From the inside, outside, or both? If only from the outside, there is a simple adjustment for that.
February, 23, 2011 AT 8:19 PM
Thank you for answering. It is both the outside and inside. Maybe I could try the outside adjustment, just to see if it works. Thanks.
February, 23, 2011 AT 9:05 PM
When the adjustment is needed the door will still open from the outside if you pull up real hard on the handle. Some people even break the metal lever off the part of the handle that is inside the door from pulling so hard. By the way, the handles have two levers so if one breaks off, you can transfer a little plastic clip to the other lever and use it on the other side of the car.
The adjustment requires an Allen wrench, either a 5/32" or 3/16", I can't remember. Open the door and look on the back side of it near the latch. There is a slightly curved slot, about 3/4" long and maybe 1/4" wide. You'll find the screw head just inside that slot. Loosen the screw about one turn, pull up on the handle then let it snap back a few times, then tighten the screw. I think you can even leave the wrench in there while you work the handle.
It takes way longer to type all that than it takes to make the adjustment. That shouldn't affect the inside handle. The two handles use different linkages. If the inside one doesn't work, you will likely end up removing the door panel to look inside. I would have to look at the latch to see if something is broken. You can look at the linkages. Each lever on the latch has a small hole in it, then a plastic clip is stuck through that hole. The linkage is a long metal rod with a 90 degree bend on the end. That bend goes through the plastic clip, then the clip is rotated and snapped onto the linkage. Those clips do not break very often but if one does, the linkage could fall out of the lever. You will feel that when the handle moves very easily with no normal resistance. You might even hear the linkage flopping around when you work the handle.
Also, if any work was recently done that involved adjusting the striker, (that's the fat pin the latch catches on by the rear of the door opening), it could have been left with too little tension. When you pull the handle, the latch will let go of that pin, but it takes the pressure from the compressed weatherstrip to pop the door open. You will have to push against the door from the inside to get it open, but when that's the problem it can be hard to open from the outside because you're pulling on a handle that is straight out. You have to squeeze it with your fingers to get a grip on it. If you can open the door from inside by pushing hard against it and the handle seems to work okay, I can tell you how to adjust the striker. If it hasn't been monkeyed with, it shouldn't be the problem.
Look closely at the latch where the hook is visible on the back of the door. That hook originally had a coating of white plastic to quiet it from rattling against the striker. That plastic will be chewed up. Sometimes a piece of it gets caught in the latch. Some strikers also have a white or black plastic sleeve that gets chewed up. That typically doesn't cause a problem opening the door. The edge of the door skin next to the latch can catch on that plastic and cause a clicking sensation when you open or close the door. Just trim the plastic off to solve that. A lot of strikers are just metal with no plastic sleeve.