How to Replace the Door Latch on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The door latch in the Vehicles is responsible Vehicles holding the door closed once it's been shut. The jaws in the latch mechanism wrap around a striker located in the door well and do not release the striker until the door handle is pulled. The door locks act on the latch, preventing it from opening when the door is shut. The latch is subject to violent impact with the stud every time the door is closed, and sooner or later it is bound to wear out.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Door Latch on a GMC Suburban

Park the Suburban on a flat surface and turn off the vehicle's engine. Apply its parking brake.

Remove the armrest trim cover with a flat-head screwdriver.

Take out the screw from the plastic door handle with a Phillips head screwdriver and pull the handle off the door.

Remove the ten black clips around the edge of the interior door panel with a flat-head screwdriver. Remove the door panel.

Take out the four screws from the locking mechanism and pull it off, making sure to pry off the latch cable.

Remove the door latch from the exterior of the vehicle using a flat-head screwdriver.

Place a replacement latch onto the door and reattach the door locking mechanism cable to the latch. Reattach the locking mechanism and secure it by reinstalling the four screws.

Reattach the door panel and its clips. Reinstall the door handle and its one screw. Reattach the armrest trim cover. Close the door and test the door latch.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips head screwdriver

 How to Replace a Door Latch on a Ford Expedition

Remove the trim panels from the door panel to access the fasteners holding the panel to the door. Depending on the year and trim level of your Expedition, there may only be one or several. Remove the window switch bezel with the trim tool and disconnect the window switch by using a pocket screwdriver to depress the retaining clip as you pull the wiring connector out of the switch.

Use the socket set to remove the door panel fasteners. Older Expeditions may have trim pins holding the door panel in place. If this applies to your Expedition, use the trim tool to pull the trim pins out of their seats in the door. Pull the door panel up and off, then set it to the side. Peel the watershield away from the door at the back, near the latch, so you can get to the access holes in the door.

Look inside the door with the flashlight and locate the latch assembly. Loosen the latch fasteners from the trailing edge of the door on the outside with the socket wrench and Torx bit. Before pulling the fastener completely out, reach into the door and grab hold of the latch to prevent it from falling down into the door.

Pull the latch rod and lock actuator rod off the latch by hand and take the latch out of the door.

Insert the replacement latch assembly into the door in reverse of how the old one was removed. Connect the lock and latch rods to the latch assembly, then position it so you can insert the Torx fasteners through the door from the outside and into the door latch assembly. Tighten the fasteners down with the socket and Torx bit set.

Reinstall the watershield and door panel in reverse of removal.

Items you will need

  • Pocket screwdriver

  • Trim tool

  • Socket set

  • Torx set

  • Flashlight

  • Replacement latch assembly

 How to Replace the Door Latch on a Taurus

Remove the two screws that are securing the control panel to the door rest with a screwdriver. Pull off the control panel and disconnect the electrical cable.

Remove the screw that is securing the door latch cup to the door and then pull it out. Remove the five screws around the perimeter of the door panel that are used to secure it to the door.

Pry along the edge of the door panel with the screwdriver to release the plastic connectors. Pull the door panel off of the door and set it aside.

Remove the bolt that is used to secure the window regulator support bar to the door with a socket wrench. Slide the regulator support bar out of the way to access the door latch.

Remove the top part of the door key cylinder rod that is connected to the key cylinder lever.

Open the retainer that is used to connect the control rod for the outside door handle to the front door latch. Unplug the electrical connector for the door-ajar switch that is connected to the door latch.

Locate the three screws that are used to secure the front door latch to the door and remove them with the screwdriver. Pull the door latch out of the door and remove the remaining cables that are attached to the door latch.

Attach the cables you removed in the previous step to the new door latch. Insert the new door latch into the door and secure it with the screws.

Plug the electrical connector for the door-ajar switch into the door latch. Reconnect the top part of the cylinder rod to the cylinder lever.

Move the window regulator support bar back into place and secure it the with the bolt.

Re-attach the door panel to the door to complete the project.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket wrench

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