The majority of homes in America have garages; over 63% in 2017. Garages are vital for storing vehicles, outdoor tools, and equipment. So when one isn’t working, that disrupts how a home operates.
If you go to investigate and find that your garage door wheels have come off the track, there’s more you’ll need to do than just reset and align them. Here’s what likely happened, and some tips for how you can prevent it from happening again.
Parts of the Problem
There’s always a chance you or someone in your home managed to undo the garage door rollers. But more likely is that something has gone wrong with your equipment.
Did you hit the garage door with your car or some other forceful object? Have the tracks been lubricated in recent years? Is there dirt or debris that could be blocking the garage door wheels from moving properly?
Below are the likely culprits for why your garage door isn’t functioning correctly.
The Rollers are Damaged
First and foremost, check garage door rollers. They should look round, have smooth-edged, and have no major damage or wear on them. If they wobble significantly or get stuck while rolling they’ll likely need to be replaced.
Just because you’ve found one bad roller doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inspect the others. While one bad roller can cause everything to stop, multiple bad rollers can cause serious damage to your entire garage door setup.
New rollers are inexpensive and rather easy to install yourself.
The Track is Damaged
If it’s not the rollers then check the track next. Major bumps, out of wack alignment, or other visual issues could be causing the problem.
The older the track is, the more likely it’ll need a full replacement. If it’s a newer track, check for dirt or debris that may have wedged itself into the crevices.
Even small items can stall and stop a garage door completely.
Broken or Damaged Spring
If your spring snapped and you were home, you likely heard it. It’s a sharp, cracking sound and it means that the garage door won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
While labor can cost almost as much as a new garage door itself, you can replace a spring with the right tools and know-how.
Before you go, make sure to take measurements of your broken spring. Pictures are helpful too. Then, compare them with our stock and check out the video tutorial on how to replace a spring.
Garage doors that go up and down regularly will begin to wear and break down. This is usually noticed around the top or bottom edge of one of the panels on a garage door. These panels usually look deformed or buckled outwards.
Our advice is to stop using the garage door immediately and look up replacement panels for your specific garage door style. Warped panels can cause damage to the alignment of the track, damage to your garage ceiling, and more.
How to Get Your Garage Door Back on Track
The tools you’ll need are a pair of vice grips, a pair of pliers, a ladder, a wooden or rubber mallet, and some WD40 or another lubricant. It’s best done with two people.
Disconnect the Power and Disengage the Opener
First things first, disconnect the power to your garage door motor. There should be a string or rope hanging from the motor to do this. If not, you’ll need to get up to the motor with a ladder and turn it off there.
Disengaging the opener will allow you to manually raise and lower the garage door.
Manually Lift the Garage Door
Carefully lift the garage door until it is lined up with one of the wheels on the track. Use caution as you apply the vice grip to hold the garage door in place (or have someone else hold it).
Mold the Track and Push the Roller Back Into Place
Next, using your pliers, open the track right where the roller has slipped off. Place the roller back onto the track, and then, using the pliers, close the opening.
To ensure the metal doesn’t disfigure, use the mallet to ensure it bends back into the correct shape.
Repeat this step with the other roller, if necessary.
Manually Check the Alignment
Once all rollers are back in place, lift the garage door manually. This may require two people depending on the weight of your door. Don’t hurt yourself!
If the rollers work properly and the door goes all the way up, congrats!
But don’t stop there. Manually close and reopen the door a few times to ensure the door is repeatedly functioning correctly. If there are issues, they should become evident after a few tries.
Use the Motor to Lift the Garage Door
Once you feel confident the door is working well, turn the motor back on. Using your remote, open and close the door a few times.
Are there any notable issues? Are the wheels wobbling? Does the track look unstable?
If none of these issues stand out, then you should be good to go. Just make sure to keep an eye on it going forward.
Future Action Steps
Once your garage door wheels are on and everything is back in the proper place, you should be good. But not forever.
Regularly check on the garage door wheels and note if they’re getting damaged. If they start to wear out faster, you could have a more serious issue brewing.
The track also needs attention. Keep it free of debris and well lubricated to ensure it works all the time.
Get Those Garage Door Wheels Back on Track
Now that you know the issues surrounding why your garage door wheels came off the track, go out and fix it.
We at DIY Garage Door Parts want to help, offering a suite of tutorials so that you can repair your garage. You can learn at your own pace and won’t have to worry about the hassle (and cost) of hiring a technician.
Don’t delay in fixing that garage door! We ship to all 50 states and our Parts Finder will get you what you need at a fraction of the cost.