Removing window winder handles

I have a simple technique for removing clipped-in window winder’s when you don’t have the correct tool for the job. It seems a bit primitive but with a bit of practice this technique works like a champion!

First take a cloth or rag, preferably a piece with a seam for strength but that’s not absolutely nescessary.


Next wind up the window and then turn the handle back until it is straight up and down.


Then take your piece of cloth or rag and slide it down the handle and position it BETWEEN the handle and the spacer or washer that sits up against the door trim. (see picture)


Then grab each end of the cloth in each hand and pull down. You may also need to rotate the cloth back and forth to loosen the clip (see picture). 9 times out of 10 the clip will be caught in the cloth, but please do this step somewhere were you can see the clip if it falls down i.e. not on the front lawn!


To refit simply fit the clip onto the winder first with the open end facing down the handle, fit the washer/spacer first and then push the winder on and you will feel it click into place once it’s in far enough.

Too easy!

30 thoughts on “Removing window winder handles

  1. Hi Alan,
    Being a banana-bender I don’t know of any reputable workshops in Melbourne. I think your local Toyota dealer would be your best bet.

  2. I was looking for a way to remove the clip on my 77 Chevy window winder, and here was the solution..I went to the truck, put a shop rag behind winder, and within 10 seconds the window winder handle was removed. Thank you for the tip

  3. Craig, you rule!!!
    I was at the end of my tether trying to get the window winder off of my wife’s barina door. Your advice really helped me out. Thanks a lot. George

  4. Craig, Awesome tip!
    I couldn’t even see the rotten little clip tucked in tight. Made sense that there was one because force wasn’t working. A few seconds with a rag and out popped the wire clip… and as suggested, make sure you are on a clean hard surface because mine hit the floor. Thank you.

  5. Thanks heaps… i was trying to open the door panel to check for my speaker wiring and i couldn’t get the thing to come out even with force plus i couldn’t even see the clip. came online today and googled it and viola! it works! thanks!

  6. I can imagine that it works bueatifully. Not for me though! The clip was betwwen the handle and the spacer washer on my daughters Hyundai. Tried both sides. Brute force and a longnose pliers in the end!

  7. Bugger! I’ve not come across one that I couldn’t get off using the old rag trick but sounds like it would never had worked for your daughters ones. Good to hear you had a win though.

  8. Hi

    This little trick of the trade worked in 3 seconds for me . It was like magic.Thanks very much.

    fenton doolan

  9. Thanks so much, got it off nice and easy with the rag trick, now i just need instructions on how to get it back on 🙂

  10. Hi Sally,
    To refit the window winder you just need to refit the spacer (if fitted) and clip to the handle, line the splined hole of the handle up with the winder mechanism spline and push the handle on. The clip should locate by itself as you push the handle on. Does that make sense to you? It’s a bit hard to explain in words, can send you some pics of it if need be.


  11. The rag idea did not help, but it made me look harder to find the circlip, which I removed OK. Thanks for the tip.
    Somehow the cable came off the winder drum. I managed to get it all reassembled and now it is working \.

  12. Thank u, thank u! I am a girl who can now fix car windows…a teatowel, a screw driver & crc = an unstuck window. But it also = 2 broken fingernails and grease on my hands!

  13. Craig Wilson is a genius. This is the easiest and fastest I have removed a window winding arm in my 77 years.

    Thank you.


  14. didn t work on wifes Toyota yaris , the winder handle is so tight to the door panel that you can’t see the clip either !

  15. Worked great for me too.

    One window winder had the clip on upside down and it took me ages to figure that out, but once i did, the cloth trick got that one out too.

    Nice job posting such a helpful tip. Much appreciated.

Leave a Comment