Improving the Interior: Finding the Right Door Trim Panel
Your car's interior is incomplete without a good-looking door trim panel. Without it, the door will look absolutely bare and the wiring connections inside it will be exposed. Not only will your vehicle's interior look unsightly, but the control panel for the power locks and windows will be damaged as well. Door trim panels are available in various styles and are perfect for adding a customized look to your interior. We've come up with a few tips to help you choose the right door trim panel for your vehicle.
What are the things to consider when choosing a door trim panel?
Pre-assembled or customized? Depending on your vehicle's make and model, you can have the door trim panel customized according to your desired style. This will definitely bring a unique and personalized touch to your vehicle, but make sure the style you'll choose will match the other interior parts, including the dash, seats, and headliner. You can even add artful stitch work or fancy embroidered logos to impress your passengers and set your ride apart. Leather and suede customized door trim panels are also recommended for a touch of elegance. If you don't like elaborate designs, you can go for pre-assembled panels that can be easily installed. These are usually available for muscle cars like Mustang, Corvette, and Camaro. Since the panels are pre-assembled for your specific make and model, you can just use a standard screwdriver to fit them into your door. You can also choose a full or half-door cover, depending on your needs and the condition of the existing trim panel.
In most vehicles, door trim panels are usually made from compressed cardboard that are pre-cut to your vehicle's size. Rexine and PVC are also used, but they give a flat look to the door panels. We recommend door trim panels made from vacuum-formed, molded ABS plastic because the material used here is thicker and more durable. Molded plastic also gives a more contoured fit and features a high-quality texture.
Color and finish
Black is probably the most popular door trim panel color because it can match virtually all types of seat upholstery and floor carpet design. Dashtop offers a wide array of colors to choose from, including shadow blue, saddle tan, napa red, and graphite. We suggest getting a door trim panel with a primered finish for a more polished, long-lasting paint color.
What is the cost of a door trim panel?
Most door trim panels are priced at around $100 to $250, but this can skyrocket to approximately $500, depending on the materials used. If you're working on a tight budget, you can get a basic door trim panel for less than $50. It's a relatively small price to pay for the improvement of your interior.
Replacing Your Door Trim Panel in Five Easy Steps
A damaged door trim panel will make your vehicle's interior look unsightly and neglected. The trim panel basically covers the inside of your door and connects the various electrical components in your car, including the control panel for the power windows and locks. Over time, moisture, dirt, and debris will get inside the door trim panel and ruin its good condition. When the damage is beyond repair, there's no other choice but to remove the old panel and install a new one. Replacing a damaged door trim panel is easy, and you can even do the repair yourself to save money. Here are the tools you need and the steps to follow in replacing a door trim panel:
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools that you'll need:
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Small pry bar
- Clip remover and retainers
Step 1: The window switch assembly needs to be removed before you can take off the old door trim panel. Using a small pry bar or flathead screwdriver, pry off the assembly and disconnect its electrical wirings.
Step 2: Once the window switch assembly is out of the way, use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws keeping the door trim panel attached to the door. The panel is also secured to the door with a set of retainer clips. Pry off each of these clips with a clip remover.
Step 3: Remove the old door trim panel and separate it from the electrical connectors. Pull the connectors through the damaged panel.
Step 4: You're now ready to install the new door trim panel. Insert the clip retainers you removed earlier into the holes of the new panel and reassemble the electrical connectors.
Step 5: Position the new door trim panel against the door and press it down to secure the retainer clips. Press down the top edge first before working your way around the panel's perimeter.