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VW Tiguan Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior passenger door panels in a 1st generation 2009 to 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan.

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2016 Tiguan Front Door
Door Pull Handle Cover
Notch - Top Front Edge
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) Volkswagen Tiguan 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 VW or Audi vehicles such as the Jetta, Passat, CC, Atlas, Touareg, Golf, Beetle, A3, S3, RS 3, A4, S4, A5, A6, S6, A7, S7, RS 7, A8, Q3, Q5, TT and Q7 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the interior door panels include a plastic pry bar tool and a Torx T-30 star bit screwdriver.

To upgrade the OEM speaker, you'll need an electric drill with a set of drill bits.

The power window motor is held in place by Torx T-25 screws.

Insert Plastic Pry Bar
Pull Off Trim Cover
Trim Bar Removed
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and then fully open the door.

Locate the small notch near the top front corner of the plastic trim cover on the door pull handle.

Insert a plastic automotive panel removal tool into the notch and gently pry out the top edge of the trim bar.

Continue prying the plastic trim cover until you reach the bottom edge.

Be careful when you pull out the bottom edge. There is a small plastic tab inserted into a slot.

Set the door pull handle trim cover aside in a safe place.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Upper Screw Removed
Remove Lower Screw
Remove the two bolts in the door pull handle that were hidden by the plastic trim cover.

Loosen the bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the Torx T30 star bit screwdriver.

The lower bolt is located near the armrest.

Two Torx T30 Screws
Bottom Edge of Door Panel
Two Bottom Screws
Set the two Torx T-30 screws aside in a safe place.

Then move to the bottom edge of the door panel.

Locate the two screws on the bottom edge.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Bottom Screw Removed
Remove 2nd Bottom Screw
Loosen the two screws by turning them counterclockwise with the Torx T-30 screwdriver.

Set the two bottom edge screws aside in a safe place.

4 Screws - 1 Trim Piece
Pull Out Bottom Edge
Release Pop Rivet Fasteners
Insert a plastic pry bar tool or a large flathead 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 rivet friction fasteners.

Continue pulling out the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Pull Door Panel Off Frame
Tilt Away Top Edge
Push Release Tab
Carefully lift the plastic door panel up and off the upper lip of the metal door frame.

Gently tilt the top edge of the plastic door panel towards yourself while supporting the bottom edge with your legs.

Locate the wire loom and the electrical connectors.

Disconnect Power Plug
Push In Release Button
Disconnect Blue Plug
(There may be more electrical connectors on the driver side door panel.)

Push in the release tab on the small black plastic power plug before pulling it straight out of its socket.

Then push in the release button on the blue plastic electrical connector before sliding it straight out of its socket.

Door Handle Cable
Lift Up Retaining Clip
Retainer Clip Released
Locate the cable attached to the door opener handle.

Gently pull back on the black plastic retaining clip to release it from the bracket.

Pull the retaining clip off the bracket.


Swing Out Metal Cable
Lift Out Metal Hook
Door Panel Removed
Swing the door opener handle cable out away from the panel.

Lift the silver metal hook at the end of the cable out of its socket on the door opener handle assembly.

Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

Metal Door Frame
OEM Door Speaker
Drill Out Metal Rivets
The OEM speaker is located at the front bottom corner of the door frame.

In order to remove the old speaker, you'll need to remove the rivets with an electric drill and a drill bit set.

Use a small drill bit and set it far inside the drill chuck so that you don't accidentally drill a hole through the door panel.

The OEM front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" (6.5").

I highly recommend applying some Dynamat sound deadener to the metal door frames and the inside of the plastic door panels to help stop any vibrations or rattles when you turn up the volume.

Power Window Motor
Hold Panel Near Frame
Lower Hook In Hole
If you need to replace a broken power window motor and regulator assembly, it is held in place by three Torx T-25 star bit screws.

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

Lower the silver metal hook at the end of the door opener handle cable back into its socket.

Swing Cable Towards Panel
Slide On Retaining Clip
Snap Clip In Place
Swing the cable towards the door panel.

Slide the black plastic retaining clip on to the bracket.

The retaining clip should "click" securely into place.

Push In Blue Power Plug
Secure Wire Loom
Push In Black Plug
Push the blue plastic power plug back into it socket.

Secure the wiring to the retaining clip on the back side of the door panel.

Push the black plastic power plug straight into its socket.

Lower Door Panel On Frame
Line Up Plastic Pop Rivets
Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Carefully lower the top of the plastic door panel on to the upper lip of the metal door frame.

Line up the plastic pop rivets on the back side of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

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

Large Lower Bolts
Tighten Clockwise
Replace 2nd Lower Screw
Replace the two larger bolts into the bottom edge of the door panel.

Tighten the bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction with the Torx T-30 screwdriver.

Tighten Upper Screw
Tighten Bottom Screw
Line Up Trim Cover - Tab
Then replace the two smaller screws into the door pull handle.

Tighten the screws in the clockwise direction until they are snug.

Line up the plastic trim bar with the door pull handle.

Re-Insert Bottom First
Snap On Trim Cover
Door Panel Replaced
First, re-insert the plastic tab into the slot at the bottom edge of the door pull handle near the armrest.

Then gently pop the retaining clips back into place to secure the trim cover.

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

For more, please check out my other 2009-2017 VW Tiguan DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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