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Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:26 pm
by GerryAZ
I searched, but did not find any threads related to my problem/question: The driver door handle is made in 2 pieces on the 2015 and the two pieces suddenly became loose. The outer "chrome" plastic piece moves in relation to the inner piece. Sometimes the chrome piece moves enough to jam the lock/unlock button. Has anyone else noticed anything like this? I have a little time to get it in before the 36,000-mile warranty expires so I will get it replaced, but I am curious to see if anyone else has had a similar issue.

Thanks,
Gerry

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:09 am
by jjeff
Yes I occasionally have the two pieces separate if I pull too hard on the handle, say it's locked but I don't think it is and I give it a quick hard pull.
I was really worried at first but found out they easily snap back together, so thats all I do. Well I'm also much easier on pulling the handle also so it rarely happens anymore. Never happens on my '12 but rather my '13.

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:31 am
by Stanton
jjeff wrote:Yes I occasionally have the two pieces separate if I pull too hard on the handle, say it's locked but I don't think it is and I give it a quick hard pull.
I was really worried at first but found out they easily snap back together, so thats all I do. Well I'm also much easier on pulling the handle also so it rarely happens anymore. Never happens on my '12 but rather my '13.


This isn't intended to be a negative comment against the US-built Leafs so much as a positive comment about the Japan-built Leafs: isn't amazing how well the 2011-2012 Leafs were built? Battery issues notwithstanding, I can't think of one thing that has "broken" on my Leaf!

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:20 am
by DuncanCunningham
my Wife's 2015Shas this issues too. she noticed it during this last winter and she thinks she might have pulled on it too hard but she can't recall but sometimes it pulls away the button inside goes in deeper. I was going to take it in for a warranty repair.

I agree with Stanton about build quaility. My 2012 is much better built. panels fit perfectly and no issues other than the battery losing range as it gets older.

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:11 pm
by GerryAZ
Build quality of 2011 was definitely better (except for battery) even though it was the first model year--I wish mine was still around. Battery in 2015 is definitely doing better than original and replacement in 2011.

Since I have the little lock/unlock button stick once in a while when the two pieces get out of position, I will schedule a dealer visit soon. Thanks for all the replies.

Gerry

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:35 pm
by jjeff
Agree about the '11/'12 vs '13 and after thing. While it's true I purchase my '12 used and may have avoided some of the "issues" with a new car, I have had my share of "issues" with my new purchased '13. Don't get me wrong, I much prefer the '13 for not only the better battery but also features added in '13 I really like but what I don't like is the issues.
I owned 3 new cars before the Leaf, all used for 10+ years and with none of them did I really have any issues before the warranty ran out, truthfully I had little issues even after the warranty ran out other than maintenance issues you'd have with any car. For the record 2 were Japanese cars(1 Toyota 1 Toyota/Scion) and 1 a Korean car(with a Chevy name). I started having minor issues with my '13 Leaf within months of purchase. None were major(well actually one was kind of) but they were all irksome that I should really have any issues with a new vehicle, after all that's why I like to buy new and sell at 10 years, before issues start. Following is a list of the "issues" I've had with my '13 noting in months when I first noticed and got the issue fixed, I think I got them all.

1. 3 months, Rear door hatch had to be SLAMMED to latch. After a couple trips to the dealer, first time they adjusted the catch and second time they replaced the catch, third time they ended up replacing both rear hatch struts and it's been fine since.
2. 6 months, Klunking from front end mainly when backing up in the cold(teens or colder). After 2 trips to the dealer they ended up replacing several front end parts and clunking stopped for about a year, it's back now but maybe not as bad as before, I just live with it and hope it doesn't get worse again.
3. 1-13 months, Front tires quickly wearing on both outer edges. I didn't really notice this until they were mostly bald on the outside edges and by the time I brought the vehicle in it was a bit past the 1 year mark(10k miles) and unfortunately aligning the front end for free ended at 1 year so I paid the ~$100 to have it done. Note I had never hit anything or hit any bad pot-holes and it's my belief the vehicle was out of alignment from the factory, I remember noting it shortly after getting the car but didn't really put 2 and 2 together until the tire was basically bald on the outside edge, my fault for not reporting it earlier and because of this I had to replace my tires at about 20k, WAY earlier than I feel I should have. Note after the alignment the replacements seem to be wearing fine.
4. 18 months to current, Door handle comes part. I haven't brought this in for service as it only happens occasionally and it's always snapped back together, it also only happens if I pull the handle too hard when I think the car is unlocked, but it isn't.

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:45 pm
by Gearscout
I've got the same handle problem. It snaps back but ALWAYS comes apart. I'm going to ask the dealership when I rotate tires. Aggravating.

Thanks

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:57 pm
by RePo
My '13 does this too. I've learned to pull it from behind on center. Someday I'm going to take it apart and find a permanent way to epoxy it together. I imagine it needs to stay removable to use the mechanical key.

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:56 am
by BrockWI
Ours pops off all the time and I haven't taken it apart yet.

If anyone does it please document if there is a way to "fix" this.

Re: Driver Door Handle Problem

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:12 pm
by GerryAZ
I guess it is time for an update: I looked at the service manual and found that the entire door and all lock linkage must be disassembled to replace the handle. I decided not to have the dealer take the door apart (and risk other damage to the internal linkage) so I used JB Weld to repair my driver door handle.

The plastic handle cover is held to the metal part by the clip toward the rear of the car (the one that breaks) and a Philips screw on the back side near the front of the handle. I could not find a small enough offset screwdriver to remove/replace the screw so I mixed up plenty of JB Weld and used Q-tips and toothpicks to insert the epoxy between the plastic and metal parts of the handle while pulling out on the back of the plastic handle as far as I dared. Be careful to keep the epoxy away from the button and use a lot because there is a large void between the metal and plastic to accommodate the wire harness of the button. After filling the void with JB Weld, I pushed the plastic piece back into position and made sure it was lined up so the button functioned freely. I then wiped away the excess epoxy that was squeezed out and used several nylon cable ties to secure the plastic part to the metal part. I used a cable tie installation tool to pull the ties really tight so they would firmly hold the pieces together. I allowed the JB Weld epoxy to cure for several days before cutting the cable ties. There was a little bit of epoxy residue by the cable ties so I used a file to remove the hardened residue. This repair was done last February and the repaired handle is still working fine after a little over one year.

The repaired handle is probably stronger than a new piece. Individual component pieces of the handle are not available for purchase from Nissan so I did not worry about damaging the handle (worst case would be purchase of a new handle). Those in colder climates should wait for warmer weather before attempting this repair so that you can flex the plastic handle without breaking it.