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· Premium Member
2002 Camry
449 Posts
DIY: 1996 Camry Interior Door Handle Replacement (GEN 3)

This procedure explains how to change the inside door handle on a 1996 Toyota Camry. I replaced both the front and rear right passenger door handles recently. They rear one broke after about 10 years of usage. The front one broke after about 12 years of usage. The driver side door handles are still OK. From what I have read on this forum, it appears that this is a common problem on the Camry after the car is about 10 years of age. It is a very simple, inexpensive procedure to replace them requiring no special tools.

Use this guide at your own risk! I assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide. Any comments to improve the procedure will be gratefully received.

Time Required
It took me 20 minutes per door from start to finish.

Let's Get Started...

Cracked and broken interior door handles.

Parts Required: The price for a single door handle on is $20 US + shipping from AutoPartPro. They also sell a set of four handles for $46.90 US + shipping. These prices include both the handle and the bezel. If you buy from Toyota, the handle and bezel are each sold separately. The cost of the handle from Toyota is $54 CDN and the cost of the bezel is $23 CDN.
I opted to buy a set of four from Amazon and keep the remaining two handles as spares. The colour and texture matched reasonably well. My Camry has a tan exterior and interior. I ordered the “brown” colour. The parts fit reasonably well and seemed to be well constructed. AutoPartPro also has “grey” ones available.

1. The first step is to remove the bezel from the door handle. This is the hardest part of the whole procedure. If you have a good understanding of how the bezel is secured to the door handle, removal becomes much easier. The following photos show how the bezel is held in place.

2. The small square hole in the top of the bezel (black arrow in above photo) fits over the pin at the top of the door handle (black circle).

3. The larger square hole in the bottom of the bezel (red arrow in above photo) fits over the sheet metal tooth at the bottom of the door handle (red circle).

4. The plastic latch at the front of the bezel (blue arrow in above photo) slides in behind the sheet metal tab at the front of the door handle (blue circle).

5. Insert a small slot screwdriver as shown. Pry the bezel upward out outward.

6. Insert a small slot screwdriver as shown. Pry the bottom of the bezel downward and outward.

7. Pull the door handle out and rotate the bezel outward to remove it from the door.

8. Push in the center of the two retainers (red circle) and pry them out.

9. Remove plastic caps where necessary to reveal screws. Use Philips screwdriver to remove 5 screws (red circles).

10. Grasp bottom of door trim panel and give a good tug outward, away from door. The plastic snaps that hold the bottom of the door trim panel will release.

11. Raise door trim panel vertically upward to release the door trim panel from the door.

12. Disconnect wiring harnesses. It may be necessary to press down on plastic latch that secures the plug in the receptacle. Set the door trim panel aside.

13. Remove 3 screws securing door handle to the door.

14. Unlatch the two yellow connectors by rotating them away from the linkage rods. Pull the linkage rods down to release them from the yellow connector/bushings. Use a needle nose pliers to compress the yellow connectors and remove them from the broken door handle to keep them as spares. I have had a yellow connector break, so it is handy to have a few spares.

15. Lubricate the pivot and slide points.

16. Installation is basically the reverse of the above. Use the palm of your hand to snap the bottom of the door trim panel into place.

17. When replacing the two retainers, pull the center part outward before inserting into the door. When the retainer is inserted, then press the center part in.

18. Note that the hole in door handle is keyed (red arrow) to match with the plug.

19. When installing the bezel, slide the front plastic latch (blue arrow above) under the sheet metal tab at the front of the door handle (blue circle above). Then pry the top hole of the bezel (black arrow above) over the pin (black circle above) with a small slot screwdriver. Then snap the bottom of the bezel in place by pushing on it with the palm of your hand.

· Registered
288 Posts
Most excellent write up, I vote for sticky.

Have this problem with my driver side front door, quite shameful, like a zit on Kim Kardashians ass. Did I just compare a Camry to Kim Kardashian's ass? I won't even begin to speculate on what this means.

Might you know how this would be done on the opposite side?

· Registered
856 Posts
Great DIY, gonna attempt this soon!

· chuggin' along
62 Posts
I just replaced the lock cylinder on the driver's door of a 1994 Camry. I found several threads on the forum which talked about removing the outside door handle.

Here is a link:

The above thread references another link which describes pretty well what to do - but there aren't any pictures on the link anymore.

This thread was great in explaining how to get the inside panel off. One difference on mine was that the upper screw on the armrest (the upward angling portion) was behind the tweeter cover. The tweeter cover came off easily when I pried it with a screwdriver.

Basic steps I had to do to get the door handle off:

1. Remove inner panel as described in this thread.

2. Pull off plastic on the upper left corner of the door. It's held on by some black adhesive. When I finished, the adhesive still worked when putting the plastic back.

3. It's hard to see the door handle, so it seems impossible to remove it, but it can be done.

4. Look through the openings in the upper left of the door (from the inside). You can see one screw on the right side of the door handle. Take off the circular piece of paper covering an opening on the upper left corner of the door. Through this hole, you can see two screws. The screw on the right is the one to remove. The screw on the left holds the lock cylinder to the door handle and does not need to be removed.

5. The screw on the right side is fairly easy to get at. The screw on the left requires an extension through the hole - be careful so the screw doesn't drop down. Though if it does drop down, you should be able to pull off some more plastic and reach to the bottom of the inside of the door.

6. If you look through the hole, you'll see an actuator rod connected to the door handle. You have to rotate the yellow plastic piece holding the actuator rod into the up direction so it's not holding the rod anymore. Then you have to pull the rod out of the hole in the yellow plastic piece. This takes a little effort since there's a lip on the end of the actuator rod.

7. There is another actuator rod connected to the lock cylinder. You can see this actuator rod if look sideways through the large access hole in the upper left of the door. Once again, there is a yellow plastic piece that needs to be moved to disconnect the actuator rod from the lock cylinder. I had to pull the yellow piece towards me (hinge side of the door) and up to release it.

8. The door handle should now be loose and not connected to anything. You can now pull the door handle out from the outside. You'll have to jiggle it back and forth to get it out of the opening.

9. If you're replacing the door handle, you should unbolt the lock cylinder to use on the new door handle.

10. Simply go backwards to reinstall the door handle. I ended up hooking the actuator rod to the lock cylinder before I put the door handle in the door. For me, it was easier to do then when it was in the door (I tried it with the handle in the door first). When putting the bolts into the handle from the inside, I put balled up some duct tape and put it into the socket to hold the bolt. Everything else went OK.

Good luck!

· mr1995
1995 Camry
1 Posts
Nice details - I just completed my replacement on all four of the doors on my 1995 Camry. The pictures where very helpfull. I puchaced the replaced handles on amazon for $44 for all four.
Again thanks for the detailed pictures.

· Registered
1 Posts
Thanks - couldn't have done it without this

Since it was my front, driver side door that was broken, I couldn't wait to even order a new part. So I took the handle assembly from the rear door and fixed it on the front door.

The pictures and detailed instructions were very useful - thanks!

· Registered
1 Posts
Thanks a million! I could not have done this without your excellent guide. Just finished replacing both inside door handles on my 94 camry. No problems at all. Got replacements from ebay. Now I have to replace one outside passenger door handle which had the outer lip broken off but still works. It's a good anti-theft feature but the wifey won't approve.

· Registered
1 Posts
Very Clear and Pretty Easy

Thanks for creating this DIY guide. I used it today to replace the front passenger side door handle. The instructions were super clear and easy to follow and I got the job done in about 25 minutes without a hassle.
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