overhead garage door fixed - mercury garage door repair

how to fix overhead garage door


Experiencing issues with your overhead garage door can be a daunting problem for many homeowners. Given the complex mechanism of these doors, even minor problems can disrupt your daily routine. With Mercury Garage Door Repair in Santa Clarita CA, we make things possible. We are garage door repair in Santa Clarita CA.

This blog post is all set to guide you on how to fix common garage door problems yourself, saving both time and money. Let’s gear up to bring that problematic overhead garage door back in action!

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the mechanism of an overhead garage door is crucial to effectively troubleshoot and fix common problems.
  • Balancing the door, addressing unusual noises, fixing unbalanced movement, and dealing with broken or disconnected remote controls are some of the most common issues homeowners face with their garage doors.
  • Fixing an overhead garage door involves checking and replacing tension springs, adjusting the door travel limit, realigning door rollers, and dealing with rusted parts.
  • While DIY repairs can save time and money for minor issues, it’s important to know when to seek professional assistance for complex repairs or parts replacements.

Understanding the Overhead Garage Door Mechanism

Understanding the workings of your overhead garage door is crucial to maintaining its functionality. This type of door operates using a counterbalance system, which balances the weight of the door and allows it to open and close smoothly.

The system includes significant components such as torsion springs, garage door lift system, cables – all housed within a torsion tube. Each time you operate your overhead garage door, the tension spring winds or unwinds on the torsion tube, literally doing heavy lifting by carrying up to 150 pounds.

This efficient mechanism ensures that no obstruction disrupts the operation in regular cases.

However, like any other mechanical device operating over 1,500 times per year can have wear and tear issues or even break down at some point due to various reasons like misalignment of parts, rusting or worn out parts etc., affecting this optimal performance negatively.

Knowing these fundamentals offers an edge when troubleshooting common hitches with your residential or commercial garage doors provided by trusted producers like Overhead Door Company of Northern Kentucky and assists in undertaking proactive measures for maintenance before professional intervention becomes necessary.

Common Garage Door Problems

Garage doors can encounter several common problems, including issues with opening or closing properly, unusual noises when operating the door, unbalanced movement, and broken or disconnected remote controls.

Door won’t open or close properly

Encountering a garage door that won’t open or close correctly can be a concerning issue you may face as an owner. The root of this problem often lies in the balance of your overhead garage door.

When not properly balanced, internal strain and unevenness during operation occur which could slow down the process, lead to unusual noises, and even hinder it from functioning at all.

Garage Door Balance Test is an effective way to identify imbalance issues with your overhead doors. Observing for signs such as slow operation, strange sounds and uneven appearance could help detect any problems early on.

A well-balanced door ensures smooth movement without putting excessive strain on the Garage Door Opener thereby avoiding premature failures. Therefore maintaining balanced Overhead Garage Doors should be a vital part of your regular Maintenance routine ensuring long-lasting and efficient performance.

Unusual noises when operating the door

A garage door in perfect working condition is typically quiet with minimal sound while operating. However, if you start hearing unusual noises such as squeaking, rattling or grinding when your overhead door moves, this could be a clear indicator that there’s a problem with your garage system.

Often these sounds can result from several issues – unbalanced doors, worn-out parts like springs and cables or even rusted components requiring lubrication. These problems not only put additional strain on the garage door opener potentially leading to premature failure but also degrade the overall performance of the Garage Door Lift System.

Ignoring these signs may escalate into more serious complications including an uneven appearance of the door and slow operation; worst case scenario? The Garage Door Won’t Open at all! Regular maintenance checks using DIY tools like adjustable wrench and socket set coupled with prompt action are key to ward off any potential issues stemming from these ominous sounds emanating from your Overhead Garage Doors.

The door is unbalanced

An unbalanced garage door can be a significant problem, causing the door to close with a loud noise and potentially damaging the mechanisms. Not only that, but an unbalanced door can also put unnecessary strain on the springs and other components, leading to premature wear and tear.

