How hard is it to replace the rear sliding door handle on a 2004 toyota sienna?

Asked by May 15, 2011 at 05:49 PM about the 2004 Toyota Sienna

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I understand that the handles are the same for both sides. We pulled to hard on the handle and the handle at one end broke off

17 Answers


That just happened to me today. We have a 2004 Sienna. I'm due with our 4th baby in about a month, so I really need those doors working. How hard was this fix for you? Any tips?

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.

Hi,if you haven't fixed yet this may be helpfull.I have a 2004 sienna xle awd .Last week the driver side sliding door handle broke .I got one from Toyota for about CND 60 ,comes color coded and looks like fits either side.First time doing this,took me about 4 hrs,It's doable if you know what you are doing.I took door trim off,removed the panel with the door latch to get to the handle,took handle right out because couldn;t figure out how to install new handle.When door is open look at the level of the door handle therte is a black plastic plug on the safety strip,remove plug and with a torx bit remove the bolt from the handle & remove that part of the handle.From thge inside hold down on the rod that connects the handle to the latch and you should be able to slide the new handle right in,I hope this helps you.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

this place has all new door handles for a 199-2003 Toyota Sienna van for $124 something. You cannot beat that deal. It took me around 2 hours to replace all the door handles, back, and 4 side doors. They may have a kit for the 2004 Toyota Sienna.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I was looking for handles on-line, but found out the best way is to purchase the handle from your Toyota parts department. It cost me around $45 U.S. and as the previous poster mentioned it's color coded so it matches. If you buy an aftermarket handle you have to paint it yourself and it costs about the same before being painted. Anyway I found out you don't have to remove door panel on the inside if you're careful and the broken piece inside the door is still within reach. All you need to do is look for the black plastic plug on the front of the sliding door. Take the plug off and use a torx bit to loosen the bolt. The bolt holds the front piece to keep the handle in place. Once you remove the front piece you can carefully remove the broken part of the handle that's still in the door. I used a long nosed plier to do this since my broken handle piece slid to the back when I removed the front piece. Once you remove the piece you'll see a black metal switch/hook/prong/actuator that opens the door. I slipped a shoelace over it and pulled to test it. You'll need a string/shoelace to hold it open while you install the handle. While holding the door actuator open slide the new handle in place. The handle need to catch the actuator switch when you slide the handle towards the back when installing. Once the new handle is in place carefully pull your string/shoelace out. Put the front piece back in and test.. If it works tighten the torx bolt back, put the rubber plug in and you're done.

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.

Fantastic! These instructions worked really well for me. I'd like to add a few points. 1. Re: loosening the torx screw: I wondered whether I'd need to remove the screw. NO and there might be a risk of the screw dropping out to the inside bottom of the door, so simply loosen enough to remove the broken piece. I recommend holding your torx driver in the torx screw head while you remove the broken piece of the handle. Once the piece is removed, you might tighten the screw a few turns to ensure that it stays in the screw hole. 2. RE: the "black metal switch / hook / prong / actuator that opens the door:" You'll see two openings where the door handle was. The front opening is where the door handle broke and where you just removed the broken piece. The rear edge of this front opening is where you'll find this downward pointing latch hook. It's relatively easy to stick a 2" loop of the shoe string in under and up to catch this latch hook. Once you hook the latch hook, you pull the hook toward you to pop the door latch and to hold it in place while installing the door handle. 3. Re: "The handle needs to catch the actuator switch when you slide the handle towards the back when installing:" A couple things to note before you start. Firstly, make sure that the gasket that fits over the edges of front opening is in place. Secondly, note the little tabs on the top and bottom of the gasket very close to where the latch hook is and then note the corresponding channels in the handle's hook. So, while angling the rear part of the handle into the rear opening and beginning to slide the handle toward the rear, you should try to align the tabs in the gasket with the channels in the handle's hook before pushing the front of the handle in.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

This was a great solution. It took me 5 minutes to complete!! I did have to remove the cover piece that the torx screw held in order to remove the broken piece and install the new handle. The screw stayed in place instead of falling into the door. The shoe lace loop is key. Don't tie a knot to keep the loop. Once the switch lever is in front of the new handle part, just pull the string out. Thank you very much for posting this!! Saves lots of money from the dealer doing it!!! Matt

