Garage Door Jerks When Opening: 6 Causes With Easy Solutions

The issue of garage doors jerking when opening is a common problem many homeowners face, and understanding its causes and potential consequences is crucial for maintaining a safe and functional garage.

Garage door jerks when opening
Garage door jerks when opening

While specific statistics on the prevalence of jerking garage doors are difficult to come by, it is safe to say that this issue affects many homeowners. Research indicates that garage door problems, in general, are a leading cause of home maintenance concerns, with jerking doors being a top contributor.

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Possible Causes of Garage Door Jerks When Opening

A smooth and efficient garage door operation is essential for every homeowner. However, when your garage door starts jerking when opening, it’s crucial to identify the root cause of the problem. Here are some possible causes of garage door jerks during the opening process:

Possible Causes of Garage Door Jerks When Opening
Possible Causes of Garage Door Jerks When Opening

Misaligned Tracks

The garage door runs on tracks that guide its movement. The door may jerk or bind during operation if these tracks become misaligned. Misalignment can result from loose brackets, bent tracks, or debris obstructing the path. Regular inspection and maintenance of the tracks can help prevent this issue.

Worn or Damaged Rollers

Rollers are an integral part of the garage door system, allowing the door to move smoothly along the tracks. Over time, rollers can wear down, become damaged, or accumulate dirt and debris over time, causing the door to jerk when opening.

Replacing worn or damaged rollers and cleaning them regularly can help ensure a smooth operation.

Imbalanced Springs

Garage doors rely on springs to counterbalance their weight and facilitate smooth movement. If the springs are not properly balanced or have become worn or damaged, the door may jerk when opening.

This issue requires immediate attention, as imbalanced springs can cause further damage to the garage door system and pose a safety risk.

Loose or Damaged Hardware

The garage door system consists of various hardware components, such as hinges, brackets, and cables. If any parts become loose or damaged, the door may jerk during operation.

Regular inspection and maintenance, including tightening loose hardware and replacing damaged components, can help prevent this issue.

Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener

The garage door opener controls the door’s movement. If the opener malfunctions, it may cause the door to jerk when opening. This could be due to various issues, such as a faulty motor, worn gear, or a misaligned drive chain or belt.

In such cases, repairing or replacing the garage door opener may be necessary.

Lack of Lubrication

Proper lubrication is essential for the smooth operation of a garage door. Over time, the lubrication on the tracks, rollers, hinges, and springs can dry out or become contaminated, causing the door to jerk when opening.

Regularly applying a high-quality garage door lubricant can help prevent this issue and ensure smooth operation.

These are the most common reasons for garage door jerks when opening. However, it is important to note that individual cases may vary, and other less common factors could contribute to the issue.

For instance, extreme weather conditions, such as temperature fluctuations, can cause contraction or expansion of the garage door components, leading to jerking movements. 

Additionally, a garage door’s age and general wear and tear over time may result in jerking if regular maintenance has been neglected. Always consult a professional garage door technician to thoroughly assess your situation.

Steps To Troubleshoot garage door jerks when Opening

To troubleshoot garage door jerks when opening, follow these steps:

Steps To Troubleshoot garage door jerks when Opening
Steps To Troubleshoot garage door jerks when Opening

Inspect the rollers and hinges

Damaged rollers commonly cause garage door issues. Check the rollers, hinges, and other hardware for binding and damage. If you notice the rollers squealing or squeaking when closing or opening the garage door, they are likely the reason for a jerking door.

Check for track damage

Sometimes, the garage door can get damaged from handling. If you observe that the garage door opener only gets halfway and starts binding when your door comes up, then the problem may be with the track. Damage to the track is generally found in the form of crimps or bends.

Examine the garage door springs

Garage door springs play a crucial role in counterbalancing the door’s weight. Inspect torsion springs (located above the door) or extension springs (along the sides of the tracks) for signs of wear, damage, or imbalance. If you suspect a problem with the springs, it’s best to call a professional technician, as dealing with springs can be dangerous.

Inspect and adjust the garage door opener

  1. Check the garage door opener for any visible signs of damage or malfunction.
  2. Consult the owner’s manual for specific troubleshooting tips and adjustments for your model, such as adjusting the force or travel limits.
  3. If you cannot resolve the issue, consider contacting a professional technician for assistance.

