Grease Your Garage Door to Keep It Opening and Closing Smoothly

Time: 30 Minutes

Can everyone down the street and around the block hear you coming and going? It's probably time to grease your garage door to keep it opening and closing smoothly. Grease your door in all the right places (just stay away from that WD-40 stuff) and it’ll never get stuck the moment you’re late.

What's in it for you?

  • Reduced noise when opening and closing
  • No rust build-up
  • A door that doesn’t get stuck

(Show me how)

Grease Your Garage Door to Keep It Opening and Closing Smoothly

  1. Get some lithium-based spray. Don’t be tempted to grab the WD-40. We know, we know — you probably have some lying around, the label says it can be used on garage doors — it's awfully tempting. But WD-40 is actually a degreaser that will strip your garage door joints of the lubrication they need to run smoothly. Instead, head over to your local hardware store and pick up a bottle of lithium-based grease.

  2. Grease the hinges. Stand inside your garage and close the door. Find the hinges near the outer edges and middle of the door and spray them where they pivot (there should be about nine hinges). A small spritz of lithium-based grease in each spot will do the trick. Don't forget to open and close the door a few times, spreading the grease to every part of the hinge.

  3. Grease the ball bearings of the rollers. Look to the right, look to the left — you should see parallel tracks going from the door to the ceiling. Inside these tracks are small wheels (rollers), which have an inner circle of ball bearings that spin when the rollers are moved. Give the ball bearings a couple sprays of lithium grease, making sure to avoid the tracks. If you’ve got plastic rollers or enclosed ball bearings, you’ll need to call in a specialist.

  4. Grease the lock. Not all garage doors have locks, but if yours does, it’ll likely be in the center of the door. Give the keyhole a spritz to keep rust at bay.

  5. Grease the spring. First, figure out what kind of spring you have. Is it free hanging with a pulley attached? You’ve got an extension spring, complete with a rust-prevention coating. You’ll still need to coat the ball bearings of the pulley mechanism — look for two wheels on top of the door and spritz away. If your spring is wound around a metal bar on the ceiling above the door, it’s a torsion spring. You’ll need to spray the outside of the spring with the lithium-based grease.

  6. Grease the top of the rail. This is the giant slab of metal across your ceiling with a chain attached to it. The chain’s coated in a protective, anti-rust solution, but the top of the rail could use some love. Just climb up a ladder, spray some lithium grease on a cloth, and rub down the top of the rail. Easy!

  7. Clean the track. Remember the ball bearings you greased in step 3? Time to clean the tracks they sit in. Use a damp cloth and a degreaser (we’re looking at you, WD-40) to clean any grime, dirt, or spiders (!!) from the tracks. Very important: Don’t grease the tracks — or you’ll end up with greasy grime. No one wants that.

Pro Tip: Don’t want to get your hands dirty? Grab a long-necked, high-pressure vacuum to suck out all the dust before you start greasing.

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