Since we bought this place, the garage door has been a big pain in the ass. It never really opened or closed as well as it should. Over the past few months it's gotten to the point where the door won't open or close without help (me lifting or pushing down on it as it moves).
Not knowing jack-sh1t about garage doors, I figured it was just binding up on the track somewhere, so I spent a couple hours screwing around with it trying to get it to work better.
Finally I decided to just bite the bullet and call a professional. Scheduled appointment was today between 9 and 11 am. The tech calls at 8:30 asking if he can show up 15 minutes early.
Dude gets here and gets to work. First problem is that the rollers are all original to the door installation and are worn out, wobbly, and generally crappy.
15 minutes later and he's got the original steel rollers replaced with non-steel (Plastic? Teflon? Space-age polymer? No idea...). The door moves much more quietly and with much less slop, but still doesn't open or close properly.
He adjusted the springs a number of times trying to get the left and right side to have the same tension. It got better and better, but still kept binding up. Then he noticed one of the pulleys was a little worn out. Worn out to the point where the bearings were shot and it was very hard to turn. It was hard to see when it was installed because the brackets holding it covered almost all of the center. The pulleys were the real problem.
In go a pair of new pulleys and the door FINALLY opens and closes like it should. Quiet, smooth, and without extra effort.
None of what the guy did was rocket science, but if you don't know what to look for it's damn near impossible to guess your way through this job. Looking back at it now, I could have done the job myself IF I knew what to look for. This is one of those jobs where you pay the pros, watch what they do, and then do it yourself the next time.
On the picture of the new roller you'll see a bunch of grease on the wheel. This is grease that the previous owner put on the track, which is a big no-no. Grease actually causes more problems than it solves. In the winter it gets hard (at least up here in the north) and it traps all kinds of dust and dirt, gumming up the track.
After his work was done I sprayed the track with engine degreaser and wiped it clean. I love how quiet the door is now. The new rollers also come with a lifetime warranty, so if/when I ever install a new garage door they'll just use those rollers so I don't have to buy new ones. If I keep the receipt that long, that is...