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Scott K
Scott K, GMC Technician
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 1569
Experience:  several years of GMC experience
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I have a 1999 Chevy Tahoe. The drivers inside door handle

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I have a 1999 Chevy Tahoe. The driver's inside door handle does not operate properly. When exiting the car, I have to pull the handle all the way rearward.   Upon reaching the stops, I have to pull a little harder to open the door. I have two questions. First, how do I remove the door panel without damaging the panel? Second, where is the likely problem?

I have replaced the outer door handle about 5 years ago. The outer door handle is operating normally.

Hello and welcome to just answer,


There is a lever on the handle that pulls the latch rod that typically cracks and lengthens

the distance need to pull the latch, to repair this the inside door handle is replaced, sometime the latch rods stretch at the bends also and you can shorten them a bit by bending them a little.


I am sending instructions for door panel and door handle replacement.


You will need a door panel tool to pry the door panel retainers from the door you will also need a drill and bit to drill out door handle rivet, you will need a rivet gun to reinstall the rivet, (you can use a screw in place of the rivet but not recommended)


Also you will want to get a few extra door panel retainers because a couple will usally break in the process of removing take one of your old ones to the part house to match it up, I have done several dozen of these and always manage to break one or two.


Below is an example picture of the door panel tool, a part house will typically have these for around 5-10 dollars each.



First, Door Handle Bezel Replacement (Front Door)


  • Insert a flat blade tool between the door inside bezel and the handle assembly.

  • Carefully bend outward the retaining clips while pulling out the bezel.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with power locks, disconnect the wiring connector.


    Next, Power Accessory Switch Panel



  • Use a flat blade tool in order to carefully pry the door accessory mounting panel from the door trim panel.


    Next, Upper Extension Trim Panel


    This is the triangle piece on the inside directly behind the mirror there is one door panel clip here and use the door panel tool to get behind it to remove.


    Next, Door Trim Panel


  • Using a flat blade tool, carefully pry off the trim panel armrest screw cover in order to access the screw.
  • Remove the trim panel armrest screw.
  • Using the door panel tool , carefully pry the retainer from the retainer seats.
  • Disconnect the courtesy light connector, if necessary.
  • Remove the trim panel from the door.
  • Remove the courtesy lamp lens or the reflector.

  • Pull the retainers from the slot in the trim panel.
  • Remove the retainers.


    Next, Inside Door Handle Replacement.


  • Remove the inside door handle assembly by completing the following steps:

    Drill out the rivet head using a 5-mm (0.2-in) drill bit.
    Slide forward the door handle.

  • Disconnect the control rods from the handle and the lock lever.
  • Connect the control rods to the handle and the lock lever.

  • Install the inside door handle by completing the following steps:
  • Insert the handle assembly into the slot.
    Slide the assembly to the rear.
    Using the Rivet Gun , install the handle rivet.


    Reverse to install replace any broken door panel retainers.


    Let me know if anything is unclear or if you have more questions


    Scott K

  • Scott K and 4 other GM Specialists are ready to help you
    Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    Thanks Scott. I think this will help. I am going to make the assumption that when I dimantle the door panel that I will damage some of hte DOOR PANEL RETAINING CLIPS. Can I get replacements at an auto parts store or do i need to go to the dealer.

    You can get them usually at an auto parts store. They are a hard plastic 2 peice design that holds the door panel well, but do poor job of turning loose.


    Thanks for the accept and positive feedback.


    If you get in the middle of this and have questions just reply back


    Scott K