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When one door closes . . . .

August 7, 2012

None of the other doors will open, either! Wait, that’s not how the saying goes.

Welcome to . . . .

Part 1: How to Replace a Door Handle on a 1995 Hyundai Accent

Introduction

Surprisingly, a lot of results show up when I search for this on Google. This seems to be an issue that afflicts the owners of cars equipped with plastic handles, especially Hyundais. The Hyundai is economical and cheap, but no one ever claimed it was invincible. Having become thoroughly disappointed with the lackluster articles available on replacing one’s door handle, I have decided to create my own. Every article I have read explains things simply, but leaves out vital information. Such as, “How am I supposed to get this #*@$*! inside door handle out– it seems to be stuck!” and other fun questions like, “What do I do when my #@$% window crank clip appears to be lodged somewhere it shouldn’t be?”

I’ve seen a number of comments on these articles that are written by people who are clearly geniuses, and much more well-versed in both the automotive industry and the English language than I could ever hope to be. For example: “Dude, yur f#$@ retarded this is sooo easy all u do is pop it off, hahahahaha.” My friend, I wish I had your dexterity and intelligence: surely, if I did, I wouldn’t be in this predicament!

All joking aside, I will endeavor to make this the best article you’ve ever read on replacing those pesky handles. This is the article that I wish I could have found before deciding to snap off the plastic in a bout of impatient anger. This job is not difficult, but it is tedious. If your car is older, like mine is, you will likely run into other problems. I am making this article specific to a ’95 Accent, but it may be helpful for other models as well.

The first few steps: Removing the door panel

There are a number of steps to removing your panel. It could be ridiculously easy and only take you a few minutes, or you may run into some issues.

First of all, be aware that your door panel is made of cheap material, cardboard, and a plastic sleeve on the inside, so don’t be too hard on it, or you may effectively bend or rip your panel.

You will notice there are a few visible screws that hold the panel on. Remove these. There are two in the arm rest, and one in the inside door handle.

I suggest you get the annoying parts out of the way first: namely, the window crank. You will probably hear a lot of people say it’s very easy, but unfortunately, this is kind of a pain, and very tedious. There are two ways you could go about it. You may be able to remove it by taking a shop rag and inserting it between the window crank and the plastic ring, or gasket, that sits against the door panel. Please note, the clip should be in between the window crank and the plastic ring, not in between the plastic ring and the door panel. Maneuvering a rag in between the crank and the plastic ring may catch the clip and pop it out. Work the rag around and around until you get it. Here’s a video that shows you how that works:

Now, these videos always make it look really easy. I’m going to warn you, you can run into difficulties with any project. It took me much longer than expected to remove the clip that holds my window crank. When it was finally removed, it appeared that the clip had gotten lodged at an angle, stuck against the inside of the plastic gasket in such a way that removal was very difficult. These are the things they don’t mention in the articles and videos. Be aware that you may have the same problem.

There is also a special universal tool for removing window cranks; mine cost me five bucks. You can get it at your local auto parts store.

My door handles are a mess, so it is possible that I am having more trouble than most people will. See for yourself! And no, no one tried to break in.

This is my passenger side. The locking mechanism and the remainder of the shattered handle are hanging inside the door.

Now that you have removed your window crank clip, you need to remove the inner door handle. This was a pain for me, too.

Although the inside handle should pop out easily, just enough for you to reach the two spots where the handle is linked to the locking mechanism and the actual latch, it wasn’t easy for me. My inner door handle was somehow stuck, or lodged against something inside the panel. It took me much longer than expected to remove it. Be aware that you may also run into this problem.

Inside the inner handle, you will need to disconnect it from the lock and the latch. Each are connected by a plastic piece. Be careful: if you’re too rough, you may damage the plastic piece. However, your new handle may have come with replacement pieces, so that could be handy.

Take a look at these photos:

This is where you will find your window crank clip. It should sit in the groove that you see, next to the ridges.

As you can see, my handle was already broken. Perhaps that was why it was more difficult to remove.

This is the lead used to open the door. This is the plastic piece that I mentioned. When you install your new handle, this will connect to it.

You will need to remove the inside handle before you can remove the panel. It may pop right out. The arrow indicates one of the connections you will have to remove before taking out the handle completely. The other connection has already been removed in this picture.

At last! The panel is off. That was more of a pain than I had anticipated.

I couldn’t finish the job today: I live in Florida and it’s August. Need I say more?

Stay tuned for Part 2, when I will walk you through installing your new handles. Good night for now!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 11, 2013 7:37 am

    Good Post
    Sanoj Jose(Author, My Day Out With An Angel)

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