How to Remove Door Handles on VW Beetles: 1998 to 2010

Learn how to remove door handles on VW Beetles from 1998 to 2010. Do you need to remove your exterior door handle on your 6th Generation VW Beetle? This is a quick article to help anyone who is looking how to accomplish this project. You will find images and a video included in this article.

remove door handles vw beetle

In many ways, the way exterior door handles on cars today, are easier to get off than they used to be. Many of the cars up to around the late 90’s, required removing the door panel to remove the door handle. Even though this article is about how to remove door handles on VW Beetles. The method is very similar with other makes and model cars today.

Reasons For Removing VW Beetle Door Handles

You probably already have your reason for needing to remove your door handle. It could be to replace it because it is broke, or you may need to improve its operation. I just wanted to go over a few things first. If you are looking to improve the operation by lubrication, there is very little to lube.

With the door handle end out, which will be covered later. You can see some of the mechanics of that make the handle work. You can spray some white lithium grease on these parts but let me ask you this. Is the handle stiff or hard to pull out or does the door act like it is stuck a little?

If it feels like it is sticking, look for the latch area. Spray white lithium grease up inside the latch area and see if that solves the issue. This is kind of a common issue with this generation VW Beetle. The key-lock cylinder can also need lubrication. I would recommend a graphite lubricant down inside where the key goes.

Remove Door Handles on VW Beetles

You may be replacing the door handle due to damage or repainting. If you are repainting, be sure not to spray any areas that are the mechanics of the handle. For replacement handles, shop here on Amazon. If you need to paint a new handle or the old one, get matched paint from Automotive Touchup Paints.

How to Remove Door Handles on VE Beetles

This isn’t a really long process and the images and video below will probably serve you best. You do not have to pull the door panel off. Everything is accessible from the outside edge of the door. You will mainly need three tools. A flashlight, a small flat blade screwdriver and a T-20 Torx head socket. The Torx bit will require a ratchet and an extension, so that is five tools in all.

Door Handle Removal Procedure

1. Open the door and look at the end of the door

2. Remove the rubber plug at the end of the door

Remove Door Handles on VW Beetles

3. Unscrew the T-20 Torx bolt about half way out – about 2 turns out. You do not have to remove the bolt.

4. Pull the “Handle End” straight out of the door

vw beetle door handle removal

5. Look for a plastic catch that is hooked to the actual handle, this needs to be disconnected

6. Using a small flat blade screw driver, pop the cable catch out of the door handle

vw beetle door handle removal

7. Once the cable catch is disconnected, slide the handle towards the rear and the handle will come off from the door

Remove Door Handles on VW Beetles

vw beetle door handle removal

As you can see, you have to pull the handle to the rear of the door and pull out at the same time. The front of the handle is a cradle hook. There is nothing it attaches to; it just sticks into the hole in the door.

To reinstall, just reverse the removal process. I recommend watching the video as well to fully understand the removal and reinstall process.

How To Video


Your biggest obstacle to remove door handles on VW Beetles will be the cable catch. Both on popping it free and hooking it back up. To me, it isn’t that obvious, especially if you have never done one before. On installation, after putting the handle back in. You will need needle nose pliers to pull the catch cable into place. All it takes to hooking it back up, is to snap it back to the handle with your finger. You will find that the removal process is much like a KIA and Hyundai Door Handle Removal.

If you have any questions, be sure to reach out and contact me and I will help you the best I can. Be sure to watch the video as well.