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Kia Optima Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 4th generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Kia Optima.

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2019 Optima Front Door
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Top Front Corner
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Pry Off Sail Panel
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 model years) Kia Optima sedan 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 Kia, Hyundai or Genesis vehicles such as the Niro, Sportage, Sedona, Telluride, Sorento, Rio, Forte, Soul, K900, Cadenza, K5, Stinger, Tucson, Santa Fe, Kona, Palisade, Elantra, Sonata, Accent, Veloster, Ioniq, Nexo, Venue, G70, G80 and G90 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the door panels include a plastic pry bar tool and a Phillips head screwdriver.

The OEM door speakers are held in place by four bolts that can be removed with either a standard Phillips head screwdriver or an 8mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

To remove the power window motor bolts, you'll need either a 7mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet or a Torx T20 star bit screwdriver.

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

Locate the triangular shaped "sail" panel at the top inner corner of the door panel near the window frame.

Carefully pry off the sail panel with the plastic pry bar tool. On some Kia models, the sail panel may contain a tweeter speaker with an electrical connector that will need to be disconnected.



 

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Sail Panel Removed
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Door Opener Handle
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Pry Out Trim Piece
Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

Move to the door opener handle and rocker door lock switch.

Gently pry out the plastic trim piece located behind the door opener handle with the pry bar tool or an automotive trim panel removal tool.

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

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Trim Cover Removed
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Armrest Door Pull Well
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Remove Rubber Cover
Set the trim cover aside in a safe place.

Move to the door pull well in the center of the armrest located behind the switch panel.

Pry out the rubber cover at the bottom of the well.

Set the rubber cover aside with other trim pieces.

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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Screw Removed
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Armrest Screw
Remove the screw located behind the door opener handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the screw aside with its corresponding trim cover.

Then remove the screw at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

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Second Screw Removed
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Trim Pieces & Two Screws
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Pull Out Bottom Edge
Set the screw aside with its corresponding rubber cover.

Locate the notch in the bottom edge of the door panel.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool or a large flat head screwdriver in between the bottom edge of the door panel and the metal door frame.

Firmly pull out the bottom of the door panel to release the plastic pop rivet friction fasteners.

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Release Green Pop Rivets
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Lift Door Panel Off Frame
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Tilt Away Top Edge
Continue pulling out the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Lift the top edge of the door panel off the lip on the top of the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself to access the back side.

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Push In Release Tab
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Lift Out Rear Edge
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Cables Bracket Released
Locate the small black plastic release tab on the mounting piece for the door opener handle and door lock rocker switch cables.

Push the release tab in towards the front of the vehicle to release the mount from the bracket.

Lift up the rear edge of the mount and then pull out the tabs on the front edge out of the bracket.

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Push In Release Button
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Door Panel Removed
Then move down to below the switch panel and push in the release tab on the electrical connector.

Slide the power plug straight out of its socket.

Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.



 

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Metal Door Frame
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OEM Door Speaker
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Loosen Counterclockwise
The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) front door speaker is situated at the front bottom corner of the door frame.

To remove the four bolts holding the speaker in place, use either a Phillips head screwdriver or an 8mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

The OEM front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" (6.5") and 6 3/4" (6.75").

I highly recommend applying some Dynamat sound deadening material to the metal door frame and the back side of the plastic door panel. It will help reduce or eliminate any vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume.

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Power Window Motor
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Hold Panel Near Frame
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Push In Power Plug
The power window motor is held in place by bolts that can be removed with either 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet or a Torx T-20 star bit screwdriver.

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

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

You should feel or hear the power plug "click" securely into place.

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"Click" Into Socket
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Lower In Front Edge
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Push Down Rear Edge
Lower the mount for the door opener handle and door lock rocker switch cables down into the bracket on the back side of the door panel.

First, insert the tab on the front edge into the bracket.

Then lower the rear edge and push on it until the retaining clip "clicks" securely into place.

Make sure the mount is securely attached to the bracket.

You may also want to operate the door opener handle and move the door lock rocker switch to verify that the cables are operating properly.

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Lower Top On Frame
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Line Up Pop Rivets
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Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Lower the top edge of the plastic door panel on to the lip at the top of the metal door frame.

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

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

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Friction Fasteners Secured
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Replace Armrest Screw
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Replace Handle Screw
Make sure that every edge of the plastic door panel is flush against the metal door frame.

Replace the screw in the bottom of the armrest by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver until it is snug.

Then replace the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic door panel.

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Lower In Rubber Cover
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Replace Trim Piece
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Pop In Trim Cover
Lower the rubber cover down into the well in the center of the armrest.

Re-insert the plastic trim cover behind the door opener handle.

Push on the cover to secure the retaining clips in place.

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Line Up Sail Panel
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Push To Secure Panel
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Door Panel Replaced
Line up the sail panel at the top inner corner of the door panel.

Push on the sail panel to secure the friction fasteners.

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

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

Please check out all of my 2016-2020 Kia Optima DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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