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Mazda CX-5 Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 1st generation 2012-2016 Mazda CX-5 to upgrade the speakers.

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2013 CX-5 Door Panel
Door Opener Handle
Trim Piece Behind Handle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & the refreshed 2016 model year) Mazda CX-5 SUV 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 Mazda vehicles such as the Mazda 2, Mazda 3, Mazda 5, Mazda 6, CX-7, CX-9, and the MX-5 Miata may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the door panel include a small flathead screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver and either an automotive panel removal tool or a large flathead screwdriver.

To take off the OEM door speakers, you'll need a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Trim Piece Removed
Phillips Screw Behind Handle
Pry Out Rubber Cover
The first steps are to lower the power window all the way down and then open the door.

Pry out the plastic trim piece located behind the door opener handle with a small flathead screwdriver.

Set the trim piece aside in a safe place.

Move to the door pull well in the armrest and pry out the rubber cover with the small flathead screwdriver.

Set the cover aside with the other trim piece.

Screw In Armrest Well
Remove Phillips Head Screw
Phillips Screw Removed
Remove the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the screw aside in a safe place.

Remove Armrest Screw
Pry Off Sail Panel
Sail Panel Removed
Then remove the Phillips head screw at the bottom of the well in the arm rest by turning it counterclockwise.

Move to the top inner corner of the door panel and gently pry off the triangular shaped sail panel with a small flathead screwdriver.

Set the sail panel aside with the other pieces.

2 Screws Removed
Firmly Pull Out Pop Rivets
Plastic Pop Rivets Released
At this point, you should have removed 2 Phillips head screws and three trim panels.

Insert either a plastic automotive panel pry bar tool or a large flathead screwdriver in between the bottom edge of the door panel and the 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.

Lift Door Panel Off Frame
Handle & Lock Cables
1st Method To Disconnect
Once all of the pop rivets have been released, you can lift the door panel off the top of the metal door frame.

Tilt the top of the door panel towards yourself and support the bottom with your legs.

There are two methods to disconnect the door opener handle cable and door lock switch cable.

Pull Out From Bracket
Lift Out Metal Bar
The first method is shown in the three pictures above this sentence.

You can pop the plastic collar out of the "C" bracket and then lift the metal bar at the end of the cable out of the socket.

2nd Method
Disconnect Entire Bracket
Cables Bracket Removed
The second method for disconnecting the cables involves detaching the entire black plastic bracket and door opener handle assembly from the rear of the panel.

Gently lift the rear end of the bracket off the panel and then pull the door opener handle out of the opening.

Two Electrical Connectors
Press Release Tab
Unplug Large Connector
To disconnect the two electrical connectors on the back side of the door panel, press in the release tabs before sliding the plugs straight out of their sockets.

You may need to use a flathead screwdriver to push in the release tab on the larger white plastic electrical connector.


Separate Panel From Frame
Pull Out Stuck Pop Rivet
Plastic Door Panel Removed
Now the plastic panel can be separated from the door frame.

Set the door panel aside in a safe place.

If any of the plastic pop rivets are still attached in the metal door frame, use a pair of needle nose pliers to carefully pull them out. Slide the pop rivet back in to the holder on the back of the plastic door panel.

Metal Door Frame
Loosen 10mm Screws
Disconnect Power Plug
The OEM door speaker is held in place by four 10mm screws.

Loosen the screws by turning them counterclockwise with the 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Press in the release tab on the electrical connector and pull the plug straight out of its socket.

Four 10mm Screws Removed
Pull Off OEM Speaker
Hold Panel Near Frame
Pull the OEM speaker straight out of the door frame.

The OEM door speaker can be replaced with aftermarket speakers in the following sizes: 5 1/4" (5.25"), 6 1/2" (6.5") and 6 3/4" (6.75").

I'd recommend purchasing new speakers from Amazon since you can verify that they will fit your car and whether you will need an adapter bracket.

If you'd like to reduce road noise and make your new speakers 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 door frame and tilt the top edge towards yourself while supporting the bottom with your legs.

Push In White Power Plug
Push In Grey Connector
Re-Insert Door Handle
Push the large white plastic electrical connector straight in to the socket on the underside of the switch panel.

Then push the small grey plastic plug straight in to its socket.

Re-insert the door opener handle in to the opening in the panel.

Snap In Bracket
Cables Bracket Attached
Lower Panel On Frame
Gently snap the door opener handle and lock switch bracket in to place on the back side of the panel.

Lower the door panel on to the upper lip of the metal door frame.

Re-Insert Spike & Pop Rivet
Upper Lip Secured
Line Up Pop Rivets
Line up the plastic peg or "spike" and pop rivet fastener on rear of the panel near the top outer edge with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly push in the two fasteners and make sure that the top of the door panel is flush with the metal door frame.

Line up the pop rivets at the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly Tap In Friction Fasteners
Replace Door Handle Screw
Replace Armrest Screw
Firmly tap in the pop rivet friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Replace the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Replace the Phillips head screw at the bottom of the door pull well in the armrest by turning it clockwise until it is snug.

Re-Insert Rubber Cover
Pop In Plastic Trim Piece
Trim Piece Replaced
Lower the rubber cover down in to the bottom of the door pull well.

Re-insert the plastic trim piece behind the door opener handle and gently pop it back in to place.

Line Up Sail Panel Fasteners
Push On Sail Panel
Door Panel Replaced
Line up the metal clips on the back of the sail panel and gently push it in to place.

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

For more, check out all of my Mazda CX-5 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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