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Your Door Handle worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual

Inside and outside door handles: easy repair, replacement and maintenance

Every car has door handles to enable use of the vehicle. Unfortunately, door handles break down easily and need repair or replacement. We show you what is important in door handle maintenance, how inside and outside doorhandles can be repaired and replaced.

Door handle and its function

The different door handles on the car help you getting in and out of a car. Door handle design has changed somewhat over the years, their functionality hardly. Therefore it is important to regularly maintain and take care of door handles. If there is a defect, everyday use of the car might become difficult. Then it is important to perform a quick repair.

Regular defects of door handles

Hardly any accessory of a car is so often used as the door handles. They are used every time when getting in or out of the car. No wonder that they wear gradually. The holders surrounding the interior door handle are damage-prone. Levers breaking off is another regularly occurring defect of door handles. Exterior door handles are built for higher strain as they are supposed to function in all weather. Damage of door handles mostly occurs when doors are frozen and the driver attempts opening the door by force. In these cases door handles break off and can no longer be used.

Repairing door handles – is that possible at all?

Actually, you should not really want to repair door handles. It might be an option for seldom used inner door handles, e.g. in the back. Exterior door handles cannot be repaired and should be replaced as soon as possible in any case.

Replacing door handles: step by step

The inner door handles are the easiest to replace by following these steps:

  • Carefully lever out the door upholstery. This is usually clipped on and can easily be removed
  • Unhinge the handle and its cable and remove the inner door handle
  • Hang the new door handle in the pulling cable and subsequently push it in the appropriate holder
  • Re-apply the upholstery and push it to fit in
  • The replacement is finished.

Replacing outer door handles means a bit more work:

  • Open the door
  • Depending on car, a plastic cover, behind which a bolt is hidden might have to be removed. Some manufacturers do not use this cover.
  • Carefully unscrew the bolt with a screwdriver
  • Do not (!) fully remove the bolt
  • Keep on trying if the door handle can be pulled out
  • Now pull the accessible part of the handle outwards
  • Unhinge the handle and the pulling cable and lever the handle from its holder
  • Attach a new handle to the pulling cable
  • Hang the handle in the holder
  • Fully insert the door handle in the door
  • Screw the bolt tight & secure
  • Apply the plastic cover and test its functionality.

Please observe the following rules when replacing door handles:

  • Always work carefully and attentively.
  • Avoid damage to the door upholstery when levering out interior door handles.
  • Never completely unscrew the bolt of exterior door handles. Otherwise its counterpart on the inside must be put back in its place, which would mean removing the entire door upholstery.

Expect the following costs

A new door handle, inside or outside, is not very expensive. Nevertheless, prices vary considerably depending on car manufacturer. Expect prices between 10 and 25 EUR (± £9 - £22) for an interior door handle and between 10 and 40 EUR (± £9 - £36) for exterior door handles. When having the repair done in a garage, the hourly wages of the garage come on top of that. These can also vary depending on car model. Count with additional costs between 50 and 150 EUR (± £33 - £143) for a replacement.

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