Has the sliding door handle on your 2008-2016 Chrysler Town & Country or 2008-2019 Dodge Grand Caravan come loose? Severe duty doesn’t just mean over-the-road trucks and cop cars. Have you ever seen what a pack of pre-teens can do to a minivan?
We heard a lot of shops and vehicle owners complaining about the sliding door handle detaching on a wide range of Chrysler and Dodge minivans after years of grabbing and slamming. On these vehicles, the handle is only retained by a thin strip of sheet metal. Over time, that sheet metal work-hardens and cracks, leading to flopping door handles. Replacement means trying to locate a same-color salvage door— if you can find one that’s not already broken. Repair would traditionally involve fabricating a patch, then welding it in and repainting the door. Luckily there is a straightforward fix from NAPA Solutions, the broken sliding door handle repair kit.
Door Handle Removal Instructions
STEP 1: Remove the interior handle bezel by using a plastic trim removal tool to gently pry away from the interior trim panel.
STEP 2: Remove the trim panel screw using a T-20 Torx bit driver.
STEP 3: Remove the inner top corner trim end piece by gently prying it in a forward direction using plastic trim tool.
STEP 4: Gently pry the trim panel along the edges from the door using a trim removal tool. Once the edges have been pried from door, gently use your hands to unsnap the rest of the panel from the door. Once the panel is unsnapped from the door, lift the panel upwards to remove it.
STEP 5: Remove the access panel on the inner door panel by gently prying down using a plastic trim tool.
STEP 6: Reach through the access opening and remove the cable from the handle by gently prying the cable from the handle.
STEP 7: Remove the three mounting screws retaining the handle to the body using an 8mm socket, and remove the handle from door.
Door Handle Repair Installation Instructions
STEP 1: Expand the handle to the open position and place the provided holding tool onto the handle slider to keep the handle in the open position. This will keep the lever in the open position to ease installation of the repair bracket.
STEP 2: While holding thevtool still in place, reinstall the original handle onto the door. Have a helper hold the handle onto the door while installing the repair bracket.
STEP 3: With the handle held in place, reach through the interior side of the door, place the repair bracket over the handle, and align it with the mounting bolts. Install the repair bracket in the same orientation as shown. Install the two handle retaining screws by the reinforcement bracket end at this time. Thread both screws to approximately 3/4ths of the way. Do not fully seat the screws at this time.
STEP 4: Pull on the exterior handle in the same direction of handle operation and remove the holding tool from the handle.
STEP 5: Install the third handle mounting screw towards the rear facing end of handle. Do not fully tighten it at this time. Proceed to tighten the two forward mounting screws and now tighten third mounting screw.
Ensure that handle is fully seated into the door and that all handle mounting screws are tight. Reattach the release cable onto the door handle. Verify proper operation of the door handle. Reinstall the handle access panel. Reinstall the trim panel and mounting screw. Reinstall the interior handle bezel. Reinstall the upper inner trim cap.
Make sure to watch our video for more installation tips:
Check out all the paint & body products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on broken sliding door repair, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.