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It's An Open And Shut Case: 3 Steps To Keep Your Garage Door Running Smoothly

by Harvie Simms

If you're like most people, you probably use your automatic garage door opener several times a day. You depend on your garage door to operate properly so that you can get in and out of your home. This is especially important during inclement weather, or when you have bags to carry into the house. You can help prevent malfunctions by keeping your garage door well-maintained. Here are three steps you should take each month to keep your garage door operating smoothly.


Your garage door runs along a system of tracks when it opens and closes. Over time, those tracks can get dirty – things like oil and dirt get caked on the surface. When that happens, your garage door won't open as smoothly as it should. In severe cases, dirt and oil build-up can cause your garage door to stop working altogether. You can keep your door running properly by cleaning the tracks once a month. Fill a bucket with warm water and add about ¼ cup of grease-cutting dish soap. Use a sponge to wash the surface of the tracks. Allow the tracks to air dry before using the garage door again.


Every moving part of your garage door should be lubricated once a month. You can do this using a can of aerosol spray lubricant that's available at any home improvement store. Here are the areas that should be lubricated.

Combination Hinge and Rollers

The combination hinge and rollers are located on either side of the door, between each pair of panels. Spray a small amount of lubricant on each roller and hinge.

Center Hinges

The center hinges are used to hold the panels together and allows them to roll up the tracks in a fluid motion. Each of these hinges should be lubricated once a month.

Chain Drive

The chain drive is located above your head in the garage. It runs from the motor to the garage door and is responsible for opening and closing the garage door. Apply a thin layer of lubricating spray to the surface of the chain. Be sure to spray a small amount inside the motor housing, as well.


Once your garage door has been cleaned and lubricated, you should inspect the system to make sure the safety features are working properly. This will also allow you to work the lubricating spray into the hinges and chain. Open the garage door. Place a large object on the ground in the path of the garage door. Push the button to close the garage door. The door should stop and reverse as soon as it comes in contact with the object. If it doesn't, remove the object, close the door and leave it closed until you can have a repair technician come out for repairs. The reversing feature is designed to prevent crushing accidents. If it's not operating properly, someone in your home could be seriously injured.

You depend on your garage door. Make sure it stays in good working order by following the garage door repair suggestions provided above.