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Pelican Technical Article:

Door Handle Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, door panel clip tool, flathead & Phillips screwdriver, T20, T25, T30 Torx drivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Door handle, vapor barrier, vapor barrier seal, door panel clips

Hot Tip:

Tape body to avoid scratches

Performance Gain:

Door opens normally

Complementary Modification:

Lubricate and clean door latch

Central locking in BMW E60 models controls door locks, trunk lid or luggage compartment lock and fuel filler flap lock. The electronic functions of central locking are spread out over several control modules, with sensors and actuators connected directly to a control module in the vicinity of their installed location. The car access system (CAS) module is the master control module for central locking.

The lock mechanism in each door consists of a latch, an exterior door handle and an inside door lock release handle. Only the driver door (left front in North America) is equipped with a lock cylinder. The exterior door handle releases and unlocks the door latch via a bracket inside the door. The lock cylinder can wear out over time and become stiff. This will make the handle malfunction, usually at the connection to the inner bracket. It is quite easy to remove and replace, needing only a few tools and steps. If replacing the handle, you will have to have it painted to match your vehicle before installing. The exterior door handle and handle trim can be replaced from the outside and do not require access via the door panel. If you want to replace the door lock or the door handle mechanism, you will have to remove the window regulator.

Each inner door trim panel is equipped with SRS airbags. For safety reasons, be sure to disconnect the vehicle battery before beginning work on the door panel. See our tech article on the battery.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the lock cylinder and door handle on the left side door. To replace other door handles you can use this procedure, with the main difference being the lack of a lock cylinder.

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the upper rubber plug (red arrow).
Figure 1

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the upper rubber plug (red arrow).

Next, you have to secure the door handle bracket in the extended position.
Figure 2

Next, you have to secure the door handle bracket in the extended position. If you manage to get the handle out without securing it in the extended position, you will have to remove the door panel to reinstall the handle. Pull the door handle out and hold it. Working through the hole you previously removed the rubber plug from; rotate the T25 Torx fastener (red arrow) counterclockwise until you reach the stop. The door handle will remain extended without support once the fastener is in the correct position. The blue arrow points to the fastener and the detent it aligns with to secure the handle in the extended positon, as viewed from inside the door.

Then pull the door handle straight out of the door to detach the door lock cylinder side of the handle.
Figure 3

Then pull the door handle straight out of the door to detach the door lock cylinder side of the handle.

Next, rotate the handle in the direction of the red arrow to detach it opposite the side of the door handle from the pivot point (inset).
Figure 4

Next, rotate the handle in the direction of the red arrow to detach it opposite the side of the door handle from the pivot point (inset).

Remove the lower rubber plug (red arrow).
Figure 5

Remove the lower rubber plug (red arrow). Then loosen (fastener remains in door) the 4mm Allen fastener located behind the plug (inset).

Pull the door handle rubber stop (red arrow) off the door to expose the fastener beneath it (blue arrow).
Figure 6

Pull the door handle rubber stop (red arrow) off the door to expose the fastener beneath it (blue arrow). Loosen (fastener remains in door) the T20 Torx fastener (blue arrow).

Slide the door handle trim in the direction of the red arrow to remove it.
Figure 7

Slide the door handle trim in the direction of the red arrow to remove it. You can now replace the door handle and door handle trim as needed. 

If you need to replace the door lock cylinder or door handle bracket, see the following steps.
To replace the door lock cylinder or door handle bracket, start by removing the window regulator.
Figure 8

To replace the door lock cylinder or door handle bracket, start by removing the window regulator. See our tech article on window regulator replacing. Then, release the two retaining tabs on the door handle bracket (red arrows). Squeeze the tabs as you push the bracket into the door slightly. Support the bracket from inside the door to prevent it from falling.

Remove the door handle bracket from the door cavity.
Figure 9

Remove the door handle bracket from the door cavity.

To replace the door latch release cable, using a small flathead screwdriver, release the retaining tab and slide the cable out of the mount (inset).
Figure 10

To replace the door latch release cable, using a small flathead screwdriver, release the retaining tab and slide the cable out of the mount (inset). Then remove the opposite end of the cable (red arrow) from the bracket. Then detach the cable end from the bracket.

To replace the lock cylinder, using a small flathead screwdriver, lever out the retaining clip.
Figure 11

To replace the lock cylinder, using a small flathead screwdriver, lever out the retaining clip. Then slide the lock cylinder out of the door handle bracket.

