Author Topic: Common car fix made nearly free  (Read 517 times)

Car Jack

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Common car fix made nearly free
« on: March 29, 2019, 07:15:29 AM »
Wednesday, as I was coming home, I stopped to get the mail at the end of the driveway in my 09 Ford fusion.  I pulled the door handle and......nothing.  I check to see if somehow it's locked and nope.  Roll the window down and open using the outside handle without issue.

On to the interwebs and this is such a common problem with these cars that there are a million youtube videos how to fix and everyone sells the part for $40 to $50 with sketchy looking sites at $10 and who knows how much to ship from Mongolia. 

I happen to have time yesterday after taking the day off to bring my son to 2 doctor appointments, which ended early, so off to the junkyard I go.  This place has a $2 entry fee and you go find what you need and take it out yourself.  For little stuff, they just wave you through.  I find the row of Fusions, open the first door and the handle is broken.  Uh, oh.  On to the next and it's good.  Whew.  I pull another and while I'm at it get a passenger one, just in case.  They wave me through at the out gate.  So for a little time doing fun stuff (my son and I sometimes go in just to wander around for fun) and a whole $2, I'm good to go with a spare for both driver and passenger doors, should they break in the future.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Common car fix made nearly free
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2019, 01:23:02 PM »
Yeah, a few generations of Corolla have a similar issue.  It's so common, in fact, that Autozone started carrying interior door handles for Corollas (seriously!).

After replacing it twice, I got fed up with it.  The next new handle got some metal reinforcement (i.e. I drilled a hole through the center of the plastic pivot that always breaks, and inserted a hot, slightly-larger-diameter nail).

Junkyards/salvage yards are indeed awesome.  The price for parts is ridiculously low, and I think it's kinda fun to pull your own parts.  One of the yards near me even posts their vehicle inventory online, so you know not only what vehicles they have, but where they're parked in the lot and how long they've been there (and therefore how likely to be picked clean).

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Common car fix made nearly free
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 12:06:44 PM »
Awesome job, not only on fixing it yourself but that you're teaching your son the value of re-using parts. 
Makes me want to figure out a way to incorporate a junkyard field trip into elementary school curriculum...

Zolo, nice work on improving the design. Now that the pivot is reinforced, what's the new weakest link?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Common car fix made nearly free
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 03:32:52 PM »
Zolo, nice work on improving the design. Now that the pivot is reinforced, what's the new weakest link?
Dunno.  It hasn't broken in the 7ish years since I did it.  Of course, the car now being 24 years old, it's starting to show its age--in the last two years I've done a timing belt ($200 kit), some ignition components ($100), an exhaust pipe ($80), the headliner ($50 in materials), and the radiator ($60).  I've polished the headlights ($10) and replaced some sway bar bushings ($5).  The motor mounts need to be replaced (they're on order, $45), and the windshield needs to be replaced (dumb kids, $250).  All that said, the parts that I replace will be good for another many-tens-of-thousands-of-miles, AND spread over 3 years, it's waaaaay cheaper than any sort of car payment.  And the car runs like a top.  The engine and transmission are smooth, the A/C and heat work great, and literally everything except the radio (which I never use anyway) runs exactly like it should.