How To Repair A Seized Garage Door Roller


You walked into your garage this morning to hop in your car and begin your commute to work. However, when you cycled your garage door, you heard a distinct scraping noise that could only be produced by a seized roller. Follow these steps to repair your roller and eliminate unnecessary noise production:

Gather Your Equipment

To remove and repair your seized roller, you'll need a few items:

  • Two pairs of locking vice grips

  • Flat screwdriver

  • wrench and socket set

  • Degreaser

  • Lithium or silicone lubricant

  • Air compressor or gas duster

If you don't own one or more of these items, then head to your local home improvement or hardware store to purchase them. Without even one of the items on this list, the process of repairing your seized roller will become significantly more difficult.

Prepare Your Door and Track

Disconnect your garage door opener by tugging on the string hanging from your trolley. With your automatic opener disconnected, manually lift your door to about the halfway position. Clamp one pair of locking vice grips beneath your top roller on each side of your guide track to secure your door in place. Give your door a slight downwards push to ensure your vice grips won't fall off while you perform the rest of the repair job.

Use your flat screwdriver to pry open a section of guide track just above your seized roller. The opened section of your guide track should be slightly larger than the size of your roller's wheel.

Remove Your Seized Roller

Your roller must be pulled through the opening you made in your guide track. However, prior to removing your roller, you may need to remove the bolts that secure your roller's hinge to your garage door panels. Once your hinges are loose, place your flat screwdriver against the inner wall of your guide track and push the blade against your roller wheel. Use your other hand to pull on the roller's shaft until the wheel pops out of the opened section of the guide track and can be removed from its hinge.

Clean The Seized Bearings

Your roller became seized as a result of debris that collected inside its bearing assembly. Debris such as pet hair, dust, and dirt can coat your roller's bearings, contaminate the lubrication, and cause the bearings to damage each other as your roller struggles to glide along your track.

To clean debris out of your roller, apply a generous amount of degreaser to the bearing assembly. Once the degreaser begins to soften the debris caught in the bearings, use your air compressor or gas duster to blast the debris out of the bearings.

Once your roller is clean, inspect the bearings and wheel for damage. If the bearings don't allow the wheel to spin freely, then your roller should be replaced. However, if your roller works flawlessly now that it's clean, apply lubricant to the bearings and reinstall it into your hinge and track by reversing the steps you used to remove it.

If your roller doesn't appear to have bearings, then it can be replaced instead of cleaned. Typically, replacement rollers are universal. However, you should read through your garage door's owner manual before purchasing universal rollers to determine whether or not your assembly requires proprietary rollers.

Test Your Work

Remove your locking vice grips from your guide track and close your door. Reconnect your trolley and cycle your door a few times to determine whether or not your roller functions properly.

If you have trouble performing any of the steps required to remove and clean your roller, then contact a professional garage door technician to finish the job for you. If you continue with the repair process without knowing exactly what you're doing, you can cause accidental damage to your garage door assembly and increase your repair costs.

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4 December 2014

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