It takes a lot of moving parts that work together to open and close a garage door. Knowing the roles of each component ensures you take proper care of them and recognize when to call a repair professional. Below is a helpful guide to help you learn more about your overhead door.

What Are the Core Components of a Garage Door?

1. Motor & Belt

This system opens and closes the door. An electric motor and enclosure are mounted at the back of the garage. It connects to a belt that runs the depth of your garage and connects to a pulley arm. When the sensor on the enclosure receives a signal from a key code panel or remote, it opens or closes.

These motors can burn out if you purchase a garage door that’s too heavy. Debris on the tracking could also make it difficult to draw the door upwards. Check the pulley arm's connections and make sure nothing has damaged the motor's power cable.

2. Tracking

garage door st. paulThe door’s tracking is mounted on opposite walls or on either side of the garage’s ceiling. Each folding segment of the door is attached to wheels that roll inside the tracking. As the garage door opens and closes, it follows these tracks to operate seamlessly.

Dirt and debris can collect in the tracks, causing the door to open crookedly. Tracking may also loosen from the wall or dry out if the wheels aren’t lubricated. Check that all the screws are tight and thoroughly wipe out each track if you notice dirt or debris building up.

3. Springs

The spring is mounted horizontally above the garage door and counteracts the weight of the door. This creates a balance that allows you to manually open and close the overhead door, whether it is 130 or 350 pounds. 

Springs can become worn down over time and may snap. Contact a repair professional if portions of the spring are bent or if the garage door isn’t opening smoothly. Most springs last seven to 10 years, so schedule an inspection if you’re nearing that point.


Whether you want to install a new garage door or need repairs, PDQ Door Service can assist. Based in Saint Paul, MN, this family-owned and -operated company is backed by 20 years of experience. They specialize in residential garage doors and will fulfill your installation and maintenance needs. Call (651) 208-6335 to schedule an inspection, and visit their website to learn more about their company.