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Corolla 1998

Inside front door handle broke off

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I have 98 corolla LE. Yesterday evening after switching off my car, I was opening the front door to get out of the car. The inside door handle broke off while I was trying to open the door. I tried little bit but I could not open the door and was stuck inside. I had to ask my wife to open the door from outside. When I searched little bit inside to see what broke, I saw a screw and small spring were lying on the mat. The handle is still there in its original place but feels very very loose and can fall anytime. If I press the handle too much all the way, then I can still open the door from inside but I am sure the handle will come out any time.

I tried little bit but I could not find an easy way to put that screw and small spring back again in the door handle.

Has anybody experienced this before? any advice how I can fix it myself?

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Can you open the door from inside if you take one hand and hold the bezel (rectangular shaped bracket) firmly against the door while using the other hand to operate the lever?

I have 98 corolla LE. Yesterday evening after switching off my car, I was opening the front door to get out of the car. The inside door handle broke off while I was trying to open the door. I tried little bit but I could not open the door and was stuck inside. I had to ask my wife to open the door from outside. When I searched little bit inside to see what broke, I saw a screw and small spring were lying on the mat. The handle is still there in its original place but feels very very loose and can fall anytime. If I press the handle too much all the way, then I can still open the door from inside but I am sure the handle will come out any time.

I tried little bit but I could not find an easy way to put that screw and small spring back again in the door handle.

Has anybody experienced this before? any advice how I can fix it myself?

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Actually I am also having this same problem with my 1998 Corolla (powered windows). Just a couple of days ago the screw and spring also came out of my front door handle. Does anyone know how to fix this, get it replaced, etc?

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If enough force is applied, yes the little handle can be forced out with the spring. It’s a little tricky putting it back, you may not need a replacement, the spring and the handle could be reattached provided nothing broke-off.

You will need to remove the handle ’cup’ by removing the screw in the center of it. Once the screw is removed, the ’cup’ should be able to slide forward (or back?) and you should be able to lift it out slightly if not altogether. If the door lock handle came-off completely, then you should be able to snap it back in place into the ‘cup’, make sure the spring is seated also properly beforehand; if done right the door lock handle should snap back in place by the spring action, and should not be loose in the 'cup'.

There should be a metal rod with a bent tip in the hole where the ‘cup’ was mounted, if you don’t see it reach inside w/finger and see if you can find it around the hole. You will need to take that bend rod tip w/nose pliers and insert it in the back of the door lock handle, into the hole. There should be a while moving clip that should lock onto the metal rod tip using small pliers. This clip keeps the rod tip from sliding out or becoming loose.

After that, the whole ‘cup’ piece could be placed back into the door panel, make sure you slide it until it lock into the door frame and the screw hole should match-up if done right.

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I just called the toyota dealer to get the quote. The inner door handle part is $24. The service will cost $85 extra. Dealer said that entire front door has to be taken out to put the inner door handle. Is it true?

If enough force is applied, yes the little handle can be forced out with the spring. It’s a little tricky putting it back, you may not need a replacement, the spring and the handle could be reattached provided nothing broke-off.

You will need to remove the handle ’cup’ by removing the screw in the center of it. Once the screw is removed, the ’cup’ should be able to slide forward (or back?) and you should be able to lift it out slightly if not altogether. If the door lock handle came-off completely, then you should be able to snap it back in place into the ‘cup’, make sure the spring is seated also properly beforehand; if done right the door lock handle should snap back in place by the spring action, and should not be loose in the 'cup'.

There should be a metal rod with a bent tip in the hole where the ‘cup’ was mounted, if you don’t see it reach inside w/finger and see if you can find it around the hole. You will need to take that bend rod tip w/nose pliers and insert it in the back of the door lock handle, into the hole. There should be a while moving clip that should lock onto the metal rod tip using small pliers. This clip keeps the rod tip from sliding out or becoming loose.

After that, the whole ‘cup’ piece could be placed back into the door panel, make sure you slide it until it lock into the door frame and the screw hole should match-up if done right.

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Well, I checked with the dealer again and he said the door panel (NOT the entire door) needs to be removed in order to line up the latch mechanism.

I just called the toyota dealer to get the quote. The inner door handle part is $24. The service will cost $85 extra. Dealer said that entire front door has to be taken out to put the inner door handle. Is it true?

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I think you can do it without taking the panel off...but if you were to do it yourself, there is a door fastener removal tool you can get at any auto parts store for less than 10 bucks. I have also removed the fasteners with a "pickle fork" (ball joint tool). They are small plastic push-in anchors that run around the perimiter of the door panel. Probably 8 or 10 of them. They are very easy to remove.

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I changed the driver side inner door handle. I did it myself.

Thanks to stevelaw and Dexterous for providing valuable information.

I purchased the part from the toyota dealer for $30 (including tax). Here is the part description.

Description: DOOR HANDLE LH

Part No: 69206-02050-E0

Make: Toyota Genuine Parts

The process will be little different depending upon what part broke off from your old door handle. But the door handle that you purchase from the dealer is complete part. You don't need to use anything from your old door handle. So in the process of removing the old door handle if something brakes, do not worry.

Please note that you DO NOT need to remove door panel to put the inner door handle.

First remove the old door handle. There is a small screw in the center of the door handle cup. Remove the screw and slowly slide the door handle cup forward (towards the front). With the help of the flat panel screw driver, loosen the cup from all the side and slowly pull it out. I broke one edge of the old door handle while doing this. But again as I said before, do not worry. You do not need anything from the old plastic door handle. You will see a hole once the old door handle is completely out.

There is a metal rod with a bent tip in the hole where the door handle ‘cup’ was mounted. Just reach inside and grab the metal rod. You have to put that metal rod with bent tip inside the hole of the new door handle. In addition the new door handle has a white moving clip that needs to be attached to the metal rod. Just align the white moving clip and push forward towards the metal rod till it latches on to the metal rod. The white clip keeps the rod tip from sliding out or becoming loose.

After that, the door handle ‘cup’ piece could be placed back into the door panel, make sure you slide it backward until it lock into the door frame and the screw hole should match-up if done right.

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