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Hyundai Santa Fe Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 3rd generation 2013 to 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe including photos.

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2014 Santa Fe Door Panel
Pry Off Sail Panel
Sail Panel Tweeter Speaker
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and probably also the updated 2017 model year) Hyundai Santa Fe SUV in taking off the plastic interior door panels in order to upgrade the OEM speaker, add soundproofing material, fix a faulty electrical switch or replace a broken power window motor.

Owners of other Hyundai or Kia vehicles such as the Optima, Cadenza, K900, Sorento, Sportage, Sedona, Soul, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Forte, Genesis, Cerato, Spectra, Accent, Sephia, i20, i30, ix35, i40 and Equus may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the door panel include a flathead screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool, and a Phillips head screwdriver.

The OEM door speaker is held in place by Torx T20 screws.

Disconnect Power Plug
Pry Out Screw Cover
Phillips Head Screw
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and open the door.

To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, you may choose to cover the tip of your screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth or use an automotive panel pry bar tool.

Move to the top inner corner of the door panel and gently pry off the triangular shaped sail panel with the flathead screwdriver to disengage the pop rivet friction fasteners.

Press in the release tab on the tweeter speaker's electrical connector before sliding it straight out of the socket.

Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

Gently pry open the top edge of the square screw cover located behind the silver door opener handle. Swing the hinged cover down to expose the single Phillips head screw.

Well In Armrest
Rubber Cover Removed
Loosen Counterclockwise
Move to the center of the armrest and pry out the rubber cover at the bottom of the door pull handle well with a flathead screwdriver.

Set the rubber cover aside in a safe place such as on the floor mat.

Remove the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Door Opener Handle Screw
Remove Armrest Screw
2nd Phillips Screw
Set the door opener handle screw aside in a safe place.

Remove the screw at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the armrest screw aside with the other screw.

2 Panels & 2 Screws
Pry Out Bottom Edge
Release Pop Rivets
At this point, you should have removed the sail panel, the armrest well cover and two Phillips head screws.

Insert a large flathead screwdriver or a plastic automotive pry bar tool in between the bottom edge of the door panel and the metal door frame.

Firmly pull out the bottom edge of the door panel to firmly disengage the plastic pop rivets.

Continue pulling out the friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Lift Panel Off Frame
Tilt Away Top Edge
Two Cables - Bracket
Gently lift the plastic door panel up and off the upper lip on the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself and support the bottom edge with your legs.

Locate the two cables for the door opener handle and the door lock switch that are attached to a black plastic bracket.

Push In Release Tab
Pull Off Cable Bracket
Push In Release Tab
Gently push in the release tab located between the two clear / white plastic cable collars and lift the bracket off the back side of the door panel.

Push in the release tabs on the two white plastic electrical connectors and slide them straight out of their sockets on the underside of the switch panel.

Disconnect Power Plugs
Metal Door Frame
Plastic Door Panel Removed
Now you can remove the door panel and set it aside in a safe place.

The OEM door speaker is located at the middle inner edge of the door frame.


Torx T-20 Screwdriver
Loosen Counterclockwise
Four Speaker Screws
The OEM door speaker is held in place by four screws.

Loosen the four screws by turning them counterclockwise with a Torx T-20 star bit screwdriver.

Pull Out OEM Speaker
Disconnect Power Plug
Hold Panel Near Frame
Pull the OEM speaker out of the door frame and disconnect the electrical connector.

I recommend buying new speakers from Amazon since you can verify which speakers will fit your vehicle and also whether or not you will need an adapter mounting bracket.

To help reduce road noise and allow your speakers to sound their best, apply some Dynamat Sound Deadener material to the metal door frame. It will stop vibrations and rattles when you really crank up the volume.

To replace the plastic door panel, hold it near the door frame and tilt the top edge towards yourself.

Push In Power Plugs
Switch Panel Connectors
Re-Insert Plastic Tabs
Push the two white plastic power plugs straight in to their sockets on the underside of the switch panel.

The two plugs are different sizes and they can only be inserted in one way. So there is no risk of mixing them up or plugging them in incorrectly.

Line up the two tabs on the cable bracket with the mount on the back side of the door panel.

Push Down To Secure Clip
Lower Panel On Frame
Line Up Pop Rivets
Push down the other side of the cable bracket until it clicks securely in to place.

Double check that the cable bracket is secure and try out the door opener handle and door lock switch before moving on to the next steps.

Lower the top edge of the door panel on to the upper metal lip on the door frame.

Line up the turquoise blue colored pop rivets on the back side of the door panel with their corresponding holes on the metal door frame.

Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Replace Phillips Screw
Pop In Screw Cap
Firmly tap in the friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Replace the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Lift up the hinged screw cover and snap it back in to place.

Replace Arm Rest Screw
Re-Insert Rubber Cover
Plug In Tweeter Speaker
Replace the other Phillips head screw in to the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it clockwise.

Push the rubber cover back in to place.

Push the power plug for the tweeter speaker back in to its socket.

Line Up Pop Rivets
Push On Sail Panel
Door Panel Replaced
Line up the pop rivets on the back of the sail panel with their corresponding holes and push it back in to place.

Sit inside the vehicle, close the door and verify that the door opener handle, door lock switch, power window switch and power door lock switch all still work properly.

For more, check out all of my 2013-2016 Hyundai Santa Fe DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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