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11 Garage Opener Problems and Solutions

Reviewed by:
On December 20, 2018
Last modified:September 19, 2019


11 most common problems with garage gate openers are presented along with the solutions

garage problems

There are many problems you can encounter when using a garage door opener. However,every problem has a solution, so don’t get frustrated and stop those thoughts about getting a new opener and sacrificing your holiday trip money. We will present the 11 most common problems and the solutions and save you the trouble of hiring a handyman or buying a new opener.

Problem 1. Misalignment of the photo eyes

You are coming home and opening the garage door. Everything is working just fine,you enter and close the door but it starts to lower and then all the sudden it goes back up! Don’t be scared! There are no ghosts in your garage. It’s just the misalignment of the photo eyes.

Every garage door opener has an automatic reverse system which uses photo eye sensors placed in two small units. An invisible beam is set between the two units and it crosses the width of the opening. One unit is the transmitter and the other has a mirror that reflects the signal beam.

The problem appears when the beam is interrupted. This can happen accidentally by bumping into one unit or if something hits one of them. A clear sign that the photo eyes are misaligned is the strange movement of the door or blinking lights on the door opener.

The Solution

Well it is obvious: the realignment of the beam. Try to see which one has shifted:move it back in a straight line and keep and eye on the wall control panel at the same time. If the light stops blinking and stays on, the alignment is done.

Check the attachment to the metal bracket and tighten the nut that holds it in place.You can also take a cloth and wipe the lens, in order to remove potential dust and dirt.

If the unit is still not working check the wires between the units and the gate opener motor, they could be frayed or broken. In that case, call the service.

Problem 2. Not closing all the way

Just when you are thinking that your day is finally over and the garage door is closing to mark the end, they suddenly stop and are unable to close all the way down.

The Solution

First, check the above-mentioned sensors and make sure that there isn’t anything blocking them. They need to have a clear line-of-sight.

Check to see if the rollers are working properly. If they are rusty and have significant damage – replace them. Otherwise, put some silicone lubricant to ease the motion. Also, take a look at the close limit switch, it could be that someone is messing with you and the setting is incorrect.


Problem 3. Not opening all the way

Of course, the opposite situation may occur. The garage door refuses to open all the way and enables you to enter.

The Solution

Similar to the one above. Check the rollers for any damage or lubricate them properly.An opening limit switch may be too far from the motor unit and this could cause disruption in the connection. Put the switch closer and if it is broken,replace it.

Problem 4. The door reverses

4.1 Your garage door reverses after closing fully.

The Solution

There might be a problem with the close-limit switch. The fixing is easy since you only have to make small changes to the close-limit setting until the garage door opener knows when to stop once the door has reached the floor.

4.2 Your garage door reverses before hitting the floor.

The Solution

It could be that there is a problem with the close-force setting which control show much force is permitted when closing the garage door. If this setting is off, it can take just a little friction to make the motor think that it has reached the floor. The typical cause are the rollers and the settings. So,check to see if everything is set properly.

Problem 5. Not opening in winter

The cold affects everything, even the gate opening system. It could easily happen that the garage door is unable to open, due to the rollers which have become stiff or the motor unit.

The Solution

Lubricate the rollers, it could help. Locate the screw on the motor unit that adjusts the opener sensitivity and try to make small adjustments to see if you will get a better response.

Problem 6. Remote not working

You hit the remote button and nothing happens.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are within the range of the garage opening unit.

2. Try to open the door with the wall switch, if that works, then the problem is in the remote.

3. Replace the batteries in the remote.

4. Check the antenna on the motor unit, it should be hanging down to allow the signal to reach.

5. If you replace the batteries and it still doesn’t work, you will probably need a new remote.

Problem 7. Garage door closed but motor still running

This type of problem is not a typical one, but can occur. In case it does, have no fear.

The Solution

The source of the issue is in the up-limit switch. It needs to be in a right distance from the motor so that the garage door can close all the way, and motor also knows when to stop running. So, move the switch bit by bit and check to make sure the door closes and the motor stops.

Problem 8. Stuck door

The door can easily get stuck during the opening or closing process. This problem is usually related to the rollers or tracks.

The Solution

 Make sure that the tracks are clean, free of debris and well aligned. If they are, then the problem is in the rollers which could be rusty or broken. Lubricate the rollers or replace them if needed.

Problem 9. Keypad not working

If you are using a keypad and it stops working the problem is a minor one and the solution easy.

The Solution

First check to make sure you are within the required range. Then check if the antenna on the motor unit is properly placed. The problem could be in the batteries, so replace them. If the device still isn’t working reprogram it.

Problem 10. Wall switch not working

If the wall switch is not working, typically the problem is in the power supply.

The Solution

Check the fuses, GFCI or breaker to see if they have tripped, broken or burnt out. If this is the case, replace them immediately. The problem could also be a burnt-out opener motor, that requires replacement.

Problem 11. Manual locked down

If the garage door doesn’t open, but the opener motor runs for a couple of seconds and then turns off, it means that the door have been manually locked.

The Solution

Simply turn the handle until you hear a click. This moves the horizontal bars away from the edges and secures the handle in the opening position.


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