This imbalance is often caused by worn-out or damaged springs or cables. Over time, these parts may lose their tension or break completely, resulting in one side of the door hanging lower than the other.

To fix this issue, it’s essential to inspect and replace any faulty springs or cables promptly. By doing so, you’ll ensure your garage door operates smoothly and safely for years to come while preventing potential accidents or injuries caused by an unbalanced door.

Broken or disconnected remote control

A broken or disconnected remote control is a common issue that many homeowners face with their garage doors. This problem can be frustrating, especially when you are unable to open or close your garage door at the touch of a button.

Troubleshooting solutions for a broken or disconnected remote control include checking the sensor’s range, replacing remote batteries, fixing the antenna, reprogramming the remote, turning off the lock feature, and checking the door control wiring.

By following these simple steps, you can quickly fix this problem and regain full control over your garage door operation. Don’t let a malfunctioning remote keep you from accessing your garage – tackle this issue head-on and enjoy seamless convenience once again.

man fixing garage door

How to Fix an Overhead Garage Door

To fix an overhead garage door, start by checking and replacing the tension spring if necessary. Adjust the door travel limit to ensure proper operation and realign any misaligned door rollers.

Deal with rusted parts by cleaning or replacing them, and don’t forget to lubricate the spring and other moving parts for smoother performance.

Checking and replacing the tension spring

The tension spring is a crucial component of an overhead garage door, as it provides the necessary force to open and close the door smoothly. Over time, the tension spring can become worn out or break, leading to issues with the door’s operation. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check and replace the tension spring:

  1. Gather the necessary tools: adjustable wrench, safety glasses, leather gloves, rags, winding bars.
  2. Ensure that the garage door is closed and disconnected from the opener.
  3. Locate the tension spring assembly, which is usually situated above the garage door near the center bracket.
  4. Inspect the tension spring for any signs of damage or wear such as rusting, fraying cables, or broken coils.
  5. If there are noticeable issues with the tension spring, it will need to be replaced. Measure its length and diameter to ensure you purchase the correct replacement part.
  6. To remove the old tension spring safely:
  • Insert a winding bar into one of the winding cone holes.
  • Rotate the winding bar slowly until it engages with one of the slots in the cone.
  • Keep a firm grip on both ends of the bar and slowly unwind it from its resting position.
  • Repeat this process for each winding cone holding onto it securely at all times.
  1. Once you have removed both winding bars from their respective cones, carefully release tension from them by unwinding them fully.
  2. With no more tension in place, remove any supporting hardware that secures the old tension spring to other parts of your garage door system.
  3. Install a new tension spring by reversing the removal steps:
  • Place one end of the new spring onto the anchor point on your garage’s frame.
  • Thread and secure cables through their respective holes and pulleys.
  • Attach another end of your new torsion spring securely in place
  1. Use winding bars to carefully wind the new tension spring into place. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and turn the winding cone in the correct direction.
  2. Test the tension spring’s functionality by manually opening and closing the garage door a few times.

Adjusting the door travel limit

To ensure your overhead garage door opens and closes properly, it’s essential to adjust the door travel limit. This adjustment allows you to set the distance the door travels when opening and closing. Here are the steps to adjust the door travel limit:

  1. Locate the travel limit adjustment screws or knobs on your garage door opener.
  2. Using a wrench or screwdriver, turn the adjustment screw clockwise to decrease the travel distance, or counterclockwise to increase it.
  3. Make small adjustments at a time, testing the door after each adjustment until it reaches the desired travel distance.
  4. Keep in mind that adjusting this limit too much can cause damage to the opener or put excessive strain on the door mechanism.

Realignment of door rollers

To fix an overhead garage door, one common problem that needs attention is the realignment of door rollers. Over time, these rollers can become misaligned or worn, causing issues with the smooth movement of the door. Here are a few steps to help you realign the door rollers:

  1. Inspect the rollers: Start by examining the rollers for any signs of wear or damage. Look for cracks, chips, or bent tracks that may be causing the misalignment.
  2. Loosen the brackets: Use a wrench to loosen the bolts or screws that hold the brackets in place. This will allow you to adjust the position of the brackets without damaging them.
  3. Adjust the brackets: Gently push or pull on the brackets to align them properly with the tracks. Make small adjustments at a time and test the movement of the door after each adjustment.
  4. Tighten the brackets: Once you have aligned the brackets correctly, use a wrench to tighten them back into place securely. Ensure that they are firmly attached but not too tight to restrict movement.
  5. Lubricate: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to all moving parts, including the rollers and tracks, to ensure smooth operation.

