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My son's car 2008 Toyota Prius. His hatchback won't open, so he took it to a body shop, who said the entire hatchback door needs to be replaced to fix the locking mechanism. It'll be in the shop for two or three days. $$$$$$. He trusts the guy because he saved him a lot of money last year with a low-cost DIY fix. Which was great, however...

I watched some videos which showed how to unlock the door from inside, under the spare tire panel. It worked. The shop guy couldn't get it opened so he didn't know about the trick. I watched detailed videos of replacing the handle/sensor assembly, and of replacing the surrounding trim if necessary. $99 cost for the assembly from the dealership, about $100 for the trim at amazon/parts stores if needed. They are returnable if not damaged. Looks like it'll take ~2-3 hours.

I've sent him links and prices and pictures and costs, but he's still wavering on taking it to the body shop owner. We've worked on several cars together, probably lower-intermediate-level mechanics. Am I wrong, the shop is the way to go for expertise and warranty (but not cost or time)? Or am I right, that he's getting ripped off by the shop, and we should try to fix it ourselves?

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    Well, some children you can't tell anything to ... but, you may be able to get him to get a 2nd opinion by taking it to a different body shop. Who knows. Jan 5 at 0:19
  • Perhaps dismantling the lock and handle mechanism isn't in the skill set of the body shop guy, but replacing panels and doors is. Or perhaps he's tried before and got into a mess. Jan 5 at 17:20

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