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Removing Your BMW Interior Door Panels
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your BMW Interior Door Panels

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Door panel clip tool, flathead & Phillips screwdriver,

Applicable Models:

BMW E90 3-Series (2006-11)

Parts Required:

Moisture barrier, Moisture barrier seal, Door panel clips

Hot Tip:

Have door panel trim clips on hand in case they break when removing

Performance Gain:

Access to items behind door panel

Complementary Modification:

Replace vapor/moisture barrier

The interior door panel has to be removed to access components behind it. Such as, door speaker, side airbag, window regulator, door latch and door mirror. In this tech article, I will go over the steps involved in removing the door panel on your E90. I suggest having extra door panel clips on hand before removing, as they can break when removing. If you have to remove the vapor/moisture barrier, have vapor barrier sealant on hand. Be very careful when removing the vapor barrier, it tears easily and if it is reinstalled with a tear, an interior water leak can develop.

There are a few differences in removing the driver and passenger door panels. The first few steps will highlight the differences. The remaining steps are the same.

Driver side
Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out door panel trim piece.
Figure 1

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out door panel trim piece. (green arrow) Start prying at the edge (green arrow) and work your way toward interior of car, gently levering trim piece off door panel.

Next, remove three T20 Torx fasteners from door panel.
Figure 2

Next, remove three T20 Torx fasteners from door panel. (green arrows)

Passenger side
Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out door panel trim piece.
Figure 3

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out door panel trim piece. (green arrow) Start prying at the edge and work your way toward interior of car, gently levering trim piece off door panel.

Next, using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out door handle trim piece.
Figure 4

Next, using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out door handle trim piece.

Next, remove four T20 Torx fasteners from door panel.
Figure 5

Next, remove four T20 Torx fasteners from door panel. (green arrows) 

The remaining steps apply to both sides of vehicle.
Using a door panel clip tool, release door panel clips.
Figure 6

Using a door panel clip tool, release door panel clips. I like to start at lower corner, Then work my way around door panel, releasing all other clips. Once door panel clips have been disconnected, pull top of door panel straight off window seal clips. Start at outer edge of door and work your way toward interior.

Once bottom clips have been disconnected, detach upper clips.
Figure 7

Once bottom clips have been disconnected, detach upper clips.

Pull door panel back enough to access speaker electrical connector, then disconnect by pulling straight off.
Figure 8

Pull door panel back enough to access speaker electrical connector, then disconnect by pulling straight off.

Next, unclip and release cable from door handle by releasing tab and pulling out.
Figure 9

Next, unclip and release cable from door handle by releasing tab and pulling out.

Disconnect power window switch electrical connector by pressing release tab and opening lever.
Figure 10

Disconnect power window switch electrical connector by pressing release tab and opening lever. Then disconnect entrance light electrical connector at bottom of door. Once all electrical connectors are disconnected and detached from door panel, remove door panel from vehicle. You can now service items behind door panel and repair as needed. When installing, reverse order of removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged door panel clips. Properly route all wiring as before.

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Comments and Suggestions:
srobel Comments: For my drivers door on my E93 can you tell me how many of each type I understand they are referenced by color of each clip I will need in case all need replacement when I remove and replace the door panel?
October 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have the number of clips on hand. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.



- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
NCSU201 Comments: Where does one acquire a "door panel clip tool"?
October 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Pelican Parts.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/catalog/shopcart/TOOL/POR_TOOL_HAZT04_pg13.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Yangorang Comments: Where can we buy vapor barrier sealant or butyl tape?
September 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Pelican PArts. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nate Comments: hi,I'm working on a 2014 335i. The drivers door will not open. I have got the panel off far enough to access the door lock actuator but I cannot find a manual unlock override and still cannot get the door open.No luck with the manual key or fob. The actuator moves but the door still will not open. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
August 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: With the door panel off, locate the lever for the lock rod, try to push it up. If that doesn't work, you will have to try to get to the front of the latch to rotate the lock cylinder rod. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Harvs Comments: Hi,