Dealing with rusted parts

Rusted parts can be a significant problem for operators of overhead garage doors. Here are some steps you can take to deal with rusted parts effectively:

  1. Inspect the affected area: Identify the rusted parts on your garage door, such as hinges, tracks, or springs. Ensure you wear safety glasses and gloves before proceeding.
  2. Remove loose rust: Use a wire brush to remove loose rust from the affected parts. Make sure to scrub in all directions to ensure thorough removal.
  3. Apply a rust dissolver: Use a rust dissolver or penetrating oil like WD-40 to help break down and dissolve the remaining rust. Apply it generously to the rusty areas and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  4. Scrub away remaining rust: After allowing the rust dissolver to work its magic, use the wire brush once again to scrub away any remaining rust particles.
  5. Rinse and dry: Once you have removed all visible traces of rust, rinse the area with water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
  6. Apply rust-resistant paint or primer: To prevent future rusting, apply a coat of rust-resistant paint or primer on the cleaned and dried surface. This will act as a protective barrier against moisture and oxidation.
  7. Lubricate moving parts: After dealing with the rusted parts, make sure to lubricate all moving components of your garage door, such as hinges, rollers, and springs. This will help reduce friction and prevent further corrosion.
  • Rusted parts can be a significant problem for operators of overhead garage doors.
  • Rust can cause the door to become unbalanced. resulting in strain and unevenness during operation.
  • An unbalanced door can lead to slower opening and closing times.

Lubricating the spring and other moving parts

Proper lubrication of the spring and other moving parts is essential for maintaining the smooth operation and longevity of your overhead garage door. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Lubricate the torsion spring: Apply a silicone-based or lithium-based lubricant directly to the torsion spring. This will help reduce friction and prevent rust buildup, ensuring that the spring operates smoothly.
  2. Lubricate hinges and rollers: Apply lubricant to all hinges and rollers along the tracks. This will minimize friction and allow the door to roll up and down without any resistance.
  3. Don’t forget the tracks: Apply a small amount of lubricant to the inside of the tracks where the rollers glide. Make sure not to overdo it, as excessive lubrication can attract dirt and debris.
  4. Check the bearings: If your garage door has ball bearings, make sure they are well-greased. Use a high-quality bearing grease for this purpose.
  5. Maintain cable drum bearings: If your garage door has cable drums, apply a few drops of oil or grease to the bearings on each side. This will keep them functioning smoothly.
  6. Test and wipe off excess lubricant: After applying lubricant, open and close your garage door several times to distribute it evenly. Wipe off any excess lubricant to prevent it from dripping onto your car or floor.
  • Lubricating overhead garage doors
  • Lubricating garage door springs
  • Garage door maintenance tips
  • Garage door lubrication
  • Lubricating hinges and rollers
  • Properly maintaining overhead doors

Safety Measures When Fixing an Overhead Garage Door

To ensure safety when fixing an overhead garage door, always lock down the door, use a winding bar carefully, and handle the torsion tube with caution.

Locking down the door

To ensure safety while fixing an overhead garage door, it is crucial to lock down the door properly. This prevents any accidental opening or closing of the door during repairs, reducing the risk of injury.

Securing the door in place also allows for a more stable working environment, making it easier to troubleshoot and fix any issues. By taking this simple precautionary step, you can protect yourself and others from potential accidents and make your repair process smoother and safer.

Using the winding bar safely

When fixing an overhead garage door, it is crucial to use the winding bar safely. The winding bar is a specialized tool that is used to wind or unwind the tension springs in order to adjust the balance and tension of the door.

