DIY Troubleshooting

Attempting any DIY garage repair comes with a good deal of danger, Rocket City Garage service is not liable for any damage or injuries from attempting any repair shown here. This is only a guide for use in an effort to help you understand the workings of your garage door, opener and its peripherals.

DIY garage repair. Troubleshooting common door problems.

garage door falling out of opening
Severe door failure due to lack of service

Okay…. So this isn’t the typical but it is what happens when the home owner continues to use a door that needs service. This door showed signs of trouble long before we arrived to repair it. Every friction point of this door was binding against its self and it just gave up one morning.  The most important DIY garage repair isn’t the repair at all. The best DIY action to take is proper lubrication and a once over every year or so will help avoid this scenario. Here are a few more photos of that door.


severe garage door failure
severe door failure looking from inside
door falling out of opening due to lack of service
precarious position! this door could fall at any moment.
door falling out of opening
from back of garage looking out

The homeowner was astonished that we met this challenge with confidence in our ability to repair this door, not replace it.  Here is the door again repaired. This client decided to upgrade anyway. By no means did we ever suggest she should.

door repaired and made safe for client
repaired door, safe door
repaired door and safe for client, they didnt need to replace it
looks like nothing happened
from inside the garage it seems great from the repair
from inside the garage

So now that you have seen the unusual turned back to functional and safe lets take a look at the symptoms that cause these catastrophes.

door hit by car and client didnt call for repair, rollers coming out of track.
rollers coming out of the track, this happens when repair from hitting the door was neglected and door was continued to be used.

One or more rollers out of track and continued use of door can lead to injury and complete failure. the door needs to be in the down position and you can take the hinges off one by one and then reinsert the roller into the track and reattach the hinge. Note; rollers don’t just come out of track, something else could be the culprit. I.E. a hit by the car or yard implement or even running a door by hand using excessive force. It is very important that the entire door is gone through meticulously to assure this problem wont happen again.


fasteners pulling away from hinge and door
fasteners can back-out over time and a lack of service. this can potentially be dangerous if neglected

These fasteners hold the hinges to the door. Over time, and a lack of service, They just start backing out. Just common wear and tear. these are generally a 7/16″ socket, some manufactures use 3/8″ should you decide to tackle the tightening.  Be prepared, in many cases the fastener point is stripped out and a new point must be drilled and inspected for integrity.

cable jumped from drum and wrapped around torsion bar
jumped cable will keep door from closing
jumped cable
jumped cable. looking up between door and header

This is a cable that has jumped the drum. You will may notice that your door suddenly wont go down, or wont completely reach the floor It may be that the door seems cocked sideways altogether. Generally this is what we find. This fix is not always easy, and more times than not, i come to this job to find the homeowner or maintenance person has attempted to take off the lowest most bracket, this results in possible serious injury and a release of spring tension. There is a better way, a safe way!!! I recommend giving us a call this falls under a normal service call. We wouldn’t consider this a DIY garage repair.

Broken cables?

When a cable breaks it requires manipulation of the bottom bracket, the tracks, and the springs. We do not recommend this repair unless you have experience and the proper tools.

broken garage door cable
broken door cable, causing door to fail and not completely close

We build door specific cables on site.

rocket city door repairs broken cables
custom made cable


Vehicle vs garage door

Not always a good candidate for DIY garage repair. (requires removing track and leaving door unguided and potentially dangerous if done improperly)

Common more than one would like, we deal with doors that lost the fight with the vehicle.

Bent vertical track
Bent vertical track

It can take some time to repair and generally speaking, the better you can get it the less likely that you will have residual issues. We have a vice on our trucks and use some clever tricks, sometimes you have to consider the headache to dollar ratio and if it’s too bad just replace it. Give Rocket city a call and we can come to give you our professional opinion. In this case we repaired it.

repaired verticle door track
Track repaired not replaced

The door, on the other hand,  can seem very overwhelming when damaged. We recommend carefully inspecting the door.

First look to see if all the rollers are in the track. Usually the bottom rollers pop out, you can disconnect several of the fasteners that hold the track to the wall and twist the track to get the rollers back in.

Second look at your cables and drums. If cables are loose, call Rocket city, manipulation of the cables requires proper tools and knowledge of the springs, and can be very dangerous.

Third we recommend unplugging your opener so nobody is able to accidentally push a button and cause more damage.

If you can get the door safely to about chest level, with all rollers in the track and cables tight, you can manipulate the door by pushing and pulling it and getting it straightened up. Be careful! I can’t emphasize enough the importance of rollers being in place, cables being right, door being mostly level etc. In my experience, and in all of my service calls, we have repaired bent doors and the only cost over a typical service call has been adding a strut to the section for rigidity. Here is an example. Photos of a door in a wash bay of a rental car business where an employee hit the door.


door vs vehicle
From outside
Inside looking out
Inside looking out
Before looking left to right from ladder
After repair inside
After repair inside
After repair from outside
After repair from outside

As you can see we gave this old door a new lease on life. Took us about 30 minutes and saved the client a couple of thousand .