I have a 320d 2005 se and wanted to change the bottom door lights but on checking the door card is blank where the light would be, if I remove the door card will the electrics be there if i was to buy some light and cut the door card out ?
August 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The wiring may be there for the light. However, you won't know until you remove the door panel. You would then need to either cut the right hold for the light or replace the door panel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
lookingdeep8 Comments: How do you remove the interior door pull from the panel after it is removed from the door and how do you secure the new one?
the car is a 2007 328i E90.
August 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See fig 9. There are plastic catches, unclip them and pull the handle out. Then snap the new one in place.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Yangorang Comments: How is the door pull handle 51417230852 on the passenger side secured to the door? Is it just held in by 4 screws? Mine is getting rather nasty looking and I just wanted to get an idea of how hard it is to replace.
August 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Omar Comments: Hi, I have a big problem how do I open the panel if my door close it won't open from inside and outside
June 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fasteners can still be accessed. Once removed, pull the panel away from the door. It can be done. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Liam Comments: Hi my driver door started developing a faint where when manually locked pressing lock, it would pop-up on first interia pull be then only open when using exteria handle. But when using interia lock/unlock button or report it'd open using both handles. This suddenly changed last night and the lock pops up but the door will not open by either handle.

1. Is it possible to remove with door closed
2. Will this be the cable that has become lose?
regards
Liam
April 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can remove the door panel with the door closed, Once you get the panel off, hold the lock lever up while trying to open the door. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pokey Comments: My '11 335i xDrive came with base audio. I am looking for the appropriate door trim & harness to install tweeters. Can you provide the parts?
April 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pelican Parts can get it for you.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
moagz Comments: Can i replace my e90 2011 passenger door with a e90 2006 model door
April 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure, the vehicle had a face lift midway through, the door may be different. You can check part numbers from your vehicle and the donor vehicle to be sure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
khaled Comments: MY e90 passenger door is locked and is not being unlocked both electrical and manual by the handle from the inside and outside. how can i open it to fix ?
April 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Call a locksmith or a mechanic. They will have a tool to open the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Azam Comments: Hi, i have a model 323i year 2011. My driver door lock/unlock keyless tap handle not function. I do not know what happen but it is okay with my passenger door. I believe it is a problem to my sensor. If need to replace it what is the cost?
February 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depends on what is causing the issue. I am not sure what the repair will cost in your area. Call a few shops and ask for a quote. It is also a good idea to have them confirm what the issue is. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sid Comments: Model: 2009 BMW 320d.
Car doors functionlocks and unlocks as expected with remote and button on dash board. But the passenger sideleft door won't unlock using internal door handle. Door button does not stay up when handle is pulled once as it used to. When unlocked with remote or unlock button on dashboard, button rattles up and down and stays down. Door locks and unlocks normally though. What might be the issue?
January 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The latch is likely faulty. First check that the lock rod isn't jammed, if it moves freely up and down, the issue is likely the latch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Stonny Comments: Hi. I have a 56 plate 330d. Rear driver side door is deadlocked and can not open it. I've managed to get door panel off while closed. I can see the actuator and I've tried to pull all opening mech byt nothing is opening it. Any advice on how to get the door open so I can fit the new actuator?
January 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: First to unlocking it via the door lock. Rotate lock cylinder to unlock, then repeat rotating it a little further. if that doesn't do it, you have to locate the lock lever on the latch, move it into position to unlock. I think on your model it disengages the lever when dead bolted. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lucius Comments: Hi. 2008 E90 sedan 335i has the N54 engine. Rear drivers side window will not come up. I can hear an electrical whirling sound but no window comes up. Please can you post the level of difficulty in doing this repair our selves, cost to include tools and parts needed. Repair man wants between $300.00 to $700.00 dollars. I've already tried resetting the Windows with the remote and no luck. Thanks a million.
January 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Start with removing door panel:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/BODY-Door_Panel_Replacement/BODY-Door_Panel_Replacement.htm

Then the regulator:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/BODY-Door_Panel_Replacement/BODY-Door_Panel_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Joe Comments: Forgive my ignorance, I didn't think there would be a significant difference between doors of the same body style E90. I have a 2009 335i Sedan. I drove it to work today hoping some jarring would make the door unstick. No joy. So I'll be removing the driver seat in the cold tonight.. and in the dark : Any advice? I plan to open the panel enough to get a hand inside and push the lock "tab" downward, hopefully releasing the lock. Not sure of the owner of the attached pic Does this seem right?
January 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is helpful to know what vehicle you are working on when asking questions, regardless of minimal differences between models, I am guessing when helping you, if I don;t know the model. When detaching the panel from the inside, start at the outer corner. Use a trim panel tool, flat and thin with a 180° bend to release the panel. Then work your way around until detached. The type of tool helps greatly when working with a stuck door and minimal access to the panel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Joe Comments: My driver door will not open. It locks and unlocks, but using either handle doesn't seem to engage mechanically inside. It's as if the door is still locked, which I believe it is. No amount of locking or unlocking via FOB, dash, or keys seems to help.

