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A few weeks ago I had a rear passenger unexpectedly break off the rear roof handle as he was leaving the vehicle. We all had fun with it saying he was trying to do a chin-up on the way out but we also were all surprised it broke off to begin with. None of us have ever seen something like this happen until now!

Inspecting the broken handle reveals a white plastic piece breaking off which caused the failure.
I wasn’t surprised as plastic becomes brittle over time but I was surprised that this part wasn’t made with a metal bracket that gets bolted onto the body of the car. It appears to be a part that simply gets pushed into the car and the plastic ends anchor into the car’s sheet metal.

A new handle suggests that the part should be an easy replacement. This just might be my shortest DIY to-date!


Tools you’ll need:

  1. new rear roof handle (part #12794962 for a 2004 9-3 Arc)
  2. a flathead screwdriver (if you need to remove the old handle)
  3. about 5-10 minutes of free time


Ready to replace the rear roof handle?

Step 1: If your handle needs to be removed from the car, then you’ll need to pry up both end covers which anchor the handle into the car (a flathead screwdriver should help here). They should come straight out but not completely detach from the handle. Here’s a picture of the new part to show how the end covers are disengaged so you know how far it needs to go:

Step 2: Since mine was already out I just needed to line up the new handle with the holes:

Step 3: Push it until it clicks in on both sides:

Step 4: Push in the end covers on each side to anchor the part in place:

Step 5: The handle should feel solid and ready to go:

I cleaned up dirty fingerprints in the fabric near the handle using warm water and a clean towel. Hence the wet-looking spot in the picture :)


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Written by :
Alex Fiehl

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