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How To Perform Garage Door Maintenance

Overhead garage doors require periodic maintenance to function properly. This type of garage door consists of panels that are hinged together and that ride in tracks on either side of the door. They are heavy and require the assistance of a spring or springs attached to the door with a cable and pulley assembly to move up and down. Maintaining your garage door is a matter of frequent lubrication depending on use and troubleshooting and repairing problems such as binding doors and adjusting locks.

Solving binding problems

Overhead garage doors function best when they are regularly maintained

Overhead garage doors function best when they are regularly maintained

  1. If your garage door binds in the tracks as you raise and lower it, you may need to adjust the track.
  2. Loosen the fasteners holding the track brackets to the door frame and bump the bottom of the track in the required direction.
  3. Retighten the fasteners and test the door operation.
  4. The door may rub against the door stop or weather stripping.
  5. To adjust the door gap loosen the fasteners holding the track brackets to the track and move the track such that there is only a slight gap between the edge of the door and the stop. The edge of the door should still ride against the weather stripping all the way around.


  1. Using a rag and a degreasing solvent or water and detergent, clean the door rollers, roller shafts, tracks, cable, cable pulleys, and hinges.
  2. Lubricate all the above points with a good quality greaseless lube like silicone or a light machine oil.
  3. Avoid using any greases or heavy oils like motor oil because they attract dirt.

Lock adjustment

  1. Garage door locks are either at one side or the other of the door or in the center.
  2. Adjust the side lock bar so it passes through the matching lock hole in the track without resistance. You may need to shim the lock assembly to allow the lock bar to meet the hole in the track properly. Remove the lock fasteners and place small washers as needed between the lock assembly and the door panel. Replace the lock assembly, tighten the fasteners, and test the lock bar action.
  3. If your door has a center lock, adjust the lock bar guides near the edges of the door so the lock bar passes through the lock bar hole in the track properly.


Do not try to adjust or replace the extension springs or the tension springs on any overhead garage door as they are under extreme tension and can cause personal injury or property damage when released improperly.

If you are uncertain about how to repair or maintain your overhead garage door, consult a professional.

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