How many times have you rushed out of the home in a hurry, only to find a flat tire on your car or an empty fuel tank? Well, the only thing worse than that is finding yourself locked out of your own car! Yes, we know all about that pesky exterior car door handle of your Land Rover. More importantly, we know exactly how you can rid yourself of this headache.
Yes, you read that right. Not only will we tell you how to fix this annoying problem, but we’ll also tell you an easy way to do it yourself. So, you don’t have to sell a limb or two to get it done from the mechanic. Moreover, those days of having to climb in from the other side or spending an hour jiggling the door open will be finally over.
What are Land Rover Door Handles and How do they Work?
Land Rover door handles are the handles you usually see on the outside and inside of your car door. Each Land Rover has at least two door handles for every door. One is on the exterior of the door, used to open the car door from outside, and one is on the interior of the door, used to open the door from the inside.
In simple terms, door handles work through a rotor, a kind of toothed wheel, found at one end of the door. When this wheel rotates, the teeth latches and unlatches on to a striker which opens or closes the door. Accordingly, you pull the interior door handle to release this latch so that you can push the door to get out and the exterior handle to pull the door open.
Moreover, the door handles also include a power door lock actuator. This actuator is a hidden component within the door that helps you lock or unlock your car door through a button. It usually consists of a motor, gears and some kind of cable that connects with the latch to lock and unlock the door.
Both of these handles may seem like a very insignificant part of your Land Rover. Often, your mind doesn’t even register using them because it’s something you do subconsciously now. Despite that, your Land Rover door handles are an integral part of the car. Furthermore, they have a proper mechanism behind them which enables you to open and close your car door easily.
Although if these old car doors bore you, check out these automatic doors and other latest technologies in Land Rovers to be released in 2019.
Signs that Indicate You Need to Get Your Exterior Car Door Handle Replaced
There are three main signs that you should watch out for:
- 1. The door won’t open/shut
- 2. Fragile Handles
- 3. Broken Actuator
The first sign is pretty obvious. If you are unable to open the door upon pulling the exterior handle, the handle needs to be replaced. Even if it requires a lot of force or effort on your part, it indicates some trouble. Similarly, if your car door isn’t closing properly or again, is using a lot of force, you should consider replacing it.
The second sign is a little harder to spot. Even if your car door is opening and closing properly, but your door handles seem a little loose or fragile, like they might break off any moment, they need to get replaced. This applies to both, the interior and exterior handles. Moreover, if your interior door handle is faulty, chances are your exterior door handle is defective too, or vice versa.
Lastly, you’ll know your actuator is broken if you can’t lock or unlock your car door electronically. It indicates that the signals aren’t being delivered and so, the locks might not work properly.
Furthermore, once you do realize that your exterior door handle is not working and needs to be replaced, do it right away. We all love procrastinating and putting important work off until the very last possible moment. But this is one of those things that you should definitely not delay. Also, check out these tips on how to maintain your Land Rover to avoid these problems altogether.
If you continue to forcefully use a car door with a bad handle, you will only be causing more damage to your car. Moreover, bad door handles can result in some nasty accidents. So, as they say, better to be safe than sorry.
How to Replace Exterior Car Door Handle for Land Rover – Step by Step Guide
Before starting any job, you need the right tools for it first. Accordingly, the tools you’ll need to replace your exterior car door handle are:
- - Philips Screwdriver
- - Needle nose pliers
- - Hammer
- - 8mm nut driver
- - Punch
- - Door panel prying tool (or any standard screwdriver)
- - You’ll also need the right replacement parts which you can get from here.
Once you’ve got all your tools, you can start the actual replacement work which goes like this:
- - To access the exterior door handle parts, you’ll need to go through the interior side first.
- - Remove all the screws and pressure clips.
- - Remove any other parts on the interior door such as the window handles or side door pockets.
- - Slightly remove the interior door cover BUT DO NOT REMOVE COMPLETELY.
- - Disconnect the rods connecting the interior door handle to the locking latch and exterior door handle.
- - Remove the interior door cover to reveal the handle and lock mechanisms.
- - Remove any silicone or plastic coverings inside.
- - Take out the bolts.
- - Remove the handle from the door.
Now that you have the door handle out, you can work on it to replace any broken parts. For example, if the opening rod is broken, remove the spring on the rod, the rod itself and the rubber joiners. Replace the broken rod with a new one and place everything back as it was.
After attaching back all the main components, make sure you check the door handle’s functioning, in case you missed something out. Once you’re satisfied that everything is where it’s supposed to be, and the door handle is functioning properly, attach the interior door cover as well.
Total Time Spent
One hour (more or less)
Total Money Saved
Depending on what exactly needs to be replaced and what is damaged, this kind of replacement work can cost anything from $100 to $250 at a mechanics shop.
Some Important Things to Note:
Before you get started on replacing your exterior car door handle, there are some important things you need to keep in mind.
- - You need to know exactly which component is faulty so that you can do the right repairs and replacements.
- - Make sure you keep track of all the tiny parts and pieces while dismantling and reassembling.
- - Be gentle while handling the small parts as some can break easily.
- - If you’re worried about getting scratches on your new paint job, use some painter’s tape.
It’s also a good idea to go through this list of considerations before buying your replacement parts.
With this detailed guide, replacing the exterior car door handle of your Land Rover should be no challenge at all. But if the task still feels a little daunting or you’re unsure of yourself, it’d be better to get it done by a professional. Because at the end of the day, you have to get your car door fixed, one way or another.
After all, what’s the use of owning a car if you can’t even sit in it? In case, you need to fix something else too in your Land Rover, you can get the parts from here.