The second most common repair after broken torsion springs are garage door opener stripped gears. Nylon gears inside the operator casing are prone to breakdown with age. Furthermore, they are designed to fail if your opener is put under too much stress. Here are some common signs that indicate you may have a stripped gear.
- If you press your remote control and your operator makes a humming noise, but nothing happens. This indicates your drive gear is turning, but the teeth have been stripped away.
- If you notice white plastic shavings on the floor you have a stripped gear. You can tap on the bottom casing of your motor – shaving should fall out.
- When in doubt open the garage door case and look inside. The main drive gear is hard to miss. You should see a combination of white shavings and worn out teeth on the gear.
- If you notice your opener chain is loose or hanging down there is a good chance your sprocket has cracked or bent. You will need to examine the sprocket for damage, replace it and tighten the chain again.
Gear and sprocket changes are easy to do yourself. Gears can be purchased online cheaply or you can visit the nearest professional garage door dealer. Most dealers supply a gear and sprocket kit which includes instructions and grease packets. Changing the gear involves removing some screws and sliding in the new gear. Always make sure to grease the newly installed gear with garage door grease. If you fail to do so the gear may wear out in a matter of weeks.
I write tutorials about garage door repair, installation and maintenance. With over a decade of experience in the overhead door industry I’ve learned a lot and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.