Is your garage door really squeaky and loud? Well my dad always told me where there’s a squeak, there’s parts rubbing together and when they’re rubbing together they’re going to wear out. So in this article I’m going to show you how easy it is to lubricate your door so you get rid of all those squeaks and help your door last a lot longer. Let’s get started!
Now before I get started I wanted you to have a chance to listen to what my door sounds like now. This is before I’ve done anything at all and at the end of this video I’ll have a quick comparison that shows just how much quieter it is after a little bit of lubrication.
All right so let’s start with discussing the supplies and the tools that you’re going to need to get this job done, starting with the lubricant that we’re going to use. This is a white lithium-based lubricant. It is made by WD-40 brand, but it is not regular WD-40. If you don’t learn anything else from this video, pay attention to this next part: do not use regular WD-40 to lubricate your garage door. Regular wd-40 is actually a de-greaser, it’s not a lubricant – and it attracts dirt, and it attracts dust, and it will destroy your garage door pieces and all the parts that rub together. Do not use regular WD-40. You want to pick up any kind of a lubricant that has a white lithium base. This just happens to be a WD-40 brand.
As you can see here though, when I went to the store (this happens to have been Lowe’s) to pick it up there are several different brands of white lithium based grease – and I know that you can pick this up not only at Lowe’s, but Home Depot, Walmart, almost anywhere that has any kind of a home improvement section will have a white lithium-based grease. In addition to making sure it’s white lithium, also make sure that it’s got a straw like this so that you can pinpoint the application of the lubricant. You’ll see why that’s going to be important here in just a few minutes – we’ve got some real tight spots to get this into.
You’ll probably also want some gloves like this just to keep your hands clean. This can be a little bit of a dirty job. You’ll need some old rags as well, and I’m just going to use some old worn-out socks. I like to use these because I can put my hand inside of it really easily and then I can use that to reach inside of the track and clean and get things nice and cleaned out the way that I like them. Regular old shop rags work just great as well.
You’ll also want to have some safety glasses on hand because you don’t want this lubricant to be splashing up into your eyes. Additionally, you’re going to need a socket wrench like this with the correct size socket to tighten up the hardware on your door. If you don’t have a socket wrench like this, an adjustable wrench should work just fine. Finally, you’re going to need a ladder. It doesn’t have to be super tall, it can just be a step stool. The only important part with the ladder is you’ve got to make sure you can reach the tallest part of your track with whatever ladder you use. So if you’ve got a really tall garage door, you’ll need a taller ladder. This is the one we’ll be using today for mine.
Alright let’s get started. So the first thing we want to do is make sure all the hardware is tight on the door. You don’t want to crank these down, just make sure that they’re snug. Tighten up anything that’s loose. Next, you’re going to start with the hinge pins and just squirt some lubrication in between the pin and the sleeve that it rolls inside of. Get as much in there as you can and then kind of wiggle the wheel around a little bit. Also don’t forget to lubricate near the wheel and the bearing, if you have the kind of wheels that have bearings.
Also, you’re going to want to lubricate the hinges that are right above these, and once you’ve got enough lubrication on go ahead and work things as much as you can. Spin the wheel inside the sleeve etc and then apply even more. You want to be generous with this lubrication. It’s almost impossible to put too much on. Now you will have some excess that’s going to drip out, so wipe that off with a rag so it doesn’t drip down on your cars or other things in the garage.
Next, we’re going to move to the hinges and lubricate them similar to the way that we did the pins for the rollers. Let’s put lots of lubrication into the hinge itself and don’t be shy with it. Make sure you get plenty in there and then wipe off any excess as well. Don’t forget the roller pins that are at the very top of the door. These generally will not have a hinge on them but they also will move around and potentially squeak and make things loud, so just make sure you get plenty of lubrication in there – and again, spin that pin inside of its little sleeve to distribute the lubrication as much as possible.
Then, once you’ve finished all the hinges and pins, you can move up to the arm that connects the door to the trolley. Make sure you lubricate both ends of this. There should be a little pin that goes through to connect it at the top of the door, and a similar kind of a mechanism that connects it to the trolly. Again don’t forget to wipe off any excess drips.
So, my garage door has one of these springs that’s completely internal. It’s inside this metal tube that runs along the top of my door, so I can’t really do anything to lubricate the spring. However, if you have a torsion spring, which is the kind of spring that’s in the same location at the top of the door running along the opening, and you can see the springs themselves then you’ll want to spray the entire outside of those springs as well as you can, because those Springs actually rub together as the door opens and closes. That’s how a torsion spring works.
So, if you’ve got an exposed torsion spring, go ahead and lubricate the entire thing. However, if yours is more like mine where the spring is completely enclosed, then there isn’t very much for you to lubricate. Really you’ll just want to lubricate the bearings at the end as well as you can. There’s a center bearing as well that runs through a little bearing race. Again, these aren’t super critical – just do what you can.
Okay, so let’s talk about the parts up here on the track and the trolley to lubricate (and not to lubricate). First off, this is a belt drive garage door opener. See it’s got a belt instead of a chain. You do not want to get any lubricant at all on the belt. Also there’s no parts that move up and down along the top of this track so don’t get any lubricant on the top. This trolley right here rides on the top face of the bottom of the track.
So, if you’re going to lubricate the track at all, you want to lubricate right along the top where my finger is right here, which is where the trolley grabs and rides and all of the weight is distributed. Let me move the trolley out of the way and I’ll show you what I mean. To lubricate this part on a belt drive, try and lift the belt up out of the way and then spray the lubrication down on the top face, like this – again being careful not to get anything on the belt at all. Of course you’ll do both sides. Once you got everything lubricated, the last step is to wipe out the track with a rag. As I mentioned at the beginning, I like to use a sock because I can just put my hand inside it and run it right along the inside of that track.
You do not want any extra lubrication in there – we’re just trying to get out any gunk, dirt, dust, debris, or old grease – anything that might be in that track so that the wheels can just roll smoothly. Once you’ve done the upper part of the track, of course just reposition the door so that you can do the lower part as well. All right, once you’ve done all that lubricating, now the only thing left to do is to open and close your door – oh five or six times – you probably want to do it by hand several times first, and then connect it back up to the trolley and user opener to open it three or four more times. Make sure you really work all that lubrication in everywhere.
Now, if you find any other spots that are still squeaking or that are still making noises that you’re not real happy with, you should be able to just walk around and listen really closely to the areas where the squeaks seem to be coming from and apply a little bit of extra lubrication. I had one little spot that I had to go back and lubricate a little bit extra, and now my door is much much quieter. If you don’t believe me, here you may remember is the before: and here’s what it sounds like now.
Now one last thing to mention – my wheels are the kind that are nylon, but they don’t have any kind of a bearing inside. They just run right on the post that sticks out from the door. You can get nylon wheels that have sealed bearings in them that never need any maintenance at all. If you’d like to check out how to do that, I suggest you go check out the video I’m linking above over at Budd’s Odd Jobs. He does an excellent job explaining how easy it is to replace these wheels, and he shows you exactly where to go to get the right kind.
Well, that’s about gonna wrap it up for this one. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching and I hope you’ve learned a little bit of something. As always, thank you very much for watching.