1996 Buick Regal repair of driver's door latch (out)

Tiny
CURT MASON
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 BUICK REGAL
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,200 MILES
In our most recent hard freeze, the car iced all over. I poured cold water over the door seals to de-ice, and it seemed to work well.
this happened 3 times in one night (i worked overnight). In one of the last times I went to open the driver's door, it would not open, although it was de-iced. I'm afraid I may have been overzealous since, at one point I felt the handle go 'light'.
i went in from the other door and managed to open it freely from inside. Then I got to work and even that did not work.
in the thaw, door opens from the inside most easily.
the outer latch feels like it is simply pulling a 'retraction spring'.
yes, I think I broke a cable or something.
tried to remove inner door panel but nothing budged.
aside from going to a dealer, any recommendations would be heartily welcome. Thanx - curt
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Thursday, February 18th, 2010 AT 1:47 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like you broke the handle where it attaches to the linkage. It is made of pot metal and not that strong.

To access it, you need to remove the door panel. Remove the arm rest, and any screws you can find. Some may be covered by plastic caps. After that, the panel will still be attached to the door by clips that are between the door and the panel. There is a special tool to prevent the clips from breaking, but if you are careful, you should be able to seperate the two without breaking any.

Once inside, disconnect the linkage from the handle and there are (2?) Bolts that hold the handle in place. Remove them and it will come off for you.

Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Joe
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 AT 1:24 PM
Tiny
WHEREWASI
  • MEMBER
HI,
I have a 96 Regal Gran Sport. My driver door handlenternal latch/lock mechanism failed. I actually have to open the door from the passenger side. I was able to buy the latch assembly, it's like a long bar that runs horizontally across the door. The inside door lever is on one end and the latch assembly is on the other end.
Anyway, when I took the door panel off I couldn't really figure out what the connectors were that were holding the latch assembly to the door frame. Are those rivets. They look almost like circular nuts on the outside of tiny rods. How does all that come apart? Any ideas?
Thanks,
Tom
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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 AT 1:18 AM

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