How To Replace Garage Door Rollers: A Quick Guide

Garage door rollers are quintessential tools to make opening your garage seamless. However, when they get worn out, they strain the door and hamper the functioning mechanism. Simply put, you don’t want old, rusted rollers to support your garage door.

Garage door rollers are no rocket science. So, you can easily get them replaced or do so yourself using some expert tips. However, while you can change the bottom rollers along the vertical track, you will need to work along the horizontal track for the top rollers.

Once you replace the garage door rollers, you will find your garage door opening as smoothly as ever. To provide you with all the information you need to complete this process, we’ve done some exhaustive research and come up with this fabulous guide.

For all the DIY-enthusiasts and homeowners out there, this guide is sure to assist you in revamping your garage door rollers. So, bring your tools and dive right in!

How often should you replace garage door rollers?

Garage door rollers come in several different materials. These materials can be plastic, nylon, or steel. Interestingly, these materials are what decide the durability of your garage roller. Some rollers are so robust that no matter what, they last decades. Whereas, there are rollers that can get worn out in less than a year.

Plastic is the least durable and cheapest material used for garage door rollers. Even if the quality of plastic is tremendous, it can only bear so much. Steel and nylon are comparatively more expensive but have great durability and can last decades.

Most homeowners prefer to invest in nylon rollers since they have covered bearings that prevent dust from settling on the rollers. In fact, they have the highest rated cycles compared to other materials. Thus, they last the longest.

So, the material of your garage door rollers decides how often you need them replaced. Thus, better material will last longer.

Nylon, steel, or plastic? What should you prefer?

When you deliberate on the material for your garage door rollers, there are several factors you need to consider. Are you looking at durability and dust-resistance? Or do you want rollers that make the least sound when operated?

Once you’re done answering these questions, you can have a look at the rollers available in the market. Most of them are made of steel, plastic, or nylon. Here’s what you should know about these:

  • Plastic Door Rollers: These are cheap and very readily available in markets. You can go for these temporarily since they don’t require lubrication. While you have these installed, you must look for a more durable alternative. 
  • Steel Door Rollers: These are quite durable but need frequent lubrication. Well-maintained steel rollers can last very long. However, the only severe shortcoming is that they can be extremely loud.
  • Nylon Door Rollers: These are the most durable of them all and quite expensive. However, it is almost like making a one-time investment. These are also very quiet when operated.

How much will replacing garage door rollers cost you?

We all factor in expenses when it comes to repairs. So, are you wondering how much it will cost you to replace your garage door rollers? Well, we’ll help you relax there. It won’t cost you more than a hearty night’s meal!

The cost also depends on the size of your door. The bigger the door, the more rollers you need. However, as an estimate, a simple pair of steel or plastic rollers cost between $25 and $35. Nylon rollers are more expensive and can cost around $40 for a pair.

What affects the durability of your garage door rollers?

  • The garage roller’s age: Wear and tear are natural when it comes to garage rollers since they are used very frequently. So, based on the material of the roller, the longer it’s used, the more it wears away.
  • Dimensions of the door: Tall and heavy doors tend to put more strain on garage rollers than lightweight and compact doors.
  • Usage frequency: If you open your garage door more than ten times in a day, you can expect your rollers to wear down pretty fast.
  • Material: Plastic rollers wear away the fastest since they are quite fragile and meant for temporary use. Moreover, the rigorous use of plastic rollers can spoil them in only a few months. However, steel and nylon rollers are seen to last longer.

How do your garage door rollers wear out?

Your garage door rollers can get worn out due to several reasons. Some common ones are:

  • Material: Plastic wears down faster than durable materials like steel and nylon. Thus, plastic rollers are more prone to damage.
  • Faulty door-hinges: The state of your door’s hinges can put unwanted pressure on rollers. This added strain damages rollers faster.
  • Lubrication: Unless lubricated frequently, rollers get covered in dirt, dust particles, and rust, eventually spoiling them.
  • Faulty rating: Some companies mention an incorrect cycle rating for their products. Thus, it is important to choose well-known brands for rollers to avoid being misguided.

When should you replace garage door rollers? 

There are several tell-tale signs of when the time comes to replace your rollers. Here’s how you can tell that the time is nearing for you to change your garage door rollers:

  • Loose garage rollers: If you feel like the rollers on your door are sliding off or are super-easy to remove, then there’s something awry about it.
  • Absent rubber: If your garage rollers have lost a rubber or have a cracked one, they are bound to wear down in no time at all.
  • Unexplained sounds: Cracking, popping, or whirring sounds when opening a garage door indicate that your garage door rollers need an urgent replacement.
  • Vibrations: Does your garage door vibrate when you open it? Well, it needs a pair of new rollers!
  • Accumulation of rust: If you see rust forming on rollers, it needs lubrication. If the rust is beyond repair, you have no choice but to get your rollers replaced.

