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Garage Door Maintenance

Help Around the House host Henry Harrison shows a guest how to diagnose and fix a problem with his garage door.

The door is very noisy when it opens and closes, and occasionally comes off the tracks. On his elbow grease scale of one to four, Harrison gives this fix a one.

Materials and Tools:

power drill
old toothbrush
wire brush
socket wrench
clean towels
rubber gloves
safety glasses


1. Begin by giving the door and mechanism a top-to-bottom inspection. If you notice that a pulley is out of line, move it into the correct position and secure it with lag bolts.

2. Also clean and lubricate all moving parts, including the pulleys, cables, tracks, rollers and pins. A lightweight bicycle lubricant should work nicely, but consult the garage door manufacturer's instructions to make sure you're using approved lubricants and/or cleaners. Be sure to wear heavy rubber gloves when working with lubricants and cleaners.

3. If approved by the door manufacturer, spray a bicycle cleaner/degreaser on the pulleys, then clean out the groove with a towel. You can also use an old toothbrush to clean the pulleys.

4. Spray some of the cleaner on your towel and wipe the cables on both sides of the door.

5. Be sure to give attention to all the moving parts, and don't forget to lubricate the bearings of the rollers. Clean and wipe out the tracks for the rollers, too.

6. Tighten any bolts holding the door sections together, and clean and lubricate the locking mechanism.

7. If your garage door opener uses a chain drive, clean and lubricate the chain. Be sure to clean out the track for the chain.

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