Projects & Repairs --> Trim --> Door Panels --> 2004 VW Jetta

Removing front door panel on a 2004 VW Jetta.

Removing Door Panels On A
2004 Volkswagen Jetta

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

(Covers Model Years 1999 to 2005)

(Note: Removing a door panel on a VW Passat is similar to the Jetta.)

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 30 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician


This 2004 Jetta is a complicated door panel. The red arrows show where the screws are, but three of them are hidden.

There are also cables and wires to disconnect behind the door panel.

Hidden screw locations on door panel 04 Jetta.


Removing hidden access for door panel VW Jetta.

Secret Farvegnugen Technique:

To start, I found that I had to pry the inside pull handle apart to release switch panel cover.

I pried along the inside seam of this plastic part, using a small flat screwdriver.


View of inside pull handle after separation. Door pull splits apart, Volkswagen Jetta.


Removing switch cover, front door, VW Jetta 2004. Then I was able to pry the switch cover upward, starting at the pull handle area first.

I used a tack puller to pry on the cover, but a small flat screwdriver or small prybar would also work.


Next I pried upward on the other end of the switch cover. Taking apart door switch panel on a Jetta.


Disconnecting electrical controls on door, VW Jetta. With a small screwdriver I pressed in on the wire connector tab and pulled it out of the window switch.


Using a Phillips screwdriver I removed the three hidden screws (red arrows). Locations of hidden screws on door panel of 04 Jetta.


Screw locations at bottom of door panel, Volkswagen. At the bottom of the door panel I found three Phillips screws (red arrows).


At the upper front corner of the plastic door panel (near the side view mirror) I found a hidden Phillips screw.

Using a stubby Phillips screw driver I removed the screw in this tight area.

Hidden screw, upper corner, VW.


Prying off  plastic door panel on VW Jetta. With a rigid putty knife I pried the plastic door panel away from the metal door shell.


Then I lifted the plastic panel over the lip of the metal door frame.

I was careful to lift the panel high enough to clear the lock button that goes in a hole in top of the door panel.

Lifting door panel up to remove.


View of rear side of door panel, looking from outside the door.

With a small screwdriver I disconnected the wire to the door lock switch control by pressing on the release tab.


Using a pry tool I pried the inside latch cable from the mounting slot. Removing door release latch cable on 04 Jetta.


Disconnecting door opening latch on 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. Once released I proceeded to unhook the cable.


View of cable and retainer.


Looking between the door panel and the metal door shell:

Using a small flat screwdriver I pried open the clasp on the wire connector.


Then pulled the connector apart.


Disconnecting door wiring on 04 VW Jetta. By pressing on the tabs I pulled the electrical connectors from the gas filler door switch and the trunk release switch.


Last, I disconnected the wire from the interior light.

Finally, the door panel was free from the metal door.


Inside view of door, VW Jetta. View of inside metal door shell.


View of back of plastic door panel. Inside view of 2004 Jetta door panel.


Removing The Side-View Mirror:

Removing mirror on VW. To remove the side mirror, the door panel needs to be removed first.

I removed the Phillips screws from the cover of side view mirror area. (This screw would normally be covered by the door panel.)


Then I pried at the top of the cover. Removing mirror cover panel on a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.


Removing side view mirror on a 04 Jetta. If I was replacing the mirror, I would disconnect the wire and use a # 27 Torx tip to remove the screws holding the mirror to the door.


Removing The Rear Door Panel:

I found that the rear door panel also had hidden screws. Rear door panel, 04 VW


Hidden fastener location on rear door handle, 2004 VW Jetta.

Volkswagen's Best Kept Secret:

I pried at the seam of the inside door handle, and the handle started coming apart.


As I worked the pry tool up and down, the handle split open. Splitting door handle apart on 04 Jetta.


Rear door handle on 2004 Jetta. View of handle in two pieces. 


Then with a Phillips screwdriver I removed the screw from each end of the handle.


Next I removed the two screws at the bottom of the door panel.


Using a rigid putty knife I pried the plastic door panel away from the metal door shell. Prying rear door panel away from door.


Then by lifting the plastic door panel up and disconnecting the wires and inside latch cable, I was able to completely remove the panel.

The electrical and latch cable connections were similar to the front door panel shown earlier.


View of back of plastic door panel.


View of metal door shell.


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Tack Puller
  • Small Flat Screwdriver
  • Medium Flat Screwdriver
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Stubby Phillips Screwdriver
  • Rigid Putty Knife or Flat Pry Bar
  • Torx 27 Bit (For Side Mirror)

Materials Used:

  • None

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Written September 3, 2008