A couple weeks ago one of my running/walking buddies mentioned he had to replace the ignition lock of his Honda minivan. He is handy and used to enjoy tackling projects but now, some 10 years older than me, he will have others do the work. At a cost! He said the bill was close to $1,000. I was surprised but since I persist in doing things myself I am out of touch with rates.
My problems was different – I have a basic Toyota Tacoma truck and could not open the driver’s door from the inside. When I pulled on the handle nothing happened, so the routine was to lower the window with the crank and with my hand pull on the outside handle. And it worked. I assumed the handle which connected to a cable which connected to the latch was defective. I studied a couple utube videos (very helpful) on how to remove the interior panel and replace the handle. Since removing the interior door panel is a pain and I only wanted to do so once, I ordered a replacement handle.
Now the logic for making a repair is fairly simple: 1) diagnose the problem; 2) get the parts; 3) dismantle with care so you know how to reassemble’ 4) execute the repair. In my haste I did step (2) before step (1). After I removed the interior panel I saw that the problem was not the handle but the cable that the handle connected to.
So I had purchased the wrong part. A little frustrated, I went online to order a replacement cable. When the replacement arrived I again removed the interior panel to fit the new cable and discovered, incredibly, that I had ordered the wrong cable. I couldn’t believe it. So a week later the correct cable arrived and I removed the interior panel and then discovered I had a new problem. Attaching the cable to the handle is relatively easy but connecting the cable to the latch is a puzzle. The latching mechanism is out of sight and has to be unscrewed from the door jamb and disconnected from the outside handle mechanism. And the window guides block access as well. And to unscrew the latch from the door required a driver I did not have handy. I put the interior panel back in place for the third time.
When I located the driver a few days later I made a fourth attempt. And working with the latch partly disassembled and rotated for easier access I was able to attach the cable to the latch (phew!) and also the cable to the new handle (the old one was fine but rather use the new) and I reassembled the panel and the window cranking handle. And, finally, I was done and had learned a couple useful lessons along the way.