Why Doesn’t my Garage Door Open in the Cold? Causes and Solutions

garage door winterTemperatures drop, but your garage door doesn’t work. Or it’s a cold morning, you’re trying to get to work, but your garage door won’t open. Sound familiar?

Several problems could be causing your garage door to stick in the cold. Most you can fix yourself, though more significant problems require a repair professional.


Start by troubleshooting what the problem is:

  1. While your garage door is in the down position, disconnect the opener and try to raise the door manually. Check for spots where it sticks. This may show a grease buildup.
  2. Check for broken springs. If your garage door feels heavy to lift manually, you likely have a broken spring. You’ll need a garage door repair professional for this problem.
  3. If the door raises and lowers by hand easily, the opener’s force settings may need to be adjusted.

Problem #1: Metal contracts

Metal contracts in the cold weather, so the springs and other metal pieces can seize up. If this is the problem, simply apply lubricant. Lubricate the springs, hinges, rollers and other moving parts. We suggest using a silicone-based lubricant.

Problem #2: Hardened grease

The grease hardens in colder weather. First, remove the old grease using a grease solvent. Use a small brush, such a firm bristle toothbrush, to work into cracks. Wipe away solvent, and apply a silicone-based lubricant to the moving parts.

Problem #3: Wear or misalignment, warped tracks

The rollers can become worn down or misaligned in the tracks. Also, the tracks can become warped due to extreme temperatures or damage. You will need to call a garage door repair professional for either problem.

Problem #4: Broken Springs

Most garage door systems include a spring system which helps balance the weight of the door. Eventually, these springs will reach their lifecycle and break. This more often than not will occur in the winter months. A repair of this nature should be performed by trained professionals only.

Preventative Maintenance

Prevent your garage door from winter issues:

  • Apply a spray solvent to rollers, hinges, roller tracks, hinges, and latches.
  • Lubricate the pulleys or the bearings.
  • Wipe everything clean. If any rollers or hinges seem stuck, soak them in a solvent, using a stiff brush to clean the cracks. Wipe clean again.
  • Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the springs, screw drive, shuttle, roller bearings and torsion bar bearings.

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