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Oh man, what an excellent set of posts! I too broke my sliding door on my 2004 Sienna. Thought I was going to be hours removing the door panel trim etc. but just had to pop out that rubber grommet, loosen the torx -30 bolt, removed the wedge shaped door handle trim piece. Then removed the broken part of the handle that was inside the latch mechanism. Ran kite string in a loop around the latch lever as suggested and with the right combo of wiggling and cursing, lined up the handle and latch. 10 minute job for me. What a relief. Thank you, thank you, thank you ! By the way, $67CAD from Toyota, and color matched. Steve

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

These posts saved me $347. The dealer claimed that the center hinge was "sagging" so parts alone was 181.45 plus 2 hours labor was going to be $392.45. The color-coded handle from the dealer was $45. I can't see anything wrong with the center hinge AT ALL. I agree you're probably better off getting the part through dealer or body shop that can get them color-coded - regular parts store was more $ and black. These tips also worked for our 2005 Sienna. Note that you do not have to remove the trim around the interior door handle. I did it anyway because at first I thought I'd have to get at the actuator from the inside. The 2005 has a plastic piece under the torx bolt that keeps the bolt from falling into the door - I didn't trust it too much but it worked. You need to get your string loop in the right spot on the actuator when pulling it. Wear a glove on that hand if your string is thin so it doesn't cut into your hand like it did me - it takes some force to hold it out while you fiddle around with the new handle. This all started with a frozen door and yanking on the handle broke it. When I look at how mine broke, I see it as a design flaw. When you're yanking the door forward to close it, you're constantly stressing one little bit of plastic about a third of an inch thick. I'll give it credit for lasting 8 years, but it needs to be beefier.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Great post. Couldn’t find color coded door handles so bought replacements online. $40 each. Had local auto body put paint and install. They couldn’t get the door handles to work so I guess I’ll be following all your instructions and tips this weekend.


Thanks to all above for the pointers.Once I figured out the latch, I had great results using a piece of lightweight whipper snipper line. It is a little easier to aim in order to hook under the latch from below and guide upward. Hope this helps.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you so much for this!!!! It took me a while to figure out that the black plug was on the inside edge of the door, but once I did, it was a 5-minute fix. I bought my handle from the dealership for about $30. Also, mine is a 2005.


Thank you so much for these posts. I was able to fix the handle myself! I was concerned that the torx bolt would fall in the door but it stays in place once loosened. After that it took me 5 minutes, I couldn't believe how easy it was. I kept opening and closing the door in amazement.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you from us as well!!! Our 2004 van is slowly falling apart and it feels good to be able to fix something on it. It was actually a safety issue for us when my youngest daughter enabled the child safety lock and we were unable to open the door from the inside as well, until we found out you can reach in the little space and undo the safety with the door shut. They were constantly getting in the car on the street side, before we figured this out. The new handle almost looks out of place on the door :)

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Great fix but not a complete answer as some Siennas do not have an access through the front of door. In my case a 2002 Sienna LXE, you must take off the door panel to reach the two bolts holding the door handle. Not very hard but substantially different but answers posted above.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Exactly, because this fix is for a 2nd generation Sienna, not a 1st gen one. So it only applies for 2004-2010 Siennas.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks to all for posting this helpful information. I thought I would add a few comments that might help others piece it all together. I loosened the torx screw about 4 or 5 turns, not even sure if it's possible for it to go completely out and fall into the door. (The screwdriver points aft when loosening the torx screw) When installing the new handle, use a string as the other posts described (I used that white plastic string at Lowes exit to tie things down). Insert the aft end of handle first, then pull the metal latch/finger/hook all the way outboard using the string. To get the fore end of the handle in place, place it just barely deep enough into the hole so it can slide aft (but deep enough to get the handle latch behind the metal latch/hook/finger). If you insert the handle too far into the hole, it might not be able to slide aft (and it has to slide aft to get in proper position). Once handle is in place, reinstall the other piece that is forward of the handle (ie, that's the piece that the torx screw holds) I had a hard time getting the torx screw to catch the threads on the piece... realized the bracket piece that houses the torx screw (just inside the hole) had gotten pushed inboard too far, so I had to pull it out until it snapped/clipped back into place, then it was easy to get the torx screw threaded. Check multiple dealers for color-matched handles, the 1st dealer I called asked 67$ but the 2nd dealer asked 48$ (US$). Both said it would be available within a few days.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the guidance. I wrestled with mine for an hour trying to slide the handle into place before I realized that the wire I was using didn't pull the plastic tab out far enough. I stuck my finger in and pulled the tab almost out of the door, then held it in place with the wire, set the back end of the handle almost all the way in place and easily engaged the tab with the front of the handle and sent it home. The color-matched handle cost $42.71 including shipping and I got it in three days from Metro Toyota in Kalamazoo.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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