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How to change the door panel?

The door panel is more than an aesthetic part that gives an elegant look to your car interior. It is also a protection for you and your vehicle.

It’s responsible for protecting the sensitive areas of your car door. For example, the electric controls for the windows, the door handles, the sound system and the speakers, among other components.

In addition, the door panel also protects you from injuring yourself on the iron bodywork. In case of a collision, this part provides an extra layer of protection. And in some car models, the door panel includes a side airbag.

So, you must always have your car’s interior panels in good condition. And if you need to replace or remove it, we explain how you can do it in this article!

Read also: Why is car maintenance important?

Car door panel, highlighting the handle and arm rest

Why change the door panel?

Like any car part, the door panel is replaced when it stops performing its function. In other words, when it no longer protects the sensitive areas of the door and the passengers.

However, many drivers can go their entire lives without ever having their car’s door panel changed. This is not a part that needs constant overhaul and care.

However, if the car suffers a low-speed crash, the door panel has likely suffered some effects. It may have cracked or even broken.

If it is broken, it compromises the aesthetic function of the part. Besides its safety features, the door panel also has a major role in the car’s interior design. And if it’s damaged, you’d probably need to change the part.

Although it’s easier to dirty fabric door panels, it’s not impossible to stain or damage plastic covers. And if you can’t clean those stains, you may need to consider changing the door panel. It may not be an urgent repair, but this aesthetic detail can make a difference if you want to sell your car later.

Lastly, you can also remove the door panel without replacing it. As this part hides the sensitive components of the door, whenever you have a problem, for example, with the electric window control, you will have to remove the door panel. Once the damage is fixed, you can reinstall it, but be careful not to damage it and have to replace it.

Read also: 10 Myths about cars: Part 1

Person repairing a door panel in a workshop

Guidelines to replace the door panel

As you’ve seen, there are several reasons you may have to remove your car’s door panel. And if you need to replace it, you’ll find the process simple. Besides, it’s a relatively similar process on most car models.

In our tutorial, we use a Mercedes-Benz W212 as an example. To change the door panel of this car, you only need a screwdriver.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Start by disconnecting the car battery. Since you will be touching electrical wires, we recommend disconnecting the battery an hour before starting this repair.
  2. Look for plastic protections that hide the liner bolts. In this car model, the screws are protected under the armrest.
  3. Loosen all the screws and make sure there are none left.
  4. Using the screwdriver as a lever, release the door panel from its slots.
  5. Pull carefully so as not to stretch possible electrical wires.
  6. Once they are visible, release the fittings that connect the electrical wires to the door panel and remove the piece.
  7. Connect the electrical wires to the new door panel.
  8. Fit the lining to the body springs to secure it.
  9. Tighten the screws under the armrest, and secure them again with the black plastic cover.
  10. Connect the battery and use the electric controls on the door panel to guarantee the part is securely in place.

If you prefer, you can watch our video tutorial.

In case of doubt, we recommend that you visit a registered workshop.

If you are looking for a door panel for your car, you can find more than 80,000 on our website for more than 60 brands.