If your screw drive garage door opener is making a loud noise that sounds like a machine gun, the carriage is most likely stripped. You can purchase a Genie carriage for Genie openers or there is an inner slide rack for Chamberlain, Craftsman, LiftMaster Openers. This is a simple fix that will get your garage door opener running again so you can use your door as normal.
Screw drive garage door openers used to be legendary. The original units were manufactured by Genie and heavy duty. They could be serviced by anyone and some models would last 30+ years. One thing they were not known for is low noise.
Many homeowners started relying on their genie opener to let them know when their spouse was home. They were that loud. In this article we are going to address issues with Genie and Chamberlain, Sears Craftsman, LiftMaster screw drive garage door openers.
Screw Drive Carriage is Stripped
If you own an older Genie screw drive garage door opener, there will be a day you walk into the garage and hear a very loud noise when you press the wall button to open the garage door. This loud noise will sound like a machine gun going off. What you are hearing is the long screw drive in the opener rail stripping out the teeth on the carriage.
The carriage that runs down the rail is where the pick up arm attaches to. The unit has teeth on the inside that engage into the screw drive rail. This is what moves the door up and down. Once these teeth strip, the unit may work intermittently. It may only go down but not up. The reason for this is there is usually more weight when an opener is pulling a door up.
In order to replace the carriage, you will need to remove the rail from the header bracket above the garage door. You can then slide the old carriage off. Before sliding the new carriage onto the rain, apply some grease to the teeth. It’s best to have two people for this so one can press the wall button while the other puts the carriage on the end of the rail and applies a little pressure until the screw drive grabs the teeth on the carriage. That’s it for Genie!
Chamberlain, Craftsman, and LiftMaster screw drive garage door openers are a little different. They use a small inner slide with teeth that the carriage engages with. This unit is plastic and will strip out during normal use. You can replace the part the same way you would the Genie carriage.
Screw Drive Needs to be Greased
As time goes on, a screw drive garage door opener will get louder as the grease dissipates from the rail. Most homeowners won’t notice the increase in sound because it happens slowly over time. This is common with all screw drive garage door openers and there is an easy fix. Lube the screw drive rail.
You need to buy some low temp grease to lube the screw drive rail on your opener. Start by cutting the tip of your grease tube at a 45 degree angle. Run the tip down the underside of the screw drive rail and skim the rail so the grease fills into the grooves of the screw drive. Thats it.
Do not apply a lot of grease. If you do, it will bunch up at the end of the rail and fall on your car or the floor. Someone will end up tracking grease all through the garage and into the home. Messy stuff.
Install a Vibration Isolation Kit
If you have a loud garage door opener that you are trying to quiet down, you can install a vibration isolation kit. This kit includes rubber mounts that help isolate vibration from the opener motor that gets transferred through the drop hangers up to the ceiling. This can be especially useful if you have a bedroom above the garage. The isolation mounts won’t get rid of all the noise but they will help reduce it if you don’t want to replace your garage door opener.
Older Genie Screw Drives are Just Loud
Older Genie screw drive garage door openers have always been louder than competitors. The reason for this is they use a traditional AC motor with a long metal screw drive rail that is connected directly to the motor. The only thing in between these two parts is the drive coupler. The drive coupler is a small piece that can wear out over time. If you hit your wall button one day and the motor runs but the screw drive is not spinning, then your drive coupler is stripped.
Replace it with a Chamberlain Opener
If you plan on replacing your garage door opener with something quieter, look into a Chamberlain garage door opener. These units are full featured will all the modern day amenities like smartphone control and quiet motors. Modern day Genie garage door openers are not built like they were in the past so I would stay away from Genie. They have gone after the builder business which as we all know, they install the cheapest product they can get there hands on.