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Nine Things to Check When Your Garage Door Isn’t Working

  • admin
  • 18 Dec 2016
  •   Comments Off on Nine Things to Check When Your Garage Door Isn’t Working

Every now and then, it happens. You push the button to open the garage and it doesn’t work. Or maybe you’re trying to close the overhead door and it malfunctions. These problems can manifest in many different ways. The door won’t budge at all. The opener is making noise but the door isn’t moving. Sometimes, the door will begin rolling down, but stops and reverses.

Neighborhood Garage Door Services of San Diego, CA has some quick tips to help you troubleshoot these various problems. For this article, we’re going to follow a basic rule for troubleshooting. Always troubleshoot in order from the simplest answer to more complex problems. Let’s walk through this process of nine checks and get that garage door working again!


Dead remote batteries

If you’re using your wireless remote and nothing is happening at all, there are a few things you can check. First, try activating the switch located on your wall. If this is working properly, the problem could be with your wireless remote. If you have two wireless remotes, test the other remote. If it opens, the problem is with the first remote. Try replacing the battery. If neither remote works, or replacing the battery doesn’t work, you may be having transmitter or receiver problems. Go to the next step to troubleshoot these.

Transmitter problems

There could be a malfunction between the remote transmitters and the opener receiver. Look on the back of the opener and look for the “Learn” button. Just above this is a small LED light. Click the remote button and see if the light blinks. If it does not, that means that the signal is not getting to the receiver at all. Try replacing the batteries in the remotes. If this doesn’t work, make sure the receiver antennae is out in the open, likely hanging from the bottom.

Lastly, try reprogramming the receiver codes. Hold down the “Learn” button for about 10 seconds until the light blinks. Then, press the remote button. Repeat the process for both remotes. Try again to open the door. If not, it’s time to call a pro.

Manual release engaged


If the door opener’s motor is running for the usual amount of time, but the door isn’t moving, you could have a disengaged shuttle. Garage doors are equipped with a manual release cord. This disengages the automatic opener so that you can open it manually. This is handy during a power outage.

Look for a cord hanging down from the drive track, It usually has a red handle on the end. If the shuttle is not attached at the end, re-engage it. Now try again.

Manual lock

The next set of steps are for a slightly different case. These are designed to troubleshoot the problem of the door beginning to move, but not going all the way up or down.

The first step is the most obvious. It’s also easy to overlook. If your door opener turns on and begins working, but then stops immediately, it may simply be locked. Some models of opener have a lock in the close switch mounted on your wall. This locks the opener itself. However, if the opener is engaging, your door may be locked manually. If you have a handle that turns and engages a lock, or a sliding bolt, check that it is open.

Path blocked

If the door begins rolling down, but then stops and reverses, it may because of a critical safety feature. Your garage door has sensor eyes on each side of the door. These emit a beam between them. If that beam is broken, such as when a person, pet, or object is in their path, the door automatically reverses to prevent damage or injury.

Check to make sure that nothing is blocking the path. There may be a pet standing in the way. Debris, such as a leaf, may be stuck on one of the eyes, blocking the sensor. Clean off both sensor eyes to be sure no dust or smudges are causing issues. A toy, tool, trash can, or some other object may have fallen into the door opening. Clear everything away, and try again.

Sensor eyes misaligned

If there’s nothing obviously in the way of the sensors, the may have become misaligned. To check, look at each sensor. There should be a small LED light active on each one. If one is off, it is not receiving the signal from the sender. Adjust the sensor until the light comes back on. This should clear up the problem. If not, try the next troubleshooting step.

Track problems

Inspect all along the tracks. You want to look for any build up of debris or lubricant grime. Also, check for bending, breaking, or warping of the tracks themselves. Try activating the opener and watching the first set of rollers. Note where they stop and reverse and inspect that part of the tracks carefully.

If you find debris, clean out the entire length of the tracks. Add new lubrication, and try again. If you find bends, breaks, or warps in the tracks, call a professional for assistance.

Incorrect limit setting

If the door is going all the way down, but reversing when it touches the bottom, you may have a limit setting issue. This is especially common with newly installed doors. If they weren’t set properly, the door will think it has to go further down than it actually does. When it encounters the ground, it thinks there is something in it’s path and reverses for safety.

Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to adjust these settings. It may take some trial and error to get the limit properly established. This is another project you may want to call a certified technician to help with.

The springs or cables are broken

Your garage door’s lift cables are attached to one or two torsion springs. These counter-balance the weight of the door. If they give way, or are not adjusted properly, the door opener will not be able to lift the door. If the springs completely fail, it can cause the cables to snap. In addition, the cables can wear out and fail all on their own. In either of these cases, you need a trained technician to perform these repairs.

Neighborhood Garage Door Services of San Diego, California is fully equipped to handle any of these problems. If you try the basics and are still experiencing difficulties, call us today. We can have one of our certified techs on site quickly to help you get back up and running.

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They sent Doug Fussell out to my house on the day after Christmas! I had only called them three days before! Doug was a premier technician, very thorough and very efficient. I expected him to take two days, since he was replacing two doors and adding openers on each door. He only took the daylight hours of one day! I could not believe how fast he was! In addition, he thoroughly taught me how to use the remote openers. I highly recommend them to anyone!
~Donald B.

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We just bought a home and this company was so understanding as I had to change the appointment time a few times. Then the tech came out and was so kind and helpful. I could not have asked for a better experience and will suggest them to anyone who needs work done on their garage door!
~Tammy K.

positive reviews

My garage door broke on a Saturday night as I was getting ready to leave for a holiday party. Kelvin was here within 30 minutes. He reviewed everything with me that was happening with my door. He gave me the estimates of what was immediately needed to be done in order for my door to raise and then what I will need to have done very soon. I could see all the problems he pointed out to me and I decided to have everything done. He completed everything that night. I was very satisfied with Kelvin’s professionalism and the work he did. Thank you again.
~Joyce N

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