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How To Fix A Broken Car Door Handle?

The car door handle is the most common part of the car that gets broken. You might not be able to open the door or even close it. Plus, you’ll have to get out of the car and manually open and close the door. If you don’t want to do that, then you’ll need to find a way to fix it.

The first thing that you should do is check if there is a way for the handle to work from the outside of the car. If there is, then grab some wire from your garage and wire up a temporary fix on your own. If not, then you will need someone with more experience to make a more permanent fix for you.

It can happen to any vehicle, you unlock your car handle with your remote key but when you grab it and tug it towards yourself, instead of opening, it just comes off. Your car is still working but to climb to driver seat from the passenger side door or vice versa is still very inconvenient.  

"how do I fix my car's broken door handle?" is one of the most searched and popular searches on google and YouTube. We are here to answer this question and how you can fix your car door handle as well as save some money by doing it yourself.

Your vehicles exterior door handle has more chances of breaking than the interior one. This is because it is easy to pull the handle from the outside, one may put extra force into it, especially if you forgot to unlock it first. One the contrary if you re sitting inside you will not be able to put as much pressure or force on the door handle. But good news is that you can get the part required and replace or fix it by yourself, we will provide a step-by-step repair process to make it easier for you to understand and follow:

Items you would require

·      Spare door handle

·      Hand tools like screwdrivers, sockets, ratchet wrench, torx bits, pry bars

·      Masking tape

How to Fix your Car Door Handle

1.             Open The Door

If your car door handle is broken, it is most likely that you were not able to open the door. You can enter the car through another doon and open the door from the inside, make sure it is unlocked before you try to open in from the inside. If it still won’t open, then it is advisable to get professional help to get it open.

2.             Examine The Door Handle Attachment Areas

Secondly you need to check all the door handle attachment points, if you see screws reachable from the outside then you don’t need to remove the whole interior door panel. You can easily remove the exterior with the help of a screwdriver or a pry bar. But if you don’t find any attachment points on the exterior of the door handle, you need to remove the interior door panel. Try to find the screws or plastic attachments, once you find it unscrew it gently. Tug it gently to remove it and it is fully removed from the door panel. Try to use tools made specifically for such jibs like plastic pray bars and be careful while removing it.  

3.             Remove The Handle

It is safer to line the area around door handle with masking tape, if your door handle screws are outside. Unscrew the screws, and check for levers or rods attached as you have to unfasten them as well. You will need to reattach them as well, so remember the process and make notes, you can also make a video of it. When you are done unscrewing, tug the handle forward and backword to detached it.

If the bolts are located inside, once the door panel is off, look inside door shell with the help of a flashlight and try to find the handle screw. Unscrew them with the help of a screwdriver and appropriate tools, keep the screws in a safe place as you will be needing them later.

Once the screws are out, detach the rods as instructed above, and remove the door handle.

4.             Moving Key Cylinder

Several old cars have a key-operated lock cylinder on the driver side door. You have to decide whether you want to move the lock cylinder on the new door handle or replace it altogether. If you have decided on moving it, remember to insert the key inside before trying to open it, it is an important step as it may not even come out without the key, and you can damage the cylinder in trying to pop it. If you want to replace it, you need to get a brand-new cylinder as well.

5.             Installing The Spare Handle

Before reinstalling everything back together, make sure that your new handle does not require any paint job, if it does, paint it to match your vehicle, take your time and don’t miss anything.

After the paint has fully dried up, you can start the reinstallation process. Secure every screw by hand to avoid damaging the threads, and in order to make sure that the new handle assembly is forced down evenly, try alternating the tightening process. Attach any rods that you have unclipped.

6.             Check And Finish the Assembly

If the door panel was removed, check the function of handle, as it would be very inconvenient to find out that something went wrong while connecting the rods. Make sure that new handle runs properly. After making sure that it functions properly, you can reinstall the door panel. Make sure to double check everything after the whole process is complete.


After fixing your door handle on your own, without spending a ton of money on it, you should feel proud! But if you are not confident about fixing your door handle, don’t worry. There are several professional mechanics out there, who can fix your door handle easily and quickly. You can still save your money by buying an OEM door handle, it will save you money as it is a second-hand original manufacturer product and costs way lower than a brand dew door handle and get it replaced by a professional machinic. Happy Driving!