Steps for Properly Lubricating a Garage Door

There are a few common areas of a given home or building that may require lubrication, and the garage door and its related components are a great example. If your garage door is rattling, moaning and creaking while opening and closing, annoying everyone in the home in the process, some simple lubrication will often be all that’s needed to remedy the situation.

At Price’s Guaranteed Doors, we’re happy to help with numerous garage door services, from commercial and residential garage door installation through assistance with repairs and maintenance to any garage door on your property — including lubrication themes that may come up. In many cases, we provide basic tips and assistance to our garage door owners who want to perform the lubrication process on their own. If you’re looking to handle this job yourself, here are the basic steps to run through as you do so.

steps lubricating garage door

Equipment and Lubrication Selection

First and foremost, you have to prep for this job by collecting the proper materials and the right lubricant. Before lubricant selection, make sure you have a rag, vacuum cleaner and ladder all handy for use.

Once you have these items, it’s important to select the right lubricant. The best garage lubricant products include either silicone or lithium in their base, for the right amount of thickness and stickiness. There are many excellent brands available at low cost, so review your options before making a purchase to ensure you have the best value for your money.

One important tip here: Do not use WD-40, which has a reputation as a lubricant but actually has very little stickiness and is far more of a penetrating oil. Over time, this will actually wear down the moving parts of your garage door and related components.

Now that you have the supplies and lubricant ready, it’s time to move on to application for the most effective results.

Close the Door and Turn Off Power

Before you get to the actual lubrication process, you must first ensure that the garage door is closed and locked, and you’ve turned off any power to the garage door opener. Admittedly, this step seems like overkill when looking at the lubrication process — but it’s not. If you were to run into your garage door or otherwise get caught in its moving parts while attempting lubrication, it can cause serious injury or even death.

Clean Garage Tracks

Another task that has to be completed before lube can be applied is the cleaning of garage door tracks, which can become dusty and grimy over time. Regularly wiping these down with a rag and dusting spray will help to remove debris, which helps the garage door run more easily and helps prolong its life.

If this hasn’t been done in a while, it should be handled before lubrication begins. Take a damp rag and some dish soap and wipe both the top and bottom of the tracks to remove dust, grease and other build up. Let dry fully before moving on to the next step.

Apply Lubricant to Springs and Bearing Plates

After you’ve cleaned your tracks, it’s time for lubrication proper. Begin with springs (typically located at the top of the door) and bearings (often found at the bottom). Use your rag and lubricant to get a nice, thin layer of oil on both.

Don’t be afraid to apply too much, either: It’s always better to over-apply than under-apply when looking at garage door lubricants that will protect all moving parts for years without requiring reapplication.

Lubricate Hinges

Next up, it’s time to move to the hinges, which are often one of the loudest noise-makers within a garage if they aren’t properly lubricated. You’ll need to first lift the garage door manually, and then apply lubricant to the top and bottom hinges with your rag. This is one part of the job that might be a bit easier if you have a second person to assist you, one who can hold the door up while you spray the lubricant on each hinge (or vice versa).

Lubricate Rollers and Cables

Finally, finish up by lubricating all rollers and cables throughout the entire door system: Both on tracks and out of sight around the perimeter of the lift mechanism. Use a spray lubricant for ease of application here; it’s likely your garage door will be silent and working properly after this step.

In addition, if your garage door has a lock feature, it’s important to spray lubricant on this as well; it will make opening and closing your door much smoother. If you can’t find the lock mechanism, don’t fret. Just take a quick look at the manual for your garage door opener for location help.

Power On and Test

Once all of these steps are complete, turn power back on to the opener (if turned off) and attempt to open your garage door. It should run smoothly thanks to the added lubricant, making more of a whisper than the roar it was before you made this effort.

Now, if it doesn’t work, that’s not likely due to lack of lubrication — it’s typically because of other problems that have developed with age or wear and tear. If that’s the case, it might be time to check out your garage door opener manual for help in determining exactly what the issue is. If needed, our pros will be happy to assist you with repairs for issues beyond lubrication.

For more on how to properly lubricate a garage door and all its components, or to learn about any of our garage door installation or repair services, speak to the staff at Price’s Guaranteed Doors today.