Car Door Latch Repair Cost Guide

A door latch is a mechanical mechanism used to secure the door in the closed position. Most door latches feature an integrated door lock actuator which allows the latch to open or remain locked depending on the position.

Most manufacturers use cables or rods that connect to the inside door handle, outside door handle, and to the manual lock knob. To prevent theft, the door latch is usually encased in an anti-theft plastic shielding to prevent the lock mechanism from being opened using a “slim jim” or other theft tools.

Symbolic car door

Car Door Latch Repair Costs

Door latches can vary in labor costs based on how difficult they are to remove, as well as the location where the services are to be performed. The parts cost can also vary depending on whether there are any sensors or actuators built into the door latch.

Assuming a labor rate of $100 an hour for an independent shop and $150 for the dealership are used, the following costs of car door latch repair based on the types of vehicles being serviced are presented below:

  • For a 2007 Chevrolet Impala

The labor calls for 1.1 hours to replace the door latch. At an independent shop, the labor would cost $110 and a new aftermarket door latch would range between $55 and $90, depending on the brand used.

At the dealership, the labor would cost $165, and for a brand new OEM Chevrolet door latch, the cost can be between $100 and $130. Both the aftermarket and the OEM latches have a built-in door lock actuator and come with some of the door cables and rods.

  • For a 2010 Ford Explorer

The labor calls for 1 hour to replace the door latch. At an independent shop, the labor would cost $100, and a new aftermarket car door latch repair cost would range between $40 to $60, depending on the brand used.

At the dealership, the labor would cost $150 and a brand new OEM Ford door latch would range between $70 and $100, depending on the price markup. Both the aftermarket and the OEM latches have a built-in door lock actuator and come with some of the door cables and rods.

  • For a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta

The labor calls for 1 hour to replace the door latch. At an independent shop, the labor would cost $100 and a new aftermarket door latch would range between $50 and $100 depending on the brand used.

At the dealership, the labor would cost $150 and an OEM Volkswagen door latch would range between $200 and $250, depending on the dealership price markup. Both the aftermarket and the OEM latches have a built-in door lock actuator and come with some of the door cables and rods.

  • For a 2014 Honda CR-V

The labor calls for 1 hour to replace the door latch. At an independent shop, the labor would cost $100 and a new aftermarket door latch would range between $30 and $50, depending on the brand used.

At the dealership, the labor would cost $150 and a brand new Honda door latch would range between $60 and $80, depending on the price markup. Both the aftermarket and the OEM latches have a built-in door lock actuator and do not come with the door cables and rods.

  • For a 2010 BMW 335i

The labor calls for 1.4 hours to replace the door latch. At an independent shop, the labor would cost $140 and a new aftermarket door latch would range between $55 and $90, depending on the brand used.

At the dealership, the labor would cost $210 and a new OEM BMW door latch would range between $155 and $225, depending on the price markup and which door latch is being replaced. Both the aftermarket and the OEM latches have a built-in door lock actuator and do not come with the door cables and rods.

More About Door Latch

The door latch has multiple fail points that could occur. One of the cables or rods could break or seize, the electrical portion of the latch could fail, or the latch mechanism itself could break or seize.

If the outside door handle cable or rod fails you will no longer be able to open the door from the outside, but the door should still operate from the inside door handle. If the inside door handle cable or rod was to fail, the door would no longer open from the inside door handle but should still open from the outside door handle.

If the manual lock cable or rod fails in the locked position, the door may not open from either door handle. This failure is typically the worst and most expensive to fix as most of the time, the door panel will be damaged in the process. The latch will need to be drilled out to gain access to the latch mechanism to open the door manually.

If the electrical actuator fails, you should be able to unlock or lock the door manually with the manual lock knob, depending on how the actuator failed. If it seized or bound up, you might not be able to unlock the door with the manual knob.

car wrecked door

Additional Components That May Need Replacing

Depending on the problem that your door latch is having, you may need to replace the cables or rods if they don’t come with the new door latch. Most cables and rods are not available from aftermarket parts suppliers.

Depending on the manufacturer and the dealership, the cost of door cables and rods can vary, but most door cables and rods cost around $25 to $50 for each one. Most doors will have 4 cables or rods. One cable/rod for each handle (outside and inside handles) and one cable/rod each for the manual door lock knob on the inside of the car and for lock cylinder on the outside door handle.

Some door latches come with a separate door lock actuator. So, if the actuator fails, it may be an additional component.

What To Do If the Latch Makes Noise Or the Handles Stop Working

If your door makes a buzzing noise when locking the door, the lock actuator might be failing. It is best to have it checked out immediately as it could cause your door to become stuck and unable to be opened.

Having it fixed before it fails can save you money if your door becomes stuck closed. Door panels can cost up to $700 to replace, and if your door is stuck closed, usually, the door panel will become damaged in the process. It can also be very labor-intensive to drill out the latch if this happens.

If your handles stop opening the door but the other handle still works (outside handle stops working but inside door handle still works), you should also have this serviced immediately. If the other handle stops working, you can end up costing three times as much money to get the door open to replace the broken components.

Author Bio

Peter Monshizadeh

Peter Monshizadeh is an expert car writer who has written for numerous media outlets including Jalopnik.com, LifeHacker, The Turbo Diesel Register magazine, as well as the blogs for JE Pistons and WiseCo.