How to Repair or Replace Garage Door Openers

Repairing or replacing an existing garage door opener is easier and more cost effective than installing an original opener.


A garage door opener lets you access your garage from the safety of your car.A garage door opener lets you access your garage from the safety of your car.
Even if you end up having to replace the entire unit, you already have tracks and springs in place that you can reuse. Many of the tasks involved with repairing or replacing a garage door opener are simple things you can do with a minimum of mechanical ability.

Look for dirty rollers. Remove the roller and clean it in degreaser or kerosene. Replace the roller and apply some mechanical oil. Oil all rollers twice a year.

Insert a screwdriver into the adjustment slots on the side of the garage door opener unit on the ceiling to move the door lock bar into proper position.

Straighten crooked door tracks, and use a screwdriver to tighten the screws on all brackets.

Check the batteries in the external signal units.

Check to make sure the springs for the garage door are in good condition. There are two types of garage door opener springs: torsion and extension. Extension springs are located above the rails on either side of the garage door. The torsion spring is a single, long spring mechanism across the front of the garage door opening.

Replacing the Opener

Use a socket wrench to remove the bottom and top bolts from the door release handle at the front of the garage door opener. The door release is the "J"-shaped bar connected to the top track of the door opener and the top of the garage door. Stand on a ladder and remove the bolts from the strip above the garage door motor unit with a socket wrench.

Remove the safety lenses and wiring from the bottom corners of the garage door tracks. Stand on the ladder and remove the bolts from the front metal bar holding the garage door motor unit in place. Carefully drop the unit to the floor.

Remove the wires that lead to the wall switch for the garage door opener. Remove the bolts from the center post bracket above the garage door, and carefully drop the entire center piece (garage door motor unit and center rail) to the floor.

Assemble the center guide for the new opener. Place the end in the original garage door opener bracket above the garage door. Place the motor unit on the top of the ladder at the other end of the assembly.

Lift the garage door opener motor unit up and reattach it to the original metal brackets. Reattach the "J"-shaped door opener bar to the center rail and to the top of the garage door. Install the new unit's electric eyes in the same position as the previous monitors, run the wires up to the motor unit, and connect the wall switch to the motor unit.

Things You Will Need

  • New garage door opener
  • Mechanical oil
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • Step ladder


  • If your unit uses a torsion spring and it is broken, do not replace it yourself. It is a very hazardous job that requires precise equipment and can be dangerous. The torsion spring is under great pressure and wound very tight. If the tension is not released properly, the results can cause serious, even fatal injuries.

About the Author

Tami Parrington is the author of five novels along with being a successful SEO and content writer for the past three years. Parrington's journalism experience includes writing for eHow on medical, health and home-related topics as well as writing articles about the types of animals she has raised for years.