How To Install a Motor Belt on a Garage Door Opener

Electric or automated garage door openers work with drive belts. This is the component that allows the garage door to open and close. The drive belt is driven by a motor similar to how the fan belt on a car works. These belts are made of rubber and contain teeth at the bottom that allows it to cling to the grooves on the motor discs. At some point, through constant use and abuse, the drive belt will lose its effectiveness and may begin to slip making your garage door opener a challenge to open and close. This is the time when you will need to change the belt itself. The process is simple and anyone with a right guide should be able to do it. To guide you through, here are the steps.

  • Cut the power. Before starting on this project, the first step will involve cutting all power to the garage door opener. You really don’t want the risk of electrocution as well as the risk of having your hand inside as the garage door suddenly opens. That said simply shut off the circuit breaker for it.
  • Remove the access panel. This part will depend on the type of garage door opener you have. Some models will have no cover or panel concealing the motor while others have it. If it does, then open it up by unscrewing the bolts keeping it in place.
  • Loosen the mount bolts. The motor itself is mounted onto the garage door frame. Most models will have about 4 mounting bolts. Loosen these up with a wrench. It is important not to remove these bolts; you need to only loosen it in order for you to be able to slide the motor into the slots for adjustment.
  • Remove the belt. With the bolts loosened enough, you should be able to slide the motor inward to remove the belt. The sliding should loosen the belt enough for easy removal. Take the belt and use it as a sample when purchasing the replacement for it. Now, before removing the belt, take note how it lines up with the motor. This is the same way you should install the new belt.
  • Installing the new belt. Fit the new belt in and line it up with the motor discs similar to how you saw it with the old belt. This should not be difficult since the belt is made of rubber that you can easily bend. Once the belt is in, slide and pull the motor back from its adjusting slots. This will tighten the belt and keep it fastened securely in place. At this point, the belt will have the right tension. You can test the tension by pushing the belt in. If the belt only pushes in at about ½ an inch, then the tension is just right. To keep it there, tighten all the bolts and you are done.

Test the garage door opener to see if the new belt does the job. If it does, then close the garage door and reinstall the access panel or cover.


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