More Sienna door handle issues


#1

It’s time, once again, to replace a broken door handle on my Sienna.

Are ALL old Siennas plagued with terrible outer door handles, or is it just mine? Yeah, I know that my car is almost 20 years old, but still

It seems odd to me that a company which builds otherwise excellent vehicles cheaps out on door handles. Why are they made of THIN plastic? Or is this normal for most cars of that vintage?

So far, I’ve replaced both outer handles on the passenger right side, and improvised a JB-Weld repair on the rear hatch handle, and now the driver side handle is toast. The price range for replacements is vast. AutoZone and O"Reilly’s have Dorman brand for $75-$80, the latter includes lifetime warranty. Of course products made by Elcheapo Inc are available from Amazon, about $10.

Does anyone have any experience comparing Dorman vs Elcheapo Inc vs Somebodyelse Corp.? Oh yeah…vs Toyota OEM? Is Dorman really 8 times better? The two Elcheapo handles I’ve bought look just the same as the OEM - except for paint - which broke (after 19 years). Amazon raters complain about the fit of the cheapies.

If the front handles weren’t so difficult to change, I’d have no hesitation about buying the $10 Elcheapos and replacing them every time I change oil, but wiggling my hand into that tiny space is painful.


#2

My 99 Corolla plastic inner door handles broke this year due to 20 years of sun exposure.I replaced the front handles and choose the ebay vendor autoparts12 because it cost me $20 for 4 matching door handles.They look exactly like OEM with matching color and texture and the fit is perfect. I did not buy the Doorman product because the texture was wrong.


#3

I had a 98 Sienna which had this same problem. I replaced them with Dormans bought from Amazon. The replacements all fit fine and never broke - including the lift gate latch/handle - while I had that van. I sure do miss it.


#4

2004 Chevy Avalanche, I have replaced all 4 door handles. Toyota is not the only one. So what? Cheap and easy job.


#5

I worked on a Toyota that had poorly designed outer handles too.

I had replaced the handle twice for this young girl already.

The third replacement I examined the handle mechanism real well.
I’d have to look at the original to tell you where, but I put a pop rivet somewhere to keep the handle from opening all the way. It still opened the door, but was unable to move far enough to cause breakage.
The pop rivet acted as a stop or bumper.

Yosemite


#6

Hey @Yosemite, that’s a great suggestion. I can vaguely visualize the mechanism and have a bit of an idea what you mean. I’ll be diving into that Saturday and will see what I can figure out for improvising. I’m inclined to look for a way to fasten the unsupported thin plastic to the metal it rests against, so that the plastic doesn’t have so much strain. Thank you!

When the slider door handle broke last summer, I made a solid JB weld repair on it, but before I re-installed it, I realized that there was one other vital piece which had also broken and also needed similar attention. By then, my $10 replacement had arrived from Amazon, so I never finished the repair. The cost of the new handle was less than the cost of my time to sculpt a new JB Weld work-of-art.