How To Replace A Subaru Door Handle

Has your Subaru door handle seen better days? Is it loose, broken off, or just not helping you open the door as well as it should?

If you need to replace an exterior door handle on your Subaru, it’s easier than you think. In this tutorial, we’ll give you the basics of removing an old handle and then installing a new one in a safe and efficient way.

Tools To Get First

Before starting the project, make sure you have the following important tools on hand:

  • Screwdrivers: small flat blade and Phillips head
  • Interior trim tool set
  • 10mm socket
  • Ratchet and extensions
  • Razor blade
  • Of course, you will also need a replacement door handle ready, too.

Ordering A Replacement Door Handle

Subaru OEM Door Handle

When ordering a replacement car part, the first decision you have to make is whether to buy an OEM part or an aftermarket part. If you ask us, OEM is the far better choice because OEM parts are built better and will last longer than aftermarket parts.

Some people decide to go the aftermarket route because aftermarket parts are typically considerably cheaper than OEM parts. When it comes to car parts, you get what you pay for.

We understand why getting an aftermarket part may be tempting, though. OEM parts can be pretty expensive. However, they’re not always expensive. At, you can find genuine OEM Subaru parts, including replacement door handles, at wholesale pricing.

Once you have your replacement door handle ready, take the steps outlined below.

Replacing The Door Handle

Replacing Subaru Door Handle

Image Credit: 1A Auto

We based this set of instructions on the 2008 Outback model, but you should be able to follow it with some other Subaru models.

  1. Open the door (with the handle that you want to replace) and then roll down the window.
  2. With the flat blade screwdriver, remove the trim piece on the opposite side of the side mirror.
  3. Remove the trim piece from the interior door handle.
  4. Remove the trim piece from the window controls. You will need to unscrew a few screws, as well.
  5. Go around the edge of the door panel and then carefully pop off the clips behind it.
  6. Lift the door panel and then pull it back.
  7. Disconnect all of the cables and connectors from the door panel.
  8. Remove the speakers from the door.
  9. Disconnect the rest of the cables attached to the door.
  10. With a trim tool, peel back the plastic sheet covering the door and then set it aside.
  11. Reach the door lock inside the door and then pop it off.
  12. Now you’ll see a 10mm bolt. Remove it with the 10mm socket and ratchet.
  13. There’s another bolt on top of the door handle (from the inside of the door). Remove it, as well.
  14. Pull out the door lock and the metal piece that the bolt was holding in place.
  15. With one hand on the handle (on the exterior of the door), hold up the handle while gently wiggling it loose from the inside. Pull out the handle.
  16. Install the new handle and then put everything back together in the reverse order of removal.

You’re welcome to contact us if you have any questions about the replacement process or finding the right part number for your Subaru model.