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  #1  
Old 08-28-2018, 03:44 PM
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AWR-Fix: Door Handle Carrier Permanent Fix*

I realized something on the first two repair jobs I did for a broken door handle carrier: they broke exactly the same way and in large part due to a design flaw.

The flaw is this: the designers decided to incorporate feedback to the handle when locked (the handle resists lifting). The problem is that the little bar that blocks the handle gets slow in lubrication that gets gummy and slows the bar keeping the handle locked down when the door is unlocked.

UPDATE: when repairing a door actuator I realized that it will freeze and will not move, setting up another method to break your DHC. I will be making a thread describing the situation soon. The details are in another thread already but I'll make a clean new one.

(For about a week before I broke mine I noticed a second click about a second after unlocking the door I later learned was the blocking bar slowly moving into the unlocked position)

This is especially hazardous when this happens in frosty locations. When you live in a cold climate you are accustomed to the door seal freezing stuck where you need to tug extra hard to break the seal, the problem is the door latch is unlocked, the door seal is likely not frozen but the door handle is blocked.

When you tug on the handle thinking the door is stuck you put many times the normal force on the hinge of the door handle carrier. Enough times and fatigue failure will cause the pot metal to fail.

The good news is most often this break can be repaired with a zip tie! The better news is you can almost certainly shots L avoid the break in the first place of you cut the nub of the blocking bar when you put in a repaired or replaced door handle carrier.

I don't recommend OEM DHC. get a knock off that has good star review on Amazon etc and swap the Bowden cable from the OE part because the cables are kaarap from the China parts.

Here are the photos from my last DHC repair:


Here is the weakest link on the door handle carrier. Most will break right here











So here is the carrier I'm about to install. I've reenforced the weakest link with a nylon zip tie (don't have my stainless ones with me).

By placing the lock where I did it multiplies the strength it should hold if the pot metal breaks. I will try to do a test with the one I'm about to remove.

"I haz success"!

I was able to confirm that the double lock disconnects the lock mechanism so there is no need for the blocking bar that prevents lifting the handle when the door is locked.

I cut the little tab off that has been causing so much grief.


Red is the lock bar, blue is the tiny tab that actually blocks the handle when locked.


Blue is the tab and yellow is the part of the handle that is blocked


Blue arrow pointing to the empty space where the tab used to be.

So now it's as it should have been from the beginning and how BMW decided to change them to on the current cars.

The handle pulls up but the cable pulls on a deactivated lock. It "dry fires" and does nothing.

I'm sure you could still break something but the odds of breaking a handle carrier with my modifications will be reduced 90-95%.

I left the zip tie on figuring no reason to remove.

I was going to just remove the entire lock bar but I'm not sure if it has other functions (lock the key cylinder in) so I just cut off the offending part.

*Re: permanent fix; there's always a chance you could still break a DHC but the majority of unnecessary stress will eliminated with this trick.
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Last edited by andrewwynn; 02-27-2020 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:16 PM
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GREAT POST!

Keep this one handy as when winter sets in you will get the chance to repost and repost and repost.... rinse and repeat.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:21 PM
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Door Handle Carrier Permanent Fix*

I've posted the fix about five times buried deep in other threads do wanted to make it's own thread to be ready to find especially come winter.

Huge tip; you can AVOID BREAKING them if you are careful! Give the handle a gentle pull. If you feel resistance do not pull hard it does nothing to open the door and 100% of your effort only goes to damage the hinge.

Open a different door and open from the inside. Usually after a drive the inside of the door will warm up enough that the DHC will defrost and start working again. If not find an indoor parking space or drive more until it does.


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Last edited by andrewwynn; 08-28-2018 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:41 PM
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can this be stickied at the root?
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:57 PM
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Door Handle Carrier Permanent Fix*

Update: I've been wanting to fix this with a steel zip tie and finally got some practice. (Practice because as I was about to fix this one I noticed it's cracked where the outer handle attaches but I figured I can do some trial and error to figure out a good method)



This is the standard break. One half of the hinge snaps off. Sometimes it will still be semi-attached but it's usually down inside the door. Try to find it I'll get back to that.



Remove the self destruct tab. I'm not sure if this even does anything on the X5 but it It gets stuck in the locked position you will surely break your DHC



Make sure the teeth are aligned as such.



The hardest part is getting the spring in position but I've developed a very reasonable method. Clamp the lower part of the DHC in a vice then while manipulating the moving part to align with the teeth, use a large flat blade screwdriver and push the spring down into position while pulling the hinge back together.

Once together it will fight like crazy to separate, so put a locking pliers exactly where shown to hold it during the next steps.









How/where to put the steel zip tie.

Note how I use the clip as the pressure surface to replace the broken off piece. Ideally you would put in the broken piece to have the stainless zip tie hold that and it will hold the hinge axle tighter.

It's difficult to pull tight so don't try to get it perfect, instead add a shim under the back side to make it right afterwards.

I'm going to make a very detailed how to with some better photos. I'm also going to do the same for the actuator motor fix.

I paid like $7 for 25 so fixed the DHC for about 30˘.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:17 PM
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So in the end you removed the "Self Destruct Tab" assembly altogether with no ill effects or changes to the function? I'd be curious to see how updated/recent BMW door handle carrier looks like to compare -- and confirm that they took out this function.

As always, thanks for your contribution, photos, and work! A huge and helpful resource!
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:33 AM
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I had to fix my driver DHC a few weeks ago. I looked inside the door and found nothing that interacted with the lever so I decided to remove the entire thing and observe for problems. I found no negative consequences so it's part of my door handle routine now.


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Old 02-20-2020, 02:46 AM
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Thanks for the information.
I didn't have a metal zip tie so I used a regular one. I added an extra zip tie to prevent the first one from sliding off.
I will install it tomorrow and see if the door will finally open from the outside.
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:32 AM
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Door Handle Carrier Permanent Fix*

Looks pretty good. The nylon zip ties are pretty strong and actually will probably stretch vs. break but you want to put a shim under to make it tight I think I mentioned bit didn't show where in my photos.



The red arrow shows where to put a shim and the cut off end of the zip tie is the perfect material to use.

Also note where the purole arrow is: the zip tie should be down in the valley against the hinge pin else the hinge will pull apart during each use.

Test the hinge out and see if the zip tie is tight enough. When I used nylon zip tie, I noticed the hinge would pull apart a little bit each use (but would still work ok). Upgrade to the steel remedied that.

I thought I was able to get a nylon zip double wound just not directly over itself which doubles the strength.

The beauty of the metal zip is doubled up allows the strength to put a shim under and provide enough pretension there is absolutely no motion of the hinge pin.

When you test it of the car you should see full motion of the cable. Put some low temp low viscosity grease on the gear teeth and something like silicone/Teflon in the cable.

Put some anti-freeze prevention on the door actuator before reassembly. It's the usual cause of the DHC breaking in the first place (though just age and fatigue failure will do it as well)



Note there purple arrow shows how the zip tie is down on the hinge pin (purple) and not up on the hinge "finger" (blue).
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:52 AM
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Mods, can we add this to "How To's"?
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