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Top Common Garage Door Issues

Posted by Anthony Rutt at March 21, 2021

Garage doors are designed to operate for a long time, but as with any mechanical device something can go wrong. Unfortunately, a problem usually shows itself at the most inopportune time, so it pays to do a little maintenance every so often to help avoid a garage door repair issue. However, even the best maintenance plans will not prevent all garage door issues from taking place.

Here are the most common issues that plague garage doors. The good news is that with a little patience you may be able to solve most issues quickly before needing to call a professional garage door repair company.

Misaligned Track

If your garage door is not aligned properly on the tracks, this can cause serious issues. If you notice the garage door tilting or not running smoothly up and down the track, it may have alignment and balance issues. Look for gaps between the rails and the rollers, bends in the rails, or obstructions along the track to ensure that the door is properly aligned. If not, then you will need to call a garage door repair company to fix the issue before it gets worse. A simple misalignment or faulty garage door parts may cause a garage door off track scenario.

Using Remote Control from Too Far Away

The remote control for your garage door works off a broadcasted signal that reaches the antenna. This means that if you are too far away it will not work properly. Try getting a little closer, see if something is blocking the antenna to the garage door opener, or if the antenna has been damaged. It’s also possible that the battery in the remote needs replacing, so check that out as well.

Motor Runs, But Door Doesn’t Open

If the motor runs for a few seconds and shuts off without opening the garage door, then the door itself may be manually locked. Check to see if the door is locked and if not, inspect the track for any obstructions, and the garage door springs to see if they are still attached and in good shape. If you still cannot find the issue and the door will not open, it’s time to call a professional garage door repair company so they can send out a technician to find the difficulty.

Cold Weather

If you find your garage door not opening during the cold winter months, then the first place you should look is for the small screw located on the back or front of the opener which adjusts the sensitivity of the motor. Basically, when the garage door rollers stiffen up because of cold temperatures, the motor will not push them to open or close the door unless the screw is adjusted so that more power is delivered. An alternative is to lubricate the garage door rollers so that they are less stiff in cold conditions. Call a professional garage door repair company and they can assist if you have been unsuccessful in getting the door to work in cold conditions. Learn here about the effect of cold on materials such as steel, rubber and plastic.

Broken Springs

The garage door torsion springs or extension springs (depends how your system designed) support the weight of the garage door, allowing it to open and close easily. You will hear a spring when it breaks as it creates a loud bang. If the door becomes quite heavy and difficult to lift, then one or both springs are probably broken. It is too dangerous to do the repairs yourself, but you should check both springs to see if there are any breaks or if they have come loose from the tension tube or hardware. Call a garage door repair company if the springs are broken.

Door Does Not Open Fully

This may be caused by an obstruction on the tracks or rollers that are damaged or not properly aligned. If that doesn’t appear to be the issue, check the limit switch on the motor to see if it needs to be readjusted.

Misaligned Photo Eye

Since 1993, according to the UL325 safety standard, garage door openers have two safety eyes on either side that detect any movement when the garage door is in operation. If they are not aligned properly, the garage door will not close when pressing the remote. So, the first thing to check is each photo eye to ensure that they are clean and aligned properly. If you have a laser level, then checking the alignment will only take a few seconds. However, if you do not, use a standard level and see if the safety eyes are aligned so the beams they emit are directed at each other.


If your garage door is closing part-way, then opening back up this may indicate an obstruction is present. This occurs when the safety eye system detects something in the path of the garage door that causes it to open again. It may be toys, equipment, garbage cans, or anything that the photo eyes see as the garage door is closing. Be sure to remove all obstructions so that nothing is present between the safety eyes of the garage door.

The Motor Runs, but the Garage Door Does Not Move

If the garage door will not move, then the disconnect switch was activated. The disconnect switch is present so that if the device loses power, it disconnects from the garage door so that you can open it manually. You will find the disconnect switch attached to a rope or it may be a knob that can be turned to reconnect the motor to the garage door. Open the door all the way, reattach the hook and the motor will connect to the garage door. You may need to use a step ladder to reach the knob.

Reset your Garage Door Opener

If your garage door closes all the way, then suddenly opens for no reason, it may be that the garage door opener needs to be reset. This usually occurs with new garage door openers, although it can happen to older versions. Basically, each garage door opener has settings that indicate to the device when it is open and closed. Use the owner’s manual to find the right way to reset your garage door opener so that it opens and closes properly. If you do not have the manual or cannot find the controls, call a garage door technician to do the work.

You may want to perform some garage door maintenance to avoid many of these issues from occurring. Or, you can employ a professional garage door repair company that offers a maintenance plan to do annual work on your garage door to keep it functioning properly.

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