How to Lubricate a Garage Door

a house with screen-door style garage doors
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-35
What You'll Need
Graphite dust
Silicone or white-lithium spray lubricant

Your garage door very well may be the largest moving thing in your home and it most likely gets the least attention when it is time to do spring cleaning and household maintenance. Garage doors are not inexpensive to replace and proper care of it will ensure you do not have to replace anything for years to come. When it rains or snows you always run the risk of the moving parts becoming rusty. This does not only ruin a garage door but can be dangerous if a track or spring should fail.

Step 1 - Safety First

The garage door should be closed in order to properly lubricate it. When the door is closed, make sure that you pull the release cord. Doing this means that the garage door will not automatically open or close. The last thing you want is a heavy garage door closing with your hands on the track.

Step 2 - Cleanup First

Lubricating a garage door is fairly pointless when the garage is messy with old oil, dirt and who knows what else. Take some time to use rags to rub the tracks and cables of the garage door assembly. Remove as much of the old lubricant as you can. The goal is to see metal again and not black grime.

Step 3 - Lubricate the Springs

When it comes to lubricating the springs of the garage door there are many who never even thought about doing that. The springs are located in the front of the system at the top. You can't miss it due to the size of it. This is a high-tension spring that you should never touch with your hands. It does need to be lubricated and you will do this by spraying a thin line of lubrication along the top of the spring. Movement of the garage door will cause the lubrication to work itself into the spring.

Step 4 - Roller Tracks and Wheels

Check with the manufacturer of the door because some do not want you to use lubrication while others say it is alright to lubricate the tracks. What they usually mean is that you should not use oil to lubricate the tracks because it can clump. For the tracks, you want to use 6 dots of lubrication along the track. You will also add a drop or two to the wheels and several drops along the front and inside the wheels. For the front tracks, you want to apply several drops at the top of the track. If your wheels are plastic then refrain from using the lubrication and use the graphite dust in its place.

Step 5 - Drive Shaft

This is the large pole that unscrews itself from the main box in order to pull the door through the use of leverage. Place a line of lubricant along the shaft.

Step 6 - Hinges

The hinges on the door get a lot of wear. Squirt a few drops of lubricant in the seams and pins of the hinges.