When a garage door roller gets off track, it’s not only an inconvenience but a major security risk. A garage that is off track is easier to lift, so you want to get it fixed sooner rather than later. Most garage door rollers can be put back on track with an easy-to-follow DIY method and just a few essential tools. Follow this guide to repair your garage door at home in a short space of time.
Prepare Tools and Workspace
Before you start your repair job, get two pairs of pliers; one that locks and one that doesn’t, and a rubber mallet. The first step is to identify where the fault happened. Sometimes the bolts and nuts holding the track will start to loosen because of the continuous vibrations from opening and closing the door.
Trace your finger along the track and look for any fasteners that are not screwed in tight. Those are your weak points that you will need to keep an eye on, but you also will want to tighten every nut and bolt after you have finished putting it back on track. Just remember not to remove any bolts that are holding the track in its bracket. This could lift the whole system and come completely undone.
Disconnect and Secure the Door
You need to detach the door from the automatic system by looking for an overhead string that unlocks the automatic opener. If you reach up above the door, there will be a string. Pull it carefully to disengage the system. The door should now move freely. Open it up but only a bit of the way.
You need to look for the point at which the door jumps off the tracks. Move the door manually until you spot the weak point causing the fault. Once you can see where the wheels jump, get your locking pliers and clip that spot. This will act as a stop so that the garage door doesn’t move any further.
Correct the Fault
Next, take the second set of pliers, and pull the track open at the point where it’s coming off the tracks. You may need to use quite a bit of force here. Once the track is open wide enough, you can put the wheels back onto the slider. Do this for every part of the track where the rollers are coming off. If there is more than one spot, you may need to open the whole track to get it aligned properly.
Once you are satisfied that all the rollers are back on track, you can start to close the places where you pried parts open. Using the rubber mallet, hit each spot back into its original position. You may want to use a piece of wood to help you shape the bent parts. Place the wood inside the track and hammer it until it’s back in shape.
Test Your Repair
Only after you have hammered the track back in place and all rollers are properly aligned, can you release the locking pliers. You may need to hold the door open with your hands while you are doing this. Remove the locking pliers, and move the door up and down manually. Do this a few times, and if any part of the wheels seems unsteady or goes off track again, you will need to repeat the above steps.
If the door is securely back on track and you are confident that it’s operating properly, you can reconnect the automatic opener. Reach up over the door and pull the string or rope to activate the garage door opener. Test it a few more times with your remote control and watch the wheels on the track to make sure they are moving smoothly.
Your garage door rollers will need to be properly maintained to avoid this type of issue in the future. If it does happen again, at least you know it’s a fix that you can perform yourself in some cases.
Depending on the material of rollers your garage door uses, different lubricants work better. For plastic rollers, put grease on the outside where the roller and shaft meet. Steel rollers need grease applied to the ball bearings of the roller. This is also near the shaft and found in the inside of the roller. Nylon rollers without ball bearings don’t need maintenance.
A garage door roller that has come off track is sometimes easier to correct than you would think. However, while these steps are easy to follow for an experienced DIYer, it can be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the mechanisms. As well as this, garage doors can be heavy, and too much for one person to handle on their own. In this instance, it might be better to work with a professional.