How to Take Off a KIA Door Panel

Written by leonardo r. grabkowski
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Kia Motors, known for its 10-year power train warranties, has been selling cars in the United States since the early 1990s. The automaker has built several notable vehicles during this time, including the Kia Optima. Removing the door panel in your Kia vehicle allows you to access the door-mounted speakers, or make repairs to the window or lock mechanisms. The procedure outlined is for one of Kia's more popular vehicles, the Kia Optima, models 2001 to 2006.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Door trim tool or putty knife
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent shock when handling the door components. Loosen the cable's nut with the pliers and slide it away.

  2. 2

    Pop off the side-view mirror interior panel with the tweeter on it. Use the door panel trim tool or a flat-bladed tool, such as a putty knife, wrapped in masking tape. Once the panel is off, unplug the speaker connection from behind it. Push the connector's tab in with a flat head screwdriver and pull the connector away.

  3. 3

    Open the door fully to expose the screw cover on the front part of the door panel. Pry out the screw cover with a flat head screwdriver. Pry out the small centrepiece; not the ring surrounding it. Behind the cover, you'll find a Phillips screw; remove it.

  4. 4

    Open the screw cover flap behind the inside door handle. Insert the tip of a flat head screwdriver into the upper-slot; push down to open the flap. Remove the Phillips screw from behind the flap.

  5. 5

    Pull off the plastic door handle surround piece. Insert the door trim tool behind the panel; pull it back to pull the panel off. Slide the surround piece away from the door panel.

  6. 6

    Remove the circular screw cover from the inside door pull storage compartment. Pry it up with the flat head screwdriver. Remove the Phillips screw behind the cover.

  7. 7

    Remove the screw cover from the rear-edge of the door panel. This cover is similar to the one on the front part of the door panel; pry out the centre part, not the ring surrounding it. Remove the Phillips screw behind it.

  8. 8

    Remove the two Phillips screws visible along the bottom part of the door panel.

  9. 9

    Pry around the perimeter of the door panel with the door trim tool. Pull the tool handle back to pop the door panel clips out. Do this for each side, except for the top. Once the clips are unhooked, the panel is ready for removal.

  10. 10

    Gently pull the door panel away from the Optima's door, but only enough to access the area behind it. The connections for the power equipment must be unplugged. Reach around and depress the connection tabs with the tip of the flat head screwdriver; unplug the connection. There are three connections to unplug. Once they are unplugged, pull the door panel away.

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