Panel cannot be removed with the door closed. HELP PLEASE!
January 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. However, most door panels can me removed from the interior with the door closed. That is your only option if the door will not unlock. Or destroy the door getting it open with force. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Neil Comments: Hi,
I have a 2006 E90 sedan and the Left Rear door will not unlock. The other doors work as normal and you can hear the mechanism trying to work. Can you get the door trim off with the door closed.
Cheers
September 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, remove the fasteners, then lever the panel off using a trim panel tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
viren Comments: Hi, as can be replaced - Door Handle Bracket /nr 51417230852/ ?
September 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the door panel, then remove the handle and swap it out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bmwlbj Comments: Hi, i need to completely change the interior seats included in my 2007 bmws e90. when i have tried to put new seats in the airbag light on the dashboard comes on. do i need to code the seats to the car or get the airbag light reset? or are the seats completely incompatible?
many thanks
luke
August 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: have you checked what the fault codes are? It maybe as simple as clearing the codes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
memoire101 Comments: Nick at Pelican Staff says ::

If it is one door and all the others work, the problem is likely the latch. You can try cleaning and lubricating the latch before replacing it.

Can you describe to me how to clean and lubricate the latch please ?
August 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Spray it down with WD40, then open and close it. Then spray down with a lubricant. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dbrown208 Comments: Does the door panel have to be removed to change the grab handlet? The handle pointed to in figure 4
June 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
terry Comments: My e90 door was damaged and was replaced
Since then the vapour barrier continue to leak and I have changed the barrier and sealed it 15 times or so but it continue to leak
Is there any special type of sealant or is there a missing seal . Any input will be highly appreciated
June 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The vapor barrier is sealed with butyl tape.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dinesh Comments: I have a door button e90 that does not open or close with the remote - it does move the tiniest bit though. I also hear the mechanism working at that door. Wondering if something could have come loose and that the actuator could still be working?
May 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it is one door and all the others work, the problem is likely the latch. You can try cleaning and lubricating the latch before replacing it.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
reio Comments: Hi! Is it possible to remove only the leather interior part of the door panel?
May 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I know of. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Faust Comments: Greetings, how can i replace the innen door handle ? I have removed the door panel, then i see that the handle is not screwed but soldered. It needs a special tool ?
April 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The plastic has to be removed, then you resintall new handle with special screws. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tony Comments: Hi. If you want to replace only the right door pull carrier and its trim piece of course do you have to remove the door panel? or just to unscrew the bolts and replace it?
Thanks
December 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Door handle on the inside? The panel has to come off.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
paramedic man Comments: Hi there. I have replaced my seats with a leather interior. The seat belt warning light stays on and so does the airbag light. What have i done wrong??
October 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have damaged wiring to the airbag components of the seat belt buckle. Or you just set a fault code that needs to be cleared. Start by checking the vehicle for fault codes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lee Comments: Do I have to disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent the accidential air bag activation before removing the door panel
July 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The door panel being removed does not require the airbag to be touched. If you have to service the airbag system, disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes before working on the system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Renko Comments: Many thanks for this! A suction cup from a child's sunshade had gone down with the window, and was keeping the window from coming back up. Using your instructions I was able to get it out, and it's now all working like it should. Thanks again!
July 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Before removing door panels because your rear window won't come up try this: out of the blue the rear window of our 2006 BMW 325xi stopped going up. I searched for how to remove the rear door panel I found a post that said to shut off the car completely. Let it sit for a couple hours, start it and try again. I'll be darned if this didn't work. The car was parked for a couple of days as it had been raining. I went out started it and pulled the button to put the window up. Darn if it didn't go right back up. Have not tried to put it down again yet though.
May 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
vic Comments: Many thanks for a great tip
December 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bummed out bimmer Comments: Thxs how do u use the latch to open the door once the panel is off ?
October 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can either pull the cable end by hand or reattach the handle to open it. I usually pull on the cable end. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bummed out bimmer Comments: how do u open a z4 door that will not open ?
October 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the door is double locked and will not open from the inside or outside you are going to have to remove the door panel to access the door latch. Removing the seat will help make it easier. The door panel might end up getting damaged.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:22:21 AM