How to Fix Common Garage Door Issues

Sometimes, all your garage needs is a simple tweak! Let’s look at some of the most common garage door issues and how you can troubleshoot them yourself.

Garage doors have been around for decades. Improving our lives with their convenience and security. In fact, studies show that your garage door is likely the most used appliance in your home. You rely on your garage door to open and close without incident, multiple times a day. 

Garage doors and garage door openers make our lives easier, not to mention keep your car safe from the elements and improve the security of our homes – as long as they are working as they should, that is. Even the very best in garage doors can experience issues from time to time and when things go awry, it is our first instinct to reach out to google and search things like “garage door repair nearby.” While this certainly is a solution, sometimes, the answer is as simple as a tweak of your sensors, or a power cycle of your garage door opener. 

As experts in garage doors and garage door openers in Lakewood Colorado and surrounding areas, we have put together a list of some of the most common issues that we encounter as well as their causes and solutions.

1. Opener Button Not Working

We have all been there. You hit the opener switch and the door refuses to budge. You hit the button again hoping that you just didn’t push it hard enough, and again, the door does nothing…taunting you with its inaction. No fear, if you have found yourself in such a situation, it could be due to many reasons. First, you’ll want to check to make sure that the door is not locked. Scan your door to ensure that it is not locked, then check your garage door opener to confirm that the lock switch is turned off. Try to disable the lock switch and then try to open your garage door again.

Another possibility is that your motor got unplugged. This happens more often than you would suspect. Take a look at the motor and confirm that the garage door opener is plugged into the wall. Try to open your garage door again.

If neither of these situations have resolved your issue, is possible that something more complex is going on with your garage door or garage door opener and interfering with your garage doors functionality. The two most common issues are photo-eye sensor damage or a circuit breaker tripping. These are two common problems that can interfere with the opener switch. Make sure the photo-eye sensor isn’t clouded or covered by anything. Likewise, check to see if a fuse has burned out. In this case, the odds are you won’t be able to turn on the lights in the garage. Try resetting the circuit breaker to see if this fixes the problem.

2. Keypad Doesn’t Work

Not every garage door has a keypad, but if your garage door does, then its possible that this element has failed. First, you will want to check to ensure that the system has batteries and don’t need to be replaced. Not every garage door has a keypad to open. But if yours does, these can become faulty too. Before anything, check to see if the batteries are dead. Replace the batteries and try to enter your keypad number again to see if that fixes the problem.

Sometimes your keypad may need reprogramming. You can check your manual for how to do this on your particular keypad. Try looking for the model online if you don’t have the original manual.

If all of this fails to fix the problem, it could be that the antenna is faulty, not the keypad itself. The antenna on the motor receives the keypad’s signal. Verify that it is pointing straight downward. If you still can’t get the keypad to work, you can call a professional to help you diagnose the problem.

3. Remote Control Doesn’t Work

Similar to the previous problems, a faulty remote control can be annoying. Like the keypad, batteries are often the main culprit of malfunctioning remote controls. Replace the batteries and see if that instantly fixes the problem.

Likewise, it can be that the remote is out of range. The remote sends a signal to the motor. From too great a distance, the signal won’t be strong enough to work. Try to come closer and see if that helps.

If none of these tactics work, it could be that the photo-eye sensors are faulty. Check the path to make sure nothing is in the way, ensure alignment to the front of the house, and wipe lenses to improve signal capturing.

4. Garage Door Doesn’t Open or Close

If your garage door seems unresponsive to whatever signal you send to it, it could be due to multiple reasons. First of all, check the remote and keypad batteries to rule them out as the source of the problem. If batteries are working fine, check the garage door opener unit to see if all lights are on and working. Otherwise, the motor could be disconnected from the power supply, or a fuse is down.

Try to attend to these problems individually to start ruling out the cause of the problem. If none of this works, contact a professional to help you diagnose the problem.

5. Motor Runs Without Door Moving

You may find that when you press the button to open, the motor starts running, but your door doesn’t move. In this case, it could be that the limits are off. When this happens, the door will move, but the motor will keep running after the door stops moving. This can happen whether you’re opening or closing the door, so listen carefully to the motor sounds. In either case, adjust the limits to tell the motor when to stop working.

If the door doesn’t move at all, it could mean the garage door is disconnected from the belt itself. Depending on the installation system you have, you’ll follow specific directions to reattach the belt. This often happens when someone unintentionally pulls the emergency release cord.

6. Noisy Garage Door

If your garage door starts making noises, they’re signs of an underlying problem. Squeaking sounds could be an indicator that the rollers need lubrication or are worn out. Apply a silicone-based lubricant to service them or call a professional to get the rollers replaced.

A rattling sound could be that something has become loose. Tighten all the hardware, including nuts, bolts and screws, to see if that fixes the problem. A popping noise can be a problem with the torsion spring. When they lose lubrication or become loose, they can cause a popping sound whenever the garage door opens or closes. Beware, changing or replacing torsion springs can be dangerous and should always be handled by a professional.


7. Garage Door Opening Unevenly

In some cases, the door will start opening or closing but start malfunctioning halfway through. Whether it opens and closes all the way or not, it could signify that the limits are off. The limits are set to tell the door when to stop closing or opening, so the motor doesn’t keep working. Check your manual for how to adjust the limits by turning a screw in the motor.

The solution could also be as simple as seeing if anything is blocking the tracks. The tracks and rollers are susceptible to rust and damage. Wipe down the tracks to make sure no debris is interfering. If this doesn’t work, it could also mean that the spring system is off. In this case, a professional can help you fix this issue or replace the springs.

8. Garage Door Opening and Closing Too Slow

Sometimes, your garage door will open and close OK, but at a snail’s pace. This is usually an indicator of dried-out rollers or dirty tracks. Garages in dryer climates or winter tend to dry out faster or freeze, making it more difficult for the garage door to slide down or up the tracks. Frequently wiping out the tracks and lubricating the rollers can prevent this from happening.

Basic Maintenance Tips

Many garage door problems can be prevented with the proper maintenance schedule. The exact solutions you use to fix the issues can help prevent them from happening in the first place:

  • Brush and lubricate the rollers and tracks at least every change of season to slow down wear and tear and prevent dirt buildup.
  • Tighten the hardware to prevent loose pieces from causing noises and other problems.
  • Check the springs and pulleys to make sure they’re in shape. These should be replaced from time to time by professionals.
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