Tips on Installing Door Handle Covers With Adhesive

Written by brenda priddy
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Tips on Installing Door Handle Covers With Adhesive
A door handle cover sits directly behind the door handle. (door handle image by Joann Cooper from

A door handle cover is the small cover that rests behind the door handle and in front of the side of the car. If this cover did not exist, the interior of the car door would be exposed to the elements, creating a safety hazard. Repairing a door handle cover is an easy repair task that anyone can do at home; saving both time and money that might otherwise be spent at a mechanic's shop.

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Glue Removal

Take special care to remove any previous glue used to hold the door handle cover in place. If any glue residue remains, the handle cover may stick out from the side of the car, causing difficulty when opening the car door. Depending on the kind of glue used originally, you may be able to pry the glue away using a screwdriver to loosen it, then by pulling it away from the side of the car. Another glue removal method is to scrape the glue away with a razor blade. Some glues may loosen or dissolve when alcohol or white spirit are wiped over the glue.

Surface Preparation

The car door surface must be completely clean with no grit or grease in the area where the door handle cover should go. It also helps if the glue has a slightly rough surface to stick to. Clean the area with detergent and an old rag to remove surface contaminants. If the gluing surface is plastic, sand it with a rough grit sandpaper to help the adhesive stick better to the surface If the base surface is metal there it is harder to roughen.

Glue Type

The type of glue used to hold the door handle cover in place is an essential part of cover replacement. A hot glue gun is the perfect tool for temporary repairs, but it will not hold forever. The best long-term solution is to use a silicone construction grade adhesive gel, similar to silicone caulk. This glue lasts for a long time and bonds with many different surface types. Double stick tape can also work to stick a door handle cover to a solid surface.


When replacing the cover, use steady pressure to press the cover into the side of the car. It is important to press the cover as tightly against the car as possible. This keeps the door cover profile low, and it also helps the two surfaces bond better. Hold the pressure for at least a minute to allow the glue to partially dry before the pressure is released.

Cover Material

The technique for repairing a car door handle cover changes with the material used. Typically plastic and chrome covers are used, with wood as a rarer cover material. Plastic and wood both hold glue well. Metal covers do not bond with glue as well as the other materials. Because of this, some covers come with screws rather than a gluing surface. An automatic screwdriver is the perfect tool to use when screwing a door handle cover into the side of the car.

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