I am unable to open the back hatch on the Toyota because the exterior plastic latch handle broke. I don't believe there is a lever inside that pops it open. I want to open it if possible, and then I want to get the part, and fix the outside handle so my wife can use the hatch again.
I am not sure how easy this is to do for a thoughtful newbie. I replaced the shower fixtures inside the house recently and that wasn't too bad, but I may be over my head on this auto fix. Any feedback would be great. Thanks.
YOU HAVE TO TAKE OFF THE DOOR PANEL ON THE INSIDE OF THE HATCH, IF IT WONT OPEN YOU HAVE TO DO IT FROM THE INSIDE, THEN THERE ARE 3 10MM BOLTS YOU TAKE OUT AND THE HANDLE AND PLATE LIGHT BRACKET WILL COME OUT AND YOU CAN REPLACE THE HANDLE... FYI MOST TIMES THE HANDLE BREAKS BECAUSE YOUR ACTUAL LATCH IS RUSTED OR FROZEN SO YOU MAY NEED TO REPLACE BOTH!!
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I had the very same problem with my 2002 Saab 9-3 after I manually moved the trunk latch to the locked position "out of curiosity..." Then I noticed there is a handle you can pull to release latch opening it up! Very simple remedy... It is a glow in the dark green plastic handle hanging down when the trunk/hatch is open dead center, just in slightly behind latch... Gently pull handle until you hear and see the latch click into the open position...Let me know how You make out. BTW: Toyota Camry has the same set up,same color as well...lol Good Luck!
Had this same problem on my 2000 Sienna. You have to purchase a new handle mechansm and install it from the inside. To do that you will need to crawl into the back of the van and remove the plastic cover. Once this is done you can snake a screwdriver in and pop the broken latch open. Then it is just a matter of unscrewing the old latch mechanism out and screwing in the new one, making sure to replace the latch wires appropriately.
The same thing happened to us. We have a 2000. The
fix is easy, sort of. From the inside of the van, remove the bolts
holding the handle and the pull ******** the hatch (inside). Then,
starting from the top of the window, remove the plastic molding. It just
snaps off. After you remove the top window plastic, then remove the
molding on either side of the window, and finally, the large piece
covering the inside of the hatch. Once you remove all the plastic, you
will see a cable leading to the hatch clasp at the bottom of the door.
Just pull the cable and the hatch will open.
Other comments tell us thet, if
you can remove the inner door panel you will see a maze of cables
running to the various locking points on the sliding door. If the cable
going to the front latch on the sliding door is broken (or in my case,
simply dislodged inside the door) the door acts as if it is frozen shut.
The front cable is short, and easily replaced even by a newbie mechanic. Keep us updated.
the sequoia hatchback handle breaking is a known problem due to the extremely low quality of the plastic. 1st you have to open the back door! there is a small pin to the right side of the hatchback door exterior handle. bend a coat hanger and put it on the small pin, pull down and the door will open. Then remove inside panel and you can undo screws and replace the hatchback door handle.
There are plastic clips that hold the rods in place - one for the rod that goes to the exterior handle and another that goes to the exterior lock. You need to snap the plastic clips around so they release and then the rods will pull right out.
If you still have the broken piece, you can try to use that to try to open the back. Otherwise, you have to open it from the inside. I changed mine in 2007 so if memory serves me, I had to remove the back panel and pull on the cable to open the door.
Now to see and pull on the cable, and replace the latch, you have to take off the inside liner/panel to get to the latch to replace it. This took about 2 careful hours to replace.
The trick is to get the two side pieces off. These two plastic pieces are next to the window on the left and right sides. Each piece is about 3 inches wide and 18 inches long. Using a strong grip, or a pry bar or large screwdriver, take off both pieces. There are three clip areas that holds each piece in.
If you are using a tool, be careful to protect the area by wrapping a towel on the screwdriver/tool.
After that the bottom liner piece pulls away and you can see the latch. There are two screws/bolts that holds the latch.
The two pieces snaps back in pretty easily.
You probably broke the plastic piece shaped like a J. You can try to glue the pieces back, but note that the piece broke due to age. I changed the whole assembly - good for another 7 yrs. I could not find just the plastic piece
The handle that broke had a little 'finger' that actuated the release mechanism. The only way to open the back hatch is to remove the inner panel and push on the release mechanism.
Once off, you can either a) buy a replacement handle (expensive) or b) do what I did and simply make a piece of L-shaped metal to lever the release mechanism from the outside.
If your handle is completely off of the door you can look up under the little plastic cover (that hides the handle) and see the slot on the right side that the release handle inserts into. You need to stick the lever into that slot, and angle it down about 30 degrees from horizontal to get under the latch mechanism, which unlocks the hatch if you pry it upwards.