Driver's door handle replacement on 2005 Buick Lacrosse CXL

WHen I went to get into the car today, most of the door handle came loose . It appears that the handle assembly fractured where two screws hold it in place from inside the door. I was able to get it back inside and the handle will work if I hold the right side of the assembly where the key would be inserted and gently pull the handle only to the point of allowing the catch to release. I have found many replacement handles on line at a reasonable price but no instructions on getting it installed.

Are there any tricks that I have to be aware of in removing the inside door panel and getting to the handle assembly replaced?

Thanks in advance for any information that you might be able to provide.

The trim panel comes off after removing nuts, screws, bolts and prying off the plastic retainers. You most likely will ruin the plastic retainers. After that the handle will unbolt.
Paint the new handle before installing

The factory manual would show you exactly where the fasteners are and whether they are screws or the plastic trees. There will be plastic covers over the screws so pry open carefully. Might have to remove inside door handle, window switch block etc. to access everything. You might be able to google and get a diagram of the door panel if you search the on line gm parts places. Small hands are helpful.

Chuck, I Advise Buying A Door Trim Panel Retainer Clip Tool. Door Panels Are Expensive. I Own One And The Tool Is Inexpensive And Works Better & Easier Than A Screw Driver.

The end of the tool is forked and designed to straddle each clip as you pry them away. Also, the tool has a bend, unlike a screw driver, and makes it work better. I would think you could become the proud owner for 5 to 10 bucks, available at an auto parts store.

As others have pointed out, make sure any screws or other retainers are removed before prying the perimeter clips. Door arm rest/handles almost always have screws (unless they hook/unhook while being removed/installed), even if hidden at first glance.

The trim panel will likely need to be lifted vertically after it’s released to disengage it from the window opening slot, up top.

Once released, the panel will be connected by elecrical wires that will have to be unplugged before moving the panel away. You will probably have a water deflector panel to remove or partially remove and reinstall, too. It’s not rocket science, but take your time.

If it sounds like too much then go to a body shop. Those guys can do this in their sleep and probably won’t charge you much. Call one and see.