Interior Car Door Handle Repair Cost [Labor & Parts]
All car doors have an interior and exterior handle. Interior handles are the smaller and less expensive of the two. Generally, door handles last a long time and don’t need to be replaced.
But they sometimes fail and you will need to replace them. Fortunately, door handles are very easy and cheap to replace.
On average, you can expect to pay about $150 to replace an interior door handle. The typical price range is between $60 on the low end up to $250 and higher on the higher end. It costs approximately $300 to replace a door lock actuator and another $20 on average to replace a door latch cable.
To help you out with prices and the like, we put together this comprehensive article on the costs to replace an interior car door handle. This guide will cover handle replacement costs, door actuator costs, and latch cable replacement costs.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair an Interior Car Door Handle?
On average, it will cost about $150 to replace an interior car door handle. The typical price range is between $60 on the low end to over $250 on the higher end.
Interior handles for some economy brand cars may cost as little as $20 to replace. Below is a table showing the average cost to replace an interior car door handle for various popular models of cars. These prices are averages and can differ depending on the age of your car and your mechanic’s location.
|BMW 3 Series||$160|
Lock Actuator Cost
If you cannot see any visible damage to your handle, but your door won’t work, then it could be a problem with the lock actuator.
Modern doors with power locks use a small motor called an actuator to engage the locks. The actuator presses on a rod and opens the door. If the lock actuator is broken or is not engaging the rod, then the door won’t open.
On average, it will cost about $300 to replace a lock actuator rod. The typical price range is between $180 on the low end to over $500 on the higher end.
As you would expect, actuators for luxury and foreign brands are more expensive to replace.
|BMW 3 Series||$340|
Actuators can be a bit more expensive than other car parts because they contain electrical components. Note that some cars do not use door lock actuators and instead use mechanical parts to open and shut the door.
Note that actuators may or may not come with an actuator rod. Actuator rods are the actual part that physically engages the lock mechanism.
A typical actuator rod costs about $20 to $30 on average, potentially more depending on your car’s make/model.
Door Latch Cable
One other common part of your door that may need replacing is the door latch cable. Door latch cables connect the handle to the latch assembly mechanism.
This cable can stretch and break, making the door handle loose or inoperable.
Fortunately, door latch cables are cheap and easy to replace. Most cables cost between $10 to $30, with most coming in around $15-$25.
It also only costs an hour to replace a latch cable, and you can probably do most of the replacement on your own.
Factors that Affect Handle Replacement Costs
The make and model of your car greatly affect repair costs. Depending on the kind of car you have, you may have to disassemble most of the doors to replace the handle and lock mechanism.
Handles in other cars can be much easier to fix. The handle may also include the lock switch.
If you have a newer car, then you most likely have power locks in your doors. Power locks use electrical components to engage the door while older manual locks require a physical operation.
Power lock doors are generally more expensive to repair because the parts are more complex.
Most interior car door handles are made from some kind of durable plastic or metal. Metal handles will probably cost more to replace than plastic handles.
There are different parts of the door that have different replacement costs. A simple broken handle will be easy to repair but a power lock actuator will cost more to repair.
On the other end of the spectrum, door latch cables are very cheap to replace.
Signs You Need a New Interior Door Handle
Here are the most common signs that you need to replace your interior car door handle.
If you have door problems, the first thing you should do is visually inspect the handle for damage. The handle might be bent or disconnected.
The most obvious sign of a broken door handle is a loose handle. Most door handles use a manual cable to connect the handle to the locking mechanism.
Over time, these cables stretch and cause the handle to become loose.
Handle Harder to Engage
Interior car handles have hinges that connect them to the door panel and locking mechanism. Hinges can rust or wear down over time, making it harder to engage the door handle and open the door.
In some cases, the door handle might snap completely off.
Door Won’t Open
If you pull on the handle and your car door won’t open, then that means the door latch is most likely caput. The parts might need lubrication or may need to be replaced.
It could also mean that the door cable is completely disconnected or snapped.
How to Replace an Interior Door Handle
The good thing about interior door handles is that they are relatively easy to replace on your own. At the very least, you will need the new door handles, screwdriver, and a pair of pliers.
First, you will need to unscrew the door panel from the interior of the door with the screwdriver. You may have to pry plastic caps off the top of the screws with the flat edge of the screwdriver.
Be careful removing the panel so you do not accidentally bend it.
Once the panel is removed, disconnect the existing door handle from the wires in the door. You may need to use the pliers to grab the wire and remove it from the ends of the door handle.
Next, remove the screws from the door handle and remove the door handle from its mount.
Then, connect the new handle and put the screws back in. Using the pliers, attach the cable to the handle and test it out to make sure it releases the latch.
If your latch cable also needs to be replaced, attach the new one. Replace the door panel and put the screws and caps back into the door.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to replace an interior door handle?
It costs about $150 on average to replace an interior door handle. The typical price range is between $60 on the low end to over $250 on the high end.
The cost of replacing a door handle car varies depending on the make and model of your car as well as whether your car uses power locks or not.
How often should I replace my door handles?
Car door handles are not rated for a certain timespan and can last the entire life of your car. However, your handles might start showing signs of aging after about 10 years.
If you have door handle problems, they should be most obvious.
Can I replace a car door handle on my own?
Yes, generally speaking, you can replace a door handle on your own. Depending on the kind of car you have, you may need special tools to access the door panel.
We do not recommend changing the door handle by yourself if you do not have experience doing so already.
How long does it take to replace an interior car door handle?
It depends on the complexity of the door, but you can expect a door handle replacement to take about 1-2 hours. It may take longer if the mechanic has to take apart the door to access the handle mount.
Are car door handles universally compatible?
No, car door handles are not universally compatible. You will need to find the specific model of the handle made by the manufacturer.
You may be able to find aftermarket models that are compatible with your door, but it is usually best to go straight to the original manufacturer to get replacement parts.
Car door handles are a simple yet important part of your car. Broken door handles rarely affect your ability to operate your car, but they can be relatively annoying to deal with in your daily routine.
So if you have a broken door handle, we recommend getting it replaced as quickly as possible. As always, make sure to get quotes from multiple mechanics so you can get the best price.