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Mazda CX-9 Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels and upgrade the OEM speakers in a 2016 to 2021 Mazda CX-9 SUV.

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2019 CX-9 Door Panel
Pull Handle Trim Cover
Plastic Pry Bar Tool
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Mazda CX-9 SUV in taking off the plastic interior door panels in order to upgrade the OEM speakers, fix a faulty electrical switch, add soundproofing material or replace a broken power window motor.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the CX-5, CX-3, CX-30, MX-30, CX-8, Mazda8 (MPV), MX-5 Miata, Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Mazda6 (Atenza) and Mazda5 (Premacy) may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a plastic pry bar tool, a Phillips head screwdriver, a large flat head screwdriver, a small flat head screwdriver, a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" and 6 3/4". (Be sure to verify that the speakers will fit in your CX-9 trim level before purchasing.)

For the best results, I highly recommend applying some sound deadening material such as Dynamat to help prevent the door frame and panel from vibrating or rattling.

The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and fully open the door.

Locate the faux leather covered trim cover on the door pull handle that extends from just below the chrome door opener handle to the armrest.

Insert the blade of the plastic pry bar tool in between the trim cover and the door pull handle.


Pry Off Trim Cover
Trim Cover Removed
Two Screws Exposed
Gently pry out the trim cover to loosen the metal friction fasteners.

You may need to remove and re-insert the pry bar tool in multiple locations around the trim cover to fully release the metal clips.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The trim cover should pop off relatively easily.

Once the cover has been removed, you'll be able to see the two silver screws in the door pull handle.

Pry Out Small Trim Piece
Trim Piece Removed
Remove Upper Screw
Move up to the chrome silver colored door opener handle and door lock rocker switch.

Use a small flat head screwdriver to very gently pry out the black plastic trim piece and reveal the third screw.

Set the trim piece aside in a safe place.

Remove the upper screw in the door pull handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Upper Handle Screw
Remove Lower Screw
Lower Screw Removed
Remove the lower screw in the door pull handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

Remove Third Screw
Insert Pry Bar Tool
Pry Out Bottom Edge
Then move up to the door opener handle and remove the third screw by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the third screw aside with the other two screws. Keep the screws with their corresponding trim covers.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool or a large flat head screwdriver 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 release the plastic pop rivets.

Release Pop Rivets
Lift Panel Off Frame
Two Cables & Bracket
Continue pulling out the pop rivet friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Lift the door panel up and off the upper lip of the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself to access the back side.

Locate the black plastic bracket that secures the two cables for the door opener handle and the door lock rocker switch.

Pull Off Rear of Bracket
Opener Handle Removed
Push In Release Button
Carefully pull the rear edge of the bracket off the back side of the door panel.

Guide the door opener handle through from the front of the door panel through the back.

Push in the release button on the electrical connectors before sliding them out of their sockets.

Disconnect Power Plug
Two Plugs Detached
Small Connector Detached
For this guide, I removed the front passenger door panel. There may be more electrical connectors on the driver's door panel.

The front passenger door panel has three electrical connectors that need to be detached.

Door Panel Removed
Metal Door Frame
OEM Door Speaker
Set the door panel aside in a safe place.

The OEM front door speaker is located at the bottom inner corner of the door frame.

Disconnect Power Plug
Loosen Counterclockwise
Line Up Door Panel
Push in the release tab on the electrical connector and pull it straight out of the socket at the top of the speaker.

Loosen the four bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

(The power window motor is also held in place by 10mm bolts.)

Once you are done installing the new aftermarket speaker, hold the plastic door panel near the frame.

Tilt the top edge towards yourself to access the back side.

Electrical Connectors
Push In Power Plugs
Push In Small Plug
Push the electrical connectors into their sockets.

The power plugs are all different sizes, so there is no possibility of mixing them up.

You should feel or hear the connectors "click" securely into place.

Re-Insert Door Handle
Push To Secure Bracket
Lower Panel On Frame
Re-insert the door opener handle through the hole in the door panel.

Lower the black plastic bracket for the two cables down towards the door panel and push on it to secure the retaining clips.

Double check that the power plugs are securely attached.

Make sure the bracket for the door opener handle and door lock rocker switch cables is securely in place.

Carefully lower the top of the plastic door panel down over the upper metal lip on the door frame.

Line Up Pop Rivets
Tap To Secure Fasteners
Tighten Bottom Screw
Line up the the white plastic pop rivets on the back side of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly tap in the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Replace the lower screw in the door pull handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver until it is snug.

Replace Upper Screw
Door Handle Screw
Line Up Handle Cover
Then replace the upper Phillips head screw in the door pull handle by also tightening it in the clockwise direction.

Replace the third screw behind the chrome silver door opener handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic door panel.

Line up the trim cover for the door pull handle.

Push To Secure Clips
2016-2021-Mazda-CX-9-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-044 2016-2021-Mazda-CX-9-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-045
Trim Cover Secured
Gently push on the trim cover to secure the metal friction fasteners.

Make sure the trim cover is flush with the rest of the door pull handle at every edge.

Replace Trim Piece
Trim Piece Secured
Door Panel Replaced
Then push the small trim piece back into place behind the door opener handle.

Double check that both trim covers are securely in place.

Sit inside the SUV and verify that the door opener handle, door lock rocker switch, power window switch, power door lock switch and speaker are all working properly.

Don't forget to write down the speaker upgrade in your car's service records.

For more, please check out all of the 2016-2021 Mazda CX-9 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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