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Guide: Remove Front Door Panel / Fix Interior Door Handle Not Working

This is a brief how to for a 2010 GS Mazda3 Hatchback. However, other models of this year are probably very similar.

Today my interior door handle on my drivers side door stopped opening the door, even though it would operate properly and didn't appear or sound broken. It was only a 20min fix including stopping for pictures. Part of the door pulley had come out of its track.

1. Take a butter knife or other flat object and pop off the door handle cover.

2. Pop off the square cover that is situated on the inside of the door handle itself. It was a little tricky as you have to pull backwards and sideways at once. This will reveal a screw.

3. Pop off the small upper speaker near the mirror. I used a butter knife but would easily come off with your hand. Don't pull too much or you'll break the speaker wire.

4. Remove the three screws as indicated.

5. Pop the door panel off from around all of the edges. Pull firmly but carefully, there is approx 6 or 7 plastic pieces holding it on. You may break some. one of mine was damaged a bit, but not too bad to cause an issue.

6. Remove the door handle piece. Don't twist it too much.

7. Lift up on the panel to free it and slide the door handle through the hole to free it.

8. I found that this white piece had come out of its track/holder and wasnt giving any resistance to cause the door lock to release.

9. Push it back into place.

10. Put everything carefully back into place. Check for these white plastic pieces that hold it the panel to the door frame. They should all be in the panel. If they aren't (like one of mine), pry them loose by squeezing on either side.

11. Plastic piece removed.

12. Slide the plastic piece back into its socket, line it up with the corresponding hole.

13. Pop them all back into place and you should be good to go. Door handle works again.
Mazda 3 2011 hatchback
Thank you!

Thank you very much for the detailed info! I used it t replace the whole inside handle assembly. Excellent point about the little plastic retainer pins, and how they should be aligned. Very helpful. I did break two of those pieces. The OEM part number is GJ6A-68-AB1. Easy to find on eBay. Looks like a useful thing to have a few extra pieces around if ever removing those door panels for any kind of repair or upgrade.
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Mazda 2 2011
Thanks a lot for your detailed steps, pictures were very helpful. I had to remove my front door panel, but getting it again in place was very difficult as the small white plastic pieces you mentioned remained attached to the door frame. It would have taken me ages and I wouldn't have succeded anyway. Thanks again
The Mazda 3 2012 inside door handle is all made of plastic. It breaks easily.

When I picked up my new Mazda in June 2012 I looked for the year of manufacture plate. There wasn't one. A silver sticker had the year and date of manufacture on it. Further research showed that the car left the Mazda factory in Japan only 4 day earlier than the date I picked it up in Brisbane. That is impossible. New cars are transported by ship and they are covered in protective grease. It takes at least three weeks to prepare a new car for sale.

No wonder Mazda does not have previous year's model sale. When you buy a new Mazda it could have left the factory maybe three years before.

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