If you’re not familiar with the various parts and mechanics of your garage door and opener, it may be difficult to figure out why it isn’t working properly. This can be incredibly frustrating if the problem interrupts your schedule.
In this article, we’re providing a few garage door troubleshooting tips so you can identify some of the most common garage door problems.
Garage Door Troubleshooting
We understand how frustrating it can be to discover a major problem with your garage door. You have a busy schedule and would rather spend your free time with your family or friends. For that reason, we put together a few tips to help you troubleshoot some of the most common garage door problems.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at the following steps you can take while troubleshooting.
- Check the batters
- Check if the garage door track is aligned
- Check the photo-eye of the sensor
- Checking if there’s something blocking the sensor
- Checking the manual lock engaged?
These steps will help you identify the source of the problem, which may involve any number of the many parts of the garage door.
Are The Batteries Dead?
This is the first thing you should check, as it’s the most common reason and the easiest fix. Take the batteries out of your remote and replace them with fresh ones. Try the door again, and see if it opens. Nine times out of ten, this is all you have to do to solve the problem.
When you open up the remote to take a look at the batteries, check the contacts. Are they looking corroded? In this case, you may need to polish them as this could be causing the problem. If this still doesn’t work, and you can’t identify any other problems, you can try replacing the remote itself. This isn’t too difficult or expensive to do, so it’s an option if your door won’t respond to the remote.
Is The Track Aligned Properly?
The next thing to check is the track the garage door runs on. If the door isn’t aligned properly to the track, you’ll find that it’ll slow down and make a rubbing noise when it hits the misaligned spot, or even refuse to open altogether. Sometimes, you can correct the issue yourself.
Look for gaps between the rollers and the rail, or bent rollers. If the door still moves, then you can attempt a fix yourself. Loosen the screws that hold the track to the frame, and then use a rubber mallet to gently tap the track back into shape. Once it’s working as it should tighten the screws again so it’s holding the track in the right position.
For more, here’s how to fix a garage door off track.
Is the Sensor Aligned and Clean?
It’s not just the tracks that need to be aligned, it’s your photo-eye too. This is the part of your garage door that keeps it safe to use. The eyes sit either side of your garage door, emitting a beam between them. If anything comes between them, the beam is broken and the garage door won’t be allowed to close. If your door will open normally, but won’t shut again, your garage door sensor may be bad. The easiest way to solve this problem is to clean them, being careful not to scratch the glass.
If this doesn’t work, it could be that the photo eyes are misaligned. This happens when one eye is offset slightly, so the beam doesn’t meet the other eye, so the system assumes that the beam is blocked. Check the alignment by measure the height of each eye from the ground, and use a level to check that they’re pointing directly at each other. Make the necessary adjustments and see if this solves your problem.
Are Your Transmitters Working?
If you checked your garage door remote earlier and the batteries seemed to be working, maybe the issue lies with your transmitter. If the door isn’t opening, check that you’re in range of the door. Get closer and try the remote again. If it opens, then you need to be closer to be in range.
If you’re in range and it still won’t work, check the antenna in the garage itself. It should be hanging down and be free of any obstruction.
Another issue you could be having is that the door seems to be opening and closing on its own.
You’ll worry, thinking that you have to replace the whole unit, but the answer is a lot simpler. It’s more likely that your neighbors have garage door openers on the same frequency, and when they try to open your door they’re actually opening their own. Check with your neighbors to see if they’re having problems and if so, look into changing the frequency on your garage door opener.
You’ll need to check the instructions that came with your model to see how to do this.
Is Something Blocking The Door?
Sometimes there’s something very simple that’s stopping the garage door from shutting properly.
As discussed above, you’ll need to ensure that nothing is blocking the photo eyes, making it think that something is blocking the door. What you should also check for is something that is physically blocking the eyebeam, stopping the door from closing.
This could be anything from children’s toys to even a large rock that’s rolled into the door’s path. Try removing anything that’s there, and try the door again.
Are The Springs Broken?
The springs are what do the heavy lifting on your garage door.
They hold up the weight of the door when it opens, and so they expand and contract every time you use it. Most garage door springs are only rated for a certain amount of cycles, so eventually, they will break.
If you’re there when they break, you’ll hear a loud band from your garage, something many homeowners say sounds like a firecracker. This will tell you that the springs have broken and will need to be replaced. If you can’t open the door, check the springs. If they’re broken, don’t try and replace them yourself unless you’re highly trained.
They’re dangerous, and so an expert should handle them.
Is The Manual Lock Engaged?
This is another simple answer to the mystery of a garage door that won’t open. Sometimes you’ll hear the motor run for a moment or two and then stop. If that happens, the door may have been locked manually and so can’t open. Unlock the door and try it again. Most times, this will get it to work.
These are some of the most common reasons why your garage door won’t open. Try these troubleshooting tips and see if you can get it working again.