Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace an Interior Car Door Handle

How to Replace an Interior Door Handle 1

You’ve been rolling down your window and opening the door from the outside door handle for a while now. That interior door handle has not been working and you’ve been dreading replacing it. In older cars, much of what you see and touch was made from heavy metal and steel. In later model cars, much of what you see is made of lighter metals and plastics.

A commonly used part like your door handle may have lasted a lifetime in your old car, but with lighter gauge metals and plastics in modern cars, you may need to replace your door handles at least once in the lifespan of your car.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the interior door handle

Materials Needed

How to Replace an Interior Door Handle 2

Step 1: Remove the door panel screws. Locate all the screws before you start pulling on the door panel.

Some screws are out in the open, but others may have a small trim cover on them. Some can be hidden behind the grab handle as well as around the outer edge of the door panel.

Step 2: Separate the door panel from the fasteners/clips. Using the appropriate trim panel removal tool, feel around the outer edge of the door panel.

Typically, you’ll want to feel the front edge, down along the lower edge and around the back of the door opening. There may be several clips holding the panel in place. Insert the trim panel removal tool between the door and interior panel and gently pry the door panel loose from the clips.

  • Note: Be gentle as these clips can break easily.

Step 3: Remove the door trim panel. Once separated from the retaining clips, gently push up on the door panel from the bottom.

The top edge of the door panel will pop up along the window. At this point, reach around behind the door panel to unplug any electrical connectors for the power window/door lock/trunk/fuel door release buttons. To fully lift the door panel out of place, you will have to angle the door panel and/or the door handle assembly to pull it back through the opening in the door panel to lift it completely off.

How to Replace an Interior Door Handle 3

Step 4: Remove the plastic vapor barrier if needed. Take care to remove the vapor barrier intact and do not cut it open.

On some vehicles, the inner door must remain sealed properly as side air bag sensors may rely on pressure changes within the door for side impact airbags to deploy. If it is already damaged or damaged during replacement, replace the vapor barrier as soon as possible.

Step 5: Remove the inner door handle mechanism. Unscrew any nuts or bolts holding the door handle in place.

There will be a rod from the inner door handle to the door latch mechanism, usually held together by plastic clips. Carefully detach them, remove the broken handle, and replace it with the new one.

Step 6: Loosely reinstall the inner door panel. Test both the inner and outer door handle functions before securing anything in place.

Once you have verified the operation of both, reconnect any electrical connectors you removed and snap the door panel back into the retaining clips. If any were broken during disassembly, visit your local auto parts store or dealership for replacements.

Step 7: Reinstall all screws and trim pieces. Once the door panel is secured onto the retaining clips, reinstall all screws and trim pieces.

Hand tight is perfectly fine, no need to over-tighten them.

An operational door handle is essential for your comfort inside the vehicle and can be a serious inconvenience when broken. If you do not feel comfortable performing this job and if your vehicle needs an inner door handle replacement, be sure to have one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians come to your home or work and perform the repair for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: How do I adjust the rearview mirror?

The rearview mirror is an important safety feature that provides you with visibility out your rear window. Before driving, you should always adjust your rearview mirror so that you have maximum visibility. To adjust the mirror, manually move it up,...

Q: Poor quality door handles falling apart

The material from which manufacturers make the chrome can be sharp, causing injury as it peels off. The safest and most effective means to prevent further harm is to replace the handles. Being that your car is a 2010 and...

Q: How do I rotate the sun visor?

Either sunvisor can be rotated to block sunlight that is entering the vehicle through the window. To use the sunvisor to protect against window sunlight, first unfold the visor towards the windshield. Then, unhook the visor from the center-most side,...