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Chevrolet Cruze Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 2nd generation 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GM Chevy Cruze.

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2018 Cruze Door Panel
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Door Opener Handle
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Pry Out Trim Piece
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GM Chevrolet Cruze in taking off 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 General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Holden such as the Sonic, Spark, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Bolt, Camaro, Corvette, Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, Colorado, Silverado, Express, TrailBlazer, Encore, Regal TourX, Envision, Enclave, LaCrosse, Cascada, Sierra, Canyon, Acadia, Terrain, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT5, CTS-V, XTS, CT6, ATS, Astra and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the interior door panels include a small flat head screwdriver, a plastic pry bar tool, a 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

The OEM door speakers are also held in place by 7mm screws.

The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and fully open the door.

Locate the small black plastic trim piece situated behind the chrome silver door opener handle.

Use the small flat head screwdriver to gently pry out the trim piece.



 

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Gently Removing Cover
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Trim Cover Removed
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Black Screw Exposed
You may need to re-insert the screwdriver in several locations and pry again to fully release the retaining clips.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The trim cover should pop out relatively easily.

Set the trim piece aside in a safe place such as on the floor mat.

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Pry Off Outer Trim Cover
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Use Plastic Pry Bar Tool
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Be Gentle At Rear Edge
Next, move to the trim cover on the outer edge of the armrest that runs along the switch panel and back to the door pull well / storage compartment in the armrest.

Use the small flat head screwdriver and the plastic pry bar tool to gently pry off the trim cover.

Do NOT pry close to the rear edge. There is a large plastic tab on the rear edge of the armrest trim cover (near the padded section) that might break.

Continue gently releasing the plastic retaining clips.

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Plastic Tabs - Rear Edge
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Armrest Trim Cover
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Loosen Counterclockwise
Pull the armrest trim cover away from the door panel and slide it forward to release the tap on the rear edge from its slot.

Set the armrest trim cover aside in a safe place.

Remove the single black metal screw situated behind the chrome silver door opener handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 7mm socket, a short extension bar and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

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Door Handle Screw
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Second Armrest Screw
Set the screw aside on top of near its corresponding plastic trim cover.

Loosen the two screws in the side of the armrest by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

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2 Trim Pieces - 3 Screws
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4th Screw Bottom Corner
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Loosen Counterclockwise
Set the two armrest screws aside with the plastic trim cover.

Move to the bottom front corner of the door panel and locate the fourth screw.

Remove the screw by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

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Fourth Screw Removed
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2 Trim Pieces - 4 Screws
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Pull Out Bottom Edge
Set the fourth and final screw aside with the other fasteners.

At this point, you should have removed two plastic trim covers and four 7mm screws.

Insert a large flat head screwdriver or a plastic pry bar 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 release the pop rivets.

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Release Pop Rivets
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Lift & Pull Top Edge
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Lift Panel Off Frame
Continue pulling out the pop rivet friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides.

Then gently lift the door panel off the lip at the top of the metal door frame.

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Metal Clips Lifted Out
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Door Opener Cable
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Push Down Release Tab
Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself and support the bottom edge with your legs.

Locate the white plastic mount for the door opener handle cable.

Push down the release tab and lift the white plastic mount off the black plastic bracket.

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Disconnect Plastic Mount
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Lift Ball Out of Socket
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Electrical Connector
Swing the cable out away from the back of the door panel.

Lift the metal ball at the end of the cable out of its socket.

Next, locate the electrical connectors for the power door lock switch and the armrest switch panel.

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Push In Release Tab
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Pry Out Harness Mount
Push in the release tab on the electrical connector and slide it straight out of its socket.

Repeat the process for the other connector.

Use a pop rivet removal tool to pry out the pop rivet fastener for the wire harness.

You could also use a flat head screwdriver or a pair of needle nose pliers.

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Wire Loom Pop Rivet
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Metal Door Panel
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OEM Door Speaker
Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

The OEM front door speaker is located at the bottom front corner of the metal door frame.

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Door Panel Removed
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Stuck Gray Pop Rivet
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Pull Out Stuck Pop Rivet
If any of the grey plastic pop rivets remained attached to the metal door panel, pry them out with the pop rivet removal tool.

Re-attach the pop rivets to the appropriate sockets on the back side of the plastic door panel.

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Power Window Motor
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Remove Single Screw
The power window motor is situated in the center of the door frame.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) front door speaker is held in place by a single 7mm screw.

Remove the screw by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

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Pry Off Old OEM Speaker
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Old Speaker Removed
Set the screw aside in a safe place.

