Toyota Corollas door handles can get stuck or simply not opening doors. The 2004 Toyota Corolla repair manual includes a little information on how to remove the inside door panel, but you may need help from a professional. In a few easy steps, your car door handles can be replaced or fixed.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- New door handles (optional)
- Flathead screwdriver
- Utility knife (optional)
- Screws from door
Remove the interior door panel. Remove the screws holding the panel to the door and "unsnap" the plastic panel siding. The 2002 Corolla has three screws as well as the snaps. The handle casing has one screw and two underneath the armrest in the middle of the panel.
Open the door and keep it open while manually locking the door, then use a screwdriver to unscrew the broken door handle. Set this screw in a safe place. You must remove the broken piece entirely. If you cannot remove the broken handle entirely, there is another solution later.
Remove the armrest by pulling it up from the snaps. You may need to wedge a flathead screwdriver under the pad to push it up and reveal the screws beneath. Unscrew these two screws and set aside with the other.
Check inside the door handle compartment for possible broken parts or pieces missing. There may be something lodged or wedged inside the handle. Take a wiping cloth or wet towel and clean the area, then check the door handle from the outside. If it is still stuck, then you simply need to replace the car door handle.
Remove the door handle by starting at the bottom left or right side of the door's panel. Put your fingers under the plastic and pull it from the snap. It should come loose with a bit of pressure.
Unsnap each part of the door panel. This is a tedious process but the entire door panel must come off. Then lift the panel up and over the locking device once the panel is free. Try supporting the panel with your legs. Try to not let the panel fall to the ground. You may need assistance. If you have power windows and locks, there will be wires coming from inside the door panel, which will restrict how far the panel can be moved. Do not disturb these wires.
Lift the panel up and over the locking device once the panel is free. Support the panel with your legs. Try to not let the panel fall to the ground. You may need assistance. If you have power windows and locks, there are power chords andd wires coming from inside the door panel which restricted how far the panel could be moved. Do not disturb these wires in any way.
Look inside the door for a metal arm with an L-shaped end extending out to where the door handle was before. The tip of the metal arm needs to insert into the new door handle.
Take the metal arm and attach it to the door handle. The door handle needs to be inserted into place inside the door panel. Snap the metal arm once inside the door handle. You may need pliers for this.
Attach the door handle in the door panel to the door itself. Three arms extend from the back of the door handle. There are two L-shaped arms, and one is a cylinder. They match the receiving pieces in the door frame. Line each of these as you push the door panel back on.
Realign the door panel by lifting it up and over the locking device before lowering it back into position.
Slide the door panel to one side as the door handle slides into place into the door. This brings the hole of the screw into line with the corresponding hole in the door.
Snap the door panel back into place. You will need to press hard on the door panel and listen to each one snap to make sure that it is securely fastened back to the door.
Test the handle after closing the door. Screw in the three screws from before and replace the armrest pad by snapping it back on.
Tips and warnings
- You might encounter an issue with the door handle not fitting into the door but it did fit into the panel. You can use a utility knife or other shaving tool to shave down the cylinder that fits into the door. Do not shave off too much of the plastic but just enough to make the door handle fit.
- If snaps fall off the door during the process, do not worry; they can be added back by pressing them back in. You can look at the other snaps to make sure you are doing it correctly.
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