Keypad allows you to enter your truck without using your keys. Your code for the keypad can also be programmed to the memory feature and move the seats to your settings. To program a personal Entry Code...

Q: Problem with door locks

At first I was going to guess that the door ajar switch had failed. However, if that were the case, your interior lights would also stay illuminated. I can't find a reliable wiring diagram for your vehicle, but I believe...