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Car and Truck Exterior Door Handles

The exterior door handles on your car or truck are both functional and aesthetic. This is why it is important to carefully choose a model of vehicle handle that will not only function at optimal performance but also match the style of your vehicle.

How do you paint or refinish exterior door handles?

Painting the door handles of your vehicle enhances the look and can also help protect these parts from rust and weathering. These are the most important steps and things to consider when painting your vehicle door handle:

  • What material is the vehicle handle? Metal and plastic can both be hard for paint to adhere to, so it's important to pick a paint specifically for these materials.
  • First, wash the vehicle handles with soapy water, and then dry well.
  • If the handles are plastic, sand them briefly with a medium-grit sandpaper to enhance paint adhesion.
  • Apply a primer; you should use oil-based for plastic handles and etching primer for metal handles.
  • Coat the handle with your desired paint and then follow the instructions on the bottle to make sure it cures properly.
How do you install door handles?

First, it is important to make sure your door handle is the correct size to avoid any damage to the handle or your car or truck. You should be able to find the correct dimensions by looking in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, searching online, or asking your mechanic. Then, follow the steps below.

  • Locate the fastener, which you can typically find in the door jamb.
  • Apply painter’s tape around the existing door handle to protect the paint on your car door.
  • Remove the bolts from the old handle using the appropriate hardware, and then slide the handle from the door.
  • Slide the smaller end of the new door handle into the slot first, and then insert the larger end. Make sure to reconnect any necessary electrical connections.
  • Check to make sure the position of the handle is correct before you put the fastener back in the door jamb.
How do you clean exterior door handles?

Cleaning door handles is essential to prevent the buildup of rust or dirt.

  • Wash the exterior side of your vehicle door with soapy water.
  • For any particularly tough stains, you may need to use an alcohol-based or other specific cleaning spray.
  • If there are any scratches in the finish of the handle, use a specific scratch-removing compound and a microfiber cloth to gently buff them out.