Do it yourself, change the rear door panel on your Chevy Malibu, made between the years 1997 and 2003. This replacement will require a flat headed screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a 7 mm socket wrench and a putty knife. Be advised that removing and reinstall this door panel might take you more than half an hour.
You can start the repair process by prying out the small window switch on the door. You can do it very simply using the tip of a flat blade screwdriver. Lift it up and then unplug the electrical harness beneath it. After that, use a Phillips screwdriver and remove the screw that holds the plastic bezel around the door handle. After undoing the screw, the bezel can be pried out easily (see image below for details).
Now you can use the same flat headed screwdriver and pry out a small plastic cover behind the arm rest, as you can see in the picture below. It hides two 7 mm bolts that can be removed with an appropriate socket wrench.
After you remove all these retainers, you can use the putty knife to pull out the door panel. Make some room between the panel and the door frame and then insert your fingers, to be able to remove the panel easier. So, pull out the panel, lift it up and remove it completely. Make the desired repairs and reinstall the panel reversing the steps above. This is all you have to do, if you plan to remove and reinstall the rear door panel on your Chevy Malibu, the model manufactured between the years 1997 and 2003.