How to Install a Driver-side Door Latch on a Toyota Camry


The handles on the inside and outside of the vehicle are attached to two rods behind the door panel. When the handle is pulled, it actuates the rods behind the panel. The rods pull the latch, which allows the door to open. It is frustrating when the latch malfunctions, forcing you to find another way to open the door or, worse, to have to crawl across the passenger side to exit the car. With the proper tools, replacing the door latch on the Toyota Camry takes about an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Scratch awl
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Combination wrench set
  • Lock and latch assembly
  • Disconnect the negative cable from the battery post. Wrap the connector of the cable in painter's tape to prevent energy from flowing to the vehicle should it come into contact with the battery.

  • Wrap the tip of the flat-head screwdriver in painter's tape to prevent scratching or damaging the vehicle.

  • Remove the screw cap covers on the door panel to reveal the screws holding the panel in place.

  • Press the spring-loaded fastener with a scratch awl to remove it. The spring-loaded fastener is located on the side of the door panel on the entrance side.

  • Pry off the frame around the door latch using a flat-head screwdriver.

  • Pry open the lock and window control panel on the door using a flat-head screwdriver.

  • Disconnect the electrical connector of the lock and window control panel by pulling the two connectors apart.

  • Remove the screws holding the door panel in place using a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Pry off the cover near the top of the door panel that covers the bolts for the side mirror using a flat-head screwdriver.

  • Pry a section of the door panel using a flat-head screwdriver to start the removal. Repeat this around the door until the panel is loose, then remove the panel.

  • Remove the bolt holding the door latch in place using a combination wrench.

  • Move the latch away from the door and remove the attached rods by pulling them out of place.

  • Remove the screw holding the rod to the outside door handle using a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Remove the screws holding the latch and lock assembly in place. The latch and lock assembly are located on the opening side of the door.

  • Disconnect the rods from the latch and lock assembly and remove the assembly.

  • Install the new latch and lock assembly and reattach the rods. Tighten the screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Reassemble the door in reverse order of removal.

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