This process can be dangerous if not done correctly, so it is important to follow proper safety precautions. Always wear eye protection and gloves when working with the winding bar to protect yourself from potential injuries.

Additionally, make sure you have a firm grip on the bar and avoid using any other tools, such as screwdrivers or pliers, which can easily slip or cause damage. By using the winding bar safely, you can effectively repair your overhead garage door without putting yourself at risk.

Handling the torsion tube

The torsion tube is a crucial component in fixing an overhead garage door. It is responsible for storing energy and providing the necessary force to open and close the door smoothly.

When handling the torsion tube, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Always remember to wear leather gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from any potential injuries. Use winding bars to carefully adjust or release tension in the springs attached to the torsion tube.

Improper handling of the torsion tube can lead to serious accidents, so it’s important to follow proper procedures or seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about what you’re doing.

How to Maintain an Overhead Garage Door

To maintain an overhead garage door, regularly inspect for worn out parts, keep the door balanced, and ensure regular lubrication of all moving parts.

Regularly inspect for worn out parts

Regularly inspecting your overhead garage door for worn-out parts is crucial to ensure its smooth and safe operation. Here are some key components to check:

  1. Tension springs: Look for signs of wear, such as fraying or stretching. Replace any damaged springs promptly to prevent further damage or potential injuries.
  2. Cables and lift system: Examine the lift cables for any signs of fraying or breakage. Also, check the pulleys and rollers for wear and tear, ensuring they move smoothly along the tracks.
  3. Hinges and brackets: Inspect all hinges and brackets for any signs of rust or corrosion. Replace any damaged parts to avoid potential malfunctions.
  4. Weather seals: Check the weather seals at the bottom and sides of the door for cracks or gaps that may allow drafts, pests, or moisture into your garage.
  5. Rollers: Ensure that all rollers are intact and roll smoothly along the tracks without excessive noise or resistance.
  6. Track alignment: Check if the tracks are properly aligned and securely fastened. Misaligned tracks can cause your door to operate unevenly or get stuck.
  7. Opener’s safety features: Test the photo eyes’ alignment by closing the door halfway and waving an object in front of them. If the sensors don’t detect it and reverse the door’s motion, clean them with a soft cloth or adjust their positioning according to manufacturer guidelines.
  8. Remote control batteries: Replace batteries in your remote control regularly to avoid inconvenient malfunctions when you need to open or close your garage door.

Keeping the door balanced

To ensure smooth and efficient operation of your overhead garage door, it is essential to keep it properly balanced. Here are some key steps to help you maintain the balance of your garage door:

  1. Perform a balance test regularly: Close the door and disconnect it from the opener by pulling the emergency release handle. Lift the door manually and raise it halfway. A well-balanced door should remain in place when lifted halfway.
  2. Adjust the torsion spring tension: If your garage door fails the balance test, you may need to adjust the tension of the torsion spring. This should only be done by experienced individuals due to safety concerns. It is recommended to consult a professional for this task.
  3. Check for loose or worn-out components: Inspect all moving parts of the garage door, including hinges, rollers, and tracks, for any signs of wear or looseness. Tighten any loose bolts or replace damaged parts to prevent imbalance.
  4. Lubricate moving parts regularly: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to all moving components of your garage door, such as hinges and rollers. This will reduce friction and allow for smoother operation, helping to maintain proper balance.
  5. Keep weight distribution even: Avoid hanging heavy objects on one side of your garage door, as this can throw off its balance over time. Distribute weight evenly on both sides to promote correct alignment.
  6. Schedule regular professional maintenance: To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your overhead garage door, consider scheduling regular maintenance services with a reputable overhead door company. They can inspect and address any potential issues before they become major problems.

