Automatic Gate Opener Maintenance

Automatic gate openers are important components for secure and convenient access to modern real estate. Like all machines, the performance and durability of automatic gate openers are impacted with time. Frequent maintenance is required to avoid high repair and servicing expenses. The secret to long-lasting automatic gate openers can be described by the following tips.

Lubrication of the actuator screw drive

Most automatic gate openers consist of a linear actuator attached to a rotating motor. The screw drive shaft within the actuator drives force from the rotating motor to the screw drive arm. If not lubricated and left to dry, the motor is lagged and eventually damaged due to high resistance in the piston.

Modern automatic gate openers can be lubricated easily. The piston mechanism is usually enclosed within a tube with lubrication vents on the side. Lubrication fluid is sprayed directly through the vents on to the screw drive shaft.



A lubrication fluid, such as Blaster Garage Door Spray Lubricant, is sprayed through the vents while closing and opening the gate three or four times. The procedure is repeated about three times then the piston mechanism can be closed. For bi-annual maintenance, one shot in the hole for ten seconds should be enough.

Lubrication of the screw drive arm

The screw drive arm is the visible tube attached to the pivots on the gates. Most problems on screw drive arms are caused by external factors in the environment around the gate.

The screw drive arm of an automatic gate opener is exposed to weather conditions hence should be checked and maintained regularly. Generally four times a year. Since it is easily accessed, it is possible to lubricate it more often.

There are a variety of water-resistant lubricants available. A good option would be WD4Os Specialist Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant. It is friendly and safe to the scraper seal that keeps liquids from going inside the rm.

Lubricating the pivots

The pivots of automatic gate openers are usually attached between the gates and the piston arms. A common pivot mechanism consists of a central metal cylinder encircled with attachments to the gate and screwdrive arm. It is good practice to lubricate the pivot each time the screw drive arm is lubricated.

A fast way to lubricate the pivot is spraying of lubricant fluid at the joint mechanism, on top of the central metal cylinder. Spraying on top will allow the lubricant to flow downwards and soak into the entire assembly.

The pivot can alternatively be coated with some grease. The moving mechanism at the pivot should be moved a couple of times to allow the grease to spread into the joint. Excess grease can be wiped off after moving the assembly and confirmation that the grease is well spread.

Automatic gate opener maintenance - lubricating

Greasing the hinges

The hinges handle the entire weight of the gate hence more friction is applied to them. Most gates have ample spacing between the gate frame and the supporting wall. It is recommended to grease the hinges at least four times a year.

Properly maintained hinges should have very minimal squeaky sounds when swinging. Squeaks are a sure way to alert the owner that the hinges need greasing.

Good quality gate hinges have a grease fitting on them. A standard automotive grease gun can be attached to the grease fitting and used to apply grease in the hinges.

After application of a shot of grease, the gates can be swung four to five times to ensure the grease is spread evenly. Wipe off the excess grease overflowing through the hinges and a second shot can be applied in case the squeaks can still be heard. One grease shot can be enough per maintenance session.

Lubricating the chain drive

Automatic sliding gates are made using a chain drive that controls the movement of the gates. Most chain drives are sealed in an enclosure containing lubrication vents. If there are no vents, the user manual usually contains information on how to lubricate the chain drive.

The chains can also be sprayed with lubrication fluid or greased. It is recommended to lubricate the chain drive at least four times a year. Since chain drives can be complex to disassemble, getting help from the manufacturer or installer can save ample time and reduce the effort.