Projects & Repairs --> Trim --> Door Panels --> 2001 Saturn S

Removing Door Panels On A
2001 Saturn S

Gaining Access To Repair Power Windows,
Door Locks, Side Mirrors, Stereo Speakers and More.

(Covers Model Years 2000 to 2002)

In This Article:

Various screws are removed and then the door panel is pried away. Electrical connectors are disconnected to separate the panel from the door.

Related Articles:

Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 15 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician


The arrows indicate screws and accessories to be removed.

The circle highlights the manual window handle.



  I removed the side view mirror cover first, by prying the top of the cover.


I pulled it away to give me room to disconnect the mirror control.  


  Then I turned the set screw with an Allen wrench.

If I wanted to remove the mirror only, I would pull out the sponge and use a 10mm socket to remove the nuts.


I moved to the inside door latch and removed the Philips screw.  


  Then I pulled the entire latch assembly in a forward direction until I felt it unhook from the metal door shell.


I removed the metal linkage rods from the latch by rotating the plastic locking clip off the rod. Then I just pulled the rod upward.

I use the same method on the bottom link rod.



  A view of the back side of the latch:

Red arrows show the link rod clips.

Green circles show the mounting hooks.


Removing Manual Window Crank Handles:

Next I removed the window handle with window crank snap ring tool. I pushed the tool in a direction parallel to the handle. Removing manual window crank handle with snap ring tool. 

While working on the inside of a door, I often find it necessary to raise and lower the window. With manual crank windows, that means I need to put the handle back on the splined shaft. BUT... the snap ring will lock the handle in place, so I remove the snap ring until the door panel has been re-installed.

 Manual window crank, snap ring removal tool.

Removing The Window Crank: A View From Behind

This picture shows how the snap ring tool spreads the snap ring legs apart.

Beware! I have had many snap rings go flying and had to search for them.

When I'm re-installing the door panel, I use needle nose pliers to install the ring on the window handle, otherwise these things will dig underneath my fingernails. Ouch!


I removed the Phillip's screws from under the door pull handle.  


  Then I removed the two screws from the bottom of the panel.


I slid the door panel upward about an inch and it disconnected itself from the metal door shell.  


  Back view of plastic door panel.


View of the metal door with dust cover.  


  I found that the latch rods would fall back inside the door shell.

I used pieces of masking tape to secure the ends of the rods to the plastic dust cover.


Rear Door:

The red arrows show the hardware that needs to be removed. The circle indicates the hidden screw.  


  I first removed the inside door latch.

I removed one screw with a Phillip's screwdriver. Then I slid the latch forward to unhook it from the metal door shell.


I disconnected the lower link rod by unhooking the clip from the rod, then I pulled the rod downward.  


  Next I unhooked the clip on the top rod...


...and pulled the rod upward.  


  With a Phillips screwdriver I removed the two screws from the bottom of the door handle pull cup.

Then I removed the cup.


Next I pried open the cover that concealed the hidden screw.  


  With a Philips screw driver I removed the screw.


I removed the window handle with a window snap ring tool.  


  To remove the door panel, I slid the plastic door panel upward to unhook it from the metal door shell.

This is a back view of panel.


Metal door shell with dust cover. This plastic sheet can be peeled back to reach inside the door to repair any of the inner workings.  


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Window Crank Removal Tool
  • Sockets: 10mm
  • Phillip's Screwdriver
  • Flat Screwdriver or Tack Puller
  • Rigid Putty Knife
  • Allen Wrench, 3mm

Materials Used:

  • None

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Written February 18, 2008