Fixing a slow opening garage door

Garage door openers have been around a long time and today are a common feature of homes all over the world. These mechanical devices allow us to open our garage doors with the push of a button (or even a mobile app these days) from the end of the driveway and cruise right in, easy as can be. This is especially handy if it’s pouring down rain so we stay comfy and dry. But sometimes a garage door takes its own sweet time opening. Is it just old and tired or is something else amiss?

The Case of the Slow Garage Door

To automatically open and close, a garage door uses a system of mighty strong springs, pulleys, and tracks and the whole works typically operates smoothly for many years but now and again, you might arrive home to a slow-opening door. Several factors could be contributing to this: The speed setting might need adjusting, the tracks might be caked with dirt, or the hinges and rollers might need lubrication.

When lube within the system wears thin and the springs lose tension, the entire door system’s speed may slow. But let’s first remember that garage doors are not meant to whiz open at high speed like that fake shrubbery at the entrance to the Bat Cave. The average speed of a residential garage door is about seven inches per second, totaling 12-15 seconds to fully open or close. If your door takes 30 seconds to open, it’s time for service.

Speed and Track Test

Many garage door openers include a speed setting switch on the inside of the housing. The speed switch is often preset at the factory to the lowest operating speed but the opener’s owner’s manual will likely explain how to adjust the speed. This is typically an easy adjustment to make and should not require a service call. Here’s how to adjust the door opener speed:

  • Use a stepladder to reach the opener and remove the panel.
  • Check the setting speed. If it is set at the lowest speed, adjust it with a standard screwdriver.
  • Replace the panel and open and close the door to check the speed. If it is still moving slowly, it might need lubrication.
  • Apply a few drops of penetrating oil on the track, roller brackets, and hinges.
  • Open and close the door to distribute the lube; this should greatly improve operation of the opening system.   

For more information on the latest in garage doors, contact the team at D Bar Garage Doors at (503) 553-9933 or

By | 2019-09-10T19:49:56+00:00 September 20th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Fixing a slow opening garage door

About the Author:

Owner, Dotan Bar, has always possessed an intense passion for problem-solving and mechanics. This love led him to work for years as a sub-contractor for larger construction and re-modeling companies. As he dialed in his specialized training to garage door service, he realized that the tactics of many bigger companies were not up to his standards. His beliefs of fair pricing, community support, and overall, HONEST business practices were not upheld in many of these larger companies. He realized that the customers, who are the overall drive of business, were often being taken advantage of! Whereas many workers may just continue with the flow, Dotan broke off on his own to begin doing business he could believe in. This dedication continues to grow our satisfied customer base, daily.