Your garage door plays an essential role in the security and aesthetics of your home. It is important to understand the anatomy of a garage door to ensure it works seamlessly and safely. From the exterior components such as rollers, hinges, tracks and locks to the interior components such as cables, springs, drums and gears, each part holds an important place in the secure operation of a garage door.

Purchasing a new garage door can be overwhelming for someone who needs help understanding technical terms.

The dealer will throw many technical terms which will go straight above your head.

Even if you are not buying a new garage door, the older one may have malfunctioned, and you need to know what is wrong with it.

That’s precisely why you need to learn about the anatomy of the garage door. Understanding the different parts of the garage door helps you diagnose issues and also perform routine maintenance.

It also makes you an informed buyer. For example, wouldn’t it be better if you knew what all parts a garage door has? That’s precisely why you’re here, right?

This article will unravel the parts of a garage door. But first, let’s take a quick look!

Please note: We will discuss a standard garage door that rolls up using electric openers.

Unravelling the Anatomy of Your Garage Door

Door panel

You already know about this one! It’s the door part, and they are available in different materials and designs, such as wood, fibreglass, and aluminum.

The Operator

A motor within drives your garage door. Once a signal is sent to the operator via a wall opener or a remote, the garage door gets into action and opens or closes. Have you ever thought about how else would a garage door work without all these parts? Don’t even think about it! Each part is essential.

The Hinges

Hinges are essential, too, as they hold the garage door together. These hinges secure the panels allowing your garage door to bend once it moves. The garage door has about five hinges between each of the panels. It’s evenly spaced out along the garage door’s width. Hinges don’t break as such but might create some noise over time. You must ensure that these hinges are well lubricated to avoid glitches such as uncanny noises.

The rollers

The rollers on the garage door are just like bearings. These rollers come into action when the garage door closes or opens. A garage door may have two rollers at the bottom and the top. Some center rollers are also positioned at the edges of the garage door. If you need a smooth operation, the rollers need to be ship-shaped. Installing a new roller ensures that it glides quietly and smoothly. Worn-out rollers make noise and don’t function as smoothly.


There are about three-door tracks. You will see two visible ones at the door edges and one right in the middle. The tracks you see at the edges are known as door tracks. The middle one is where the garage door chain is present. This particular track helps shield the chain when the garage door operates.


This brings us to another essential part: the chain. It works with the springs and motor to lower or raise the garage door. The most common one you will find is the chain drive door. It’s old but also the cheapest one out there. If you have seen a bicycle chain, this works just like that. But please know that some doors have screws or belts, not chains. These require less maintenance.

A curved door arm

These can be seen at the center of the garage door. When the garage door chain moves along its track, this part moves too. It also depends on the direction of the chain that causes the door to close or open.

Torsion springs

This is one of the essential parts of a garage door. If this breaks, the safety level of the door also decreases. The garage door stops functioning correctly too. Torsion springs are just above the garage door. They do the heavy lifting. The spring is carefully secured to the door’s metal shaft with a drum on each end. When you open or close the door, the torsion spring will unwind or wind and move this metal shaft too. Torsion springs ensure that the garage door opens and closes smoothly. This little spring can create a balanced system. You should also know that a torsion spring is tightly wound. If broken, it can cause significant damage and injuries. As we mentioned, you must replace the springs immediately if you feel it’s broken. Call a professional to do the replacement, as they need to measure and replace it with a spring of the right length.

Cables and drums

Two drums are at the top of the garage door. The cables run through the garage door’s length and are carefully secured right to the bottom. The torsion springs unwind or wind whenever you open or close the door and turn the shaft. This is how the drums start to turn. When the turning happens, it also makes the cables wind or unwind. The action helps in lowering the garage door or pulling it up.

An emergency release

Lastly, you need to know about the emergency release, which is a red cord. It hangs right from the center track of your garage door. When you pull it, the door can be operated easily. This is a manual operation. It’s best for emergencies when the electricity goes out, and you need to escape quickly. It also works when the opener or the door is damaged. You don’t want to be stuck in a garage, do you?

Concluding Thoughts

Now that you know about the whole anatomy of a garage door, it’s easier to purchase a new one or get replacements for the broken or damaged parts.

You are also aware of the risks if certain parts are damaged and why you need to replace those quickly.

So, the next time you go to a store to purchase garage door parts or a new garage door, you will feel safe when the dealer throws technical terms at you.

You’re a knowledgeable consumer, so do a bit more research and get replacement parts or a new garage door.

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