how to remove plastic auto body fasteners


How to Remove Plastic Auto Body Fasteners

Auto body fasteners are an essential part of your car’s structure. They hold various car parts together and help maintain the integrity of the chassis. Fasteners can be made of plastic, metal, or a combination of the two. One thing all fasteners have in common is they can become damaged or need replacing over time. In this article, we will focus specifically on how to remove plastic auto body fasteners.

Subheading 1: Identifying Plastic Auto Body Fasteners

Before you start removing any fasteners from your car, it’s essential to identify which ones are plastic. Typically, plastic fasteners are located in places where they won't be exposed to extreme conditions, such as the engine compartment. Common areas to find plastic auto body fasteners include the interior of the car, door panels, and the trunk.

Plastic fasteners can vary in shape and size, but they generally fall into two categories: push fasteners and snap fasteners. Push fasteners are designed to be pushed into a hole, while snap fasteners snap onto two surfaces to hold them together.

Subheading 2: Using the Right Tools for the Job

Without the right tools, removing plastic auto body fasteners can be challenging. When it comes to plastic fasteners, the primary tools you’ll need include a flathead screwdriver, trim panel tool, and pliers.

The flathead screwdriver is an essential tool for removing push fasteners. It’s best to use a screwdriver with a flat head to avoid damaging the plastic fastener head. A trim panel tool comes in handy for removing snap fasteners. The tool is specially designed to help you pry snap fasteners off the surfaces they are holding together without causing any damage.

Pliers can help you remove plastic fasteners that have become stuck or damaged. When using pliers, it’s best to grip the fastener as close to the surface as possible to avoid pulling on any attached components.

Subheading 3: Removing Push Fasteners

Push fasteners are typically found in the interior of the car and hold various parts such as door panels, dashboards, and roof liners. To remove the fastener, first, find the small hole on the center of the head of the fastener.

Insert the flathead screwdriver into the hole and pry the fastener away from the surface as you twist the screwdriver slightly. Take care not to twist the screwdriver too much, as this can cause damage to the fastener or the attachment point. With a bit of effort, the fastener should pop out without any issues.

Subheading 4: Removing Snap Fasteners

Snap fasteners can be located on door panels, fenders, bumpers, and other exterior parts of your vehicle. To remove a snap fastener, use a trim panel tool to reach behind the panel it’s holding in place.

Gently pry the tool until you hear the snap disengage. Once you’ve successfully detached the snap fastener on one side, move to the next one, and repeat the process. Carefully work your way around the panel until all snap fasteners have been disconnected.

Subheading 5: What to Do If a Fastener Is Stuck or Damaged

If you encounter a fastener that is stuck or damaged, take a moment to assess the situation. If the fastener head is sufficiently accessible, grab a pair of pliers and pull gently until the fastener is released. If the fastener breaks or becomes unusable, you’ll need to replace it with a new one.

When replacing a fastener, make sure to purchase the right one for the job. There are many types of fasteners available on the market, so you’ll need to find the one that matches your specific needs.


Removing plastic auto body fasteners can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s a necessary part of maintaining your car’s structural integrity. With the right tools, patience, and a little bit of know-how, you can remove plastic auto body fasteners safely and efficiently. Remember to take care when handling fasteners, and don’t force them if they are stuck or damaged. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to remove plastic auto body fasteners like a pro.


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