How to Get Garage Door Back on Track: DIY Guide 2024

Garage doors are essential for any home, providing secure access and protection for our vehicles and belongings. However, like any mechanical system, they can experience issues that require attention and repair. One common problem homeowners face is a garage door that has come off its tracks, rendering it inoperable and potentially unsafe. Fortunately, with the right knowledge and tools, this issue can often be resolved without professional assistance.

This comprehensive guide will help you get your garage door back on track, address common causes, outline necessary safety precautions, and provide step-by-step instructions to ensure a successful repair. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-time homeowner, this article will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle this task efficiently.

how to get garage door back on track

Reasons for a Garage door coming off-track

Before we delve into the repair process, it’s essential to understand the potential causes that can lead to a garage door derailing from its tracks. Here are some common reasons:

Misaligned Tracks

Over time, the tracks that guide the garage door can become bent or misaligned due to various factors, such as accidental impacts or improper installation.

Worn-out Rollers 

The rollers that allow the garage door to move smoothly along the tracks can wear down, causing excessive friction and eventually causing the door to come off its tracks.

Broken Hinges

Hinges play a crucial role in keeping the door panels connected and aligned. If one or more hinges break, the door can become unstable and potentially derail.


Debris, objects, or even small rocks can find their way onto the tracks, causing the door to catch and potentially come off its path.

Improper Installation

If the tracks are not installed correctly or if the door is not properly balanced, it can increase the likelihood of the door coming off its tracks.

Assessing the damage and safety precautions

Before attempting to repair your garage door, it’s crucial to assess the extent of the damage and take necessary safety precautions. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Inspect the Door

Carefully examine the door and its components to identify any visible damage, such as bent tracks, broken hinges, or worn-out rollers.

Disconnect the Opener

For your safety, it’s essential to disconnect the garage door opener from the power source to prevent accidental operation during the repair process.

Secure the Door

If the door is partially open, use clamps or vice grips to secure it and prevent it from falling unexpectedly.

Wear Protective Gear 

Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, to protect yourself from potential injuries.

Seek Professional Assistance 

If the damage appears extensive or you feel uncomfortable attempting the repair, it’s always advisable to seek professional assistance from a reputable garage door repair service.

Tools and materials needed for the repair

To successfully get your garage door back on track, you’ll need to gather the following tools and materials:

  • Hammer

  • Pliers

  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips head)

  • Wrenches (adjustable or socket set)

  • Lubricant (silicone-based or garage door-specific)

  • Replacement rollers (if needed)

  • Replacement hinges (if needed)

  • Clamps or vice grips

  • Ladder (if needed)

  • Protective gear (gloves, eye protection, etc.)

Step 1: Disconnecting the garage door opener

Before attempting any repairs, it’s crucial to disconnect the garage door opener from its power source. This will prevent accidental operation during the repair process, ensuring your safety.

  1. Locate the opener unit, typically mounted on the ceiling near the garage door.

  2. Locate the power cord or outlet that supplies electricity to the opener.

  3. Unplug the power cord or turn off the circuit breaker that controls the opener’s power supply.

  4. Test the opener by pressing the wall-mounted control button or using the remote to ensure it is no longer operational.

how to get garage door back on track

Step 2: Realigning the tracks

One of the most common reasons a garage door comes off its tracks is misaligned or bent tracks. To address this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Scrutinize the tracks, looking for signs of bending, dents, or obstructions.

  2. If you find any obstructions, such as debris or small rocks, remove them carefully using pliers or a screwdriver.

  3. If the tracks are bent or misaligned, gently tap them back into their proper position with a hammer or mallet. Be careful not to apply excessive force, which could further damage the tracks.

  4. Once the tracks are realigned, use a level to ensure they are straight and properly aligned from top to bottom.

  5. If the tracks are severely damaged or beyond repair, you may need to replace them entirely. In this case, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance.

Step 3: Reattaching the rollers and hinges

After realigning the tracks, the next step is to reattach the rollers and hinges that connect the door panels to the tracks.

  1. Locate any rollers that have come off the tracks and inspect them for signs of wear or damage.

  2. If the rollers appear worn or damaged, replace them with new ones. Consult your garage door’s manual or seek professional advice to ensure you purchase the correct replacement rollers.

  3. Carefully lift the door panel and reposition the rollers onto the tracks, ensuring they are securely in place.

  4. Inspect the hinges that connect the door panels and tighten any loose screws or bolts.

  5. If any hinges are broken or severely damaged, replace them with new ones that match the existing hardware.

Step 4: Testing the garage door’s movement

After completing the necessary repairs and adjustments, it’s time to test the garage door’s movement to ensure it operates correctly.

