How to Fix a Garage Door That Opens Slowly

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Garage door opening systems operate on a set of tension springs, pulleys, sensors and a motor. Though the technology powering any garage door is not very complicated, homeowners may notice problems with regular operation. These include the door not closing and returning to the open position -- often caused by something obstructing the safety sensors -- or the door opening slowly. A slow door is usually caused by the door speed switch or poorly lubricated tracks.

Things You'll Need

  • Stool
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Spray lubricant

Check the Speed Setting

Remove your vehicle from the garage to gain full access to the door opener.

Climb up on a stepladder under the opener with a flat-head screwdriver in your back pocket.

Reach up to the opener and grasp either side with your hands where the access panel is located. Depress the tabs with your thumbs and tilt the panel up or down.

Look for a screw that sets the door opening speed. Check to see what setting it is on. If set to the lowest speed, simply turn it up to a higher setting using the screwdriver.

Step down from the ladder and open and close the door to make sure the speed is appropriate. Step back on the ladder or stool and tilt the access panel into place. You will hear a click when it snaps into its closed position.

Lubricate the Tracks

Lower the garage door to its closed position.

Put on goggles and a dust mask to prevent lubricant from getting in your eyes or mouth. Set the stepladder near the top end of one track. Climb on the ladder with a can of spray lubricant.

Spray lubricant liberally into the tracks going from the top of the track near the ceiling to the bottom near the floor. Then lubricate the other track in the same way.

Open and close your garage door a few times to ensure it opens and closes as normal.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the tension springs are stretched too much and sag or have broken, phone a professional to replace the springs. Replacing the springs is dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury and/or property damage.

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References

  • "The Homeowner's Manual"; Lynda Lyday; 2005
  • "Troubleshooting Guide to Residential Construction"; Steven Bliss ; 1997
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