Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (2023)

Home Improvement

Interior Remodel


ByJeff Beneke

Updated on 03/24/22

Reviewed by

Larry Campbell

Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (1)

Reviewed byLarry Campbell

Larry Campbell is an electrical contractor with 36 years of experience in residential and light commercial electrical wiring. He worked as an electronic technician and later an engineer for the IBM Corp. is a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board.

Learn more about The Spruce'sReview Board

Fact checked by

Sarah Scott

Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (2)

Fact checked bySarah Scott

Sarah Scott is a fact-checker and researcher who has worked in the custom home building industry in sales, marketing, and design.

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When your garage door opener suddenly stops operating properly, the cause of the problem is usually pretty simple to understand, and the solution can be quite easy.

Here are the eight most common garage door problems, along with how to repair each of the problems. If none of the following fixes seem to correct the problem, you will need to consult the owner's manual or contact a garage door company.

  • 01 of 08

    Neither Remote Control nor Wall Switch Operates the Opener

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (3)

    When the garage door doesn't budge at all when the remote or wall switch pressed, it's almost certain the power source has been disrupted in some way:

    • As with many such problems, the most common problem is the simplest one—the motor unit has been unplugged. Begin by checking the outlet where the door opener is plugged in, and make sure the cord is plugged in all the way.
    • It's also possible that the circuit breaker, fuse, or GFCI outlet powering the door opener circuit has tripped or burned out. If you find that other lights or electrical circuits in the garage aren't operating, this is the likely cause, and you'll need to reset the breakeror GFCI or replace the burned-out fuse. If the circuit breaker or GFCI is tripping repeatedly, it's a sign that there is a short circuit somewhere in the system—possibly even the garage door opener itself.
    • Finally, it's possible the garage door opener's motor has burned out and isn't operating at all. This is a problem that will require you (or a service person) to replace it.
  • 02 of 08

    Garage Door Won't Respond to Remote or Keypad

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (4)

    There are several possible solutions when a wireless remote control or mounted keypad stops operating the opener:

    • Move closer to the door. It's possible you are out of range of the antenna inside the garage. Modern garage door openers are essentially small radios that operate at about 315mH, and a few feet of extra distance can affect the signal.
    • Make sure that the antenna on the motor unit is hanging downward and is not damaged in any way.
    • If the door functions fine with the hardwired wall switch, it's likely the battery needs replacing in the remote control or keypad.
    • Reprogram the remote control or keypad. The sensitive electronics in the remote control or keypad can sometimes lose its programming and may need to be reset. Each garage door opener has a slightly different method of reprogramming, so consult the instructions or look online for information on how this is done for your particular opener.

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  • 03 of 08

    Garage Door Won't Close All the Way

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (5)

    If the garage door opens correctly but fails to close completely, there may be one of threecommon causes:

    • The close-limit switch may need adjusting. Your garage door hasset-limit switches that instructthe motor when to stop running—both when it is opening, and when it is closing. If the close-limit switch is set wrong, it may prevent the door from closing It can also cause the opener to reverse or pull back up when you attempt to close it.
    • The close-limitswitch is a safety measure that keeps people from being hit and having the door close on them—it is a necessary and required device for all garage door openers. Adjusting the limit switch will stop your garage door from behaving erratically.
    • Different garage doors have different means of adjusting the set-limit switches, but it is usually a screw feature on the motor unit that is turned to adjust how far the door descends.
    • The safety sensors may need adjustment or realignment.Near the bottom of the door track on both sides are electronic eyes that require a clear line of view between them. If the sightlines are clear between the eyes, the door will close smoothly all the way to the floor. However, if anything is blocking the sightline, or if the brackets holding the electronic eyes are out of alignment, the door will fail to descend all the way. In most cases, the door will stop or reverse, and lights will flash to tell you there is a problem.
    • Make sure there is nothing blocking the sight path between the electronic sensors. Sometimes, leaves or debris can block the sensors; it if happens frequently, it might be that vibrations from the door in the tracks are loosening the brackets holding the sensors and must be realigned.
    • Less frequently, rusted or damaged rollers can cause the door to bind in the tracks. Replacing damaged rollers or lubricating them with silicone lubricant can correct this problem. Sometimes the tracks themselves may shift or get bent, which can also cause the problem.
  • 04 of 08

    Garage Door Reverses Before Hitting the Floor

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (6)

    Two possible problems can lead to a garage door reversing before it even touches the floor:

    • Garage door openers have an adjustment screw that controls the closing force—the pressure with which a door is allowed to descend before the motor switches off. When the door reverses before it even hits the floor, this is often because the close-force setting needs adjustment. The friction of the door rollers within the tracks is fooling the door opener into thinking the door has reached the floor, and the opener needs to be adjusted for less sensitivity.
    • Damaged or rusted rollers can also create extra friction, fooling the door opener into stopping prematurely. Make sure the rollers are in good shape and well lubricated to prevent this problem.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.

  • 05 of 08

    Garage Door Reverses Immediately After Touching the Floor

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (7)

    When the garage door immediately leaps upward after touching the floor, this too is a close-limit switch problem. Adjust the close-limit adjustment screw on the door opener motor in small increments until the door stops upon touching the floor.

