How to Remove the Door Panels of a Corolla

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The Toyota Corolla has been around for a long time--it was introduced in 1966--yet it remains as popular as ever today. Body styles and designs have changed drastically over the years, and the process for removing the door panels will be drastically different between models; the process is the same, however, for the 2003 through 2008 Corolla models.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Manual window handle tool
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Door panel clip tool
  • Open the hood and unhook the negative (-) battery cable if your Corolla has power windows and locks. CE models do not have power windows and locks; LE and S models do.

  • Pull off the triangular panel across from the side-view mirror. This panel is called a "sail panel." It is attached by clips; just pull on it to disconnect the clips.

  • Use the manual window handle tool to remove the window handle. Insert the tool between the handle and the door panel to pop out the clip, and then pull the handle off. If your Corolla has power windows and locks, pry up the control panel and unhook the harnesses from behind it.

  • Pull back the small tab (screw cover) behind the interior door handle. Remove the Phillips screw behind the tab and slide the handle surround panel from the door.

  • Remove the two Phillips screws from the armrest. Insert the door trim clip tool between the panel and the door to pop out the retaining clips. The door panel is attached by eight clips; two on the bottom and three on each side.

  • Push the tool back to pop out the clips. You may have to feel around a bit with the tool to find the clips. Once you have a few clips disconnected, pull the door panel off with your hands.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can purchase a window handle tool at many department stores or automotive parts stores. If you can't find one, wedge a small hand towel between the handle and the door. Work the towel back and forth until the clip pops free, and then pull the handle off.
  • Since the hatchback Matrix (technically called the Corolla-Matrix) shares the same door panel, these instructions will also work for the Matrix.

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