How to Lubricate a Squeaky Garage Door

A squeaky garage door can be very annoying and disruptive. The good news is that lubricating a noisy garage door is an easy DIY project that can be done in less than an hour. With just a few tools and supplies, you can silence that squeaking door and restore peace and quiet to your home.

Why Garage Doors Squeak

Garage doors have many moving parts that rub and slide against each other as the door opens and closes. This metal-on-metal contact creates vibration and friction that can cause squeaking, creaking, and other irritating noises. Here are some of the most common causes of a noisy garage door:

  • Lack of lubrication – Garage door parts need regular lubrication to keep things running smoothly and quietly. Lack of lubricant allows metal parts to grind against each other.
  • Old worn out rollers – The rollers allow the door to move along the track. Old rollers can squeak, stick and deteriorate.
  • Loose, bent or misaligned tracks – Tracks that are loose, bent or knocked out of alignment will cause the rollers to bind and squeak.
  • Damaged/worn extension springs – Extension springs can squeak and grind against the pulley when they become worn out.
  • Loose/corroded hardware – Nuts, bolts and fasteners can loosen over time and cause metal components to knock and grind.

Regular maintenance and lubrication will prevent most of these issues and keep things quiet.

Choosing the Right Lubricant

Using the appropriate lubricant will provide long-lasting noise relief on your garage door. Here are some top options:

  • Silicone spray – Silicone based sprays work extremely well for lubricating most garage door parts. They penetrate deep to provide quiet, smooth operation.
  • WD-40 – This versatile, multi-use lubricant can also work well on garage doors. It’s easy to apply and provides decent noise reduction.
  • Lithium grease – For lubricating the torsion spring assembly, a lithium based grease works best. It won’t drip or run off like sprays.
  • Garage door lubricant – Specialty lubricants are made specifically for garage doors. They contain strong lubricants that won’t wash away easily.

No matter which lubricant you choose, avoid harsh solvents or corrosive chemicals which can actually damage and wear down components over time.

How to Lubricate a Squeaky Garage Door

Lubricating a noisy garage door is a straight-forward process. Just gather a few basic tools and follow these key steps:

Materials Needed

  • Lubricant (silicone spray, WD-40, lithium grease, etc)
  • Rag
  • Brush or broom
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Ladder

Step 1 – Inspect the Door

Start by manually lifting the door about halfway up. If it’s hard to lift or makes grinding noises, the springs likely need adjustment beyond just lubrication.

Inspect all rollers and hinges. Rollers should spin freely without wobbling or sticking. Hinges should move smoothly without cracking or popping noises.

Check the door tracks inside the garage. Verify they are straight, aligned, and free of debris/obstructions.

Look for signs of damage like cracks, dents or corrosion. Any repairs should be made before lubricating.

Step 2 – Clean the Components

Use a rag or brush to wipe away dirt, grease and debris from all moving components. This allows the lubricant to adhere properly. Pay close attention to:

  • Tracks
  • Rollers and hinges
  • Pulleys
  • Torsion spring assembly

A clean door will allow you to locate the specific squeaky areas.

Step 3 – Lubricate the Moving Parts

With components cleaned, you can begin lubricating:

Rollers – Spray a light coat of lubricant on each roller bearing where it contacts the track. Spin the roller to work the lubricant across the surface.

Hinges – Spray lubricant on all hinges, both along the length of the door sections and where the sections connect. Move the door back and forth to spread the lubricant into the hinges.

Pulleys – Use lithium grease on the torsion spring pulleys. Apply a thin coating then rotate pulleys by hand to distribute grease.

Tracks – Spray a light coat of lubricant along the full length of each door track, spraying the inside channel that’s in contact with the rollers.

Locking Mechanism – Lubricate any sliding bars, latch components, and lock cylinders. This prevents sticking and binding.

Torsion Springs – For springs above the door, carefully use spray lubricants on the coils and ends. Don’t over spray the spring as it can drip grease onto the car.

Step 4 – Operate the Door

With lubrication complete, open and close the door several times to work the lubricant across all components. Pay attention to any remaining squeaks or grinding noises. Reapply lubricant to any stubborn spots.

The door should now operate quietly and smoothly. As a final step, wipe away any excess lubricant to prevent drips or runs.

How Often to Lubricate a Garage Door

For ongoing noise prevention, lubricate your garage door at least 1-2 times per year. This regular maintenance will keep things operating smoothly.

Lubricate more frequently if you begin to notice noise returning. In harsh climates exposed to extreme weather, lubricate 3-4 times annually.

Signs that it’s time to re-lubricate include:

  • Squeaking, grinding or other noises
  • Sticking, binding doors
  • Hard to open manually
  • Rust or corrosion

Staying on a regular maintenance schedule is key to extending the life of your garage door and components.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Lubricating a garage door is quite easy and secure for a DIY project. However, if the door is severely damaged, springs are broken or off track, or you don’t feel comfortable completing the work, hiring a professional garage door technician is recommended.

