After the extremely rare winter storm, I went outside to open the passenger door (Toyota Corolla 2002). The left side of door handle came out much further than it should have and the door would not open. It opens fine from inside the car but not from the outside. Can this be fixed without going to a mechanic?
That depends. When you opened it from the inside did it take a bit of force to do so? And does the condition persist in the middle of the day when the temps get up above freezing? After getting it open from the inside can you then easily close it and then open it from the outside?
Your 2 possibilities are: 1) the door was frozen shut - the weatherstripping froze to the car body. If so, then clean up the contact points for the door and then lubricate all of your weatherstripping with silicon. 2) the linkage for the door handle is broken. fixing it will require removal of the interior door panel. If you think you want to do that then you might not need a mechanic. But honestly, if you have to ask then you’re probably better off with a mechanic.
It sounds like the door was frozen shut and you damaged the handle mechanism by pulling too hard. If that’s the case and you want to fix this yourself, you’ll have to take the inside panel off and see exactly what’s broken. You might be able to find replacement parts at a junkyard if you’re trying to save money.
The car door opens from the inside and shuts from the outside just fine.
And you’re probably right oabout the mechanic. It just the $$$$