Your garage door seems very simple on the surface, but many moving parts make it up. If one suffers a malfunction or goes wrong, it can throw off the entire system. If your garage door isn’t working, then there are several reasons why this may be. Here are some of the most common reasons a garage door fails, and how to correct them.
6 Common Garage Door Fails and Causes
Sometimes, even a reliable garage door will need significant repairs that you can’t fix by pushing a few buttons. Here are six of the most common garage door fails, causes, and fixes.
1. Dead Garage Door Opener Batteries
This is the most common reason why you can’t get your garage door open. You’ve rolled up onto the driveway and pressed the button on your opener, but it isn’t opening for you. There’s no need to panic, as the odds are good that the batteries in your opener have just died.
Replace the batteries, and try the opener again. You can try polishing the battery contacts if it still doesn’t open. Rust can sometimes stop the batteries from working. If you’re still not getting any signal, then the remote itself could need replacing.
2. Garage Door Transmitters Not Working
Still considering the garage door opener, you may be having issues with the transmitter that sends the signal from your remote to the garage door opener. Again, a lot of these are simple to fix. For example, your transmitter will only be able to work within a certain difference. If you can’t get the remote to open, simply getting closer to the door will often work.
If you know you’re in range and the remote won’t work, check the antenna on the opener. If it’s not hanging free of any obstruction, it won’t be able to receive a signal. The same is true if it’s damaged, so if this is the case, you’ll need to have it repaired. Then, there’s the issue when the garage door keeps opening and closing seemingly of its own accord.
Check under your car seats, as something may be pressing the remote button and making this happen. Also, check if your remote is opening your neighbor’s garage doors. It happens more than you’d think, thanks to the remotes being on similar frequencies. You’ll be able to change that frequency to stop that from happening.
3. Misaligned Garage Door Track
This mechanical issue is common with garage doors and can stop them from opening and closing. If left long enough, it will cause real problems, and you’ll need a brand-new garage door installed. If you’re noticing issues here, you’ll want to deal with them as soon as possible.
Sometimes you’ll be able to address the problem yourself. Can you hear the door rubbing against the frame when you open it or is it slowing down when it hits a certain spot? If so, examine your tracks to see where they need to be aligned.
You can use a rubber mallet and a piece of wood to gently tap the frame back into place. If the misalignment is severe, you’ll need an expert to come and take a look at it. They may be able to repair it, or they may need to replace the tracks themselves.
4. Blocked Garage Door Path
Are you trying to shut the garage door, but it starts opening again halfway? Then something may be blocking the path of the door. Your garage door opener system will have a sensor across the bottom of the door, and if something is in the way of it, it won’t allow the door to shut.
That makes sense when there’s a child in the door’s path, but if not, you need that door to close. Check the doorway, and see if there’s anything in the way. If there is, remove it and try the door again. Also, look at what’s stored around the door. You may feel that it’s out of the way, but you’ll be surprised at what can interfere with those sensors.
You’ll also want to check the photo eye sensors, as they can be easily covered in dirt and so will not be able to work as intended. Wipe them with a soft cloth, which can be enough to get the door working again. They may also need to be realigned, which is fairly simple to do.
5. Incorrect Configuration of Garage Door Limit Switch
Related to the above point, you may see that your garage door is closing all the way but then opens up again. If this is happening, likely, the limit settings on your garage door opener aren’t right. These settings tell the opener where the ground is so it knows where to stop.
If the settings aren’t right, the opener will think that the door has hit something in the way and reverse back up. This is very simple to put right, though. You can check your garage door opener instruction manual, which will show you how to adjust the limit on the opener. This switch will be on the opener itself, and you can adjust it until the settings are correct.
6. Pulled Garage Door Disconnect Switch
Every garage door opener will come with a disconnect switch. This is a safety measure that disconnects the opener from the garage door itself. That allows you to safely exit the garage during a power outage or work on the door. If you’re trying to open the door and it’s not responding, that switch may have been pulled.
Check to see if the opener has been disconnected from the door. Open the door all the way, then hook the opener back onto the door. Once this has been done, you’ll see that you should be able to use it normally.
There are a few reasons garage door fails, but if this happens, there’s no need to worry. You can often fix the problem yourself and get your door ready and working again in no time.