Lubricate all moving parts

Ensure that all moving parts of the garage door system are properly lubricated. Apply a high-quality garage door lubricant to the tracks, rollers, hinges, and springs. Regular lubrication can help prevent jerking and ensure smooth operation.

Check for obstructions

Inspect the tracks and the area around the garage door for any obstructions, such as debris, dirt, or objects that may be causing the door to jerk when opening. Clear any obstructions and clean the tracks to ensure smooth movement.

Perform a visual inspection

 Regularly inspect your garage door system for any signs of wear or damage. This includes checking the tracks, rollers, hinges, cables, and other hardware components. Address any issues you find promptly to prevent further problems.

Remember that it’s always a good idea to consult a professional garage door technician if you’re unsure how to address any of these issues. They can provide expert guidance, ensure the proper functioning of your garage door, and help maintain the safety and security of your home.

Garage door jerks when opening: Solution

Here are the solutions for each of the causes mentioned earlier:

Garage door jerks when opening- Solution

Misaligned Tracks

To fix misaligned tracks, first, inspect the tracks for any visible damage, such as bends or dents. If the damage is minor, you can gently tap the tracks back into alignment with a rubber mallet.

If the brackets holding the tracks are loose, tighten them using a wrench. In severe damage, it’s best to call a professional technician to replace the tracks.

Worn or Damaged Rollers

The best solution is to replace worn or damaged rollers. You can purchase replacement rollers from a garage door parts supplier or contact a professional technician for assistance.

When replacing rollers, use high-quality rollers and lubricate them properly to ensure smooth operation.

Imbalanced Springs

Imbalanced springs can be dangerous, and it’s highly recommended to call a professional technician to handle this issue.

They will inspect your springs, determine if they need to be adjusted or replaced, and ensure they are properly balanced for safe and smooth operation.

Loose or Damaged Hardware

To address loose or damaged hardware, inspect your garage door system for any visible signs of wear or damage. Tighten loose bolts, screws, or brackets using a wrench or screwdriver.

Replace any damaged components, such as hinges or cables, to ensure proper functioning. Regular maintenance can help prevent hardware issues in the future.

Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener

If you suspect a malfunctioning garage door opener, try resetting it by unplugging it for a few minutes and then plugging it back in. If the problem persists, consult the owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips for your model. Sometimes, you may need to call a professional technician to repair or replace the opener.

Lack of Lubrication

To solve the issue of lack of lubrication, apply a high-quality garage door lubricant to all moving parts, such as tracks, rollers, hinges, and springs. Clean any dirt or debris from the components before applying the lubricant.

Regular lubrication, as part of your garage door maintenance routine, can help prevent jerking and ensure smooth operation.

frequently asked questions (fAQs)

Can you lubricate garage door with WD-40?

Answer: While WD-40 can be used for temporary lubrication, it is not recommended as a long-term solution for garage door maintenance. WD-40 is primarily a cleaner and degreaser, and its lubrication properties may not last long. Instead, use a silicone or lithium-based lubricant specifically designed for garage doors.

 What is the best lubricant for garage door maintenance?

Answer: The best lubricants for garage door maintenance are silicone or lithium-based lubricants. These types of lubricants are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and provide long-lasting protection for garage door components. Avoid using grease or oil-based lubricants, as they can attract dirt and dust, causing more wear and tear on the door.

 How often should garage doors be lubricated?

Answer: Garage doors should be lubricated at least once every six months, or more frequently if the door is used heavily or exposed to extreme weather conditions. Regular lubrication helps to reduce friction, prolong the life of the door components, and ensure smooth and quiet operation.


A garage door that jerks when opening can be both an annoyance and a safety concern for homeowners.

By understanding the possible causes, such as issues with the springs, tracks, rollers, or opener, you can take the necessary steps to diagnose and resolve the problem.

Regular maintenance and inspection of your garage door system are essential to ensure its smooth and safe operation. 

If you’re unsure about how to address the issue, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional garage door technician to ensure the longevity and reliability of your garage door system.

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