Projects & Repairs --> Trim --> Door Panels --> 2001 Subaru Outback

Removing Door Panels On A
2001 Subaru Outback

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

(Covers Model Years 2000 to 2004)

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 Bruce W. Maki, Editor



The Subaru Outback door panel had several hidden screws.

Before starting, auto body mechanic Jim Wilk rolled the window down.


Jim removed the speaker cover by prying on it with a tack puller.

This cover just popped off.


Then Jim pried on the speaker assembly. This was held in place with 3 small rubber snaps.


Then he disconnected the electrical connector and set the speaker aside so it wouldn't get damaged.


Near the front of the door panel, Jim removed a push clip by prying it out.


Don't Do This:

Even experienced body shop professionals get tripped-up sometimes.

It looked like this door latch needed to be removed.


So Jim pried up the cover to expose a screw, which he removed.

Very logical, of course... but not necessary.


It turned out that this outer trim ring needed to be removed.

Jim used a small prybar to push on the tabs that held this piece in place.


The red arrows point to the four holes that connect with the tabs on the backer piece.


The armrest had a screw hidden behind a cover.


Jim removed the screw with a Phillips screwdriver.


There was one more screw, which the average person would n-e-v-e-r find... behind the window/door switch panel.

Jim used a pry bar to remove the switch, but there was a trick... he had to slide the entire switch panel downhill about 1/8 inch and then it popped free.

BUT... to avoid damaging the surface of the switch panel, Jim reached underneath the panel with his prybar and pushed on a small lip in the back of the plastic panel.


Once the switch panel was free, Jim disconnected the wires.


There was a second electrical connector. Jim used a small flat screwdriver to release the connector...


...then Jim was able to remove the final Phillips-head screw that held the door panel to the door shell.


With all the fasteners removed, Jim used a door removal tool to pry the push clips out of the steel door shell.


After the clips were released, Jim removed the door panel by lifting it upwards.

Note that this is much easier if the window is rolled down first.



Jim disconnected the "courtesy" light at the bottom rear of the door panel.


An inside view of the Subaru Outback door. The clear plastic can be peeled back to access the power window mechanism, the door handle and latch, the power door unit, the speakers, and anything else inside the door.


A view of the back side of the Outback door panel. Note the small white dots around the perimeter of the door panel... these are the plastic clips that hold the panel to the metal door shell.


The front view of the door panel.


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Putty Knife

  • Tack Puller

  • Pry Bar

  • Phillips Screwdriver

Materials Used:

  • None

Related Articles:



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Written September 13, 2007