How a Professional Garage Door Installer Will Maintain and Replace Garage Door Rollers

A man showing how to lubricate garage door rollers

If you’re hearing squeaky noises when you open and close your garage door, it could be a good sign that your rollers could use some attention. They may need to be lubricated or even replaced if they are worn out and unable to function properly.

The rollers of the garage hold a lot of weight, much like the knees in your body. They support the weight of the door as it opens and closes. Unfortunately, garage doors, unlike people, don’t get a chance to warm up before the door has to go to work.

The more you know: A garage door cycle means 1 opening + 1 closing.

Image from a video > Through the course of its life a garage door opens & closes 20,000 times

Do you know just how much work your garage door does? Watch this video to see your garage door’s everyday feats and challenges.

Image from a video> 20,000 opening and 20,000 closing of a garage door is the equivalent of travalling up and down the Everest 5 times

That’s why it is so very important to give your doors a minimum of care to help extend their life and keep them working smoothly. When your garage door is functioning well, your garage works properly, and your family is safe. Keep a close eye and ear on your garage doors, too, because things can go wrong.

Here, a professional technician will explain the process of garage door maintenance, along with taking care of the rollers, how to know when they need replaced, and how the replacement process actually works.

First –What Garage Door Rollers Does Your Door Have?

There are 3 types that are popular:

In Black Rubber: No ball bearings, recommended for smaller doors that measure less than 10 feet wide.

In Steel: These do have ball bearings. You want rollers with at least 10 bearings.

In Nylon: These are quieter, and available for single and double doors. You’ll want 12 ball bearings here.

2-inch Nylon rollers for residential overhead garage door

2-inch diameter rollers are standard on 99% of residential garage doors.

Always Cut the Power Before Starting Work!

A yellow sign of saying Safety First

Before you perform any work or maintenance on the garage door, be sure to:

● Disconnect or turn off the power supply

● Unplug the opener from the outlet

When your garage door is open and still powered, you’re asking for trouble by working underneath it.

Invest a few minutes to stay safe and keep yourself alive. It’s not being a chicken. It’s being smart.

So, How Do You Lubricate Garage Door Rollers?

Regardless of whether your rollers are nylon, steel, or rubber, you should NEVER USE OIL LUBRICANTS!

Oil lubricants are degreasers, and your rollers need grease more than ever when they’re squeaking and grinding. That would be like pouring sand on the plants that haven’t been watered in two weeks! It just doesn’t make sense.

Image of lubricant recommended for tracks, hinges, springs, and rollers

Choose a lubricant that is silicone-based for proper garage door roller maintenance, unless they are steel rollers.

Steel Rollers: Lubricate the innermost part of the roller where the ball bearings are located.

Nylon Rollers with Exposed Bearings: Apply lubricant to the outside of the roller and where they meet the shaft.

Nylon Rollers with Sealed Ball Bearings: No lubrication required, lucky you! These rollers will last the lifetime of your door with little to no maintenance!

Don’t forget

● To use the included straw to apply the lubricant

● To never apply more than you need

● To remove any of the extra lubricant right away using a clean cloth

● The rollers should roll, not slide, in their track

● It’s usually suggested to have maintenance done every 6 months

Since you’re already prepared, you might consider lubricating:

Hinge: Where the hinges open or bend


Arm Bars

Bearing Plates

Springs : These should also be lubricated. BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE DONE BY THE HOMEOWNER! Garage door springs have a lot of tension and can become a big safety risk.

Your safety and your life aren’t worth the risk. Leave your garage door maintenance to a professional for everyone’s wellbeing.

Should You Choose Steel or Nylon?

If your rollers do need replacing, should you buy nylon or steel garage door rollers 🤔?

Nylon garage door rollers cost slightly more than steel garage door rollers.
However, they offer benefits like:

● Quieter operation

● More durable construction

● May last over a decade

This is what steel rollers offer, according to Tim, from GarageTransformed :

● Rust-prone

● Noisier than necessary

● More demanding of maintenance

● Short 3–5-year lifespan

5 Steps to Replace Garage Door Rollers Properly

Image of warning sign

Safety Disclaimer : Garage door roller replacement is a dangerous job. You should NEVER attempt it on your own.

Do NOT loosen the bolts securing the garage door to the bottom fixture, and do NOT remove the cable from that fixture.

Failure to heed these warnings could cause a SNAPPED SPRING, which could lead to property damage, injury, or even death. Be warned and never attempt this work!

There are several dangers that come with garage door work, which are related to:

● The garage door weight

● The garage door spring tension

If you realize that your rollers need replaced, your garage door probably needs other service, as well. You should call your local garage door & opener technician to get maintenance and parts replacements taken care of quickly and properly.

# 1 – The opener will be unplugged so that power is disconnected

This will prevent accidental activation of the door during repairs.

# 2 – Use a winding bar to unwind the springs

H inges and rollers are best replaced when the door is in the "down" position . However, the springs will need unwound first.

Using a Vis-grip, the tech will lock the cable in place against the shaft.

# 3 – Removing the rollers on the garage door

● The hinge screws will need to be loosened with a screwdriver

● Then, hinges can be tapped out with a hammer to release them

IMPORTANT – Whenever a hinge and roller are removed, they need to be replaced before going onto the next. Doing the work one-by-one is essential because these are what hold the door in its place.

● Take off the old garage door rollers

# 4 – Replace the new garage door roller

● Carefully slide the garage door roller into the right hole

● Tip it back onto the track

● Make sure the hinge is positioned over the bolt holes

● Larger screws or Loctites are recommended

● Start at the outside and tap the bolts through the hinges, then tighten the nuts

Repeat the process for every roller. Once they have all been replaced, you can move onto the last step.

# 5 - Reset the spring tension

● Make adjustments as needed

● Take the Vis-grip off the shaft

Decided on Professional Garage Door Roller Replacement and Maintenance?

Smart choice.

Whether you didn’t know how dangerous it was when you started reading or even if you already knew the dangers of tension springs, now you know more about the benefits of the pros. It takes a special hand to take care of garage door maintenance and repairs.

Contact us at 616-452-4704.

We are passionate about garage doors and openers and have the expertise that you need. Our skilled technicians are just a call away.

We’ll provide a full tune-up service, along with answers to all of your questions about openers, doors, and more. You can also find more information here about our services and repairs.

Already aware of what you want? We can send an email quote, as well.

Perhaps you’re ready to upgrade the whole garage door?

Find the perfect new garage door right here.

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