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Replacing Your Exterior Door Handles, Lock Tumbler and Backing Plate
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Exterior Door Handles, Lock Tumbler and Backing Plate

Steve Vernon

Talent:

*

Tools:

Trim removal tool, T20 Torx , small screwdriver or pick

Applicable Models:

VW Golf (1999-05)

Parts Required:

New Handle

Hot Tip:

Don't remove the T20 screw all the way

Performance Gain:

Can't get locked out of your car

Complementary Modification:

Replace door lock assembly

The door handles and locks on your car can wear out over time, especially if you live in a four season climate where they are exposed to various elements. This article will show you how to remove and replace your door handles and lock tumbler, unfortunately the locks and keys are VIN matched and only available from Volkswagen.

This article will show you how to replace the exterior handle, locking tumbler and backing plate. If you want to remove the backing plate you will need to remove the door panel and lock assembly. Please see our articles on door panel removal and door lock assembly removal for help with these projects.

Begin by opening the door and using your trim tool to remove the grommet along the inside section of the door (red arrow).
Figure 1

Begin by opening the door and using your trim tool to remove the grommet along the inside section of the door (red arrow).

Once the grommets are removed, you will see a small T20 Torx screw.
Figure 2

Once the grommets are removed, you will see a small T20 Torx screw. Loosen but do not fully remove this screw (this job does not require complete removal of this screw). If you do, there is a very good chance it will fall into the door cavity, which means you have to remove the door panel to retrieve it. It is also a good idea to use a proper T20 Torx driver rather than a bit on the end of a universal driver as it will probably fall off in the door as well.

Hold the door handle in the out position (red arrow) while loosening the T20 screw (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

Hold the door handle in the out position (red arrow) while loosening the T20 screw (yellow arrow). The handle will remain in the out position when the screw is loose.

Slide the lock tumbler out from the door (red arrow).
Figure 4

Slide the lock tumbler out from the door (red arrow). Sometimes it is easier if you use the key to help pull the tumbler from the door.

This photo illustrates the key and tumbler removed from the door (red arrow).
Figure 5

This photo illustrates the key and tumbler removed from the door (red arrow).

Inside the handle is a small rubber piece (red arrow) attached to a cable (yellow arrow) that goes to the door lock assembly.
Figure 6

Inside the handle is a small rubber piece (red arrow) attached to a cable (yellow arrow) that goes to the door lock assembly.

Use a small screwdriver or pick to remove it from the channel in the door handle (red arrow).
Figure 7

Use a small screwdriver or pick to remove it from the channel in the door handle (red arrow).

Pull the handle out (red arrow) while sliding towards the rear of the door (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

Pull the handle out (red arrow) while sliding towards the rear of the door (yellow arrow).

To remove the backing plate you will need to remove the door panels and the door lock assembly then unscrew the T20 Torx screw and remove the backing plate from inside the door.
Figure 9

To remove the backing plate you will need to remove the door panels and the door lock assembly then unscrew the T20 Torx screw and remove the backing plate from inside the door. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Sun 4/23/2017 02:33:31 AM