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Q: Door handles chip and stop working

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Shortly after I bought my 2006 Ford Fusion, I noticed that the finish on the door handles was pretty quick to crack or chip. The passenger side door handle cracked one day when someone was opening the door normally. While that wasn’t great, the car was otherwise fine. Recently, though, the mechanism inside the door handle on the driver’s side has stopped working as well. The door only opens from the inside and sometimes it doesn’t lock with the rest of the doors. Is this a bigger electrical problem or are the door handles just very poor quality?

A: While it appears that your Fusion enjoys yo...

While it appears that your Fusion enjoys your company a bit too much, rest assured, you are not alone. Many Fusion (and related Milan and Zephyr) owners have reported similar concerns when attempting to open the doors using the interior handles. Unfortunately, the push to make cars lighter, as well as reduce production costs, has driven manufacturers to make as many components out of plastic or composite materials as possible. The interior door handle is yet another casualty of the “war on weight”. As time progresses and the handle is used repeatedly, the plastic fatigues and eventually cracks.

Unfortunately, when the handle completely breaks, the lock feature for that door is typically inhibited. If there is a silver lining to be found, it may be the fact that handle replacement rectifies both issues the vast majority of the time. My recommendation is to have a technician replace the broken handle, and re-inspect the power lock system for proper function once completed. This service typically takes less than an hour. You can contact YourMechanic for estimate.

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