Do you cringe every time your garage door screeches open? That awful noise means it’s time to lubricate your garage door. Properly lubricating the moving parts of your garage door every six months can help reduce noise, prevent wear and tear, and extend its lifespan.
Lubricating your garage door is an easy process that takes less than 30 minutes. With the right materials and these straightforward DIY steps, you can have your garage door gliding smoothly and quietly in no time.
- Lubricating your garage door every 6 months reduces wear, noise, and strain
- Use lithium or silicone lubricants made specifically for garage doors
- Disable the automatic opener before servicing to avoid injury
- Clean tracks and hardware before lubricating for maximum efficacy
- Oil all moving parts—rollers, bearings, hinges, cables, springs, pulleys
- Always test operation when maintenance is complete
Why Lubricate Your Garage Door?
When a garage door isn’t properly lubricated, the metal-on-metal grinding of the ungreased moving parts causes loud, unpleasant noises as well as excess friction and strain. This accelerates wear and tear over time. Lubrication helps prevent all that by allowing parts to move freely and smoothly.
Other key reasons to lubricate your garage door include:
- Makes opening/closing the door easier
- Helps prevent corrosion
- Saves money on repairs down the road
Essentially, lubrication leads to a quieter, better functioning garage door.
What You Need To Lubricate a Garage Door
Lubricating a garage door requires just a few materials:
- Garage door lubricant – Use lithium grease or silicone spray made for garage doors
- Clean cloths
- A stepladder
- Safety glasses and gloves
Avoid regular greases or oils as they can attract dirt and debris over time. And steer clear of WD-40 despite its ubiquity, as it wears off quickly. The lubricants made specifically for garage doors are formulated to protect parts in extreme weather.
Okay, with your materials gathered, let’s walk through lubricating a garage door in 4 simple steps.
Step 1: Disable the Electric Garage Door Opener
Before getting started, disengage the electric opener if your garage door has one. The easiest way is to pull the emergency release handle down and back toward the door. This disconnects the door from the drive system to avoid risk of sudden movements from automatic openers.
If there’s no emergency handle release cord, look for the manual release lever on the power unit and move it to the disconnected position.
Step 2: Clean the Tracks and Hardware
Now that the electric opener won’t engage unexpectedly, cleaning is an important first lubrication step. This removes built-up grime so lubricant is absorbed better and lasts longer.
Use a mild solvent like mineral spirits with clean cloths to carefully wipe down tracks inside the garage attic space and along the perimeter sides. Pay special attention to where rollers make contact. Avoid solvents dripping onto drywall ceilings.
After tracks are cleaned, wipe down rollers, bearing plates, lifting cables, springs, hinges, bearings and pulleys. Capture dirt and debris with cloths rather than letting them fall.
Pro tip: For stuck-on gunk like hardened grease, use a plastic paint scraper to gently free it before wiping down.
Step 3. Lubricate All Moving Parts
With everything cleaned, it’s time for lubrication. As you work, open and close the door a few times as you go to evenly spread the lubricant—another pro tip.
Use lithium spray or silicone lubricant and target these key moving parts:
- Entry door hinges on sectional garage doors
- Lift cables
- Bearing plates
Where possible, lift rollers out with pliers to lubricate the axle and ball bearings inside too. This is key to smooth, quiet function.
Avoid getting lubricant on track surfaces themselves since that makes doors stick and adds work for openers. Finally, don’t lubricate plastic idler bearings on nylon rollers—just the metal roller sleeves.
Step 4: Reconnect and Test Operation
You’re in the home stretch now. Reconnect the automated opener so it’s engaged with the drive system rather than in manual mode. Most openers have a hook, chain or screw to re-secure the door.
With that done, clear the area and test operation. Flip the wall switch or press the remote button to fully open and close the door a few times. Make sure all parts are moving freely without noise. Listen and watch closely for signs something needs adjustment or more lubricant.
And that’s it—you just saved money over hiring this maintenance task out. But remember, twice-annual lubrication helps your garage door stay in tip-top shape year after year.
Taking a few minutes every 6 months to lubricate your garage door pays dividends for years in reduced wear and tear, smoother operation, and less noise. Following these four simple DIY steps using the right lubricants keeps all the hardware functioning properly through seasons of intense cold, heat, and humidity.
While cleaning and lubricating the garage door may seem intimidating at first, this tutorial breaks the process down into very manageable steps. The small time investment is absolutely worth it compared to costs of continuing repairs or full door replacement down the road. Just be sure to check and reapply lubricant twice per year. Keeping those elements moving freely and quietly extends the lifetime of your garage door
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to lubricate a garage door?
The best method is to use a garage door lubricant spray for the rollers, bearings, pulleys, cables and hinges. Use lithium grease on the springs and bearing plates. Clean each area thoroughly before applying lubricant.
What should I lubricate my garage door rollers with?
Garage door rollers work best lubricated with a silicone spray lubricant or lithium grease in a spray. After cleaning the rollers, spray lubricant directly onto the roller surface and axle, lifting rollers out with pliers to reach inner ball bearings.
What is the best lubricant for garage door springs and rollers?
White lithium grease is the top choice for lubricating garage door springs. Use a small paintbrush or gloved hands to apply onto each individual spring coil and springmounted bearings. Reapply every six months. Silicone spray lubricants are best for rollers.