How-To Guide: Lubricating Your Garage Door and Prolonging Its Lifespan

Man lubricating Torsion Spring on a garage door

Lubricate the key parts of your garage door to extend its service life

What if your garage door is making unpleasant noises – and they are so loud that you can make them out from anywhere in your home? Luckily, you can get rid of the noise by lubricating your garage door. In addition, this quick job will help prevent an incident where your door stops working, forcing you to take time out of your day for a service call to get it repaired.

A little garage door maintenance will avoid these issues from occurring.

First, to confirm that parts are not broken or worn, verify that your garage door system is functioning properly. If you use an automatic door opener, use the emergency release cord to let your garage door open manually. The door should now be easy to open and should feel like it weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. You should be able to lift it with just one hand. If not, you have unfortunately stumbled onto a much larger problem. Contact us for an on-site inspection.

If your garage door is working as it should, here are the components that need to be lubricated.

Spring System

For both extension and torsion systems, you will need to apply a lubricant specially made for metal parts. Motor oil like 5W30 can also be applied. Use a plastic or metal applicator to apply the lubricant.

Start by applying the lubricant to the top of the spring. After a few moments, use a soft cloth to spread the lubricant. Make sure to wipe off any excess to prevent drips onto your garage floor or car. Remember that your garage gets humid during colder months. Humidity can rust steel and can damage other metals.

Properly lubricating the springs will also get rid of the noise caused by friction in steel coils.


Metal components that come into contact with other metal parts (like rollers on their tracks, for example) must be very lightly lubricated. Proceed with restraint. Apply the lubrication with a cloth and remove any excess.

  • On steel rollers without coverings: apply a small amount of lubricant on the ball bearings.
  • On black nylon rollers without ball bearings: apply a small amount of lubricant between rollers and the shaft.
  • On steel rollers covered with white nylon: do not apply lubricant as all ball bearings are sealed.


When it comes to hinges, apply a small amount of lubricant where each hinge opens and closes. Do the same on the bracket found at the bottom of the garage door as well as the one on the top. On each metal-to-metal contact, apply just a small amount of lubricant.


Apply a small amount of lubricant on the horizontal track. The rollers will take care of lubricating the tracks when the door moves.

Other Areas to Watch

There are a few other areas to keep an eye on, including:

  • The shaft containing the torsion spring, located over the door. Apply a small amount of lubrication onto the anchor plate.
  • No lubrication is needed on the lift cables or the drum coils.

Garage Door Opener

A distinction must be made between a chain drive door opener and a belt drive one. For a belt drive model, no lubrication is needed. When it was installed, the technician applied a small amount of white grease to the drive sprockets, which are found at the ends of the trolley. That initial lubrication is designed to last for the lifespan of the opener.

When it comes to chain drive openers – which are similar to the chains for bicycles – there are two different types: one with a complete chain, the other with a chain attached to a steel cable. For both types, white grease is the best lubricant. If you don’t have any, please contact us; we always keep some on hand.

You may use a bit of lubrication on the chain. Rub it on with a cloth, wiping off any extra. You wouldn’t want it to drip onto your car.

If the trolley which moves your door is made in three parts, it’s a good time to tighten the bolts that hold the trolley together.

Final Thoughts

If you follow these guidelines two times per year – spring and fall is best – you will likely save yourself the hassle of repairs. You will also save yourself money, since replacing broken parts can add up.

For all of your needs concerning your garage door, or to book an annual maintenance, complete our online form for a service call or get a free quote at 1 -877-794-4223. We know you will be pleased with our friendly, professional technicians.


Can I use expired 5W30 motor oil to lubricate the coils on the garage door opener? This motor oil is at least 7 years past the expiry date with an expiry date of 2014..

Hello Leslie, using expired motor oil to maintain your garage door or garage door opener is not a good idea. Do not hesitate to contact us at 1-877-794-4223 or 705-254-6009. We will be happy to share advice on how to maintain your coils. Thanks!

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