How to Install your Door Panel Trim Kit
One of the most important yet highly neglected parts of your vehicle's interior is the door panel trim. This part usually wears out due to accumulated dirt due to age and exposure to external factors like sun and moisture. When this part wears out, it can happen to one door at a time, or all at once. It can be an eyesore especially to your passengers if they see your door panel trim is already deteriorating. Before this happens, you need to take charge and replace it immediately with a new one to retain the cozy and attractive interior of your vehicle. You can always purchase a door panel trim kit from your trusty auto parts shops, both online and offline. Installation is also a breeze; you can do it on your own, within the comforts of your home.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Screwdriver set
- Pry bar
- Replacement door panel trim kit
Step 1: Pry the finger plate out from the forward end of the door latch trim using a screwdriver. Remove the screw located behind the finger plate to remove the door latch trim. Set aside the door latch trim components for assessment if they can be reused.
Step 2: Next, carefully pry the plastic trim from the window crank and remove the window crank screw. It is important to do this step carefully and not mar the finger plate or the window crank trim.
Step 3: Once removed, keep it together with the door latch trim. You may want to put them in a plastic bag and label it properly. Turn the screw back into the crank for safekeeping.
Step 4: Remove the two large screws from the underside of the armrest. Remove the armrest from the door and stow it and the screws together with the other parts.
Step 5: Pry the door panel clips out of the rubber inserts in the door frame using a bigger screwdriver or a small pry bar. Pry as close to the clip as you can to keep it from damaging the panel. You may use a padding to protect the finish as you do so. Set the trim panel aside.
Step 6: Inspect the protective plastic sheeting that is attached to the inner side of the door frame. The sheeting is responsible for protecting the inner side of the door trim panel from water coming from the outside, either during washing or when it's raining. Replace it if necessary.
Step 7: Glue down all around the edges of the panel to make sure the vinyl covering is intact. You may use contact cement for this. Make sure to hold the vinyl tightly against the inside surface of the trim as the glue dries.
Step 8: Ensure that each of the holes in the door frames has a rubber insert. Make sure the clips match with the holes and rubber inserts in the door frame.
Step 9: Replace the window crank, the door latch trim, and the armrest. Put back the screws and make sure that the inserts are snapped into place.
Your new door panel trim kit can be installed in less than an hour. Just make sure that you keep the parts that you remove in a secured place.