How to Repair a Car Door Handle
A broken car door handle can be a huge inconvenience. Don't just give up and climb in and out through a different door or window. A car door handle repair is actually a relatively simple project. You can complete it on your own with minimal repair knowledge.
Purchase a Replacement Handle
The first thing you will need to do to repair your car door handle is purchase a new handle. You can find a handle from your manufacturer or through a local dealer. If you're willing to invest some time in your search to save some money, you might be able to track one down at a junk yard. You can also check with local repair shops that may be able to order the part for you. Make sure the handle you get is from the same make and model as your car; a different handle will not work properly.
After you have purchased a new handle, you will need to gather your materials. You should have a set of screwdrivers in various sizes. You will need a flat-head screwdriver to pry off the paneling, and you might need a Phillips head to remove the screws. You will also need masking tape and a marker. It's also a good idea to have a clean rag on hand in case there is any grease on the screws.
Remove the Panel
Once you're ready to get to work, you will need to remove the interior panel from the car door. You will have to examine the panel to determine how it is best removed. You might simply need to pry it off using a flat-head screwdriver, or there may be screws holding it in place. Do this carefully so you avoid breaking anything.
Label the Wires
Once the panel is off, you will need to remove the handle. The handle should be connected to the door through a series of wires. Before removing the wires, use the masking tape and marker to label each wire. You will need to reconnect them to the new handle, so make sure you know where they belong. Use any labeling system that makes sense to you.
Remove the Handle
After the wires are labeled, it's time to remove the handle. The handle is likely to be attached to the car door with several screws. Unscrew each, and make sure to keep the screws in a safe place. Once the screws are all out, carefully remove the handle from the door.
Install the New Handle
You can now place the new handle in the door. Make sure all packaging is removed from the new handle. Place it exactly where the old handle was, and reuse the screws from the old handle to secure it in place.
Connect the New Handle
Once the handle is in place, you will need to reconnect the wires. This should be easy since you have already labeled each wire. Make sure the wires are securely connected.
Test the New Handle
When all of the connections are in place, it's time to test your new handle. Try opening and closing the door several times. Test the locking mechanism. It's also a good idea to try opening the car door from both the inside and the outside. You want to make sure everything is working properly.
Replace the Panel
Once you're sure the handle is working properly, you can replace the interior panel. It should go back on the way it came off. Either snap it into place or replace the screws.
Now it's time to wipe up any grease with the clean rag. You may want to treat the handle with a UV protecting cleaner as well. Once everything is clean, your new handle is repaired and ready to go.
There are many car repair projects that require a trip to the mechanic. This can be costly and inconvenient. Luckily, a car door handle repair is simple enough that you can do it yourself. You can save money and not have to leave your car anywhere overnight. In addition, you shouldn't need any tools that you don't already have around the house. The whole project won't take more than an hour or two.