Most cars require you to pull the exterior car handle to open the door. The constant pulling of the car handle can weaken it and cause it to break over time. So what are the options you have when your car handle falls off? Can you replace a car door handle?
Yes, you can replace your car handle just like almost every part of a car is replaceable. Just think about just how frustrating it will be if such a highly utilized part of the car is irreplaceable.
This article contains all you need to know about replacing a car door handle.
Signs That Your Door Handle Is Bad
If your car handle is exhibiting any of these signs, it might mean that the handle is bad and it’s due for replacement.
- When The Door Handle Becomes Loose: If you notice that you need to apply a little more force to open your car or the handle is not firmly attached to the car door, it’s a sign of a faulty handle.
- If Your Car Door Refuses To Open: If you’re struggling to open your car door either from the outside or inside, it might be a sign that a bad car handle is faulty.
- Difficulty Shutting Your Car Door: when the door handle is faulty the latch mechanism will not be able to effectively lock the door. This will require that you exert more force in locking the door or you need to resort to slamming the door multiple times.
How To Replace A Car Door Handle
Replacing a car handle is a simple task you can do yourself. However, if you drive an expensive car whose parts cannot be easily bought online, you might need to go to a mechanic to replace the car handle.
These are the items you need in replacing your car handle.
- New door handle
- Hand tools such as screwdriver set, Torx bits, ratchet wrench, and plastic pry bars. The tools you will be using will depend on your car model.
- Masking tape
If you have the right tools, these are the steps you can follow in replacing your car handle.
Step 1: Open The Door
If the car handle is broken such that the door won’t open, you can enter the car through another door and unlock the door.
If the door fails to open from within, it might mean that there’s something wrong with the car handle. In such a situation, you will require the assistance of a professional.
Step 2: Examine The Door Handle Attachment Points
You need to examine the car handle to ascertain how the handles are attached to the doors. Some door handles have visible screws that attach them to the car door. In this case, you won’t have to remove the interior door panel.
In other cars, the handle is part of the door frame. Hence you have to remove the door’s internal panel which you can remove using a screwdriver or plastic pry bar.
Removing the car door’s plastic panel seems like a hard task, however, it isn’t as hard as you might think. Check the car door internal panel for screws and click holding it at your door. After removing the screws, the panel should be easy to remove.
Step 3: Remove The Broken Handle
If the handle screws are visible from the outside, you can proceed to easily remove them. Firstly, you should cover the door areas with masking tape to protect them from scratches. Then unscrew the handle for replacement.
If the door handle is directly connected to the door frame, then you will first have to remove the internal panel to remove the handle.
Step 4: Determine If The Key Cylinder Can Be Moved To The New Handle
Some car handles come with a key cylinder for opening and locking the car. Before changing a faulty car handle, you need to know if the existing lock cylinder can work with a new handle. Or if the new handle comes with a key cylinder.
If you have to attach the key lock to the new handle, then you need to carefully remove it from the old car handle. This process can be tricky so if you’re not sure of your ability, you should hire a professional.
Step 5: Install The New Handle
You can install the new handle using the process in the installation manual. Alternatively, you can follow the process of removing the bad handle. If the handle isn’t the same color as your car exterior, you will have to paint it to give it a uniform look. For that, you might have to visit a
Step 6: Check The Result
After installing the new car handle, check the result to be sure you have done a good job. The new handle should be easy to open and close and if it fails to, it might mean something went wrong in the installation.
You should double-check everything to ensure you are not missing a screw in the handle. You also need to ensure that you put back the door internal panel in the right manner.
Car door handles can weaken due to long usage. If you’re struggling to open and lock your car door, or if you have to apply more force to lock your car door, it’s a sign that the car handle is faulty.
When replacing your car handle, ensure you buy a similar replacement with the same features as the bad one. Additionally, you need to exercise care so you don’t damage the car wiring or scratch the paint in the process of replacing the handle.
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