How-to Replace Garage Door Rollers
1 – The Importance of Good Rollers
- If your garage door sounds like a freight train during operation or seems to be running rougher than ever before, it may be past the recommended time to replace the rollers on your garage door. Most rollers should be changed out every 12-15 years to remain certain that they do not inhibit operation in any way.
- Over time and frequent usage, the ball bearings inside the wheels will start to break down causing the roller to wobble from the stem. Worn out rollers will eventually lead to rollers popping out of the track, rollers breaking, and/or reducing the overall lifespan of other parts.
- Good rollers reduce friction while the door travels up and down. The smooth movement of the door allows the torsion springs to provide ample lift, and also may increase the life of the automatic opener and it’s components.
2 -Types of Rollers
- Rollers come in a variety of sizes and materials. The standard residential roller that we will be referring to in this manual are 2 inch nylon rollers with 4 inch stems.
- The most common materials are nylon, steel, and plastic. You will see nylon rollers installed in most high-end or better quality doors. Steel rollers are recommended for commercial doors, and doors over 10 ft tall. Plastic rollers are included in low-end builder grade door models.
3 – Is it Safe for a DIYer to Replace Rollers?
- Replacing rollers on a garage door is a great job for the DIYer. You must be willing to follow recommended procedures to avoid damage to the door or harm to yourself.
- BEWARE: One caution that we would like to present up-front, is that the bottom roller is attached to a plate that holds a torsion cable, and it is under immense tension. DO NOT REMOVE THE SCREWS HOLDING THE BOTTOM PLATE while the spring is under tension! We will show you a better way to work around this issue so that you can perform this task safely without worry.
4 – DIY and Save
- Most garage door service companies will charge from $130 to $190 parts and labor to replace a set of garage door rollers.
- We sell a set of 10 nylon rollers for just $33. You will save roughly $100 to $150 for a task that will take approximately 20 minutes.
5 – Removing the Top 4 Rollers
- Raise the door 2/3’s of the way open. Clamp a vise-grip onto the track, below the bottom roller, if necessary to hold the door open.
- Locate a short ladder or steady stool to help you easily reach approximately 8.5 ft high. Position the ladder in line with the top roller, but 2 or 3 feet under the top garage door panel.
- Reach up onto the overhead track between the 4th and 5th roller and slightly twist the track outwards (away from you). This will free up the topside of the top roller. Push upward on the top panel with your other hand causing the roller to come out of the track fully. Use the same hand that was twisting the track to now remove the old roller and replace it with the new one. Twist the track again while lowering the door at the same time so that the roller falls back into place.
- Move the ladder between the 3rd and 4th roller and repeat the same process. (Raising the door another 1 to 2 feet can prove helpful)
- Repeat this on the other side of the door to replace the other top 2 rollers.
- PRO TIP: If the track is too rigid or you are lacking the strength with one hand to twist the track, then have a helper also stand on a short stool under the panels so that they will do the lifting of the panel while you use two hands to twist the track and deal with the rollers.
6 – Removing the Bottom 6 Rollers
- Lift the door to the halfway position. Stand next the track and use channel locks or wide pliers to grasp the track at approximately 4 feet high (usually between your chest and navel), then put a slight bend in the track (the curved side) that will be used to replace the next three rollers.
- Line up the bottom roller with your bent spot, and remove the roller (use a screw driver to pry it out if necessary. Or if it is still too tight, then create a larger bend with your pliers).
- Put the new roller in place, but not in the track. Keep your leg parallel with the garage door and your foot sideways close to where the door would land if closed. This will hold the panel in place in case it wants to curl up towards you. Note- do not walk away from the garage door until all rollers are back into the track.
- Keeping the new bottom roller out of the track, lower the door to the next roller. Pry it out, replace it, and leave the new one out of the track. Keep your leg aiming down parallel.
- Now lower the door again to the 3rd Replace it with the new one, and this time push it back into the track. Raise the door to the next roller, and set it also into the track. Raise the door to align the bottom roller and set it back into the track. Now all rollers should be in place.
- Raise the door fully open and use your pliers to straighten out your bend in the track to it’s original shape.
- Repeat the process on the other side of the door.
7 – Lubrication
- It is recommended to lubricate every three to four weeks, or at the change of seasons.
- Spray the roller wheel only. It is not necessary to spray the entire track.
- Lubricate the springs, bearing plates, hinges, and rollers with an approved garage door spray lubricant. Do not use grease as it attracts dust. Avoid spray lubricants with silicone as it is detrimental to parts containing ball bearings.
NEED PARTS? COME VISIT ONE OF OUR STORE LOCATIONS:
Houston: 11020 Katy Freeway #116 Houston, TX 77043 832-834-3477
Channelview: 16023 East Freeway #56 Channelview, 77530 832-728-6540
*This content was published by Parts 4 Garage Doors 2019. All rights reserved.