How to Lubricate a Garage Door
Steps to stop a squeaking or squealing garage door
It’s quite an annoying and alarming problem to hear your garage door squeak every time you open it. A proper working automatic garage door is supposed to operate quietly. So, a loud sound should be a clear sign to you that something is not quite right.
Fortunately, a good greasing may be all that is needed to fix your noisy garage door. While this is maintenance service you can call on Cheney Door Company for, this is a task that a lot of homeowners can handle on their own. As long as you pay attention to a few important safety steps, you may be able to follow these basic steps of how to lubricate a noisy garage door.
Leave Your WD40 in the Shop
WD40 is a great tool that comes in handing in a lot of sticky situations – but a noisy garage door isn’t one of them. This is a common error that a lot of homeowners make. But using WD40 or any kind of oil is not going to solve your squeaky overhead door problem.
The fact of the matter is, WD40 isn’t meant for everything. The problem with WD40 and oil is that they are degreasers, so they take out the grease instead of dealing with the root of your problem.
Tools Needed for Greasing a Garage Door
- Lithium (or silicone) grease spray
- Clean rag
- Ladder or step stool
- Plenty of light
- It wouldn’t hurt to have a helper to make the job easier
You should purchase a lithium-based grease for handling a noisy garage door. These types of solutions are thick enough to thoroughly cover the areas you are spraying. Compare that to an oil-based spray which is more liquidly, likely to drip, and can even cause damage to your door track.
You can usually find a lithium spray at your local hardware store or at Home Depot or Lowes. If you can’t find a lithium-based grease, your next best bet is a silicone spray. It will still be a much better option than using oil.
Steps to Greasing a Noisy Garage Door
You will want to lubricate all moving parts of your garage door. But before you start spraying the grease, do these two steps first.
- Make sure your garage door is completely closed
- Manually disconnect your door from the motor
Then you are ready to start spraying the grease. But what exactly you spray is important. The general rule of thumb is that you will want to spray all the moving parts of your door.
As you lubricate individual parts, you will periodically need to lift your garage door up in order to get the lubrication to all the parts that bend over the track as it moves up. Completely spray each of the parts, including all hinges, pivot points, nuts and bolts, and the arm bar.
Lubricate the Rollers
Then you can move on to greasing the garage door rollers that are on the door track. Plastic rollers may only last a few years and so you may be better off replacing them.
Inside metal rollers are ball bearings that will need to be greased. Use the straw tube on your spray can to really get into that area to fully grease the ball bearings. You may want to use a flashlight or other additional lighting to really be sure you can see that you’ve completely greased each roller.
Putting Grease on Pulleys
Grease the pulleys. Some pulleys have exposed ball bearings that are easily to see. Those can get old and worn and start to wiggle around. If they wiggle too much, you may need to replace them.
Be sure to grease the pulleys fully, using that straw on the spray. Move the garage door up and down a few times to help spread the grease around inside the pulley. If your pulley has a seal, no bearings are exposed and therefore there is nothing you need to grease.
Do NOT Lubricate a Garage Door Chain
Do NOT put grease on the chain. This is another common mistake that a lot of homeowners make.
The truth is that the chain that moves your garage door along does not need to be greased. Chains are made to have a protective coating that is designed to last as long as the garage door motor.
However, you do want to lubricate the top of the rail near the chain. That’s where the trolly moves back and forth where there is a lot of friction. You do not need to get the bottom of the rail. Only lubricate the top part.
Do NOT Grease the Track
You do not need to grease your track. That will that not fix a noisy garage, and it could cause problems. Dirt and debris will eventually stick to that added oil or grease to your track and build up. And that can cause you bigger problems than a squeaking garage door.
However, a track can be cleaned. Not only that, but if you find dirt and debris getting on it, you SHOULD clean it. Just using a damp cloth is all that you’ll need to wipe it down. Or if there is a lot of dirt and debris up there, you can get first vacuum along the track before wiping it down.
Greasing the Garage Door Spring
Sometimes a garage door spring may need to be lubricated. But this is only true if you have a torsion spring. If you have extension springs that stretch, they are already coated and never need greasing.
SAFETY WARNING: Do Not Move or Remove a Garage Door Spring
Dealing with a garage door spring can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you do not know what you are doing or not trained and experienced in garage door repair. The information supplied regarding spring maintenance is intended for information only and not as an instructional guide. The safest tactic for dealing with anything having to do with a garage door spring is by having a professional garage door repair technician come out and handle it.
Instead of stretching like an extension string, a torsion spring gets wound and therefore eventually may need to be lubricated. Grease can be sprayed along a spring without needing to touch it or remove it. Then the movement of having the garage door open and close a few times will help move that grease throughout the torsion spring.
If greasing the other components of your garage door apparatus do not reduce the noisy squealing sound, contact Cheney Door Company for a professional technician to fully clean and lubricate your garage door including the spring.
With a torsion spring door, you will also need to grease the 3 bearing plates. In some garage door systems, bearing plates cannot be accessed without removing the spring. Do not do this, as handling garage door springs can cause serious injury. Contact Cheney Door Company for garage door maintenance at (316) 262-2098.
Noisy Garage Making Other Sounds?
Sometimes lubricating the parts will not fix a squealing garage door. There are other issues that can cause your overhead door to make noises. And especially when the loud sound isn’t a squeal, but rather a pop or a rattling sound.
Check out this helpful article on other issues that can cause a garage door to open loudly.
Thorough Garage Door Maintenance & Repair
Throughout this entire process, look for any damaged or loose parts. Tighten down loose parts and replace any damaged ones that you can. Homeowners should never try to remove or replace garage door springs as it can lead to serious injury.
If there are parts you can’t access or damaged parts you can’t address yourself, just contact Cheney Door Company to come out to make sure your noisy garage door is fixed and operating perfectly!
Now with 4 locations serving homeowners across Kansas, Cheney Door Company is available anytime you need garage door repair or maintenance service to keep your overhead door operating properly and safely.
- Wichita: call (316) 262-2098
- Salina: call (785) 820-8366.
- Hutchinson: call (620) 669-9306
- Garden City: call (620) 402-4877