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Kia Soul Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the interior door panels of a 1st generation 2009 to 2013 Kia Soul to upgrade the OEM speakers.

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2013 Soul Door Panel
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Pry Off Sail Panel
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Sail Panel Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 1st generation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) Kia Soul 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 power window motor.

Owners of other Kia and Hyundai vehicles with similar door panels such as the Forte, Cadenza, Rio, Optima, Sedona, Sorento, Sportage, Sonata, Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe and Genesis may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to take off the door panels include a small flathead screwdriver, a standard sized Phillips head screwdriver and either a large flathead screwdriver or an automotive panel removal pry bar tool.

To remove the OEM door speaker, you'll need an electric drill and bits to drill out the metal rivets holding it in place.

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Pry Open Screw Cover
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Door Handle Screw Exposed
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Pry Open Screw Cover
The approximate location of the 5 screws holding the door panel in place are marked by red dots on Picture 1 on this page.

The first step is to gently pry off the sail panel at the top inner corner of the door panel with a small flathead screwdriver. Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

Then pry open the small rectangular plastic screw cover located behind the door opener handle. The cover will remain attached to the door handle bezel by a small plastic hinge.

Move to below the door pull handle at the center of the arm rest and pry out the rectangular plastic screw cover.

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Screw Below Arm Rest
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Pry Off Plastic Screw Cap
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Upper Inner Screw
Then move to the inner edge of the door panel and pry off the two round black plastic screw caps.

There is one screw cap near the top of the door panel and another just to the side of the speaker.

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Lower Inner Screw Cap
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Screw Cap - Outer Edge
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Screw At Top of Outer Edge
The third and final screw cover is located on the outer edge of the door panel near the top.

Pry off the screw cover with the small flathead screwdriver.

At this point, you should have removed the sail panel and three round plastic screw caps.

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Remove Door Handle Screw
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Remove Screw Below Arm Rest
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Phillips Screw Removed
Remove the single screw behind the door opener handle by turning it counter clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Then remove the screw in the door pull well just below the center of the arm rest by turning it counter clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

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Remove Outer Edge Screw
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Phillips Screw Removed
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Remove Top Inner Screw
Remove the screw on the outer edge of the panel near the top by turning it counter clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.
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Remove Lower Inner Screw
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5 Screws & 3 Plastic Caps
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Insert Flathead Screwdriver
Move to the inner edge of the door panel and remove the two Phillips head screws that were hidden by the plastic caps.

At this point, you should have removed 2 bare Phillips screws, 3 Phillips screws with plastic washers, 3 round plastic screw caps and the sail panel.

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



 

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Pull Out Bottom Pop Rivets
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Plastic Pop Rivets Removed
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Lift Door Panel Off Frame
Firmly pull out the plastic pop rivets on the bottom edge of the door panel.

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

Lift the door panel up and off the top of the metal door frame.

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Door Handle Trim Piece
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Switch Panel Electrical Harness
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Switch Panel Power Plug
When you lift the door panel off the frame, the plastic bezel that surrounds the door opener handle may pop out of the panel.

Just set it aside in a safe place to be re-installed later.

Tilt the top of the panel towards yourself while supporting the bottom with your thighs.

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Press Release Button
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Pull Plug Out of Socket
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Plastic Door Panel Removed
Press the release button on the white plastic electrical connector and slide it straight out of the socket on the underside of the switch panel.

Now you can pull the door panel away from the frame and set it aside in a safe place.

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Metal Door Frame
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OEM Door Speaker - Rivets
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Hold Panel Near Frame
In order to remove the OEM door speaker, you'll need to drill out the metal rivets that hold it in place.

The front or rear OEM door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket speakers in the 5 1/4" (5.25") or 6 1/2" (6.5") sizes.

I'd recommend purchasing new speakers from Amazon since you can verify which speakers will fit your car and if you need mounting adapter brackets.

I recommend applying some Dynamat Sound Deadener to the metal door frame. It will help reduce vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume.

To replace the door panel, hold it near the door frame and support the bottom with your thighs.

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Push In Power Plug
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Hang Panel On Frame
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Door Panel On Metal Frame
Push the power plug straight in to the socket on the underside of the switch panel until it clicks securely in to place.

Lower the plastic door panel down on to the lip at the top of the door frame.

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Line Up Plastic Pop Rivets
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Push In Friction Fasteners
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Re-Insert Door Handle Bezel
Line up the white plastic pop rivet friction fasteners on the back of the door panel with the corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly tap in the pop rivets on the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

If the door handle bezel popped out when you removed the door panel, re-insert it back in to place.

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Re-Insert Upper Inner Screw
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Tighten Phillips Clockwise
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Replace Lower Inner Screw
Replace the two screws along the inner edge of the door panel and tighten them in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.
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Replace Outer Edge Screw
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Replace Door Handle Screw
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Pop In Screw Cover
Replace the screw on the outer edge of the door panel.

Replace the screw behind the door opener handle and pop in the hinged plastic screw cover.

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Replace Screw Below Arm Rest
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Push In Screw Cover
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Replace Round Screw Caps
Replace the screw below the arm rest by turning it clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver and pop in the plastic screw cover.

Push in the three small round black plastic screw caps in to place.

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Line Up Friction Fastener
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Push On Sail Panel
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Door Panel Replaced
Line up the sail panel and push it back in to place at the top inner corner of the door panel.

Get inside the car, close the door and check that the door opener handle, power window switch and door lock switch all work properly.

For more, check out my other Kia Soul DIY Maintenance Guides.
 

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