A pro can inspect for damage, make repairs, replace worn parts, safely lubricate tricky components like torsion springs, and ensure the door is properly balanced and adjusted.

Investing in professional maintenance and lubrication every 2-3 years can catch small issues before they become big problems. Get quotes from 3-4 highly reviewed companies before hiring.

FAQs About Lubricating Garage Doors

Got questions about lubricating a noisy garage door? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

What type of lubricant is best for garage doors?

Silicone spray lubricants are ideal for garage door components. They provide excellent penetrating lubrication without attracting dirt. WD-40 or white lithium grease can also be used. Avoid harsh solvents.

How do I know if my garage door needs lubricating?

Signs like squeaking, grinding, sticking or difficulty opening indicate lack of lubrication. Lubricate immediately if you notice these issues for smooth operation.

Should I lubricate the garage door tracks?

Yes, it’s important to lubricate the portion of the track that contacts the rollers. This prevents friction and wear as the rollers glide along the track. Focus lubricant inside the track channel.

Can I use WD-40 to lubricate my garage door?

WD-40 works fairly well as a DIY garage door lubricant. The light spray allows it to penetrate hinges, bearings and pulleys. Just be aware it may need reapplied more often than a dedicated door lubricant.

What areas should be lubricated on a garage door?

Lubricate rollers, hinge joints, pulleys, torsion springs, tracks and lock mechanisms. These are the main moving parts that commonly cause friction and noise issues on garage doors.

How do I lubricate garage door hinges?

Use a silicone or similar spray lubricant. Spray along the length of door section hinges allowing lubricant to penetrate inside. Also lubricate the joints where door sections connect together. Move door to distribute lubricant.

Can I use WD-40 to lubricate garage door hinges?

Yes, WD-40 can be used to lubricate noisy garage door hinges. Some pros feel it collects more dirt and doesn’t last as long as a silicone spray. But it will provide adequate hinge lubrication in a pinch.

What areas should be lubricated on a garage door?

Lubricate rollers, hinge joints, pulleys, torsion springs, tracks and lock mechanisms. These are the main moving parts that commonly cause friction and noise issues on garage doors.

How often should you lubricate a garage door?

Lubricate garage doors about every 1-2 times per year for normal maintenance. Lubricate more often if you notice the door becoming noisy in between lubrications. Harsher climates may need lubricated 3-4 times annually.

What lubricant is best for garage door rollers?

Garage door roller lubricant options include silicone spray, lithium grease and WD-40. Silicone tends to work best as it easily penetrates bearings and has a longer lasting effect.

How do I lubricate torsion springs on a garage door?

Use spray lubricants very carefully on the coils and ends of torsion springs. Avoid excess dripping inside the spring coils. For stationary end bearing plates, lithium grease works best, applied thinly.

Can I lubricate garage door sensors?

No, lubricating the photo electric sensors on the sides of a garage door can interfere with their operation. Simply wipe sensors clean periodically with a dry cloth.

Warning Signs Your Garage Door Needs Service

While regular lubrication can fix most noisy garage doors, some issues may indicate a need for repair or replacement:

  • Difficulty opening door manually
  • Grinding noises from torsion springs
  • Sagging or uneven door sections
  • Frayed, broken or loose cables
  • Bent or severely misaligned tracks
  • Loose, missing or broken hardware
  • Rollers keep falling out of track

If you notice any symptoms above, it’s best to call a professional garage door technician to inspect and service the door. Proper maintenance and lubrication will maximize the longevity of your garage door.

Maintain a Quiet, Reliable Garage Door

A squeaky garage door can quickly go from annoying to alarming. But in most cases, a DIY lubricating session can get things moving smoothly and quietly again. Just be diligent about regular lubrication to keep all those moving metal parts operating optimally.

For heavily worn or damaged doors, get a professional assessment. Repairs plus a thorough lubricating service will get things back into reliable, peaceful operation.

Investing a little time and elbow grease in garage door care will maintain safety, security and peace and quiet for years to come.


Lubricating a squeaky, noisy garage door is an essential maintenance task that can restore smooth, quiet operation. With just a bit of time and effort, some basic tools and the right lubricant, you can often resolve the issue with a DIY lubricating session. Just be sure to focus lubricant on key areas like rollers, hinges, pulleys and tracks. And remember to re-lubricate your garage door a few times per year to prevent recurring noises. If significant damage or issues exist, don’t hesitate to hire a professional for necessary repairs and service. But for routine lubrication needs, a well-lubricated garage door will glide along effortlessly, reducing wear and tear and keeping things peaceful around your home.