How to Replace Your Vehicle's Door Handle

A broken door handle is something that needs to be replaced immediately. Not only is it difficult to enter or exit a vehicle with a broken door handle, but it’s also pretty dangerous in an emergency situation.

Image Credit: Boost And Redine

If you have a broken handle on your GM car, you might be pleased to hear that a door handle replacement is something you can take care of yourself without having to bring your car to a shop. Having the door handle replaced at a GM dealership or repair shop will cost you hundreds of dollars in labor. Doing it yourself will cost a fraction of that. This tutorial is all you need to tackle the job successfully.

What to Do Before Starting the Job

This type of project requires some preparation. More specifically, you’ll need to order a replacement door handle and get all the tools you need.

1. Order a Genuine OEM Replacement Door Handle

This step takes only a few minutes. All you have to do is to look up your GM model in our catalog of genuine OEM door handles and then order the correct part(s).

2. Get all the Tools That Will Make the Job Much Easier

To avoid any snafus, you want to make sure that you have the following tools before starting:

  • 1/4 inch drive with a long extension
  • 10mm socket
  • Little screwdriver
  • Interior trim tool

Replacing the Door Handle in 20 Steps

Image Credit: Boost And Redine

The replacement process may vary slightly between GM models, but here’s a basic guide for you to follow along the way:

  1. Open the door that has the faulty door handle.
  2. With the little screwdriver, pop off the little plastic cover over the door lock. Set it aside.
  3. Remove the plastic panel over the interior door handle.
  4. Remove the 10mm bolt behind the plastic door handle panel you just took off.
  5. Pop off the plastic panel behind the door grab handle.
  6. Unfasten the bolts holding the door panel in place in the door grab handle area. If you have trouble pulling out the bolts, use a magnet.
  7. Around the edge of the door panel are clips. Carefully snap them loose with the interior trim tool.
  8. Gently lift the door panel straight up to remove it.
  9. Disconnect all of the wiring harnesses behind the door panel.
  10. Gently peel off the insulation panel on the door.
  11. Remove the door plug on the outside edge of the door to see one of the mounting bolts.
  12. Remove the mounting bolt with the 10mm socket. To keep the bolt from falling within the door when you loosen it, you can remove it with a small magnet attached to a wire or something.
  13. With one hand, hold the door handle in place. With the other hand, undo the bolt on the other side.
  14. Wiggle the door handle until it starts to come out of the door toward you. Next, twist it upwards until it completely comes out.
  15. Take the new door handle and then attach it to the lever rod on the right side.
  16. When the new door handle is firmly attached to the lever rod, push it inside the door until the rod is upright.
  17. Push the door handle to the right until it lines up with everything else. Make sure that the handle slides into the clip designed to firmly hold it in place.
  18. Fasten the two mounting bolts back into the handle. Give it a final torque with the ratchet.
  19. Test the handle to see if it works.
  20. If everything looks good, reinstall the door handle in the reverse order of removal.

We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the process or if you need help finding the correct part number for your GM model.