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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I come out of work to leave for the day, go to open my car, and this happens...

Anyone else have their door handle break while opening the door? I am assuming I need a new handle but I wanted to ask before I pulled the door panel and ordered parts.
 

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Holy crap! I don't remember reading about this type of issue, so I don't think it's a common issue. As to whether or not you need a new door handle, the only way to tell would be to pop the door panel off and see if something broke or if something just came loose somehow. I would suspect that something broke, but you never know. You've taken the door panels off before and know that they're actually pretty easy to remove - although, I don't remember how accessible the backside of the door handle is...
 

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Looks like the fastener for the lock cylinder side of the handle came off.
 

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So, I come out of work to leave for the day, go to open my car, and this happens...

Anyone else have their door handle break while opening the door? I am assuming I need a new handle but I wanted to ask before I pulled the door panel and ordered parts.

My wife and I bought a new 2008 Impala LTZ. Within the first year, the LF and RF door handles pulled away from the door when it was opened (separate times). Both were replaced under warranty. The dealer said they were doing a lot of the handles under warranty and were keeping them in stock at the time. The rear doors rarely were used, so I suspect they did not pull out due to lack of use.

After the warranty expired, I replaced the LF and RR door actuators. Another common failure item on the 8th generation Impalas.

No inclement weather when our door handles broke - but do you live in an area with freezing temperatures? Have you ever pulled-open the door when the weatherstrip was frozen to the body? Just an idea, but maybe the plastic became stressed or fractured.

Later, I helped a friend replace the LF door handle on his Impala - easy, if you have basic mechanical skills.
 

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Only gm issue with door handles I am aware of as a common issue is the inside handles of the 90's models full sized trucks. Have replaced a few of them, have not seen the outer handle broken or loose like that on any cars or trucks. Probably the only way to know for sure what is broken is going to be to pop the door panel off and inspect. Sure you will report back to us with what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll try to reply to everyone here... There is no sign that anyone tried to break into my car... no scratches or any kind of forced damage around the handle area. That was actually my first thought, crap someone tried getting into my car. As far as the cold goes, it does get below freezing and I use these magnetic covers that go over the door handle to keep moisture off of the handle to prevent freezing. Seems to have worked well but I would guess it isn't 100% fool proof. I don't hear anything rattling around inside the door to indicate something broke apart but that doesn't mean anything really. The door panel is easy to remove so I guess I need to pull it and check it out. I will get to that hopefully this weekend and see what is up. I will let you all know what I find. Thank you for the suggestions.
 
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I actually had this happen a couple weeks ago!
My first thought was a break in, but then I realized earlier that day, I had pulled on the door handle seconds after unlocking and it didn’t budge. When I tried to close the door it bounced back because the latch mechanism got stuck. Later I found that the outside was loose like yours. I remove the door panel (there is a hidden screw under the red reflective plate (2006 at least), handle divot, and triangular plate near the mirror.
Just had to reach up into where the door handle is inside and tighten the nut inside and it was back in working order!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I took a minute today to look at the door handle closely. The threaded plastic inserts on the backside of the handle literally ripped themselves out of the assembly. I didn't have to remove the door panel to see this. I just pulled the handle a little further out and I could see how the inserts just broke away where the screws fasten in.

I ordered an aftermarket chrome handle on ebay today for the whopping total of $14.91 with free shipping. The GM handles are roughly $65-ish so I decided to take a chance on a cheap one. I will do a write up on this if anyone feels it would be beneficial. It looks straightforward... remove the door panel, undo the latch rod, remove screws, swap handles, screw it back in, attach rod, test it out before you reinstall the door panel...

As to how this broke... no idea if it just wore out, brittle plastic, maybe someone did try to break in and gave up? Tough to say but replacement is cheap enough and probably an hour to 90 mins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Install was as easy as I figured. Remove the door panel and then remove the weather shield to get to the handle. This what you will be looking at...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Three 10mm bolts hold the handle onto the door, along with the latch rod. Remove the 1 bolt on the right side either through the access hole with a socket and extension or skip the hole and get closer to the bolt. Then remove the 2 bolts on the left side, being careful not to drop them. Go ahead, ask why I said to be careful not to drop them... Nevermind... Once the bolts are out, push the handle out with the rod still attached. It is the only way to remove the rod from the handle. The key cylinder will stay in place on the door, but be loose. The bolts go through the holes on the cylinder plate and into the handle. Installation is the reverse. Slide the rod onto the handle first and then slip the handle on and tighten it up, good and tight, not Hercules tight. The threaded inserts are plastic. Pop the weather shield and door panel back on and you are done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This happened to me tonight, was hoping just to epoxy it and hope for the best. Great pics. Did you happen to fix the existing handle for a spare?
Sorry to take so long to reply... I need to turn my notification settings on for this forum, I keep forgetting...

No, I chucked the broken one in the trash. $15 for a replacement that is still holding up strong today is worth not bothering with the old one. Very easy fix. Don't waste money on a factory part unless you really want the GM part.
 

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Sorry to take so long to reply... I need to turn my notification settings on for this forum, I keep forgetting...

No, I chucked the broken one in the trash. $15 for a replacement that is still holding up strong today is worth not bothering with the old one. Very easy fix. Don't waste money on a factory part unless you really want the GM part.
Right on, I ordered one, cost me 22 dollars Canadian. Luckily I was still able to use it as it was. New one should be in soon and I’ll replace it in the spring. Should be a quick 30 min job I imagine. Thanks for the reply.
 
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