There are a number of different ways trim panels can be fixed in place, so refer to the shop manual for details of the panel fixing methods used in your vehicle. The objective of this procedure is to show you how to remove and replace interior trim components.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
- Remove and replace interior trim components.
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
- Different vehicles have different methods of trim fixture, although they all follow similar methods of removal. The vehicle manufacturer's manual will provide tips on the methods of removal.
- Many cars have electric window winder mechanisms with activation switches on the trim panels. Always make sure that you use the recommended procedure, so that you do not trap wires between the door inner panel and the trim panel. This could cause an electrical short and damage the vehicle.
Part 2: Step-by-step instruction
- Check fixing method
There are a number of different ways trim panels can be fixed in place, so refer to the shop manual for details of the panel fixing methods used in your vehicle.
- Remove fittings
Remove any external fixtures on the panel, such as armrests or window winders, and place them in a safe clean place. These components may be held in place by screws or clips. Try not to damage them during removal.
- Obtain replacement clips
Many panels are held in place with clips in what look like keyholes. These clips are normally made out of plastic and they can easily be broken during removal, so always make sure you have some replacement clips for the re-assembly process. It is better to sacrifice a few replaceable clips than to risk damaging the panel itself.
- Remove panel
Most manufacturers have a special tool for removing the panel clips. Gently slide the tool under the panel and work your way along it until you locate a clip. Remove the tool and then replace it over the clip. Press down and the clip should pop out of its location. Repeat the process around the panel until it is completely unfastened. Lower the window, place your hands on the side of the panel, and wiggle it upwards. This should lift the panel from it’s seating, allowing you to remove it.
- Replace panel
To replace the panel, make sure that all the panel clips are in place. Now lift the panel back in, and hook it over the inner door panel. Line up the clips with their location points and firmly push them into place. You will here a distinctive “click” as they lock in.
- Replace fittings
Replace the armrests and any other components, such as window winder mechanisms. Clean off any finger marks with an approved solvent and a cloth that will not damage the panel material.