When a garage door wheel falls off the track, it can prevent the door from opening or closing properly. And, if your door is in the open position, potentially leaves you vulnerable to theft.
Getting the issue repaired quickly is likely a priority, but it doesn’t require a professional repair person to make sure the job is done right. In fact, many homeowners can handle the job themselves with a few basic tools. Plus, it doesn’t typically take a lot of time, making it a preferable solution when compared to waiting for a repair appointment.
To put a garage door wheel back on the track, you don’t have to interact with the tension spring on the door. This makes this one of the safer projects involving a garage door that one can do. Just follow the steps below, and your door should be operating properly in no time.
Find the Release Handle
To be able to adjust the door, you’ll need to disconnect the garage door from the opener. In most cases, this process is very simple. You just need to locate the release handle first.
If you aren’t sure where the release handle is located, begin by looking for a bright red rope that would be hanging from the door rail. Often, it’s near the top of the garage door.
Garage doors that use a residential jackshaft opener may find the release handle in another location. Look near the bottom of the motor, and you should spot the handle.
Clear the Area Around the Door
Before you pull the release handle, you want to make sure there are no people or objects near the door opening. This is especially true if the door is currently in the open position.
That way, once the door wheel is back on the track, there’s no risk of injury or property damage if the garage door closes unexpectedly.
Disconnect the Garage Door Opener
Now that the handle has been located and everything is clear of the door, you can disengage the door opener. Those using residential jackshaft openers will first need to unlock the door lock.
Once everything is ready, grip the handle firmly and apply slow, steady pressure. Don’t jerk the handle as this can potentially damage the railings and other mechanisms, or accidentally disconnect the handle from the line.
After the opener releases, you can proceed. However, those with a T-rail may need to pull the handle in an upward direction after it has disconnected.
Open the Door
With the opener disconnected, you should be able to open the garage door manually. After it has been lifted, locate the spot where the wheels have fallen off the track
Attach a set of locking pliers onto the track underneath the door on the side that is fully on the track. This creates an emergency stop that keeps the door in place.
Realign the Wheels
Return to the side where the wheels have jumped the track. Using a set of regular pliers, gently pry the outer edge of the track open. This gives you more space to replace the wheels.
Once you have room to work, you can begin replacing the wheels on the track. Take your time and be aware of your finger placement. Getting the wheels back in place can create a pinching hazard, so an injury is possible if your hand ends up between the bottom of the wheel and the lower track.
Repair the Track
After the wheels are in place, you’ll need to close the track back into its original position. Using a rubber mallet, gently strike the upper portion of the track, shrinking the space in which the wheels reside until it is back to its original position.
Test the Door
Now that the track has been adjusted, you can check the function of the garage door. First, remove the locking pliers, making sure that everything is clear from the door area. Then, manually raise and lower the door to ensure it operates smoothly.
If additional adjustments to the track are needed, you can either do this with the door in the closed position (if the garage door can reach that position) or use the locking pliers to make sure the door is secure while you work. Then, use regular pliers or the rubber mallet to make the needed changes.
Reconnect the Opener
In many cases, you can use the automatic door opener to secure the door to the mechanism. As it cycles, it may automatically catch, returning your garage door to its original operating state.
If that doesn’t work, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding reattaching the door to the opener.
By following the steps above, you should be able to get the garage door wheel back on the track, restoring the function of your garage door and opener.
However, this process may not correct the reason the wheels disengaged in the first place. Now that everything is secure, examine the track and brackets, checking for loose screws and tightening those that require it.
Also, make sure that the cable hasn’t fallen off of the wheel, as this can cause one side to fall, leading the wheels to come out of the track.