How to Replace Silverado Exterior Door Handles

The exterior door handles on your Silverado are an extremely important part of the body on the truck. If a door handle breaks or becomes inoperable, you need to replace it if you wish to continue to use the door as a means of entering the vehicle. This is not a difficult task, and it only takes basic skills in order to do the replacement.

Tools Needed

  • 9/32-inch socket
  • 10mm socket
  • ¼-inch ratchet with matching 3-inch extension
  • 10mm wrench
  • Flat tip screwdriver for trim removal
  • Magnet for picking up dropped hardware

Replacement Instructions

1. Open the door.

2. Use the screwdriver or a trim tool to remove the trim around the interior mirror. 

It is the triangular trim in the front corner of the window. It has one plastic tab and two metal clips securing it into place. The metal clips are on the front edge and top corner.

3. Starting at the back edge, remove the interior door handle trim piece. 

There is a plastic tab on the front and two plastic clips on the back. It can be flexed in order to remove it, but do not bend it. You will need to rotate it around the handle once it has been removed in order to get it out over the handle.

4. Use your screwdriver to take the 9/32-inch screw off the armrest handle. 

Set it aside in a safe place.

5. Starting at the back of the lock and unlock tab, remove this piece. 

It has two plastic clips in the back and one small tab in the front. Use your screwdriver to take out the 9/32-inch screw from the bracket. Set the screw aside in a safe place.

6. Use your screwdriver to remove the 9/32-inch screw from the bottom side of the panel. 

Set the screw aside in a safe place.

7. You can now lift the interior panel up slightly and out in order to remove it. 

It has several tabs on it that connect it to the door, but it should come off easily.

  • Do not pull the panel away from the door until you disconnect all the wiring that is connected to it first.
  • There is a door light in the bottom rear portion that can be removed by pinching the tabs and removing the connector assembly from the light.
  • Take the armrest switch module off and use the pivoting lever to the window direction button to remove the connector. It must be straight back or straight down to disengage the connector. All the connectors are color-coded for easy reassembly.

8. There are red and black clips on the rods on the exterior side of the door. 

Unclip them, allowing the rod tips to slide out of the clip sleeve. Make a note as to how the rods are clipped for future steps. Do not remove the clips from the handle or the lock. You only need to move the lock to your new handle, and the new handle comes equipped with the black clips on it.

9. Take the old lock cylinder off the old handle. 

You can pry the retaining clip out and the cylinder will slide out of it. It will slide away from the key hole. Put the lock cylinder into the new door handle by snapping it into place. Push it in from the inside to the outside edge in order to snap the retaining clips into place. You want to make sure that the key hole is vertical when seen from outside.

10. Use the screwdriver to remove the bolts on the door panel. 

You need to keep the hardware because you need it for the new handle. The bottom edge bolt can be loosened since it is not in a bolthole. It is in a slot. Set the nuts in a safe place.

11. Take one of the nuts and thread it to the bottom bolt on the handle and clip the red and black clips back into place. 

Be sure to clip them correctly, or your door handle rod will not operate.

12. Place the handle back into your door. 

Line the other bolts up by gently flexing the handle.

  • You may need to remove or pull back part of the plastic door liner in order to access the holes.
  • You need to take the plastic hole cover off the door edge in order to access the top bolt on the new handle.
  • Bolt the top of the handle into place by using your 10mm socket and driver.
  • Snugly fit the bottom bolt into place.
  • Snugly fit the final bolt by reaching through the opening.

Once you have all the nuts and bolts in place, tighten them all into place.

13. Place the plastic hole cover back on and put the plastic liner back into place. 

Press the edges of the liner firmly to get it to stay.

14. Reconnect all the interior door panel wiring and the interior light. 

Check your switches before you put the panel back on to ensure they are working properly. All plugs are color-coded. Make sure that your lock and unlock is working. If it is not, make sure that you connected the red and black clips properly.

15. Put the door panel back on by pushing it down and in. 

Do not force it, and if it is in the right place, it will snap into place by itself.

  • Put all the removed screws back into their places.
  • Put the lock and unlock tab back onto the door panel by installing the front tab, and then clicking the rear clips in place.
  • Replace the door handle trim.
  • Replace the mirror trim.
  • Try your door panel buttons to make sure that they are operating.

These instructions will help you replace the exterior door handle on your Silverado. Should you run into any problems, you may need to consult with your local dealership. Otherwise, you have just saved yourself some money by doing the repair yourself.