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Car door handles prevent unauthorized access by only allowing traditional keys or electronic key fobs to unlock them. However, over time, they can become damaged or worn out, making them difficult or impossible to use. When this happens, it’s essential to replace them with new ones.

Car door handle replacements can make entering and leaving your ride hassle-free again, improve its look, and even make it more accessible to people with mobility issues. However, there are different factors to consider if you plan to replace your door handle.

Types of Door Handles

There are exterior and interior car door handles. Further, there are various different types of each, and the interior door handle is typically a lot easier to replace than the exterior door handle, which typically needs to be done at a shop.

Exterior handles open the door from the outside, allowing you to get into the car cabin, while interior handles let you leave your vehicle.

Modern cars have door handles that fall under specific categories depending on their opening and closing mechanisms, such as:

Pull-Out Handle

Most modern vehicles have a pull-out handle due to its practicality and ease of use. You need to hold and pull it out to open the door.

Push-Down Handle

Push-down handles are the opposite of pull-out ones, as you need to push them for the door to open. They’re rare finds, even in modern vehicles.

Pull-Up Handle

Pull-up handles were common in the 80s and 90s thanks to their straightforward design. To open the door, you need to hold and pull the handle up to open the door.

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Trigger Handle

Trigger handles work like pull-out handles. The difference is you have to pull while triggering a button inside the handle to open the door.

Touch Handle

Touch handles require your fingerprint as the “key” to unlock your door. These handles are only used in high-scale models since they’re expensive to make.

How Much Does Car Door Handles Replacement Cost?

Car door handle repairs and replacements cost between $80 and $200 for interior handles and $150 and $500 for exterior handles. The price varies depending on the labor cost and the replacement parts.

Experts recommend consulting with qualified mechanics or automotive technicians if you’re experiencing issues with your car door handle. They can provide accurate repair costs based on the details of your situation and your vehicle type.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Door Handles

To find the best door handle replacement for your daily driver, consider the following factors while shopping.


Plastic, alloy, and metal are the common materials used for car door handles. They differ in durability.

Metal is the most durable of the three, as it’s less prone to take damage from everyday use, while plastic and alloy are more resistant to corrosion and rusting.

Style and Design

Car door handles come in various styles and designs, so you’re sure to find some that look great with your ride. You can get ones like your stock parts or opt for a different look.

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modern car door handle
Car door handles come in various styles and designs, so you’re sure to find some that look great with your ride.

For example, if you want to give your car a vintage feel, go for trigger handles reminiscent of the 70s. You can go for any style as long as the replacements fit your vehicle.


Make sure your door handle replacements are compatible with your car’s year, make, and model. Otherwise, they won’t fit into your car door or not work at all.

You can ask your mechanic for guidelines to ensure you pick the right replacements.

Ease of Use

Some handles are trickier to grip and operate than others.

For example, kids and older people could struggle to open flush handles because they lie flat on the car door and blend in with the rest of the exterior.

To open flush car door handles, you must press down one end to lift and grip the other side. Some designs require you to push a button in the middle of the handle, press one side to prop the other side, and pull the handle to open the door.

Other door handle designs have downsides of their own. So make sure you know what you’re getting into before buying a specific car door handle design.


Pick car door handles that can withstand daily use and exposure to the elements. Consider your driving conditions. If you live somewhere rainy, it might be a good idea to get plastic or alloy door handles for rust resistance.

Prioritizing durability boils down to cost efficiency and value. You want to purchase a handle that will last long and essentially pay for itself.


Because car door handles come at different price points, it’s best to consider your budget and choose one that provides maximum value. Keep in mind that the most expensive ones aren’t always the best.

Customer Reviews

Reviews from fellow customers can help you separate the quality door handles from the poor ones. They can give you genuine feedback based on experience, not just word of mouth from sellers.

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What Causes Car Door Handles to Break?

rusting car door handle
Car door handles usually break due to wear and tear.

Car door handles usually break due to wear and tear. The constant opening and closing of the door cause the handle to wear out and break. Different external factors also contribute to door handles breaking.


Constant exposure to the elements will take its toll on the handles. Rain and snow can cause corrosion to form, which weakens the structure and makes it more susceptible to permanent damage.

Physical Damage

Physical damage from accidents or impact from foreign objects can cause irreversible damage to car door handles.

Poor Design

Low-quality or poorly designed door handles are more prone to breakage than high-grade ones. So it’s important to choose designs that are built to last.

Faulty Installation

Improperly installed car door handles are susceptible to damage. They’re also likely to fail after some time. So if you’re not confident with your car door installation know-how, it’s best to leave the task to an auto repair shop.

The Bottom Line

For your safety, it’s important to address car door handle issues right away. Otherwise, you’ll continue to have trouble entering and exiting your ride and run the risk of car theft and other dangers. Choose your car door handle replacements carefully to ensure years of hassle-free use.

About The Authors
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
Reviewed By Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

CarParts Research Team
Written By Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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