Steps a Professional Door Installer Takes to Maintain or Replace Garage Door Rollers

A man showing how to lubricate garage door rollers

How do you know if your garage door rollers need to be lubricated or even replaced? Well, you’ll certainly start to hear annoying, telltale noises every time the door closes and opens.

Garage door rollers are weight-bearing, and they support the weight of the door whenever it moves. But unfortunately, they don’t get the chance to warm up before they bear that weight, which causes them to wear out.

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

Did you know? A garage door cycle means 1 opening + 1 closing.

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

With all that hard work, it’s no wonder your garage door rollers can wear out. Watch this video to see your garage door’s everyday challenges.

To make sure you get the most out of your garage door, you need to take continuously good care of it. Not only are those squeaky noises annoying, but a worn-down garage door can be dangerous for you and your family.

In this blog article, a professional garage door technician explains not only how he maintains a garage door, but also how he knows when it’s time to replace the door rollers and how to replace them properly.

First –What Kind of Garage Door Rollers Do You Have on Your Garage Door?

There are 3 different types of popular door rollers:

  • Black Rubber : No ball bearings. Recommended for doors less than 10 feet in width.
  • Steel : With ball bearings. You need rollers with at least 10 ball bearings.
  • Nylon : Quieter, good for single or double doors, nylon rollers have 12 ball bearings.

2-inch Nylon rollers for residential overhead garage door

99% of residential doors come with 2-inch diameter rollers.

Before Starting to Work, Always Cut Off the Power!

A yellow sign of saying Safety First

For your safety, never forget that before you start on any maintenance work on your garage door, you should:

Cut the power

Unplug the garage door opener

Working on an open garage door that is still connected to power can be very dangerous.

Always remember to work smartly and take the time to cut the power off to your garage doors.

How to Lubricate Your Garage Door Rollers?

It doesn’t matter the material; Nylon, Steel, or Rubber, YOU SHOULD NEVER USE OIL LUBRICANTS!!!

Oil lubricants are actually degreasers, and when your garage door is squeaking, they need grease! That’s right, oil lubricants are actually the opposite of what you want.

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

Unless you have steel rollers, always use a silicone-based lubricant for all maintenance.

  • Steel Rollers : These types of rollers require lubrication directly onto the ball-bearings on the rollers’innermost part.
  • Nylon Rollers with Exposed Bearings : Apply the lubricant to the exterior at the point where the shaft meets the rollers
  • Nylon Rollers with Sealed Ball Bearings : Surprisingly, these rollers don’t need any lubricant! They’ll last the life of your garage without being lubricated.

Always remember to:

  • Utilize that little straw that comes with the can
  • Apply only thin coats
  • Always remember to use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess lubricate IMMEDIATELY
  • That rollers must roll, not slide, in the track
  • The recommended timeframe for maintenance is every 6 months

While you’re at it, why not also lubricate:

  • Hinges at the point where they open and close
  • Locks
  • Arm Bars
  • Bearing Plates
  • Springs : They need to be lubricated too. BUT HOMEOWNERS BE AWARE, DON’T DO THIS YOURSELF! Garage door springs are under extremely high tension and are very, very dangerous.

Garage door spring maintenance is far too risky. Leave this part of your garage door maintenance to professionals only.

Should You Go with Nylon or Steel?

What if you need to completely replace your garage door rollers – should you go with nylon or steel 🤔?

Nylon garage door rollers are more expensive than steel rollers, but for a good reason.
They are:

  • Quieter
  • Tougher
  • Will last over 10 years

According to Tim, from GarageTransformed , steel rollers are:

  • Noisy
  • Prone to corrosion & rust
  • Require frequent maintenance

Will only last you for 3 to 5 years

How to Replace Garage Door Rollers in 5 Steps

Warning sign

Safety Disclaimer : Replacing garage door rollers is highly risky and should NEVER be attempted yourself.

NEVER loosen the bolts that secure the bottom fixture to the garage door or remove the cable from the bottom fixture.

Warning! Not taking proper precautions can easily cause the garage door SPRING TO SNAP and the door to fall or to jam. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to property damage and/or personal injury or death .

Why is replacing garage door rollers and hinges so dangerous? Well:

  • Garage doors are very heavy
  • The springs are under huge amounts of tension

Servicing a garage door and replacing the rollers requires the help of a professional. It is heavily recommended that you contact your local garage door & opener technician for help with garage door maintenance.

Step 1 – Start by unplugging your garage door opener

Never skip this step. You do not want your garage door to activate while you work.

Step 2 – Next, start to unwind the springs with a winding bar

Please be aware that hinges and rollers are best replaced with the door in the "down" position . However, first, springs need to be unwound.

Then, use a Vis-grip on the springs shaft to lock the cable in place.

Step 3 – Now you can remove the garage door rollers

  • Start by loosening the screws holding the hinge to the roller
  • Release the hinge by carefully tapping it out with a hammer
  • PLEASE NOTE – When you remove a hinge and a roller, you MUST replace it before moving on to the next one. Don’t forget, the hinges and rollers are the only things holding the door!
  • Now you can remove the old roller

Step 4 – Replace with your new garage door roller

  • Before starting, please note that it’s best to use bigger screws or Loctites
  • Carefully slide the roller into the correct hole
  • Tip the roller back into the track
  • Position the hinge over the bolt holes
  • Tap the bolts back from the outside through the hinge holes and tighten the nut

Now, repeat these steps for each individual roller, then you’ll be ready to move on.

Step 5 - Wind the springs back to their original tension

  • If you need to, adjust the spring tension
  • Remove the vice grip from the shaft

Would You Prefer A Professional to Handle Your Garage Door Rollers Replacement and Your Garage Door Maintenance?

We get it!

Replacing and maintain a garage door is hard work and can be risky. Maybe you didn’t understand the dangers of trying this yourself, but now you know, it’s best to hire a professional.

Contact us at 1-800-479-7172.

We know everything there is to know about Garage doors and openers.

Our skilled repairmen are ready and waiting to help.

We offer even more than just a tune-up service. We can answer any question you might have about garage doors. If you want to learn even more, check out our services and repairs.

Already know what you need? We can offer you a free email quote to get you started.

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