How To Repair A Car Door Handle

Updated October, 2020
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Repairing a car door handle requires a new handle, a screwdriver, and a little know-how. While this is one of the simplest repairs you can manage, it's still best to leave it up to the professionals if the repair requires you to handle any electrical components in your vehicle.

Why do door handles break?

Door handles, both inside and outside your car, break for a variety of reasons including:

  • Failure of the plastic parts of the handle itself
  • The plastic retainers that hold the lock rods break
  • Interior springs break
  • Cables inside the door can break

What's the cost to fix a car door handle?

For most vehicles, here are the average costs to replace both exterior and interior handles:

  • It costs about $170 to replace an outside door handle, and
  • It costs approximately $80 to replace an inside door handle.

It should be mentioned that while these estimates include a labor estimate of $100 per hour, these rates vary among mechanics and body shops, so it's important to get an estimate to make sure you get a good rate.

There are other reasons these costs might increase/decrease, including:

  • Year and model of the car
  • Availability of the parts
  • If there's additional damage inside the door itself that leads to extra work

Can I fix it myself?

You can try. However, it's generally recommended to leave this work to the professionals, particularly if there's electrical wiring within the door. But if you want to try, here are a couple of things you can do.

DIY Interior Door Handle Repair

If you're replacing an interior door handle, here's how you'll do it:

  1. Remove the inside door panel. Unscrew the screws holding it place, using the screwdriver to pop the panel off, if necessary.
  1. Unhook the old door handle. The wires in the door that connect to the pull mechanism should slip off the door handle with a little help.
  1. Unscrew the door handle and remove the handle from the door.
  1. Place the new handle into the door. Screw it on with the screws from the old door handle, or new ones if you purchased them.
  1. Connect the door handle to the wires in the door.
  1. Replace the door panel and screw it into place.

DIY Exterior Door Handle Repair

Before you start, you'll need:

  • Painter's tape
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Replacement door handle
  • Socket wrench set (1/4 drive)
  • Torx bit set
  • A door handle appropriate for your car.

Once you've got your tools in order, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the fasteners. They're typically near the door-jamb.
  1. Apply painter's tape. Before you do anything else, apply the painter's tape near the door handle to avoid scratching. Then, remove the bolts from the fastener.
  1. Remove the door handle. When you've removed the bolts, the handle should be easily removed.
  1. Install the door handle. Place the new door handle in the appropriate spot, and install.
  1. Install the fasteners. Install the fasteners to keep your new handle in place

If my door handle is locked, will insurance cover a locksmith?

Generally, this is considered wear and tear and isn't covered by most insurance companies. However, this is something that would be covered by a roadside assistance plan, which is a necessary protection for regular issues like this! Roadside assistance plans are one of the smartest things you can do as a motorist to protect your car and keep you moving.

When the time arises, is my insurance going to be enough?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

Get instant quotes tailored to your needs - fill out our short form, today!

Call an insurance expert
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