Door Handle Latch
Is your door handle latch not retracting fully? Or is it broken? Have it fixed immediately to avoid getting stuck inside or being locked out of your vehicle. The process of replacing or repairing a broken door latch is fairly straightforward and can be done even by a novice DIYer without the help of an expert. You just have to make sure that you'll get a replacement door handle latch that's compatible with your door lock mechanism and follow this step-by-step replacement guide:
What you'll need:
- Trim stick
- Clean cloth
- Torx wrench
- New door handle latch
Step 1: Put safety first.
Before starting with this DIY task, protect yourself against electrical shocks by first unplugging the negative battery cable. This is a standard safety precaution if you'll be dealing with electrical connectors.
Step 2: Remove the components that may block your access to the door panel.
Disengage power controls and/or the window crank so they won't get in your way to the door panel. Use the trim stick to carefully pry off the controls before disconnecting their electrical connector. With a hooked tool, disconnect the clip of the window crank from the inside part of the door. Another way to dislodge the clip is to rub a cloth in between the door and the handle.
Step 3: Take off the door's inner trim panel.
To do this, you have to disconnect first the mounting screws using a screwdriver. Carefully lift the panel off its clips. There are vehicle models wherein the screws are situated behind the door's smaller trim bezels and pull handles. You need to pry off these panels using the trim stick. In some models, you may also be required to work the stick around the edge of the panel to remove the clips. Peel the watershield or weatherstripping behind the panel.
Step 4: Check the actuator rods.
These rods must be connected to the door handle latch and the lock cylinder. If you noticed that they're not, then this might be the culprit. Connect these rods via their plastic clips. Test the door to see if it's now working well.
Step 5: Disconnect the actuator rods.
If the rods are intact and connected (which means they aren't the ones causing door problems) or if you've connected them and you still have issues with your door, disengage the actuator rods. If you notice an electrical connector for the power locks, it also needs to be disconnected.
Step 6: Loosen and remove the bolts holding the door handle latch in place.
Using a Torx wrench, remove the bolts that secure the latch within the door. In most vehicles, these bolts are situated on the door's outside edge. Once the bolts have been removed, you can now take the latch off the door via the access hole.
Step 7: Install the new door handle latch.
Position the new latch into the door and hold it in place with the retaining bolts. Get the actuator rods and use them to connect the latch to the door handle and lock cylinder. If necessary, reengage the electrical connector to the power locks.
Step 8: Assemble the door trim panel.
Assemble the door trim panel by reversing the way you've disassembled it. Test the door. Once you're sure that it's working well, engage the battery cable.