  1. Manually open and close the door several times, ensuring it moves smoothly along the tracks without any resistance or derailment.

  2. If the door feels heavy or difficult to operate, you may need to adjust the tension springs or counterbalance system. Consult your garage door’s manual or seek professional assistance for this task.

  3. Once satisfied with the door’s movement, reconnect the garage door opener and test it using the wall-mounted control button or remote.

  4. Observe the door’s operation and listen for any unusual noises or signs of misalignment.

  5. If everything works correctly, lubricate the moving parts, such as the hinges and rollers, with a silicone-based or garage door-specific lubricant to ensure smooth operation.

Additional tips for maintaining a properly functioning garage door

To ensure your garage door continues to operate smoothly and prevent future issues, consider the following maintenance tips:

Regular Inspections

Conduct regular visual inspections of your garage door, looking for any signs of wear, damage, or misalignment. Addressing issues early can prevent more significant problems from developing.


Lubricate the moving parts of your garage door, such as hinges, rollers, and springs, at least once a year or as the manufacturer recommends. This will help reduce friction and ensure smooth operation.

Tighten Hardware

Over time, the hardware that secures your garage door components can become loose. Periodically check and tighten any loose screws, bolts, or nuts to prevent potential issues.

Clear Debris

Regularly check the tracks and surrounding area for any debris, objects, or obstructions that could interfere with the door’s movement. Removing these items promptly can prevent potential derailment or damage.

Balance Adjustment

If your garage door feels heavy or difficult to operate, it may require an adjustment to the counterbalance system or tension springs. Consult a professional for this task, as improper adjustments can be dangerous.

how to get garage door back on track

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fix a garage door that has come off its tracks, or should I seek professional assistance?

While minor issues, such as a door that has slightly derailed, can often be repaired by a DIY enthusiast, more significant problems or extensive damage may require the expertise of a professional garage door repair service. If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about the repair process, it’s always best to seek professional assistance to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your garage door.

How do I know if I need to replace the rollers on my garage door? 

Inspect the rollers for signs of wear, such as cracks, flat spots, or excessive roughness. If the rollers appear worn or damaged, it’s recommended to replace them with new ones that match the specifications of your garage door. Worn rollers can cause additional stress on the door’s components and lead to further issues.

Can I lubricate my garage door, or should I hire a professional? 

Lubricating the moving parts of your new garage door, such as hinges and rollers, is a relatively simple task that most homeowners can perform themselves. However, it’s essential to use the correct type of lubricant, such as a silicone-based or garage door-specific product, to avoid attracting dirt and debris. If you’re unsure about the proper lubrication process or the type of lubricant to use.

How often should I inspect and maintain my garage door? 

Visual inspections of your garage door should be conducted at least once every six months or as recommended by the manufacturer. Regular maintenance, such as lubricating moving parts and tightening hardware, should be performed annually or more frequently if you notice any issues or excessive wear.

What should I do if my garage door is severely damaged or beyond repair? 

If your garage door is severely damaged or beyond repair, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance from a reputable garage door repair or replacement service. Attempting to repair extensive damage yourself can be dangerous and may lead to further issues or safety hazards. A professional can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action, whether repairing or replacing the door.


Fixing a garage door that has come off its tracks can be challenging, but with the right knowledge, tools, and safety precautions, it’s often a project that a determined DIY enthusiast can tackle. Following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can ensure a successful repair and restore of your garage door’s proper functioning.

However, if you encounter significant damage or feel uncomfortable attempting the repair, it’s always advisable to seek professional assistance. At Royale Garage Door Service, Inc., our experienced technicians are dedicated to providing reliable and efficient garage door repair and maintenance services. With our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction, you can trust us to get your garage door back on track and operating smoothly.

End Note

At Royale Garage Door Service, Inc., we are committed to providing top-notch garage door services tailored to your needs. Whether you’re in Lake Forest, CA, and need reliable garage door repairs or you’re looking for special offers on our exceptional services, we’ve got you covered. Our experienced team ensures your garage door is both functional and secure.

Learn more about our dedication to quality and customer satisfaction on our About Us page. Stay updated with our latest offers, tips, and customer success stories by following us on Facebook. For the best deals, don’t miss our Specials page, and if you have any questions or need assistance, visit our Contact Us page to get in touch.

Explore our comprehensive services and let us enhance your garage door experience. Visit our website to learn more about the latest in garage door technology, including the LiftMaster DC Battery Backup Chain Drive Wi-Fi for reliable and convenient operation, and discover a wide range of Wayne Dalton garage doors to suit any style and budget.

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