Garage Door Repair – Mechanical Problems
Garage door repair solutions are sometimes fully mechanical in nature. One of the main categories of garage door problems could be called mechanical problems. Sometimes these problems need to be fixed by an experienced technician, but many times they are well within the capabilities of a homeowner to fix. Often a mechanically damaged or defective part simply needs to be replaced, and replacement parts are often available at the consumer level. The following are some examples of mechanical garage door repair problems you may encounter and some tips on remedying them.
Worn out Pulleys
Pulleys are a common mechanical garage door repair issue. There are usually four pulleys associated with your garage door. Two are attached to springs which expand and contract as the door opens and closes. Two are stationary and simply allow the cable to roll through them.
If these pulleys become rusty, bent, or generally deteriorated, they can result in the door opening poorly or jamming. These are simple to purchase and replace. But first you need to determine whether they are worn and how worn they are.
To check the pulleys, open the door completely, put C clamps on the door track and under the opened door edge to prevent them from rolling down, and disconnect the springs. Then inspect the pulleys and roll them with your fingers. They should roll smoothly. Check them for rust and for bends or damage. If you see any go ahead and replace them.
Worn out Rollers
A similar issue can occur with the rollers – the little wheel like items that are attached to the door and which roll along in the tracks. These can rust, jam, or get damaged and prevent the door from opening smoothly. You can also try turning the metal shaft that acts as a kind of axle for these rollers. It should turn easily.
These rollers can be replaced as well quite easily by a homeowner.
Snapped, Worn, or Damaged Cables and Springs
The springs, as mentioned above, are also a potential trouble item. They can become rusty and weakened to the point where they may snap. A snapped spring should be quite obvious as it will render the door either unable to open at all, or cause it to open with much more difficulty.
Obviously if a spring is broken it should be replaced, and this is very easy to do. Even if the springs are rusty and worn you can replace them to avoid potential future problems.
The same basic idea applies to the cables which roll through the pulleys causing the door to go up or down. If they become rusted, damaged, or actually snap they can cause all sorts of problems with the door. These can also be easily purchased by a homeowner and replaced.
Bent or Damaged Arm
There is usually an arm which connects to the middle of the garage door at one end and to a central track on the ceiling at the other. This helps to steady and guide the door (along with the rollers and tracks at each end) as it opens and closes. If this becomes bent or damaged, it can interfere with the door’s opening and closing. This is right out in the open so its easy to check and will be quite obvious. It can be easily disconnected usually by removing a pin connector. This, along with pulling the release cord to make the garage door open and closable, will allow you to push the door open and closed manually. Disconnecting the arm is not necessary for this – pulling the opener release cord (sometimes it is a lever or handle in older models) – will allow you to manually operate the door. But if the arm is bent and the door opens and closes when it is disconnected and not or with difficulty when it is connected, you know you have found your problem.
Stripped Plastic Gears
There are gears within the garage door opener box located near the ceiling. These are usually plastic gears and can become stripped from long usage. If they do become stripped to a non functional point they often cause the motor to turn without the door itself opening. These gears can be replaced by someone who is moderately handy.
Contact the door manufacturer to inquire about what parts are necessary and where to find them. Don’t let them fast talk you into necessarily having a repair professional come out. That may not be necessary.
After years of use, many of the bolts that are used to fasten all the parts in place in a garage door can become loose or even fall out. This can cause the garage door to have too much play, parts to bend when subjected to pressure, and to become dislodged. Simply going through and tightening all the bolts and screws can sometimes fix a variety of problems and is an important general maintenance and garage door repair step anyway.
These are a few of the types of mechanically based problems you may encounter with a garage door and the opener box. As noted above, before calling a repair man, see what you can learn about the system yourself and make an attempt to repair it. Chances are you’ll learn some things about garage door repair and save money at the same time.