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Step by Step Guide for Lubricating Garage Door Rollers

Step by Step Guide for Lubricating Garage Door Rollers

Has opening and closing your garage door become a noisy, grinding chore? Don’t ignore those squeaky rollers. Taking the time to properly lubricate your garage door rollers can make a huge difference in how smoothly and quietly your door operates. Lubricating garage door rollers is an easy DIY project that you can knock out in less than an hour. With minimal effort, you can reduce wear and tear on your garage door parts and prevent more serious issues down the road. You’ll learn all the steps needed to keep your garage door rollers rolling like new. 

Why Lubricating Garage Door Rollers is Important

Why Lubricating Garage Door Rollers is Important

The metal rollers on your garage door allow it to open and close along the track system. But constant movement causes friction, which can lead to annoying squeaks and grinding noises. Lubricating the rollers and bearings reduces friction and protects the rollers from premature wear.

Regular lubrication also keeps the rollers moving smoothly along the track. When dry and dirty rollers stick and bind, it forces the garage door opener to work harder to lift the door. This strains the opener motor and its parts.

Lubricating about once or twice a year helps prevent:

  • Squeaky, grinding rollers
  • Excessive wear on rollers and bearings
  • Binding and sticking of the door
  • Damage to the opener motor and hardware
  • Rusted track and roller shaft

Simply put, taking the time to lubricate preserves the health of your entire garage door system.

What You’ll Need

Lubricating the rollers is simple to do yourself. With a few basic supplies, you’ll be ready to get your garage door rolling smoothly again:

White lithium grease – Specifically designed for lubricating garage door parts. It resists moisture and won’t fling off the rollers.

Rags – For cleaning grime off the rollers before lubricating. Paper towels or old t-shirts work well.

A step stool or ladder – To comfortably reach the rollers and hardware.

Safety glasses – For eye protection as you spray lubricant.

A Phillips head screwdriver – If you need to remove track brackets to access the rollers.

How to Lubricate Garage Door Rollers

With the right supplies in hand, you’re ready to lubricate. Follow these steps:

1. Disconnect the automatic opener

If your garage door has an automatic opener, always disconnect it before working on the door. This prevents the door from trying to open accidentally while you’re lubricating garage door rollers.

Locate the manual release handle on the opener and pull it. This disconnects the door from the opener mechanism. The door should now operate manually.

2. Inspect the rollers

With the garage door in the down position, examine all the rollers along the length of the track. Look for excess dirt buildup, flat spots from wear, rusted shafts, or cracked roller brackets.

Rollers with any damage or rust should be replaced. But if they look intact, lubrication will help extend their lifespan.

3. Clean the rollers

Before lubricating garage door rollers, use a rag to wipe off any dirt, grime, or old lubricant coating the rollers. Remove any debris sticking to the wheels or wedged in the bearings.

Cleaning allows fresh lubricant to adhere properly and evenly distribute along the rollers.

4. Apply a thin coat of lubricant

Shake the lithium grease canister well. Holding the straw extension to the roller, spray a light coat of lubricant over the wheel, bearings, and roller shaft. Slowly spin the roller to work the lubricant across the surface.

Take care not to over-lubricate or the grease will fling off as the door opens and closes. Wipe away any drips or excess grease with a rag.

Repeat this process to lubricate all hinges, rollers, and bearings along both sides. Any parts where the door opens and closes should be well-lubricated.

5. Operate the door

With lubricant applied, manually raise and lower the door a few times. This evenly distributes the lubricant and lets you check for any lingering squeaks or grinding. Pay attention to the door’s movement and make sure the rollers glide smoothly.

Reapply lubricant to any problem spots that still stick or squeak. The door should require very little effort to move once properly lubricated.

6. Reconnect the opener

When satisfied with the smooth operation, disengage the manual release and let the opener reconnect with the door. Test that the automatic door runs quietly and without resistance.

Be sure to lubricate the garage door every 6 months to a year to maintain its easy operation. Keeping rollers well-greased prevents costly repairs down the road.

Lubricating Torsion Springs

Lubricating Torsion Springs

If your garage door has torsion springs mounted horizontally above the door, lubricating garage door rollers them is also important for smooth, balanced movement. Torsion springs should be lubricated at the same time you do the rollers.

Use a lubricant specially made for garage door springs. Regular grease is too heavy and can bind the coils. Spray spring lubricant lightly across the coils, spring winding shaft, and stationary cones.

Never exceed 10 sprays per spring. Excess lubricant drips down the coils and attracts debris. Rotate the springs to distribute lubricant without over-applying.

Avoid getting lubricant on the tracks. This can cause the rollers to slip. Place cardboard underneath the springs to catch any drips. Monitor door balance after lubricating garage door rollers springs.

Additional Maintenance Tips

A few other simple maintenance steps will further protect your garage door:

  • Inspect lifting cables for fraying and replace if damaged.
  • Check for loose screws, bolts, and hardware. Tighten if needed.
  • Clear dirt, spider webs, and debris from tracks.
  • Test the auto-reverse function on the opener to make sure it’s working.
  • Replace old batteries in remote transmitters for optimal range.

With proper care and maintenance, your garage door system will stay in good working order for years. Letting the rollers run dry and ungreased leads to headaches down the road.

So grab some white lithium grease and give those tired rollers some much-needed TLC! Just a little DIY work now prevents bigger repairs later.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of lubricant is best for garage doors?

White lithium grease is ideal for garage door parts. It withstands moisture, extreme temperatures, and repels dirt. Avoid regular grease or oil which can attract debris and gum up.

How often should I lubricate the rollers?

Plan to lubricate the rollers and hinges every 6 months to 1 year. If your garage door sees frequent daily use, lubricate more often. Listen for squeaks and grinding noises which signal it’s time to reapply lubricant.

Should I lubricate the entire track?

No, lubricating the metal track can cause the rollers to slip and slide inconsistently. Only apply grease to the rollers, bearings and hinges. Use a targeted spray when lubricating garage door rollers to avoid overspray on the track.

Can I use WD-40 instead of grease on my garage door?

WD-40 can work in a pinch but it’s not designed to lubricate. It’s mainly a solvent that dries out quickly. Stick with white lithium grease for longevity, reduced friction, and to protect metal garage door parts from wear.

What if my rollers are rusted? Should I still grease them?

Severely rusted and corroded rollers need replacement. But rollers with surface rust and oxidation can benefit from lubrication after cleaning off debris. Prevent future rust by lubricating regularly to protect rollers from moisture.


Regularly lubricating garage door rollers the rollers, bearings and hinges on your garage door is essential maintenance. White lithium grease reduces friction and noise, protects metal parts from excessive wear, and prevents rust buildup. This simple DIY project only takes about an hour but makes a huge difference in how smoothly your door operates.

Follow the step-by-step instructions to safely disconnect the automatic opener, clean the rollers, lightly coat with lubricant, and test operation. Remember to reapply grease every 6 months or whenever squeaking and grinding returns. Properly lubricated rollers glide effortlessly and quietly along the door tracks.

Frequent use and lack of maintenance can lead to the breakage of springs on a garage door, highlighting the importance of investing a small amount of time in DIY lubrication to save money over costly garage door repairs. Keeping on top of this basic maintenance not only helps your garage door system last for many years to come but also ensures that just a few sprays of lubricant can restore the ease of manually operating that big door once again.


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