Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of Bad or Failing Interior Door Handles

interior door handle

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, 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 to determine whether the interior door handle should be replaced.

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

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...

Related questions

Q: How do I erase a programmed Car2U button?

An individual Car2U programmed button cannot be deleted. However, all of the buttons can simultaneously be deleted by following these steps: 1. Simultaneously press the two outside Car2U buttons until the indicator lights blink quickly (this should take about 20...

Q: Sunroof doesn't work

The sunroof could fail for either electrical, or mechanical reasons. The sunroof module takes inputs from the switch. It then uses this information to control the sunroof motor through a dedicated relay. A problem anywhere in this system could prevent...

Q: How do I adjust the steering wheel?

The steering wheel can be adjusted so that it is in the optimal position for you. To adjust the steering wheel, push the Steering Wheel lever (located under the steering wheel) down, until it locks into place. Then adjust the...