Shaky Garage Doors: Potential Problems and Ways to Fix | Overhead Door Company of Tampa Bay™

Shaky Garage Doors: Potential Problems and Ways to Fix

fix shaky garage door

You’re pulling out of your garage in the morning, or closing the door behind you, and you see that the door seems to be shaking a lot. Maybe it’s shaking when it moves, or maybe your garage door shakes when it comes to a stop or starts moving. How can you fix a shaky garage door? And what are the problems that can arise when you don’t? 

We’ll explore all of that in this post:

Potential Problems that Cause a Garage Door to Shake

Bad Pulleys

There are two major kinds of pulleys that your garage door might have: press fit pulleys and cast iron pulleys.

Cast iron pulleys are a single piece, and as they wear and tear, they can begin to vibrate. Weakened iron pulleys would cause major shaking in your door and serious problems if left unrepaired.

On the other hand, press fit pulleys are used by the garage door to lift the weight of the door, using ball bearings which need to glide smoothly. If the parts begin to separate and move the ball bearings around, your door will not move smoothly. This is probably a problem with the bearings!


The rollers run the door along the track. If rollers become damaged or cracked in any way, you might see jolts and major shaking while the door runs up and down. If you don’t repair the rollers, you might find that they cause the motor to become completely unhinged which can cause major damage to the garage door.

Bad Tracks

Tracks can cause your doors to shake and jerk around when they move. Sometimes one track begins to dip and bend over time, which causes there to be ridges in the metal. Other times dust, debris, or other objects constrict the track movement and force the door to jolt along.

If there are bends in the track itself, you might be able to tap these out with a hammer. Be careful though, you don’t want to further damage the tracks. If this isn’t able to correct it, you may be able to clean out the tracks. If your door is still shaking, you probably will have to call for professional repair service. It can be really tough to replace or straighten tracks on your own!

An Old Motor or Opener

The motor of the garage door itself can also begin to wear down and break over time, which can cause the entire door to shake as it goes up and down the tracks. Sometimes you’ll need to replace the motor entirely, but other times you’ll be able to get a repair person to clean up and replace a couple parts from the inside. The motor is a complex thing to repair, so consider the other possibilities on this list before attempting. You’ll probably have to call in a professional.

Potential Ways to Fix Shaking

Try a Bit of Cleaning and Lubricant

Your first move, when your garage door starts shaking, should be to clean it and add a little bit of lubricant to the moving parts. Find a good, approved garage door lubricant, and apply a little bit to the problematic parts. Run the door a few times and see if the shaking has cleared up.

If the door still shakes after you’ve applied lubricant to the moving parts, then you can try cleaning all of the pieces. Sometimes a little bit of dust or dirt can clog up the track, springs, motor, or door itself and causes it to move weird.

Replace Faulty Parts

If, while cleaning and lubricating, you aren’t able to fix the source of the shaking, you can still try to identify where it is coming from. For example, your door might be shaking all the time while it’s in motion, which could be a problem with the rollers, pulleys, or motor. Your door might also shake only when beginning to open or close, which might mean that something is loose. Again, you might find that your door shakes in a specific spot, which could very well be a problem with the tracks itself.

If you find the source of the problem, you might discover that it’s a small part that you could easily replace on your own. Sometimes a track can be hammered out or a roller can be easily swapped. This may fix the problem entirely! If it’s a part that you don’t feel confident replacing, call for professional garage door repairs.

Get the Door Inspected

If you are unable to discover why your garage door is shaking, it’s best not to leave the situation up to chance. Shaking garage doors are often indicators that something else has gone wrong. If that’s the case, then it’s best to get the door replaced before things get even worse! By having your door inspected and locating the source of the problem, you’ll be able to get it repaired before a shaky door becomes a broken door…

What Happens if I Don’t Fix a Shaky Garage Door?

Is a Shaking Garage Door a Big Deal?

Keep in mind: anytime something on your garage door is shaking or moving a funky way, the entire door is not working properly. Garage doors should glide smoothly along tracks with whirring engines and clear ball bearings. If your door has less glide and more hop—something has gone wrong with the door.

Get it Fixed Before Shaking Becomes Not Opening

When your garage door is shaking and jerking a weird way, it’s time to look into repairs for it. A shaking garage door is a sign that something wrong is happening, and you should get it fixed before the damage becomes worse and you need more extensive repairs! Shaking garage doors usually only require minor repairs to fix the part that is beginning to give out.

In fact, shaking and jerking is a pretty good indicator that you have a chance to save some money on your garage door. By locating the cause of the shaking, you’ll be able to swap out a faulty part before it breaks and potentially makes the problem even worse! 

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