How Do Shaved Door Handles Work?

by Editorial Team


Car doors with "shaved" handles have had their handles removed and are opened by a remote-controlled keychain. A shaved door has a steel cable for the latch release inside the door, and a solenoid. The solenoid does the real work of unlocking and opening car doors. A standard 35-pound solenoid will unlock and open a car door wide enough to grab the door with a hand (which is why door handles are obsolete for this method of remote car entry).


The door handles are cut out of the vehicle using a wheel saw. The cutout section is removed from the vehicle. The cutout is measured or traced onto sheet metal, which is then cut and fitted over the section where the door handle was removed. The new plate is welded permanently to the door. The weld spots are sanded down with a sander or grinder, and any gaps are filled with liquid plastic. The paint is removed from the vehicle door. After sanding the door to a slick surface, the door is repainted. The solenoid is fixed vertically into the inner side of the car door. A steel cable is hooked onto the solenoid. The other end of the cable is mated with the latch release (a lever inside the door). When the button is pressed, the solenoid tugs on the steel cable, which in turn pulls the latch release that unlocks and opens the door.


When the button on a keychain remote is pressed, one or more doors pops open. Depending on the design of the keychain and the installation of the solenoid (one per door), the driver's door is the first to unlock and open. Pressing on the button twice will unlock and open the other doors. A separate button is included for locking the doors, and an additional button pops the trunk. The downside to shaved door handles is that doors can't be opened without the controller. Some shaved door handle packages, though, come with an emergency button that is installed underneath the car.

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