I have this old but functional metal sliding door. Sometimes the sliding isn't very smooth and you need to push although it never gets stuck going either way.

enter image description here

There is one 90° guiding rail at the bottom. Lubricating it with machine oil does SOME performance enhancement but not by much or very long. I do scrape it clean frequently from settled dust and grime. Is there some kind of other treatment that I could apply to enhance sliding?

  • Any way to lift the panel out and set it in a way to detail the bottom rollers a bit. Check the wheels if the bearings are still in good order and the like? Then again I have seen these aluminum sliders just be cantankerous after a time...
    – Jack
    Jan 7, 2016 at 0:52
  • What's up with the iron bars, are you orchestrating a prison break? If so, disregard all advice found in my answer : ) Jan 7, 2016 at 0:53
  • For a "quick and dirty" tuneup, spray entire upper track with spray silicone lube, also hit the lower track but only the side where you don't step, it's really slippery stuff. Give the rollers a 1/2 turn raise also. Jan 7, 2016 at 1:10

2 Answers 2


You should be able to adjust the roller height by accessing an adjustment screw through a hole at the sides/ends of the bottom frame piece.

Spray the adjustment screw assemblies with penetrating oil then lower the door completely by backing out (loosening) the adjustment screws; then lift the door up into the upper track and swing inward to remove it. Be careful, they are heavy; for wider sliders this is a 2-man job.

Lay it flat on sawhorses and inspect the roller mechanism for damage/wear. Spray the entire roller assembly on each side with penetrating oil then remove the rollers, they are usually removed by removing an additional screw found on the bottom of the door frame near the corners. Replace if worn or damaged, if not, grease the wheel bearings with a small amount of lightweight multi-purpose grease and reinstall.

Check all weatherstripping felt and replace as necessary. Spray the entire upper track area with spray silicone lubricant, no other type of lubricant will work as well. Check the rail that the rollers ride on, if it is damaged or corroded as to make sliding difficult, it can be repaired with a "crimp on" stainless steel track cap.

Clean entire door frame and entire track frame, using shop vac if necessary to remove all dirt and debris. Make sure wheels are set to their lowest height adjustment then reinstall the door by reversing removal steps. Adjust the door height until door rolls smoothly and is plumb at the frame on the latch side and aligned with the latch catch. Most latch catches can be adjusted slightly if necessary.

below pic is an example, there are many, many types: enter image description here

  • Now that's handy...Even if it is not the same parts, all the screws and their functions are apparent
    – Jack
    Jan 7, 2016 at 0:56
  • If the rollers are to be replaced then look for the rollers with a steel or brass wheel. The plastic rollers don't last.
    – ojait
    Jan 7, 2016 at 1:17
  • I'm pretty sure mine has no rollers but just slides metal on metal... It's THAT old
    – amphibient
    Jan 7, 2016 at 1:30
  • Naw, I haven't seen one like the one in your picture without rollers, been messin with em for 30m years. Pull it off and you'll see that they are there, but damaged or mal-adjusted. Jan 7, 2016 at 1:42

Yeah, the oiling is just greasing the track. It's called a slider, but it's actually a roller...most likely. Either way you MAY be able to get it back to brand new wonderfulness. If the IF's work out AND can get parts.

First though, does the door lock & seal well on the far right? If not, you MAY find a screw head at the very bottom left corner of the slider, maybe an inch in from the corner. You can try screwing that clockwise to see if that side raises. If it does then try the door & see if it's all fixed.

Otherwise, you'll need to open the door & just lift it straight up & hopefully be able to tip the bottom out onto the floor (skip to last paragraph if you can't tip it out). then you'll want to lay it down somewhere to have full access to the bottom. The 2 slide pads or 2 rollers are what you either need to adjust or completely replace.

Hopefully, I'm wrong about what I think I see. But, your floor has foolishly been raised without considering this door. The door can't be simply removed & serviced as was intended. Get the landlord to address the door, put up with it or remove the entire door unit & make a big mess that will end with getting a whole new door & a partially new floor or wall.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.