Projects & Repairs --> Trim --> Door Panels --> 2004 Toyota Highlander
Removing door panel, 04 Toyota Highlander

Removing Door Panels On A
2004 Toyota Highlander

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

(Covers Model Years 2001 to 2007)

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.

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Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 15 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician


Before removing the door panel, I first rolled the window down.

Then with a putty knife I pushed the door pull handle cup forward and pried upward lightly.

The next photo shows the clip that holds this part in place.


Door handle pull cup. The arrow shows the thin grove on the retainer clip, this has to be pushed in to release the clip from the panel.


Then I was able to remove the Phillip's screw from under the pull handle cup.


Door release handle, cover trim. There was a plastic piece of trim around the door release handle that needed to come off.

This trim was held on by a single screw, but the screw was hidden under a little plastic cover hatch.

I used a small flat screwdriver to open the hatch and then I removed the screw with a Phillip's screwdriver.


Removing trim around door handle. Then I pried up on the trim cover, above the lock lever and also below the door handle to release the tabs. (See the next photo for more detail.)


The red arrows show the release tabs. These need to be pried apart to remove this piece of trim.

The green arrow shows a positioning hook that helps hold this trim in place.


Removing line-up button I pushed in on the center pin of the line up button/clip and pried it out.

Caution: Don't push the center part too far, or it will fall inside the door.


When Re-Installing:

Slide the center pin on the button/clip outward before reinstalling.

Door panel line-up button.


When reinstalling, make sure the hole in the door panel lines up with the hole in the metal door shell, and then put the clip in the hole.

Then, push the center pin flush.


Ready To Remove The Panel:

I started prying the plastic door panel push clip away from the metal shell.

A stiff putty knife works well for this.

Prying door panel from door shell.


Lifting door panel upwards to unhook from door. Then I lifted upward to unhook the door panel from the top edge of the door.


Disconnecting the the wire harness from the power window and door lock switches was not easy because the wires only had a few inches of slack.

I had to find the little push tab and press it to pull the harness out.

Releasing wiring connectors to remove door panel.


View of the metal door shell, with the dust cover on.


View of back side of plastic door panel.

The white push clips are seen around the outer edge.


Rear Door:

I found the rear door to be similar with a few differences. I first started with a small screwdriver and opened the tab on the latch cover.


I removed the screw from the trim cover.


Then I pried the tab at the top of the cover above the lock lever and released it. Then I used the same method on the tab below the door release handle.


The red arrows show the release tabs.

The green arrow shows the positioning notch.


With a putty knife I pushed the pull cup forward and lifted slightly.


I removed the Phillip's screw.


Then I pried the door panel away from the metal door shell to release the plastic push clips.

I then lifted the plastic door panel off the top edge of the door.


View of plastic door trim panel.

The white door push clips are located around the edge of the plastic door panel.


View of rear metal door shell with dust cover.


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Small Flat Screwdriver
  • Phillip's Screwdriver
  • Flexible Putty Knife
  • Stiff Putty Knife

Materials Used:

  • None

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Written February 4, 2008