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Exterior Door Handle Replacement
 

Pelican Technical Article:

Exterior Door Handle Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Door panel clip tool, T25 Torx, 4mm Allen

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-08)

Parts Required:

Door handle

Hot Tip:

Tape body to avoid scratches

Performance Gain:

Door opens normally

Complementary Modification:

Replacement of door lock cylinder cover

Central locking in BMW X3 models controls door locks, tailgate lock and fuel filler flap lock. The electronic functions of central locking are controlled through the general module and the door switches.

The lock mechanism in each door consists of a latch, an exterior door handle, door lock carrier 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 cable inside the door. Over time the door lock carrier and the latch can wear out, this will make the handle malfunction, usually feeling like you have to apply excess pressure on the handle. The lock cylinder can wear out over time and become stiff. If you want to replace the door lock or handle it can be done with the door panel installed. If you want to replace the door handle carrier or the latch, you will have to remove the door panel.

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. 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 door handle on the left side door. To replace the other door handle you can use this procedure, with the main difference being the lack of a lock cylinder.

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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

This tech article covers replacing the door handle (red arrow).
Figure 1

This tech article covers replacing the door handle (red arrow).

Working in the door jamb, remove the two rubber caps (red arrows).
Figure 2

Working in the door jamb, remove the two rubber caps (red arrows). I usually pull them out by hand (inset).

Once the caps are removed, you will have access to the two fasteners for the handle.
Figure 3

Once the caps are removed, you will have access to the two fasteners for the handle. First, loosen the 4mm Allen (red arrow) fastener in the lower hole. Do not remove the Allen, only loosen until you feel it spin free. The upper hole (blue arrow) is used later.

This photo shows loosening the 4mm Allen in the lower hole.
Figure 4

This photo shows loosening the 4mm Allen in the lower hole. Do not remove the Allen, only loosen until you feel it spin free.

With the Allen loosened, pull the lock cylinder cover straight off.
Figure 5

With the Allen loosened, pull the lock cylinder cover straight off. Confirm the Allen fastener previously loosened is still in place (red arrow). It is captured in a plastic barrel, but can come out if forced. The lock cylinder remains in the door (red arrow). To replace it, see our tech article on door lock and carrier replacing.

Working in the top hole, use a T25 Torx driver to lock the handle in the out position.
Figure 6

Working in the top hole, use a T25 Torx driver to lock the handle in the out position. Pull the handle out and hold it, then rotate the Torx driver counterclockwise (loosen) until you feel the fastener stop. The door handle should remain out. See next step.

Working in the top hole, use a T25 Torx driver to lock the handle in the out position.
Figure 7

Working in the top hole, use a T25 Torx driver to lock the handle in the out position. Pull the handle out (blue arrow) and hold it, then rotate the Torx driver counterclockwise (loosen) until you feel the fastener stop. The door handle should remain out. Alternatively, you can use an 1/8" Allen to loosen the Torx fastener if your Torx driver isn't long enough. It isn't a high torque fastener, just be careful not to strip it.

This photo shows the T25 Torx (blue arrow) driver engage in the fastener hole (red arrow).
Figure 8

This photo shows the T25 Torx (blue arrow) driver engage in the fastener hole (red arrow). This should help you find the right place to insert your Torx driver or Allen.

Pull the door handle out of the door (red arrow), work slowly and gently.
Figure 9

Pull the door handle out of the door (red arrow), work slowly and gently. Once the end is visible, stop pulling. Do not pull the pivot out at the same time (blue arrow). See next step for detaching pivot.

Once the handle is out of door, detach the pivot by pulling it straight down to detach the pin (blue arrow) from the bore on handle (red arrow).
Figure 10

Once the handle is out of door, detach the pivot by pulling it straight down to detach the pin (blue arrow) from the bore on handle (red arrow). When installing handle, attach pivot, then push handle back into door and hold in, you won't need much pressure. Then tighten the T25 Torx screw to reattach the door handle to carrier. Reverse remaining steps to reassemble.


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Page last updated: Fri 12/15/2017 03:13:18 AM