Projects & Repairs --> Trim --> Door Panels --> 2003 Nissan Altima

Removing car door panel from 2003 Nissan Altima.

Removing Door Panels On A 2003 Nissan Altima

Also: Fixing Window Glass That Won't Move Up Or Down.

(Covers Model Years 2002 to 2006)

In This Article:

Various screws are removed and electrical connectors are unplugged, then the door panel is pried away. The door release cable is disconnected by unscrewing the handle.

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Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 25 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician

Start:

This 2003 Nissan Altima had hidden screws and an inside door latch that is attach to the back side of plastic door panel.

2003 Nissan Altima plastic inside door panel.

 

removal of side view mirror plastic cover, 2003 Nissan Altima.

I used a tack puller to pry the side view mirror cover at the top, to release the snap clip...

 

...then I released two snap clips from the lower area of the cover.

View of back side of cover.

Back of side view mirror, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

removing side view mirror from door frame 2003 Nissan Altima

Removing Side View Mirror:

First I used a small flat screwdriver to press in the lock tab on the wire connector and pulled it out.

Using a 10mm socket I removed the three mounting nuts (red arrows) from the metal door frame, releasing the side view mirror.

Caution: Have someone hold the side view mirror, if it falls it can cause damage to the outside painted panel.

 

I used a small flat screwdriver to remove the small cover behind the latch handle. Prying screw cover from inside door latch, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Removing Phillips screw from inside door handle, 2003 Nissan Altima. Then, using a Phillips screwdriver, I removed the mounting screw.

(Red arrow points to the back side of the screw cover.)

 

I used the small flat screwdriver to remove the small plastic cover from the bottom of inside door pull handle. Removing cap cover from inside door pull handle, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Removing screw from door pull handle, 2003 Nissan Altima. Then using a Phillips screwdriver, I removed the screw from the bottom of the pull handle.

 

Using two rigid putty knives (covered with masking tape to prevent scratching) I carefully pried up on the switch panel, releasing the snap clips. Prying up window switch control panel, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Window and door lock switch panel being removed from 2003 Nissan Altima. View of switch panel cover.

 

With the small flat screwdriver I pressed in on the wire connector lock tabs and pulled the connectors out of switches. Disconnecting wire connector from window switch, 03 Nissan Altima.

 

Removing hidden screw under pull handle, 2003 Nissan Altima. I removed the hidden Phillips screw from under the pull handle cover.

 

I carefully pried off the inside marker lamp, using a small flat screwdriver. Removing inside marker lamp on door of 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Disconnecting wire harness from inside door marker lamp, 2003 Nissan Altima. I pressed in on the wire connector lock tab with a small flat screwdriver tip and carefully pulled the wire connector out of the lamp.

 

I used a rigid putty knife to pry between the door panel and the metal door shell.

I released the snap clips around the rear edge of the door panel, and then I did the same on the bottom and front edges.

Un-snapping clips on plastic door panel, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

remove plastic inside door panel 2003 Nissan Altima Then I pulled the panel out slightly and lifted it upward and removed the panel from the metal door frame.

 

On the back of the plastic panel I removed four Phillips screws (red arrows) from the inside door handle latch.

(At this point the door panel was still attached to the car by the cable that runs from the door release handle.)

Removing Phillips screws from door release latch handle, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

View of inside door latch handle, 2003 Nissan Altima. Back view of the door panel in the release handle area.

 

To release the wire connector from the electric trunk lock switch, I pressed the lock tab in and pulled the wire connector out.

At this point the door panel was completely separated from the car.

Disconnecting electronic trunk lock switch, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Back side of car door trim panel, 2003 Nissan Altima. View of back side of plastic door panel.

 

View of metal door frame with door panel removed. View of inside of metal door frame, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Fixing A Disconnected Window Mounting Tab:

The reason I removed the door panel on this Nissan Altima was to fix the defective window. The window glass wasn't moving up and down properly, and then it suddenly slipped all the way down and wouldn't move at all. It turns out one of the two plastic mounting tabs had come "unglued", and the screw fell out of the other tab.

Repairing driver's door window that came off track, 2003 Nissan Altima. The red arrow points to the window mounting tab that released its bond from the glass. The bonding material appears to be silicone.

These tabs anchor to the glass and then bolt to the window regulator mechanism.

Removing the window is a two person job: One person needs to hold the glass from the outside of the car. The other needs to unbolt the mounting tabs, then rotate the glass and feed it up on the outside of the metal window frame.

 

I removed the loose anchor tab from the window regulator.

I placed masking tape on both sides of the anchor (where the arrows point) to mark the exact position of the tab on the window glass.

Repairing window glass mounting tab, 2003 Nissan Altima.

 

Mounting tab on door glass, 2003 Nissan Altima. I checked to make sure line-up stud was on the proper side of the glass. This plastic part bolts onto the window regulator.

Then with a razor blade, I scraped away the old silicone from the glass. Before applying new automotive RTV silicone, I lightly sanded the glass where the plastic tab sits. This will help ensure a good bond.

I applied some automotive silicone to the bottom of the groove in the plastic tab, and the bottom of the glass panel. Then I slid the tab onto the glass. The silicone on the glass spread itself down the sides of the Y-shaped plastic tab. I waited a couple of hours for the silicone to set up before re-assembling the window.

I instructed the car owner to not open the window for at least 24 hours, so the silicone had time to fully cure.

Be careful when handling the window! Automotive glass is tough... but you never know how tough until you bump the glass too hard or flex it too far and it shatters.

More Info:

Tools Used:

  • 10mm Sockets:
  • Small Flat Screwdriver
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Rigid Putty Knife

Materials Used:

  • Automotive RTV Silicone (for window repair)

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Written March 25, 2010