This work was undertaken on a facelift IS250 my 2010. But I expect it will apply to any IS250, ISF, 220d, 200d from 2005 - 2012.
I recently had a problem with the interior handle on the driver’s door. It was one of those moments where you think to yourself ‘what the …….’.
I had just parked at home and was opening the door to get out of the car. Pulled the handle as usual but something twanged, the handle felt it was going to come away from the door and the handle did not spring back to its rest point but hung down at a bit of an angle. Clearly something was very wrong. And no I had not just had 3 Weetabix (other cereals are available) and I don't ever use an excessive force to pull the handle.
I could see the tail end of a spring that was not in the right place but the handle was still functioning. The door could be opened from inside, with care as the handle was very wobbly. The door could be locked by pressing the outside button. Using the remote fob there was a weird whirring sound from inside the door and I could see the interior handle fluttering back and forth very rapidly. The door did not lock, the other 3 doors locked just fine.
I did some searches but could not find anything here on this forum so started looking around, even at other manufacturers forums. Started to assemble some snippets of info and commenced the repair path. So, here you are, How to get the door lining off, a work around if your door handle breaks….and let’s face it…it is likely to be the driver’s door as that gets most use!! I tried to remember to take as many photos as I could as I went along.
A set of plastic pry tools will come in handy as it avoids any stress damage on upholstered areas. You could get away with taped flat-blade screw drivers with due care. Pozi 1 and 2 screwdrivers complete the tools list!
First up. Lower the window all the way down, it makes the liner removal possible. You won’t do it with the window up! Then pry off the cover plate behind the handle to reveal the pozi screw hidden behind. Remove the screw and put decal plate and screw aside.
Then pry up at each end of the window/mirror control unit. It will readily pull vertically off its tabs at each end. Unclip the electrical plugs and put the unit to one side. You will see a pozi headed nut to the right which attaches to the inside of the door. Remove this and put to one side. Pry out the bottom door courtesy light and disconnect the loom. Again, store the light unit to one side.
Now you need to establish where the door liner attachment clips are located. I used a slim pry tool to slide under the lining and then move left and right to find the clips. There are 3 along the bottom of the door, 2 vertically above on the hinged side of the door and 3 vertically above on the opening side of the door. IMPORTANT There is an additional clip to release just below the tweeter. You just need to give a sharp and forceful tug at each clip point to pull each clip from its hole in the door frame.
Now you can start the process of removing the liner. I found it comfortable to hold the armrest handle with my left hand and slid my right hand into the top RHS of the liner where it clips over the lip at the window seal point. Pull up gently on the armrest handle and the liner will pop off of the lip. Lift the RHS side of the liner gently keeping an eye on the tweeter housing and the liner will come free from the door quite easily with a little force. Keeping hold of the armrest handle you can now unclip the 2 door handle cables. The cables are a bit like bike brake cables with a ball at the end to keep it place. The cables are enclosed in plastic cable sleeves that fit into the back of the door handle unit. Unclip the sleeve and then turn the cable to remove the ball end from its socket. It’s quite simple.
Now the liner is completely free. Getting to this point only takes about 10 – 15 minutes. You may find a couple of clips or the fibre washers still in the door frame …... you can remove these and fit them back into the requisite hole/clip in the liner. I had 2 clips and a couple of washers that did this.
If you are just investigating at this point ( eg:- it could have been a snapped cable) and don’t have a repair part present you can reconnect the window/mirror control unit and close the window and lock up the car if needed.
Lay the liner face down on some old sheets/towels (you don’t want to mark or damage anything do you?) so you can inspect the handle unit. I had thought that a return spring had snapped or the ball socket (plastic) for the cable end had failed but it was neither of these (although there was a part near the ball socket was bent out of shape and about to fall off). I could see it was the pivot point for the base of the handle itself that had sheared off completely. There was plenty of grease evident on all moving parts, so am at a bit of a loss to know why 2 bits failed....perhaps it was just a duff manufacture.
You need to remove the 3 pozi screws from the securing plate and set to one side. Then remove the 4 pozi screws that hold the actual handle unit to the door liner.
Now you can fit a replacement handle, fit the 4 screws and re-attach the securing plate. I managed to source a handle from an Ebay scrapper for £12 delivered. It was not the correct colour but I wanted to get a repair sorted. Given the cost I figured I may as well just get one (I’ll keep an eye out for a Taupe/Stone Grey version … they are a somewhat rare at present) and change the handle unit once I had the liner off.
Refitting is literally a reversal of the process. Holding the liner close to correct position reattach the internal loom connectors. Don’t forget the tweeter! Re-attach the two cables back into the rear of the interior handle remembering to clip in the cable sleeves. The only tricky bit is first getting the tweeter end of the liner correctly located over the door lip. Once located, the rest pushes down over the lip quite readily but with a little force. The liner is quite secure with the top lip engaged. At this point retrieve the loom connectors and plug them back in to the window/mirror control unit and the courtesy light. You can fully fit the courtesy light but leave the window/mirror control unit hanging loose. The liner (for me) fell exactly into the right place and all the clips pushed back into place with a sharp rap from the heel of my hand. Refit the screw in the interior door handle and window control unit. Refit the door handle decal ( I put my original correctly coloured one back in to lessen the impact of the black colour) and push home the window control unit.
Job done! Check the window action is good, mirror controls, the speakers all work correctly, courtesy light works (it will light as soon as you re-connect it!) and the door opens and locks correctly.
The whole process took around 50 mins including me taking a gander at my old handle to ascertain what was wrong with it.
Hope that helps anyone who may have a similar problem. Don't be put off from trying, in all honesty, it really is not very difficult at all.......just be methodical.
Now the search begins, no rush though, to locate an interior door handle in the correct Taupe/Stone Grey colour. Anyone know what the colour is referenced as? Mind you I doubt a scrapper would be aware of any difference of colours.