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Chevrolet Equinox Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a third generation 2018 to 2022 GM Chevy Equinox SUV.

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2018 Equinox Door Panel
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Door Opener Handle
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Flat Head Screwdriver
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2018, 2019 and probably also the updated or "refreshed" 2020, 2021 and 2022 model years) GM Chevrolet Equinox SUV in taking off the plastic interior door panels in order to upgrade the OEM door speakers, add soundproofing material, fix a faulty electrical switch or replace a broken power window motor.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Holden such as the Trax, Blazer, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Cascada, LaCrosse, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CTS, XTS, CT6, Astra, Commodore and Trailblazer may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

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

The OEM door speaker is held in place by one 7mm screw.

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

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

Insert the blade of your small flat head screwdriver into the notch at the rear edge of the trim piece.

Gently pry out the trim piece and set it aside in a safe place.



 

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Pry Out Trim Piece
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Door Pull - Armrest
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Remove Rubber Cover
Then move to the door pull handle in the middle of the armrest.

Gently pry out the rubber cover at the bottom of the well with the flat head screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool.

Set the rubber cover aside in a safe place.

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Two Screws Exposed
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Small Screw Removed
Remove the screw located behind the door opener handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 7mm socket, an extension bar and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Set the short black metal screw aside with the corresponding trim cover.

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Two Armrest Screws
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Remove 2nd Screw
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2 Plastic Pieces - 3 Screws
Next, remove the two screws in the bottom of the well in the door pull handle at the center of the armrest.

Turn them in the counterclockwise direction with the 7mm socket, an extension bar and the 1/4" drive ratchet.

Set the two slightly longer screws aside with the rubber cover.

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Insert Pry Bar Tool
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Pull Out Bottom Edge
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Lift Panel Off Frame
Insert the 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 rivet friction fasteners.

Continue releasing the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Carefully lift the plastic door panel up and off the lip at the top of the metal door frame.

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Tilt Away Top Edge
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Door Opener Handle Cable
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Squeeze To Open Jaws
Locate the white plastic mounting collar near the end of the door opener handle cable.

Squeeze the end of the collar (with the 8 small raised dots) until the jaws open.

Pull the white plastic mounting collar off the black plastic bracket.

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Pull Off Bracket
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Lift Ball Out of Socket
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Two Power Plugs
Swing the cable out and away from the door panel.

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

There are two electrical connectors on the back side of the door panel.

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Slide Out Red Lock Tab
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Push Down Release Tab
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Slide Out Power Plug
Slide out the red locking tab on the grey plastic electrical connector to unlock the release tab.

Push in the release tab and slide the grey power plug straight out of the socket.

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Grey Electrical Connector
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Black Power Plug
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Slide Out White Lock Tab
Then slide out the white plastic lock tab on the black electrical connector.

Push in the release button and slide the black plastic power plug straight out of its socket.

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Push In Release Tab
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Using Pry Bar Tool
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Two Mounting Brackets
If you have trouble pushing in the release tab on the black connector, use the pry bar tool to push it down.

Slide the black power plug straight out of its socket.

The electrical sockets may have become detached from their mounting brackets on the back side of the door panel.



 

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Re-Attach Two Sockets
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Door Panel Removed
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Metal Door Frame
Slide the sockets back on to their mounting brackets.

Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

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Remove Stuck Pop Rivet
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OEM Door Speaker
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Hold Panel Near Frame
If any of the grey plastic pop rivets remained attached to the metal door frame, pull them with a pop rivet removal tool or a flat head screwdriver and re-attach them to the back side of the door panel.

The OEM front door speaker is located at the bottom inner corner of the door frame. It is held in place by a single 7mm screw.

The original speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" (6.5"), 6 3/4" (6.75") and 6" x 9".

I highly recommend applying some Dynamat sound deadener to the metal door frame and the back side of the door panel to help stop any vibrations or rattles when you crank up the volume.

To replace the plastic door panel, hold it near the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge away from the door panel and support the bottom edge with your legs.

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Line Up Metal Ball
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Re-Insert Ball Into Socket
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Snap On Cable Mount
Line up the metal ball at the end of the door opener handle cable with its socket.

Lower the metal ball into the socket and swing the cable towards the door panel.

Push the white plastic collar on to its mounting bracket until it "clicks" securely into place.

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Push In Grey Plastic Plug
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Slide In Red Locking Tab
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Push In Black Power Plug
Push the grey plastic power plug into its socket until it "clicks" securely into place.

Slide in the red locking tab.

Push the black plastic connector into its socket.

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Slide In White Lock Tab
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Lift Up Bottom Sail Panel
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Sail Panel Released
Slide the white plastic lock tab back into place.

I found that the bottom of the sail panel trim piece at the front top corner of the door frame got in the way of replacing the door panel.

Pry up the bottom of triangular shaped sail panel to release the friction fasteners.

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Hang Panel On Door Frame
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Re-Attach Sail Panel
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Line Up Plastic Pop Rivets
Lower the top of the plastic door panel on to the metal lip at the top of the door frame.

Pop the sail panel back into place.

Line up the grey plastic pop rivets with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

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Firmly Tap In Fasteners
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Replace Armrest Screws
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Tighten Clockwise
Firmly tap in the friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Replace the two screws into the bottom of the well in the door pull handle at the center of the armrest.

Rotate the screws in the clockwise direction with the 7mm socket, an extension bar and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

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2nd Screw Replaced
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Door Handle Screw
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Lower In Rubber Cover
Tighten the two screws until they are snug.

Then replace the screw behind the chrome silver door opener handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with the 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Lower the rubber cover down into the well in the door pull handle.

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Line Up Trim Piece
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Trim Cover Secured
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Door Panel Replaced
Push the small plastic trim cover back into place behind the door opener handle.

Sit inside the SUV and make sure that the door opener handle, power door lock switch, power window switch and the door speaker are all still working properly.

Be sure to record the speaker change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2018-2022 GM Chevrolet Equinox DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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