Removing interior trim panels?

Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
258
Location
Western NY
Hi, I want to take the C-panel trim off of my 2005 Kia Optima to get to the wires for the rear defroster. Problem is, last time I tried to remove a trim panel I broke it and still couldn't figure out how to get the thing to come off. Does anybody have any tips & tricks or know where I can get more info? We used to have kiatechinfo.com but they started charging for access. And if I remember they didn't have much interior trim info anyway. There's gotta be a way to get the stuff off, right? I remember on all of the other cars I've had there were just little round covers you'd pry off and there would be a screw under there. Maybe I'll go back to 90's cars for my next ride - I kind of miss how simple everything was.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
307
Location
NJ
Usually Google is a great place to search for people with videos or how to's on how to remove stuff. People that have been there, done that kind of stuff should lead you in the right direction.
 

Smcatub

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
258
Location
Western NY
Originally Posted By: QuOk
Usually Google is a great place to search for people with videos or how to's on how to remove stuff. People that have been there, done that kind of stuff should lead you in the right direction.
Unfortunately, there's not a very strong DIY community for my car. Or it's sister, the Hyundai Sonata. There's some good stuff out there, but not too much. I think that kiatechinfo.com prevented a lot of people from writing tutorials since everything you could ever want to know was there. I've done some youtube and Google searching, but all I seem to find is stuff that applies to Optimas 2 generations newer than mine, or to other makes/models.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
7,485
Location
S California
Be patient, very patient. Start with some of the tools you see on YouTube for similar vehicles. And by the way, be very patient. Take your time.
 

Smcatub

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
258
Location
Western NY
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
Be patient, very patient. Start with some of the tools you see on YouTube for similar vehicles. And by the way, be very patient. Take your time.
I was thinking about trying that - getting a trim tool set and just poking around. But that's how I broke my A-pillar (albeit, I was using a screwdriver then....) So what, just poke around until I hit something that might be a clip, then poke at it for a while to see if it unclips?
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,984
Location
ME
I use the blue HF trim kit and it's actually pretty nice. They look like they're going to snap but they bend. The problem many run into is plastic isn't as flexible after nine years in the sun as it was at the factory. Also you don't know which direction the "tangs" face until you break the first one. I'd get the crochet hoop type tools and tug on corners where the trim pieces wrap around, or into, their natural ends. You might be able to work something loose.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
4,276
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: bruno
Better done in warm weather when plastic is less brittle .
Or leave the heater running a while. I'm not familiar with your car, but the real trick is use the right tools. I like my Astro Pneumatic 4524 set, but any brand will do. You also have to discern whether there's an aggressive plastic hook versus a real metal screw holding you up. Usually you can find what you need on Youtube with some creative searching- For A-Pillars, for example, look for dashcam, gauge and tweeter install videos.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
222
Location
USA
Visit a nearby auto junkyard, find a 2005 Kia Optima, and practice removing the rear C-panel trim there.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
2,366
Location
Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: bruno
Better done in warm weather when plastic is less brittle .
Beat me to it. If possible I do trim work in the summer.
 
Top