My garage door, can I fix this myself?

My garage door has been having problems going up lately. If I hit the opener and actually give it a slight manual assist, there are two spots where it feels sticky. Without an assist, it will stop. From observation, I can see that the two spots are where the first and second of the four sectional panel’s rollers make the curve at the top of the door.

I spent a few minutes looking and what it is, is the door is slightly off-center. By this I mean (and sorry no pictures but I can post some if it will explain better) that the pins attached to the rollers in the rails are protruding about an inch or more on the left side of the door than on the right. I also eyeballed the clearance between the door and the rails, and it’s clear that the door is off center. The first two top sections are off by the most, which is probably why it sticks there the most. Once the second section makes the turn at the top of the rail it’s all smooth.

So my question is - is this something that can be a home fix? I obviously don’t want to use any kind of pry bar to move it for fear of damaging the rail too. Can I get four or five big strong neighbors to try and push it over an inch to be on center again?

Or am I stuck paying a garage door person to come in and do this?

In my experience, 99% of garage door problems are due to lubrication issues. Get some oil, and lubricate all the rollers, and some chain or gear grease and grease the drive, and see if that helps.

I’ve lubed the rollers but could give the drive a shot on the chance that movement will make it slide back into place, is that the idea?

The garage door pieces (or at least, the one I installed) are not completely attached. Each section is a separate piece, and after you drop it down into the track, you screw that section (in the ends, IIRC, by the rollers) to the one below.

Has this alignment changed if the sections are skewed now?

They are not attached to the rollers, The pins just slide in (In my experience) you ougt to be able to move the sections by hand horizontally when the door is closed, by grabbing the end (if you can get fingers in between door and track - watch for pinches!!! Turn off power!!!)

Otherwise, us a piece of plywood Between prybar, door, and prybar-track so prying does not damage it. Stop if it looks like bending.

Alternatively, remove screws in connecting sections and relocate…
Close door, take screws out of connectors, open top, move offending section, re-screw down to bottom half.
Close top, re-attach, etc.

However, you risk stripping the screwholes by doing-undoing screws too often.

I’ll go with try lubricant first. Good suggestion.

Does this door have dual coil springs at the top? It’s very possible that one spring is getting weak.

One thing to keep in mind is don’t mess with the springs. These can be very dangerous if they let fly due to coming free at one end or breaking.

You have an opener, is the guide rail and arm properly centered? (Not just on the top section, but the door opening itself.)

Or broken. If you know what you’re doing you can change BOTH of them, but you have to know how to unload the springs and how to set the load when you’ve installed the new ones. It will take a pro about an hour and a half to fix and adjust the door. I recently did this and I think it was in the neighborhood of $250.00 for both springs. He told me the springs were designed for 10,000 open/close cycles.

The door and opener are 7 years old and no, there aren’t springs. Based on what I see! It seems md2000’s advice might be the best start.

Whoa, there are springs, or there’s your problem - the garage door always has springs to support the weight of the door, and the springs are at tension when the door is down and the tension is lower or released when the door is up.
The question is just what kind of spring you have, and whether they are broken or not - you can get a garage door with the omg don’t do this at home type springs that sit directly above the door on a sort of rod thing, or springs that look more like what you would think of when you say “spring” that sit between the door and the garage ceiling along the guide rails.

Yes, there are springs. If you don’t see them, then they just aren’t the kind then run the length of the (horizontal) section of track. With the door closed, look at the axle that runs over the top. Above it, you’ll see either one or two springs around it. Make sure they are both in good condition. If one is snapped, that’s your problem. The door is starting to lift and then one side is lifting more and the other side isn’t and it’s racking.

If this is the problem, you should call in a pro to fix it, and get both done at the same time. If you look at my past posts on this board, I’m a HUGE believer in DIY work. I have no problem doing electrical work, furnace repairs, screwing around with cars or stoves…but I wouldn’t attempt replacing the springs on a garage myself. It’s to risky and too easy to get smacked in the face (and break your jaw) with one of the poles you use to tighten them.

First - find out why it got out of line - the broken spring/ loosened spring is a likely suspect.

I managed to re-tension my springs - using the checklist approach:
Insert bar
Is bar fully seated?
Tension bar enough to loosen bar jammed in framework
Bar still seated?

Repeat 20 times per side if you do this, it is likely the most carefully checked and counter-checked work you will do (unless you de-fuse bombs for giggles). Those springs turning a 30" steel bar in close proximity to your head is nowhere to get careless.

And find a real 1/2" steel rod - that big screwdriver will NOT work - there is not much more steel there when the proper tool is used - playing “close enough” can get your hear split open or removed completely.
Gut Check Big Time.

I had the exact misalignment issue with my garage door but I have coil springs and adjusting the springs brought the door back into alignment. It seems you have a tension spring and I strongly suggest you learn as much as possible about adjusting this spring before attempting to do so because doing so incorrectly can be extremely dangerous due to the amount of stored energy in a torsion spring…

Mum and dad had a broken spring. Dad and I changed it. He has had a life time of truck driving, and knows the dangers of tensioned tie down straps and chain boomers. Those can kill you; these door springs are even worse.

So we set up carefully on either side, with the firm rule that nobody crosses their body (the head quarters are very mobile!) near the plane of the tensioning bar. We used a good 1/2 inch steel bar. Hands were the only exception. The other rule was that you explicitly state when you are letting go, so neither of you gets a broken arm. OR FACE.

And we just couldnt get the two springs tensioned equally.

Dad called a professional, it was done in an hour, and the money was well spent.

TL;DR dont mess around, let a pro do it. They are worth it.

Ok yep, found the springs. They both appear intact, but at the end of each there is a knob with numbers. One looks to be set at 10, the other at 12. I’ve never touched these before so don’t know if they got bumped, or some external stress moved one. I have plans today but when I get back might see if they can be adjusted by hand. Otherwise it’s time to call a pro

Some sources will claim that the torsion spring above your garage door is the most dangerous thing you have in your house. That might be hyperbole, but a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation will give you a figure like 500 foot-lbs stored in that spring under tension. Do you really want to try to catch a 50 lb weight dropped from 10 feet?

the tracks have to not move when you wiggle them or the door moves in them. the tracks should not twist but remain in an even plane.

the rollers shouldn’t be warn so they wiggle on the rod. the rods should move freely in and out of the door attachment. wear, corrosion or friction can cause the door to bind. some freedom of movement problem has caused your door to wander off center.

I came just to second or third this. I am a pretty mechanically inclined do it your selfer. I messed with garage door springs once. I doubt I ever will again. An I ain’t some wussy person afraid of stuff either. If I had the time, money, and opportunity I’d be climbing mountains, racing airplanes, and getting on Russian rockets to visit the space station.

We have some minor issues with our garage door. The SO bitches about it on occasion. I tell her to call a pro if she wants it fixed. I ain’t touching that thing again.

maybe over time uneven lift has caused your door to go off center a half a hair at a time.