Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exterior Door Handle

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exterior Door Handle

exterior door handle

The exterior door handles are the handles responsible for opening and closing the doors from the outside of the vehicle so that passengers may enter the vehicle. The handles are mounted on the exterior of the vehicle’s doors and are attached to the door latch mechanism, which locks and secures the doors shut. When the handle is pulled, a series of linkage rods pull on the latch mechanism, so that the door can be opened. Due to their high frequency of use, anytime the vehicle is entered, the exterior door handles can sometimes be prone to heavy wear, which can cause issues with opening the vehicle doors. Usually bad or failing door handles will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem.

1. Loose door handle

One of the first symptoms of a problem with an exterior door handle is a loose door handle. A worn or damaged exterior door handle can sometimes become noticeably loose in the door. The handle may hang noticeably loose when it is pulled on, and may require more force than normal to open the door

2. Door will not open

Another common symptom of a problem with the exterior door handle is a door that will not open. If the door handle breaks, either internally or externally, or any of the linkage rods or clips break, it can cause problems with opening the door. The handle may require additional force to open the door or will have no resistance when pulled on if broken.

3. Door does not shut or has trouble staying shut

Another common symptom of a problem with the exterior door handle is a door that does not shut, or has trouble staying shut. If the door handle or any of the linkage components break, they can cause problems with the door latch mechanism when closing the door. A broken latch may cause the door to require slamming, or multiple tries to close, or may not stay latched closed when shut.

Exterior door handles are a simple component, and problems with them can usually be detected quite easily. However, due to their location in the door, they can be difficult to service. If you suspect that one or more of your vehicle’s exterior door handles may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the exterior door handle needs replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on

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.


More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....

Related questions

Q: Open door warning on the dash

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2009 Ford Flex. The small door ajar switch in one of the doors is sticking and will move after it warms up. The switch should be replaced in the door it is...

Q: How do I manually unlock the doors from inside the vehicle?

The door lock system is a closed system in your car; there are no knobs to pull up or push down. However, you can still unlock the vehicle manually. To unlock a door from the inside, pull the door handle...

Q: Why Isn't My Car Door Locking?

Remote car door lock problems can also be due to a variety of issues. Five of the most common reasons for a car door lock not working properly are a dead battery in the key fob, bad programming in the...