Garage Door Opener Maintenance

Whether you use your garage door opener multiple times a day or once every few weeks, it's important to take some regular maintenance steps to keep it running smoothly and, more importantly, safely. TotalProtect service technicians share some easy checkups and tests you can do to make sure your opener stays problem-free.

Know Your Type

Before you get started on anything, knowing what type of garage door opener you have will ensure that you're looking for the right tools and information from the outset. There are generally three types of openers, differentiated by what kind of drive they use:

Chain-drive The most common type of garage door opener; uses a metal chain to run the door on its track.
Belt-drive Operates the same way as the chain drive system, but uses a rubber belt instead of a metal chain.
Screw-drive Utilizes a threaded steel rod to open and close the garage door. These systems have less moving parts, so typically less maintenance is required.


If you're not sure what type of garage door opener you have just by looking at it, check your owner's manual to make sure. If you can't find your owner's manual, some manufacturers have their manuals online — you'll just need the brand and model number of your opener.

Basic Maintenance

1. Inspect – Stand inside your garage with the garage door closed. Take a careful look at all the components of your opener, including cables, springs, hinges, pulleys, etc., for signs of significant wear or damage. If something doesn't look right (or sound right as the door is opened), it may be a sign that it needs to be repaired or replaced. Detecting it early makes sure you avoid bigger problems down the road.

2. Tighten up — It's normal for screws and bolts to get loose on a garage door opener after extended use, especially for chain-drive systems. After you visually inspect your opener, take a screwdriver, ratchet or wrench and make sure everything on your opener is nice and tight.

3. Lubricate — With as many moving parts as garage door openers typically have, keeping them all running smoothly requires literally helping them run smoothly with periodic lubrication, especially the rollers, springs, hinges, and tracks. Appropriate lubrication requirements can vary quite a bit between models and types, so check your owner's manual for the right techniques and products for your specific opener.

The Tests

The Force Test — With your garage door fully open, press the transmitter or wall button to close the door. As the door is closing, hold the bottom of the door open with your hands. If the garage door doesn't easily reverse, the force setting on your opener is excessive and needs to be adjusted. See your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to adjust the force sensitivity.

The Balance Test – Close your garage door. Disconnect the automatic opener. Manually lift up your garage door to about 3 or 4 feet off the ground. The door should lift smoothly without much resistance and stay open. If it doesn't, your door may be out of balance and excessively straining your garage door opener every time it's opened or closed. A professional will have to come and correct the balance of your door if this is the case.


TotalProtect is Total Peace of Mind


While regular maintenance on your garage door opener can extend its lifespan and prevent minor problems, it doesn't guarantee that your opener won't break down unexpectedly. A TotalProtect Home Warranty can make sure that your budget is protected if that happens and not only for your garage door opener, but also your other major home appliances and systems, including your refrigerator, water heater, A/C system and more. With a huge network of pre-screened local technicians and covered repairs and replacements, TotalProtect just makes sense. See what our customers have to say. Fill out the form on this page to get your instant quote today.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.