You may need to gently pry off the old speaker with the plastic pry bar tool.

Push in the release tab on the electrical connector before sliding the power plug straight out of its socket.

The OEM front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" and 6 3/4".

I highly recommend adding some Dynamat sound deadener to the metal door frame and also the back side of the plastic door panel to help reduce vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume.

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Re-Attach Pop Rivet
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Slide Out Rubber Gasket
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Rubber Window Seal
The easiest way to re-attach the plastic door panel to the car, is to first remove the rubber window seal (also known as the "gasket" or "weather stripping").

Slide the rubber and felt window seal out of the tracks in the metal clips by moving it towards the rear of the plastic door panel.



 

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Window Seal Removed
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Felt & Rubber Seal
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Metal Retaining Clips
There are five metal retaining clips attached to the back of the plastic door panel that hold the rubber / felt window seal in place.
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Pry Out Metal Clips
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Metal Clip Removed
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Metal Clip & Slot
Use a flat head screwdriver to carefully pop the metal retaining clips out of their slots in the back of the plastic door panel.

Try to avoid damaging the plastic door panel.

It does require some force to remove the retaining clips and you may hear a loud popping or cracking noise.

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Lower Clip In Slot
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Five Metal Clips Total
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Attach Five Metal Clips
Move to the top of the metal door panel and locate the small slots on the upper lip.

Orientate the metal retaining clips in the correct position and lower them down into the slots.

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Metal Clips Re-Attached
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Lower In Window Seal
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Slide Into Rear of Frame
Line up the rubber window seal and slide it back into the tracks on the metal retaining clips.

Make sure the rear edge of the window seal is fully seated and flush with the rear of the window frame.

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Rubber Gasket Installed
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Hold Panel Near Frame
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Push In Power Plug
Double check that the window seal is properly re-installed.

Hold the plastic door panel near the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge towards yourself for better access to the back side.

Push the electrical connector for the switch panel straight into its socket.

You should hear or feel the connector "click" securely into the socket.

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Push Plug Into Socket
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Replace Door Lock Plug
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Power Door Lock Plug
Push the small white electrical connector for the power door lock switch straight into its socket.

The connector should "click" securely into the socket.

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Push In Wire Pop Rivet
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Lower Ball Into Socket
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Secure Plastic Mount
Push the pop rivet fastener that secures the wire loom (or "wire harness") into the hole in the back side of the door panel.

Lower the metal ball at the end of the door opener handle cable into its socket.

Swing the metal cable towards the door panel.

Slide the white plastic mount on to the black plastic bracket on the back side of the door panel.

The white plastic mount should "click" securely into place.

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Re-Insert Lock Stalk
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Line Up Metal Clips / Slots
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Metal Clips & Plastic Slots
Re-insert the door lock stalk back into the hole at the top rear corner of the door panel.

Line up the five black metal retaining clips at the top of the door panel (that hold the window seal in place) with the five slots on the back side of the plastic door panel.

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Push To Secure Top Clips
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Firmly Tap To Secure
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Line Up Pop Rivets
Gently push the top of the door panel to insert the retaining clips into the slots.

Then firmly tap on the panel to fully seat the clips and secure the top of the door panel.

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

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Tap To Secure Pop Rivets
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Tighten Clockwise
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Lower Front Screw
Firmly tap in the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Re-insert the screw at the bottom front corner of the door panel and tighten it in the clockwise direction with the 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until it is snug.

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Attach Screw With Tape
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Tighten Armrest Screws
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Door Handle Screw
The easiest way to replace the two armrest screws is to lightly attach the screw to the 7mm socket with a small amount of painter's tape.

Tighten the two screws in the clockwise direction with the 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until they are snug.

Then replace the 7mm screw behind the chrome silver door opener handle by tightening it in the clockwise direction.

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Line Up Trim Piece
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Pop In Trim Cover
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Line Up Armrest Cover
Gently snap the small black plastic trim piece back into place behind the door opener handle.

Line up the trim cover for the outer edge of the armrest.

First, re-insert the tabs on the rear edge of the trim cover back into their slots.

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Re-Insert Rear First
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Push To Secure Clips
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Door Panel Replaced
Then carefully push on the trim cover to secure the retaining clips.

Sit inside the car, close the door and verify that the door opener handle, door lock stalk, power door lock switch, power window switch and speaker are all working properly.

Be sure to write down the speaker upgrade in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2016-2019 GM Chevrolet Cruze DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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