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Go Back   Chevy HHR Network > General Discussion > "How To" Tutorial Library > How to fix broken interior door handle for less than $10
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"How To" Tutorial Library Write tips and instructions on how to install parts or fix problems. This is for detailed "How To's" only, not a forum to ask how to do something. Please post those questions in appropriate forums.

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
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How to fix broken interior door handle for less than $10

I've allways known how fragile our interior door handles are and because of that I have used care in how I treat them. Unfortunatly for me the parking Lot attendant was not so carefull so I now had a broken drivers side door handle.

My first thought was to switch the rear drivers side handle with the front seeing how I don't have kids and people rarely sit back there. While I was removing the handle I had an idea. Why not JB weld the handle back together. Seeing how I had nothing to lose I tryed it and it works amazingly well. I forgot how much the Tube of JB weld cost but It was under 10bucks.

You will need a star screwdriver ,a file and of course your tube of jbweld.

Step one
Take the door panel off. Once it's off and all the connectors and the cable for the Handel is disconnected the real work begins.

I don't have a pic of my panel but this is what the back of the handle looks like. It's just attached to the panel. Its hard to see in the pic but the handle is attached to the door panel with a long white plastic pin witch has a spring around it as well. You have to remove the pin to uninstall the handle.

Click the image to open in full size.

Ok removing the plastic pin has its challenges but it's nothing to worry about. The pin is longer than the space u have on the back of the panel so while u are pulling out the pin u have to bend slightly the top of the door card. The pin will probably break at the tip. Don't worry it's ok. The same happened to me and it doesn't affect anything. Save the spring and the pin

Click the image to open in full size.

ThE handle has many voids in it that need to be filled with the JB weld.
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Once u have everything welded u have to file down the JB putty so u can get clearance for the handle to work. In the last pic u can see how much putty is built up in the middle U. Thats where u are going to file. Test fit on the panel and see how much material u need to take away. It is going to take a few tries to get it right.

I reinstalled everything and I could not unlock my door because it needed more fileing.

It's just trial and error. I wish I took more pictures but I am sure u will get the idea if you decide to tackle this job.

This is a lot cheaper than $70 for the replacement option and that takes almost the same amount of work as well.

I hope this helped some people. It worked great for me. It fixed the handle and took away the cheap flexing feeling my door handles had previously.

Enjoy

Adam
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Last edited by Pimphand; 06-12-2012 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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Good fix and documentation man.

Any idea on why the handles break - other than being weak? Are people using them to close the door from the inside rather than using the indented finger grip in the doors armrest?
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
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Interesting fix and a nice write up Pimphand.

Yeah, you it on the head whopper, those handles will break if used to close the doors, my wife found that out the hard way.

Maybe big labels on the inner door panels with "Use this one to open the door" and "Use this on to close the door" would have helped, or a notation in the owner's manuals about using the pretty chrome thingy to close the doors at your own risk.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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Yikes, I would have been a little pissed after being careful about it, only to have someone else break it off. Good job though, glad to see it was a quick fix. JB Weld has always worked really well for me in all applications. Although, I've never seen putty...either that or I haven't ever mixed it that thick...lol.

Nice to see that it isn't too difficult to take apart. How much time would you say was spent getting the door handle out and back into the door panel?
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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Out of eight possible handles on the front doors of mine, two have been broken, one by my wife...and one by a valet parking attendant in Charlotte.

I fixed the broken handle on the '06 with a Dorman kit, the broken handle on the '07 was fixed the "expensive" way by replacing the entire inner door panel, not sure what the parking companie's insurance had to say about that....but I bet that kid is more careful these days.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #6
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Or working somewhere else. Nice write up! JB Weld and Duct tape coulda saved the Titanic
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:21 AM   #7
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bout $6. for JB Weld.. Great fix write up..

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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I fixed 2 of my door handles. The one from the front was the broken one. The rear is the one I reinforced. You would be surprised how much these handles start to flex over time.

Here is a picture of the broken handle I fixed the one in the first post is the one I reinforced.

Click the image to open in full size.

You will notice I used a lot of putty in the rear of the handle. This also needs to be filed down so the door will operate properly.

Click the image to open in full size.

You can see in the last pic where it will hit the door card.

Again trial and error just take your time.

This is the stuff I used.
Click the image to open in full size.

Thanks again I hope this helps you guys save some money.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Pimphand-

I've never tried the JB Stik.. Never had a need to. Thanks for the 411 on this.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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X 2

Never heard of JB Stik, definite addition to the "goops, glops, and glues" section of the tool chest.
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