Question about 2003 Nissan Altima
How would I go about removing and replacing the Exterior door handle of a 2002 Nissan Altima. I have removed the trim and speaker already. I can't get to the bolts to remove the handle. The Haynes book shows a "large" access hole in the door for this procedure. Mine is a 2003 model. Is there a special tool, hole saw cut needed, or some other solution. It should not be this hard.
Look at the inside of the door directly behind the door handle. There should be a hole about 15 mm wide.
Just enough to get a small socket through.
Make sure the window is up.
Posted on Feb 03, 2009
I had the same problem (broken driver's exterior door handle) that I finally got around to tackling today. I found this thread because, like you guys, I assumed the bolt I couldn't get to was attached to the door frame because the handle wouldn't move after removing the two bolts I could gain access to. Well, I gave up trying, but a neighbor came over and helped. He assumed correctly that the third bolt is *not* attached to the door frame and is only used to fasten the locking mechanism!
It's difficult to remove the handle after removing the two frame bolts because the two metal rods and, separately, rubber "grips" at the top of the assembly provide enough force to fool you into thinking this.
To the best of my memory, he was somehow able to pop the bottom piece out. After CAREFUL wiggling, we first pried the pink latch off one of the rods with a flathead from the interior of the door. That was easy enough, but the red latch on the other rod was a bit more difficult. My memory has already faded as to the best method for disengaging this particular latch.
In any case, once the two rods are free from their plastic latches, you can wiggle the assembly down and out the exterior side enough to gain access to the "mystery bolt". Remove the third bolt holding the lock in place, then reverse the process using the new assembly!
My biggest problem after this was the dang window regulator! The trick here was to LOOSELY attach no other bolts but the lower regulator bolts (they have a silver "cup" washer with them on my 2003 Altima). I think we had to lower the window a bit with the electric switch to accomplish this feat. Once we grabbed a hold of the lower part of the regulator, we were then able to finagle LOOSELY attaching the upper counterparts. After that, we proceeded to re-attach the rest of the bolts, but had to raise the window again to line it all up evenly.
After we finally got it all on and the celebratory cheers died down, my neighbor left... but then I realized the plastic guard with the two interior handle cable rods didn't stay UNDER the black metal wall we just finished bolting back into place!!! NOOO!!! Fortunately, I was able to loosen enough bolts and PRY the plastic guard's flange back under the wall and re-tighten the bolts.
Phew! I surely hope this helps someone else!! --Matt
Posted on Aug 29, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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