If you’re reading this, odds are you already view your garage as the place where maintenance happens. Regardless of your DIY skill level, your car no doubt benefits from some preventive care in your garage, even if it’s just checking fluids and putting air in the tires.
While you’re working on automotive maintenance, you might not give much thought to the garage itself until something goes wrong. But garage and garage door maintenance are essential to a functional workspace. Here’s how to maintain a garage door, so all the tools and technology in your garage are kept safe, and you can go in and out with ease.
Check That Your Garage Door Opens and Shuts
Whether you have a garage door opener or do it manually, opening and closing your garage door is important. If you’re having trouble opening or closing an automatic garage door, follow these steps to find the problem:
- Check the power supply to the opener.
- Check the sensors to make sure nothing’s blocking them and that one or both haven’t been knocked out of alignment. They work on a beam of light that has to go from one to the other without any obstructions.
- Replace the battery in the remote.
- Check for damage to the cables or springs. If you find any, it’s time to call a garage door pro. The cables are high-tension and could cause serious injury or even death if something goes wrong.
Fix a Wobbling or Vibrating Garage Door
If your garage door opens and closes, it might still wobble, vibrate, creak, squeak or grind. Does it roll up and down smoothly, or is there some resistance at points along the track? Those are all problem signs. The good news is that, with only a handful of moving parts, it’s easy to identify the problem:
- First, get a ladder and look into the tracks that the door runs on.
- Clean out any debris that may be in there. If it’s been a while (or, you know, never) since you did this last, dust, dirt, rodent droppings — mice and rats love to run on garage door tracks — and congealed old grease will need to be cleaned out. Use a shop vac for the loose stuff, then wipe the rest out with a damp cloth and a cleanser, if necessary.
- Once the tracks are clean, spray a silicone lubricant on the tracks and on the pulleys and hinges, too.
- Afterwards, open and close the garage door a few times. You should see, feel and hear a difference.
Make this a regular part of how you maintain a garage door — twice a year is recommended.
Still Shaking, Rattling and Not Really Rolling?
If you still have problems, it could be time for a new garage door. Garage doors have a life span of 10 to 15 years, but with regular maintenance, you could go 20 or more.
Hopefully, these maintenance tips will help you keep your garage door in service for a long time to come. But if you have to make a change, keep this article handy and remember to maintain the new one.
Check out all the garage door products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on garage door maintenance, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photos courtesy of Mike Hagerty.
Mike Hagerty is an automotive journalist whose work has been featured on radio, TV, in print and online since 1997. He's the Publisher and Editor of MikeHagertyCars.com, and contributes car reviews to the Los Altos Town Crier and losaltosonline.com. Previous outlets have included KFBK and KFBK.com in Sacramento, California, the ABC television affiliates and Hearst-Argyle and Emmis radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona; AAA magazines for Arizona, Oklahoma, Northwest Ohio, South Dakota and the Mountain West and BBCCars.com.