What materials do you need for replacing garage door rollers?

You need the following to replace garage door rollers:

  • High-Quality Garage Door Rollers
  • Pair of Pliers
  • A Clamp
  • Screwdriver (Preferably Flat-Head)
  • A Helper
  • Pry Bar
  • Claw Hammer
  • A Sturdy Ladder

Having these ready will make your task fairly easy. Read on to find out the exact process to replace your garage door rollers.

How to replace your garage door rollers: The complete guide

Replacing garage door rollers is not as complicated as it may seem. However, each step must be performed with caution. For better understanding, we divided this section into three parts:

  • Steps to correctly open the garage door
  • Changing the bottom rollers
  • Replacing the top garage door rollers

So, let’s get started!

1. How can you correctly open the garage door

Here’s how you can safely and accurately open the garage door.

  1. Open the complete door: It is ideal to start working on the bottom rollers so you should get the door open before beginning the work. You can open the door by hand or using a power opener.
  2. Remove the power opener: Disconnect the release rope slowly. You may use a ladder if you don’t feel confident in pulling the rope from down below. Note: You should turn off the fuses or unplug the opener to avoid electrical issues.
  3. Use pliers to open the garage’s front: Clutch one section of the vertical track using pliers and bend it. It should form a 90-degree angle. When you do this, you will be able to access the rollers. Note: You can also use a hammer for this process.

Word of caution: It is better to work on one side first instead of both sides simultaneously. This allows you to work with better precision and control.

2. What is the best way to change your bottom rollers?

  1. Line your rollers with the side of the track you opened: You should complete this step slowly. Once your rollers line up with the track, you can support the door with one hand. You can also have someone to assist you while you work on the rollers.
  2. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the rollers: Take out the roller by placing the screwdriver under the roller and sliding it out. Make sure you support the door well while removing the rollers.
  3. Place the new roller: Remove your old roller by pulling it out. Take your new roller and carefully slide it to replace the old roller’s position.
  4. Place the rollers in the track: You need to lift the door so that the roller lines up with the track. Here, you should hit the roller right at the hinge using a hammer. This should create a smooth vertical action between the roller and the track.
  5. Close the track: Use pliers to close the side of the track that you’re working on.
  6. Repeat these steps for all bottom rollers: You can repeat the above steps for all the bottom rollers on your door. Please ensure that you do not open any top roller.

3. How should you replace your top rollers?

  1. Clamp the track at least a feet away from the garage door’s bottom part: After opening the door, you must place a clamp at the lower part of the door. When you do this, your door stays secured and does not fall while you’re replacing the top rollers.
  2. Use a screwdriver to get the roller out of the upper track: You can use a ladder here for precision and convenience. Just like for the bottom rollers, you have to use a flathead screwdriver to bring out the top rollers.

The door drops as you remove the rollers. Please be extremely cautious at this stage to not injure yourself. Note: Always use a sturdy ladder.

  1. Remove your old roller and replace it with a brand new one: You should focus on the circular area of the old roller to remove it easily. Then, you can move on to sliding the new roller to fit an accurate position.
  2. Align the track and the new top rollers: We recommend caution at this stage when you’re aligning the track with the new rollers. You should secure the new top rollers properly using pliers.
  3. Repeat this entire process for all the other top rollers: Once you’re done replacing rollers on one side, you can start the same process on the other. All you need to do is find the rhythm between removing the rollers with the screwdrivers and swapping them with new ones.

Is it necessary for you to bend the track?

When replacing garage door rollers, different people have different ways to go about it. However, two approaches stick out. One is to bend the track while the other involves unscrewing the brackets.

Those who prefer to bend the track explain its importance in securing the bottom roller. They feel that it is a more accurate approach. The people who unscrew brackets to place the new rollers believe that it’s a more hassle-free approach. They also believe that it’s quicker than bending the track each time.

After confirming with experts, we concluded that both approaches work equally well. However, the second approach may allow you to work at a better pace with improved control.

Replacing garage door rollers: Precautions you must take

We know that you have a safe pair of hands. However, since you are working with construction equipment, it is better to avoid any chances of accidents or injuries.

Thus, you should always be careful of the following while replacing rollers on your garage door:

  • Always use a secure and sturdy ladder.
  • Keep a friend or assistant close by for help. This is necessary when you’re trying to replace the roller while keeping the door secure.
  • Always keep your fingers away from hammers and other heavy equipment.
  • Do not try to complete the process hastily. This can lead to severe injuries.

Final takeaways

As we conclude our extensive guide on ‘how to replace garage door rollers,’ we’re certain that we’ve covered all the tips and tricks you need to complete the task with ease. Finally, we hope that you’ll replace your garage door rollers in a fun-filled, easy, and safe manner using our guide.

Now, all you need to do is grab your equipment and begin!