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Toyota Corolla / Chevrolet Prism Door Handle Replacement (Exterior)

Updated on January 4, 2013

New Corolla Outside Front Door Handle

Toyota Corolla Outside Door Handle Replacement

Today's modern cars unfortunately consist of a lot of plastic. One typical part is the door handle assembly. After years of pulling and tugging, the handle can break off from its plastic hinge point. This article will describe the basic steps involved in replacing the existing broke handle with a new replacement (Front Driver or Passenger Side). Attempting to fix the handle by gluing will only last so long .... even using epoxy. The leverage point where the break occurred will not withstand the stress and will eventually break off. Moreover, new handles can be acquired on the internet for under $20 if you shop around and they're less expensive than factory original handles from the dealer. New handles come unpainted and you can usually pick up a spray paint can to match you car's color by visiting your local automotive paint supplier if they provide custom paint mixing and matching.

Typical point where the break occurs

Step 1 - Remove the Interior Door Handle

Step 2 - Detach Inside Door Handle Pin & Lever

Step 3 - Remove the Interior Door Panel Pin

Step 4 - Window Control

If the vehicle has motorized window controls, use a wide flat bladed screwdriver to pry out the window / door lock control panel recessed in the interior door handle (no photo to display). Pry from either the top or bottom of the panel - not from the side. When the panel pops out, disconnect the electrical connection.

If the window is a manual hand crank type, the retaining clip behind the handle must be removed or push out of its window handle grove. This can be done with a small screwdriver or a special tool that can be purchased from your local auto parts shop.

Step 5 - Remove the Interior Door Handle

Step 6 - Remove the Interior Door Panel

Step 7 - Remove Plastic weather / vapor barrier

Step 8 - Remove the Outside Door Handle

There are three bolts that holds the outside door handle to outside panel of the door. The bottom right bolt also serves to hold the door lock which is recessed into the door handle assembly. Once the bolts have been removed (via a 1/4 socket wrench with a 10mm socket), the metal bar attached to the handle assembly must be removed. First pull off the 'snap fit' retainer off the bar - then pull the angled tip of the bar from the handle assembly socket. Since it is press fitted in, a small crowbar angled between the bar and the socket may be necessary for the torque needed to pull it out.

New Handle Installation

Reverse the above steps to install the new door handle assembly. Angle in the top portion of the handle assembly with one hand while aligning the door lock into the handle assembly lock hole. Take caution when screwing on the door handle assembly bolts.


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    • alanfish91 profile image

      alanfish91 6 years ago from Greenfield, Massachusetts

      Very well done. :)

    • Gefforyt profile image

      Gefforyt 6 years ago

      Very nice detailed information, keep up the good work