How Carriages in Garage Door Openers Work

As a homeowner, it is a must to know how your household devices work. Although outsourcing services to professionals can free up your time, this can also be costly on your end. One of the home devices that is costly when gets broken is the garage door opener.

The opener has various parts and the carriage assembly is a main part that affects its operation. So, make sure that you are familiar with how this works. Once you have an idea, you are already aware of the use of every part. This ensures that you know how to troubleshoot it in case of any garage door opener problems.

The Anatomy of a Carriage Assembly

The garage door opener carriage is also called a trolley. It travels on a rail that goes from the motor to the wall above the garage door. There is an operating arm that is attached to the carriage and the garage door. It is usually pulled along the track either by a screw, belt, or chain depending on the type of garage door opener that you own. This provides the push or pull needed in operating the opener. This probably is one of the main moving part of the garage door opener.

The carriage assembly consists of various parts. It is where the emergency release cord is located, which is something that you should be familiar with in your garage door opener. This lets you disconnect the opener from the garage door so you can operate it manually during emergency situations, such as power outage. Other parts include the trolley carriage, idler pulley, header bracket, and chain tensioner.

Replacing and Installing the Carriage Assembly

Due to the normal wear and tear that the garage door opener goes through, there might be times when you need to replace the carriage. This usually happens if the trolley carriage moves but the door and opener does not respond. Aside from purchasing a replacement carriage for the specific garage door opener that you have, you may also need a few everyday tools and a stepladder to complete the task. Ensure that you check the right carriage assembly for your opener.

Start by disconnecting your opener from the electric outlet and releasing the emergency cord. Make sure that you clamp your rail before replacing your carriage assembly. This keeps the chain from moving while speeding up the assembly.

Position your stepladder to access the end of the rail and remove the cotter pin from the bolt, which attaches the arm to the carriage. Pull out the bolt and swivel the arm to rest against the door. Remove the bolt and push up the tip of the rail until you have clearance in between the rail and the wall to pull the carriage off. Then, fit the replacement carriage into the end of the rail while making sure that the emergency cord is towards the end of the motor. Push the carriage into the rail and reattach the end of the rail to the wall bracket using the bolt and nut and reattach the rest of the parts. Pull the emergency release cord to reengage the opener with the new carriage and turn on the garage door opener.

Carriage Maintenance

No matter what the type of garage door opener that you own, it is necessary to take care of it properly so it’s going to last you a longer time. Regular lubrication on all the moving parts, especially on the rail that comes in contact with the trolley carriage is a must. Just make sure that you are using a cleaning lubricant that does not attract dirt. You should do it at least twice a year depending on your climate. This also prevents the door from screeching or making grinding noises during operation.

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