Toyota RAV4 > Body > Fastener and trim removal

Fastener and trim removal

1. There is a variety of plastic fasteners used to hold trim panels, splash shields and other parts in place in addition to typical screws, nuts and bolts. Once you are familiar with them, they can usually be removed without too much difficulty.

2. The proper tools and approach can prevent added time and expense to a project by minimizing the number of broken fasteners and/or parts.

3. The following illustration shows various types of fasteners that are typically used on most vehicles and how to remove and install them (see illustration). Replacement fasteners are commonly found at most auto parts stores, if necessary.

4. Trim panels are typically made of plastic and their flexibility can help during removal. The key to their removal is to use a tool to pry the panel near its retainers to release it without damaging surrounding areas or breaking-off any retainers. The retainers will usually snap out of their designated slot or hole after force is applied to them. Stiff plastic tools designed for prying on trim panels are available at most auto parts stores (see illustration). Tools that are tapered and wrapped in protective tape, such as a screwdriver or small pry tool, are also very effective when used with care.

This tool is designed to remove special fasteners. A small pry tool used for removing nails will also work well in place of this tool
A Phillips head screwdriver can be used to release the center portion, but light pressure must be used be- cause the plastic is easily damaged. Once the center is up, the fastener can easily be pried from its hole
Here is a view with the center portion fully released. Install the fastener as shown, then press the center in to set it
This fastener is used for exterior panels and shields. The center portion must be pried up to release the fastener. Install the fastener with the center up, then press the center in to set it
This type of fastener is used  commonly for interior panels.  Use a small blunt tool to press  the small pin at the center in to release it …
… the pin will stay with the fastener in the released position
Reset the fastener for installation by moving the pin out. Install the fastener, then press the pin flush with the fastener to set it
This fastener is used for exterior and interior panels. It has no moving parts. Simply pry the fastener from its hole like the claw of a hammer removes a nail. Without a tool that can get under the top of the fastener, it can be very difficult to remove
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