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Kia Forte Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 1st generation 2010 to 2013 Kia Forte to upgrade the OEM speakers.

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2013 Forte Door Panel
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Pry Open Screw Cover
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Door Opener Handle Screw

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) Kia Forte in removing the plastic interior door panels in order to upgrade the OEM speakers, add soundproofing material, fix a faulty electrical switch or replace a broken power window motor.

Owners of other Kia or Hyundai vehicles such as the Optima, Cadenza, K900, Sorento, Sportage, Sedona, Soul, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis, Cerato, Spectra, Accent, Sephia, i20, i30, i40 and Equus may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to take off the door panels include a small flathead screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver and a large flathead screwdriver or a plastic panel removal tool.

The OEM door speakers are held in place by 8mm bolts.

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Plastic Screw Cover
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Screw Under Armrest
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Remove Door Handle Screw
The first two steps are to open the door and then lower the power window all the way down.

Pry open the square screw cover located behind the door opener handle with the small flathead screwdriver.

Then pry open the second square screw cover located just below the armrest.

Remove the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

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Phillips Screw Removed
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Remove Phillips Screw
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Screw Below Arm Rest
Next, remove the screw below the armrest by turning it counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

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Sail Panel - Tweeter Speaker
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Gently Pull Off Panel
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Plastic Pop Rivets
Move to the top inner corner of the door panel and gently pull off the sail panel which contains the tweeter speaker.

It is held in place by three plastic pop rivet friction fasteners.

You may need to use a flathead screwdriver or a plastic automotive panel pry bar tool to pry off the sail panel.

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Disconnect Tweeter Speaker
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Two Screws & Sail Panel
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Plastic Cover - Outer Edge
Press the release tab on the tweeter speaker's white plastic power connector and slide it straight out of the socket.

Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

Move to the top outer edge of the door panel and locate the small round screw cap.

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Pry Out Screw Cover
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Phillips Head Screw
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Loosen Counterclockwise
Gently pry out the screw cap with a small flathead screwdriver.

Loosen the Phillips head screw by turning it counterclockwise.

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Outer Edge Screw Removed
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Insert Large Flathead Screwdriver
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Pry Out Bottom Edge
Set the cap and screw aside with the other fasteners.

Insert a large flathead screwdriver or the plastic automotive panel removal tool in between the bottom edge of the door panel and the metal door frame.

Firmly pull out the bottom edge of the door panel to disengage the plastic pop rivets.

Continue pulling out the friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

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Lift Door Panel Off Frame
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Tilt Top Edge Towards You
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Switch Panel Power Plug
Lift the door panel straight off the top of the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself while supporting the bottom with your legs.



 

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Press Release Tab - Pull Out
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Lock & Handle Cables
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Push In Clip To Release
Press the release tab on the large white plastic electrical connector and slide it straight out of the socket on the underside of the switch panel.

Gently push in the plastic clip on the door opener handle and lock switch cables bracket to release it.

Lift the bracket off the back of the door panel.

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Cables Bracket Removed
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Metal Door Frame
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Plastic Door Panel Removed
Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Remove Four 8mm Screws
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Hold Panel Near Frame
Press in the release tab on the OEM door speaker's white plastic electrical connector before sliding it straight out of its socket.

The OEM door speaker is held in place by four 8mm screws.

Remove the screws by turning them counterclockwise with the 8mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

You can replace the OEM speaker with aftermarket speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" (6.5") and 6 3/4" (6.75").

I'd recommend buying new speakers from Amazon since you can verify that the speakers will fit your vehicle and whether or not you will need a mounting bracket.

In order to reduce road noise and allow your new speakers to sound their best, apply some Dynamat Sound Deadener to the metal door frame. It will help stop vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume.

To replace the door panel, hold it near the metal door frame and tilt the top edge towards yourself.

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Push In Electrical Connector
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Line Up Cables Bracket
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Snap Assembly In Place
Push in the white plastic electrical connector in to its socket on the underside of the switch panel.

Line up the bracket that holds the door opener handle cable and door lock switch cable.

Push the bracket on to the back side of the door panel until it clicks securely in to place.

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Lower Panel On Frame
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Line Up Pop Rivets
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Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Lower the door panel on to the top edge of the door frame.

Line up the plastic pop rivets on the back of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly tap in the friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

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Re-Connect Tweeter Speaker
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Push On Sail Panel
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Replace Outer Edge Screw
Push in the power plug for the tweeter speaker back in to its socket.

Line up the friction fasteners on the back side of the sail panel and gently push it back in to place.

Replace the screw at the outer edge of the door panel by turning it clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

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Push In Screw Cap
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Replace Screw Below Armrest
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Close Screw Cover
Pop in the small round plastic screw cap.

Replace the Phillips head screw below the armrest by turning it clockwise.

Pop in the square screw cover.

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Replace Door Handle Screw
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Close Screw Cover
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Door Panel Replaced
Replace the Phillips head screw behind the door opener handle by turning it clockwise.

Close the square plastic screw cover.

Sit inside the vehicle, close the door and verify that the door opener handle, door lock rocker switch, power window switch and power door lock switch all still work properly.

For more, check out my other 2010-2013 Kia Forte DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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