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Nissan Maxima Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels and upgrade the speakers in a 2016, 2017 & 2018 Nissan Maxima.

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2016 Maxima 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 eighth generation (2016, 2017, 2018 and maybe also the 2019 and 2020 model years) Nissan Maxima sports sedan 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 Nissan or Infiniti vehicles such as the Versa, Altima, Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Xterra, Pathfinder, Sentra, Cube, Armada, Leaf, Quest, Frontier, 370Z, GT-R, Titan, Kicks, NV, NV200, G25, G37, M35 and M37 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the door panel include a small flathead screwdriver, a plastic pry bar tool, a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

To remove the OEM door speakers, you'll need an 8mm socket and a also 10mm socket with a ratchet or a Phillips head screwdriver.



 
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Trim Cover Removed
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Well In Armrest
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Pry Out Plastic Cover
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and fully open the door.

To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, you may choose to cover the tip of your screwdriver with a thin microfiber cloth or instead use a plastic automotive pry bar tool.

Use a small flathead screwdriver to gently pry out the plastic trim piece located behind the chrome silver door opener handle.

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.

Then move to the door pull handle well in the center of the armrest.

Insert the blade of your screwdriver into the small notch on the edge of the plastic screw cover.

Gently pry out the plastic cover and set it aside in a safe place.

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Pry Off Sail Panel
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Pry Up Rear of Switch Panel
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Retaining Clips Released
Next, move to the top inner corner of the door panel and carefully pry off the sail panel with the plastic pry bar tool.

On some Nissan models, the sail panel may contain a tweeter speaker that will need to be disconnected.

Gently pry up the rear edge of the switch panel located near the door pull well with the plastic pry bar tool.

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Switch Panel Removed
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Turn Over Switch Panel
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Push In Release Tab
Continue gently pulling up the switch panel to release the retaining clips.

Turn over the switch panel to access the electrical connector.

Push in the release tab on the white plastic electrical connector before pulling it straight out of its socket.

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Disconnect Power Plug
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Pry Out Step Light Housing
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Courtesy Step Light Bulb
Set the switch panel aside in a safe place.

Move to the bottom edge of the door panel.

Gently pry out the courtesy step light bulb housing with the plastic pry bar tool.

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Disconnect Power Plug
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Loosen Armrest Bolt
Push in the release tab on the white plastic electrical connector before pulling it straight out of its socket.

Set the courtesy step light housing aside in a safe place.

(If you'd like to upgrade the courtesy step lights to brighter LED bulbs, the light bulb part number is 158.)

Remove the bolt located behind the door opener handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Set the bolt aside in a safe place.

Then remove the bolt located at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Set the armrest bolt aside with the other bolt.

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Bolts & Plastic Removed
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Pull Out Bottom Edge
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Release Plastic Pop Rivets
At this point, you should have removed two bolts, the switch panel, two plastic screw covers and the sail panel.

Move to the bottom edge of the door panel.

Insert a large flathead screwdriver or 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 plastic pop rivet friction fasteners.

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

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Tilt Away Top Edge
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Two Cables On Bracket
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Pull Out White Collar
Lift the top edge of the door panel off the upper lip on the metal door frame.

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

Locate the two metal cables that operate the door lock rocker switch and the door opener handle.

There are two methods for disconnecting the two cables.

You could remove the three black metal Phillips head screws on the black plastic mounting bracket in the counterclockwise direction.

The other method is to simply pull the white plastic collars out of their "C" shaped sockets and then lift the metal elbow and metal ball out of their sockets.



 

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Remove Metal Elbow
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Pull Out Plastic Collar
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Lift Metal Ball Out of Socket
The door opener handle cable is situated closer to the bottom of the door panel and has a metal 90 degree angle elbow shape at the end of it.

The cable for the door lock rocker switch is located closer to the top of the door panel and it has a round metal ball at the end of it.

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Plastic Door Panel Removed
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Metal Door Frame
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OEM Door Speaker
Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

The OEM front door speaker is located the bottom inner corner of the door panel.

The speaker is held in place to the black plastic mount by four 8mm screws.

If you'd like to remove the black plastic speaker mounting bracket, you'll need either a 10mm socket or a Phillips head screwdriver.

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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Hold Panel Near Frame
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Metal Ball In Socket
The OEM front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6"x9" and 5 1/4" (5.25").

I highly recommend adding some soundproofing material to the metal door panel such as Dynamat.

The soundproofing material will help stop vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume to allow your new speakers to sound their best.

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Pop Collar In Bracket
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Replace Lock Cable
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Lower Panel On Frame
To replace the plastic door panel, hold it near the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself.

Re-insert the metal ball at the end of the cable for the door opener handle into the socket at the bottom of the bracket.

Push the white plastic collar into the "C" shaped socket.

Then insert the metal 90 degree bend elbow at the end of the cable for the door lock rocker switch into the socket at the top of the bracket.

Push the white plastic collar into the "C" shaped socket.

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

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Pull Out Cable & Connector
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Courtesy Light Plug
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Line Up Pop Rivets
Pull the electrical connector and cable for the switch panel out of the opening in the armrest.

Pull the electrical connector for the courtesy step light housing out of the opening at the bottom of the door panel.

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

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Firmly Tap In Pop Rivets
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Push In Courtesy Light Plug
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Re-Insert Light Housing
Firmly tap in the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Push the power plug for the courtesy step light bulb housing straight into its socket.

Gently pop in the courtesy step light housing back into its opening.

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Push In Switch Panel Plug
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Lower In Switch Panel
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Push Down Secure Clips
Push the large white plastic power plug straight into its socket on the underside of the switch panel until it "clicks" securely into place.

Lower in the front edge of the switch panel back into the opening in the armrest.

Then gently push down the bottom edge of the switch panel to secure the retaining clips and friction fasteners in place.

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Armrest Well Bolt
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Door Pull Handle Well
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Tighten Clockwise
Replace the bolt at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it in the clockwise direction with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until it is snug.
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Replace Upper Bolt
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Lower In Plastic Cover
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Plastic Cover Replaced
Then replace the bolt behind the door opener handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Push the triangular shaped plastic cover into the bottom of the well in the center of the armrest.

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Re-Insert Trim Piece
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Trim Cover Secured
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Door Panel Replaced
Re-insert the plastic trim piece behind the door opener handle until it pops back into place.

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

You may want to record the speaker change or soundproofing material application in your car's service records for the next owner's benefit when troubleshooting future issues with rattles or the stereo system.

Please check out all of my 2016-2018 Nissan Maxima DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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