A loud garage door opener that makes a lot of noise is, for some people a slight nuisance, and for others a reason to wake up at night. Some garage door motors are louder than others. Noise levels depend, mostly, on drive-style, gear assembly, and operating speed.
Punch angle gauge, door balance, proper maintenance, and correct install can also add or reduce garage door opener noise.
If your garage door opener is mounted right under your bedroom, even if your garage door motor is relatively quiet to someone in the garage, vibrations traveling through the wood studs do often sound, and feel, harsher in the room above it.
It takes a trained ear to detect the reason behind the noise (loose brace, lack of lubricant, grounded gear, etc), but applying lubricant and tightening the bolts should often make a difference.
Another important step will be to make sure your garage door is balanced and runs smoothly. If your garage door runs hard the motor will produce more noise and vibrations. Just as a car will when going uphill or carrying a heavy load.
How to quiet down a garage door motor
The first thing you can do to make your garage door opener run smoother and quieter is of course to use a lubricant. You would be surprised at what a little bit of maintenance can do to your garage door opener. There are a few different types of garage door drives and each one requires a different lubricant and different approach.
Lubricating screw drive- If your opener is a “screw drive” type (also called “worm” or “snail” drive), it is actually required that you lubricate it every year. Screw drive openers are the loudest of the bunch. This is because the way they operate is by spinning a long metal screw that’s attached to the motor and goes all the way to end of the rail. Needless to say, the lack of a lubricant agent will cause a lot of noise and vibration. The right lubricant for the job will be white lithium grease. WD-40 or any other “garage door lube” will be a bad choice. White lithium grease works best due to its viscosity. A liquid lube will drip and spray all over the place once you run the motor. When lubricating the screw, it’s best If you use your finger. Unfortunately, you will have to get dirty for this one. Using a knife, cut the tip of the lubricant tube at an angle. Then, starting at the edge, squeeze the tube gently while applying pressure towards the rail and sliding it towards you. Now, with your finger, go over the white strip. This will force the lubricant into grooves and will prevent it from being scooped up by the trolley.
Lubricating Chamberlain, Craftsman, LiftMaster chain or belt drive openers – these openers are preferred by garage door repair companies in Las Vegas today. They are affordable, rugged, and require very little maintenance. Screw drive openers are considered outdated. To lubricate those, you will need white lithium grease for the rail and belt. And any kind of spray lube you want to pick up at Home Depot or Lowe’s for the chain.
Starting with the rail- apply the grease both to the bottom part of the rail and the top side. These garage door openers have a metal trolley that slides up and down a metal rail. Lubrication will prevent the metal from grinding. At the time of the garage door opener installation, the installer will lubricator all parts of the railing as a part of the installation. From that point you will need to make sure to lubricate it every few years.
Lubricating the chain part- these openers use a chain that very much looks like a bicycle chain. Point the spray at the chain links and spray all of it. It is a good idea to put a rag or a paper towel behind the chain to avoid oil dripping on to your garage door floor. Another good way is to use a brush. Dip the brush into the oil and brush the chain.
Lubricating the rubber belt- rubber belts require very little maintenance. Using a bit of grease is all you need. It is highly recommended you use LiftMaster original grease. But, if you don’t have it, white lithium is an acceptable alternative. You want to apply the grease at the gear head. Using a screwdriver, remove the gear cap and apply lubricant to the outer rubber part and the inside cap. Then put it back and reattach the screws.
Lessen garage door opener vibrations
A lot of noise can be traced to the way the opener is hung to the ceiling. Garage door installation is more that just mounting the motor. Punch angle gauges also play a part in lessening vibrations coming from the motor. Using a driver with the correct size bit, tighten (do not over tighten) all bolts. If the opener still has some play, adding a diagonal support punch angle is recommended. If the motor still vibrates heavily, you can attach rubber discs which act as a shock absorber and reduce noise and vibrations.
Door lubrication and rollers replacement are imperative.
Noise coming from broken/ worn gear.
If your garage door opener is producing a grinding noise, you might have a broken gear. The way to fix that will be to replace the gear assembly of course. But, taking a bit of pressure of the belt/ chain will make it sound a be better and also give you a bit more time out of the gear before it brakes completely and must be replaced.
My garage door is still very noisy, what else can I do?
So you did all you can do, lubricated all moving parts, tightened all screws, but still, the garage door opener is too loud. Don’t lose hope, a garage door technician’s touch might still make a difference without the need for a new garage door installation. Spring adjustment, rail repositioning, bearing plates adjustments, etc are all things that are hard to do without the right tools and experience but a certified garage door technician can do without the need of replacing the garage door opener or garage door.