Reassemble the lock cylinder, cable and / or door handle bracket.
Figure 12

Reassemble the lock cylinder, cable and / or door handle bracket. Then install it into the door. When reattaching the retaining tabs, I find it helpful to press on the door skin to engage the tabs (red arrows).

Then install the door handle trim and door handle in the reverse order of removal.
Figure 13

Then install the door handle trim and door handle in the reverse order of removal. When installing the door handle, listen for an audible click to indicate it is properly engaged with the bracket. Then loosen the Torx fastener through the hole in the door. Once the handle has been reinstalled, check the latch operation. Lock and unlock the door. Then latch the door latch using a screwdriver. Confirm that the door latch releases with the inner and outer door handles. Then reassemble the window regulator and door panel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
phrv Comments: Aug 28 update:
After reading Nick's instructions again, looking at the extra large pictures, and reading instructions again and again particularly this part: "Working through the hole you previously removed the rubber plug from; rotate the T25 Torx fastener red arrow **counterclockwise until you reach the stop**", I came to the conclusion that the T25 screw HAS TO in fact be a LEFT THREADED screw or left hand thread.
Indeed, if it was a regular screw, rotating it **counterclockwise** as instructed would take it out of the car, and there would be no way to "reach the stop"!

Sooooo... I managed to pull the door handle bracket out from the outside, using a piece of hard wire, screwed the T25 CLOCKWISE out a bit, so that I could pull the fastener further out, then rotated COUNTERCLOCKWISE again per Nick's instructions... and the magic operated :
The door handle bracket was now held in the extended position.
I then managed to push the handle in place, heard the click, rotated the screw clockwise to unscrew it..., so that it released the handle from the extended positon.
And VOILÀ!

Door now opens perfectly from inside, and outside.

Thanks again, Pelicanparts, and Nick, for your detailed instructions.
August 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
phrv Comments: Dear Nick,
I followed your detailed instructions for taking the broken part of the handle out of the door, pulling it out with small pliers before rotating the T25 Torx fastener counterclockwise until I thought it had reached a stop, and the broken part of the handle came off.
However, this did not seem to hold anything sounded like a spring pushed something back into the door handle mechanism inside the door.
In any case, I can't get the new handle to hold in place... as there is no "audible click" when I push it in place / The handle comes right out again, apparently not pulling on anything inside the lock mechanism.
I did remove the door panel in order to try & reinstall the handle, but I had no luck :-

I tried pulling the inside square rectangle where the door handle goes out from the outside twisting a flat screwdriver + pushing the lever out from inside the door in order to access the T25 screw, and try & secure the door handle bracket in the extended position, but still had no luck...

Would you have instructions, or recommendations as to what to look for, or what to do in order to secure the door handle bracket in the extended position without the handle in the door?

... Or would you have any idea why the new handle does not hold into place?
It looks like the part that must fit into the small dent in the upper inside part of the handle in order to hold it is not where it should be...

Thanks in advance for your help.
August 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would assume when the handle was removed the lever for it dropped back into the latch. You will have to access the latch and reset the position so the new handle can be attached.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/79-BODY-Door_Latch_Replacement/79-BODY-Door_Latch_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
phrv Comments: Thank you so much for these detailed explanations / Pictures for replacing a driver side Door handle on a BMW e60.
I had lookde for such explanations a long time before finding this great one.
August 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
535i fan Comments: Is it essential to remove the window regulator to replace the handle carrier or can you work around it? Thanks
June 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It has to be removed. No room otherwise. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
saz Comments: suddenly lock center not open for all doors only driver door
April 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Possible issue with the body module. I would start by checking the vehicle for fault codes and running a quick function test using the scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dario Comments: Dear Pelican Parts,
thank you for this so usefull article.
I dont find in any way if is possible to order from BMW the lock cylinder, is for an E61 year 2005 530d, they sell the cylinder of the steering column but not the cylinder of the driver door.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/it/showparts?id=NJ71-EUR-04-2005-E61-BMW-530d&diagId=32_1434

Looks like you have to buy all the kit, also with the CAS is over 700$!.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/it/showparts?id=NJ71-EUR-04-2005-E61-BMW-530d&diagId=41_1595

Thank you if you can help me!
greetings
Dario
March 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They may have to come as a set. I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
siavosh Comments: dear sir hi this is siavosh thanks for technical information about door locks. it is very useful information to help me so much to learn about auto door locks. this is number one site which offer complete technical information whit the picture to learning about door locks.
very truly yours
siavosh
January 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 02:39:08 AM