We live in a rental house built 1982 but need to fix some things around the place without involving the landlord ... the garage door has started sticking. I got it to close using WD-40, but it's still sticky; had to give it another shot last night and 'rock back and forth' until it finally closed.

Do we need to change out the hinges and rollers? Or do you have any other suggestion for a not-complete overhaul?

I'm a software guy and was thrilled when I got the WD-40 fix to work ... but it was a short-lived triumph. Thanks for any guidance whatsoever!


WD-40 is NOT a lubricant. In fact it will dissolve and wash away any lubricant that was there to begin with.

If you think the problem is lack of lubrication, white lithium grease or similar is a good choice. There is a WD-40 branded white lithium spray that is quite convenient but there are other brands as well.

As far as whether your hinges and rollers need to be replaced, well that depends on whether they are worn or not. What you have said doesn't really give much guidance as to their condition.

  • The lithium grease worked ... I wasn't sure how much to use and for the first few days it was like starting an old car to get it to close. But today it's working normally; I guess the grease I did use finally got distributed into the right spots. – Mark McWiggins Nov 2 '20 at 5:17

First, how does the door operate when worked manually? The garage door opener is an even bigger menace than WD-40, because it conceals developing problems, and makes them worse because it forces motion that a tactile human would not force, accelerating the damage.

So operating it manually... when does it bind? At the bottom when just opening? That's a problem with the door seals; the spacing is not correct. Look for places where it seems to be binding, and meanwhile, paint the entire door seal area with graphite lubricant paint, and if able, the mating surface on the door proper. It has the advantage of NOT being sticky and attracting dirt. John Deere dealers sell the graphite paint, as do many others.

On the rollers... carefully inspect each roller with the door in the DOWN position. Are any of them getting wobbly, like quite wobbly? That's a "replace it". Do a great deal of research before replacing any rollers on the very bottom of the door, unless you want to win a Darwin Award.

Inspect the roller tracks for obvious broken-ness and/or seas of crud in the roller tracks. It would have to be a lot of crud. Grease and oil are bad news on roller tracks, you are better off not lubricating the roller tracks at all. If you must, use that graphite paint - and focus on the flat side and outside, don't bother with the scooped side, the rollers roll there.

Hinges are probably not a big deal. You'll notice if they are.

Also check for any broken lift cables or broken springs. Mind you, either one is a "call a pro" job, or a "research like you really, really, really do not want an embarrassing obituary" job. Because all that stuff can kill you.

  • Another thing about the weird house: there is no door into the garage other than the sticky garage door. So not as easy as most to do that. Anyway, I bought some lithium grease to try the next time it sticks; it closed without incident the last couple of times. – Mark McWiggins Oct 28 '20 at 23:44

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