Symptoms of Bad or Failing Interior Door Handles

In order to drive from point "A" to point "B", you have to first open the driver door. However, nothing is as frustrating as arriving to your destination only to discover that your interior door handle is not allowing you to exit the vehicle. Asking about how to fix door handles is not among the most frequently asked questions here on YourMechanic.com, but it is one of the most critical. A malfunctioning interior door handle can be a tremendous safety hazard; especially if you have to exit the vehicle in case of fire or another accident.

Even if a vehicle is equipped with automatic doors, United States vehicle ordinances require a manual interior door handle to be installed on any vehicle that legally drives on city, county, state of federal roads. The interior door handles are put through a lot of abuse over the years, which will eventually cause them to wear out and potentially break. If they need to be replaced, it often requires the skills of an ASE certified mechanic to complete the repairs correctly.

Noted below are a few of the warning indicators that a problem with the interior door handle exists. When the signs of repairs with these handles arise, you will need to act quickly in order to reduce other mechanical or electrical damage of components inside the vehicle's doors.

1. The door handle is loose

Door handles are manufactured out of plastic or in some cases a metallic coated polymer. They are attached to the door panel and connected to either a cable that operates the door lock mechanism or an electric relay that opens doors electronically. Most of the door handles are still connected to a manual cable. As they are continually operated, they can become loose over a period of time. When this occurs, it becomes more than just an aesthetic issue. A loose door handle will also loosen the cable that is attached to the door lock. If this issue goes unrepaired, it can lead to the cable breaking and rendering the door latching mechanism useless.

To avoid this serious issue, make sure you contact a mechanic is your door handle starts to become loose. In many cases, this is an easy fix for an experienced mechanic to make that can save you a tremendous amount of money in the long run.

2. More effort required to open the door from the inside handle

A solidly mounted interior door handle will open a door with relative ease. However, as the door handle hinge gets used, it can slip or become loose; which can cause the door to open requiring more effort. This added effort is often caused by a kink in the linkage and can lead to the door handle snapping off the interior door panel. As soon as you start to notice that there are issues with opening and closing the door, you should be proactive about replacing the interior door handle.

3. The door will not open at all

If the interior door handle has broken on the inside, it's very possible that the door latch on the inside is also broken. This will cause the door to not open. Most of the components on the inside of a door will need grease to keep them lubricated. As time goes by, the grease on these parts will begin to dry up, which can cause the parts to seize up. In order to reduce the potential of this happening to you when you least expect it, contact a local ASE certified mechanic so they can inspect and replace the interior door handle before it causes more damage.

Most door handles will last a lifetime without ever causing you stress or frustration. However, until they create the everlasting door handle, there will be times when the interior door handle breaks. If you notice any of the above warning signs, be proactive and contact one of our local mechanics here at YourMechanic.com to determine whether the interior door handle should be replaced.


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(149,537)

Rating Summary
140,027
5,194
1,055
749
2,512
140,027
5,194
1,055
749
2,512

CURTIS

6 years of experience
8 reviews
CURTIS
6 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Curtis was outstanding and went out his way to education me about my car! I am very happy with the service I was provided!

Fred

17 years of experience
389 reviews
Fred
17 years of experience
Infiniti I35 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Humble, Texas
Excellent work as usual with Fred. He was on time and very thorough. Nothing gets past him, and his work is as dependable as they come!

Travis

11 years of experience
88 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Hyundai Accent - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Orlando, Florida
Punctual, friendly and competent! I had my door handle replaced and he was done quickly and it works great!

Natnael

8 years of experience
5 reviews
Natnael
8 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Oil Change - Silver Spring, Maryland
Natnael provided excellent service. Would highly recommend.

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

Related articles

Do You Need to Lubricate Door Locks and Hinges?
Every so often you need to lubricate your car door locks and hinges. Use silicone spray, white lithium grease, or graphite to lubricate door hinges.
How Can I Prevent Door Seals From Leaking?
When When your car door seals leak, it’s more than just a passing nuisance. Water damage can occur to your interior, necessitating the replacement of upholstery or other components. In nearly every instance of leaking car door seals, which you...
What Causes Doors to Sag and Become Misaligned?
A A sagging or misaligned car door is certainly a nuisance. After all, it can take multiple tries to get it to close properly, which can be time-consuming when you’re in a hurry to get to work or make an...

Related questions

How do I use the child-protector lock?

The child-protector lock is a key safety feature that helps keep children secure in the backseat. When the child-protector lock is engaged, the rear doors cannot be opened from the inside, even if the standard lock is unlocked. This makes...

My trunk door is extremely heavy and will no longer stay suspended up in the air as it used to. What do I need to fix?

Your rear door is supported by two gas charged suspension struts one on each side that will loose their pressure over time. The two struts normally support and help lift the door for you then hold it open until you...

How do I use the cigarette lighter?

The cigarette lighter is located right in front of the shifter, at the base of the center console. To use the lighter, pull out the lid, and press the lighter down. When the lighter is ready to use, it will...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com