Regular lubrication of moving parts

Regular lubrication of the moving parts is essential for maintaining the smooth operation and longevity of your overhead garage door. Here are some key points to remember when it comes to lubricating your garage door:

  1. Choose the right lubricant: Use a silicone-based or lithium-based garage door lubricant. Avoid using grease or oil-based products as they can attract dirt and cause buildup.
  2. Apply lubricant to specific areas: Focus on applying lubricant to the metal hinges, roller bearings, springs, and tracks. These are the areas that experience the most friction and require regular maintenance.
  3. Wipe off excess lubricant: After applying the lubricant, use a clean cloth or rag to wipe off any excess product. This prevents drips, stains, and accumulation of dirt.
  4. Pay attention to weather conditions: Depending on your climate, you may need to adjust how often you lubricate your garage door. In humid environments or during extreme temperature changes, more frequent lubrication may be necessary.
  5. Check for worn-out parts: While lubricating your garage door, take the opportunity to inspect all moving parts for signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, such as loose hinges or worn-out rollers, consider replacing them to ensure optimal performance.
  6. Consult your owner’s manual: Every garage door model may have specific guidelines for lubrication and maintenance. Refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations and instructions.

When to Call a Professional

If the problem with your overhead garage door persists after troubleshooting or involves complex issues with the door mechanism, it is recommended to call a professional for expert assistance.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Overhead Door Company of Northern Kentucky for fast and high-quality service that will ensure your garage door functions optimally. Read on to discover more helpful tips and solutions for maintaining and fixing your garage door.

Complex issues with the door mechanism

If you’re dealing with complex issues with your garage door mechanism, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. The Overhead Door Company of Northern Kentucky specializes in garage door repairs and has the expertise to diagnose and fix any complicated problems that may arise.

From malfunctioning sensors to faulty wiring or motor issues, their experienced technicians can quickly identify the root cause and provide effective solutions. Don’t risk further damage or injury by attempting a DIY fix when there are trained experts available who can ensure your overhead garage door is repaired safely and efficiently.

Replacement of major parts

When it comes to fixing an overhead garage door, sometimes the problem might be more complicated than a simple adjustment or lubrication. In certain cases, major parts of the garage door may need to be replaced.

This can include components such as the torsion springs, lift cables, or even the entire garage door opener system. It is important to identify and address these issues promptly in order to ensure the safe and smooth operation of your garage door.

Professional estimates should be sought before attempting any major replacements, as this will help determine what parts are needed and provide guidance on cost-saving alternatives.

If the problem persists after troubleshooting

If you have followed the troubleshooting steps outlined above and are still experiencing issues with your overhead garage door, it may be time to call in a professional. Complex problems with the door mechanism or major parts that need replacement should be handled by trained technicians who have the expertise and equipment to ensure a safe and effective repair.

A professional can accurately diagnose the problem, recommend appropriate solutions, and carry out any necessary repairs or replacements. Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if your garage door continues to give you trouble despite your best efforts.


In conclusion, knowing how to fix common overhead garage door problems can save you time and money. By understanding the mechanism and following safety measures, you can troubleshoot issues such as unbalanced doors or broken remotes.

However, it’s important to know when to call a professional for complex repairs or parts replacements. Regular maintenance and proper care will ensure your overhead garage door operates smoothly for years to come.

Now go fix that door and enjoy hassle-free access to your garage!


1. What are some common issues that can cause an overhead garage door to malfunction?

Common issues that can cause an overhead garage door to malfunction include worn-out springs, misaligned tracks, broken cables, damaged rollers, and faulty sensors.

2. Can I fix my overhead garage door myself or should I hire a professional?

While some minor repairs like lubricating hinges or replacing batteries in remote controls can be done by homeowners themselves, it is generally recommended to hire a professional for major repairs or if you are unsure about the issue. Attempting complex repairs without proper knowledge and tools can be dangerous.

3. How often should I perform maintenance on my overhead garage door?

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your overhead garage door in good working condition. It is recommended to perform basic maintenance tasks such as cleaning the tracks, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting cables and springs at least once every six months.

4. What steps should I take if my overhead garage door suddenly stops working?

If your overhead garage door suddenly stops working, check if there is power going to the opener unit and ensure that the sensor beams are not obstructed by any objects. If these simple checks do not solve the problem, it’s best to call a professional technician who specializes in overhead doors for diagnosis and repair.