  • 06 of 08

    Garage Door Does Not Open Completely

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (8)

    When the garage door ascends correctlybut stops short it is fully open, these are the likely causes:

    • The up-limit switch may need to be moved toward themotor unit. This switch is usually a simply touch-lever mounted on the end of the track near the motor unit, and if it is too far ​away, the motor will stop the door before it fully opens. The solution is to move the switch closer to the motor unit. This is a somewhat rare problem, and will usually show itself immediately after a new garage door opener is installed.
    • Balky or damaged rollers can also cause the door to stop short of fully opening. Inspect and replace damaged rollers, and lubricate rusty ones.
  • 07 of 08

    Garage Door Doesn't Open in Winter

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (9)

    Sometimes a garage door that lowers just fine will fail to open, especially in winter.If this happens, look for a screw on the motor unit toadjustthe sensitivity of the opener. Especially in winter, when rollers sometimes get stiff, the door opener might refuse to open. Lubricating rollers can also help with this problem. Methods for adjusting sensitivity vary; so consult the owner's manual for directions.

  • 08 of 08

    Garage Door Opens But the Motor Won't Stop Running

    Troubleshooting 8 Common Garage Door Opener Problems (10)

    When this unusualproblem occurs, it means the up-limit switch probably needs to be moved away from the motor unit. It is rare for this problem to suddenly appear; if it happens at all, it will usually be noticed when you first install the garage door opener, though it can occur if or when the gears inside the motor unit have been stripped, which causes the motor to run without moving the door.


What is the most common problem with garage doors? ›

One of the most common problems homeowners encounter with their garage doors is a door that's stuck in the open position. The first thing to check when this happens is the photo eye sensors placed on either side of the garage door.

How do you troubleshoot a garage door problem? ›

Make sure the opener is plugged in and the garage circuit breaker is in the correct place. Make sure your door has not been manually locked by mistake. Replace the batteries of the keypad or remote control. Confirm that you're within the recommended range and position when using garage door remotes.

Why is my garage door not opening and closing correctly? ›

If your garage door is not opening or closing correctly there could be a number of reasons that include, broken springs, misalignment of the tracks, malfunctioning sensors, or the photo-eye is out of alignment. These of course are just a few examples of what may need to be repaired.

How do I reset my overhead garage door opener? ›

If you must reset or clear the memory from your garage door opener, follow these steps:
  1. Access your garage door opener.
  2. Find the “Learn” button.
  3. Push the button for around six seconds.
  4. Wait for the LED light to blink or go out.
  5. Reprogram the necessary codes.
Aug 31, 2021

How do I reset my garage door? ›

Below are some simple instructions so you know exactly how to quickly reset your garage door.
  1. Door Must Be in Down Position. ...
  2. Pull the Emergency Release Cord. ...
  3. Manually Move the Garage Door and Return to Down Position. ...
  4. Pull the Emergency Release Cord Toward the Door. ...
  5. Re-connect the Trolley to the Opener Carriage.
Jan 20, 2016

How do I know if my garage door opener motor is bad? ›

A slow-moving garage door or loud, obnoxious door are pretty clear signs that your motor is going bad. Electric motors get really loud when they near their end. A garage door motor change will usually quiet things down, but sometimes the entire assembly will need replacing.

How do I know if my garage door opener capacitor is bad? ›

When garage door opener capacitors fail, the door won't have any motion when you press the start button. The common symptoms are humming or buzzing noise and possible smoke release inside the garage.

How do I know if my garage door sensor is bad? ›

You can test your garage door sensors by placing a cardboard box that's over 6 inches tall in the way of the sensors. If the door closes fully on the box, your sensors are not working and this issue must be addressed immediately.

What is the average life of a garage door opener? ›

The average lifespan of a garage door opener is 10 to 15 years, and like your garage door, many factors contribute to its durability. You can keep your garage door opener functioning for a long time with proper care and attention, just like you should give to your garage door.

Why is my garage door not closing and blinking? ›

If the sensors are not properly connected, the garage door light will blink continuously and the door will refuse to close. Have your system professionally inspected to identify and repair any wiring issues that might be causing your garage door light to blink.

How do you trick a garage door sensor? ›

So, all you need to do is hold the wall button down ( do not press and release). You must hold the wall button all the way down until the garage door hits the floor then release. If you let go of the button before the door hits the ground the sensors will kick back in to action and the door will reverse.

Why does my garage door stop halfway down and go back up? ›

Your garage door is programmed to travel a certain distance before it closes. If it closes before that distance has been traveled, it thinks something is wrong — and it reopens to help prevent any damage. Changes in weather conditions can causes your garage door components to shift or contract.

Why does my garage door only open a foot? ›

This problem is more than likely due to a problem with a torsion spring. For most doors, torsion springs can be replaced at an affordable cost. Otherwise, you could be looking at a problem with the motor and/or garage door. As garage doors age, they require maintenance to keep them evenly balanced.

Why do I have to hold my garage door button to close it? ›

The Sensors Could Be Blocked

The sensors might also be blocked by things that are harder to see, like dust, dirt, soil, spider webs, and tiny rocks. Make sure to clear the sensors of anything that might trigger them, and keep the doors from closing on their own.

Can you reset the code on a garage door opener? ›

To reset the garage door code, you must wipe the current data off the memory chip. Hold it down for a few seconds as you locate the learn button. If there's a light near the button, keep pressing it until the light turns off. This erases the stored pin codes and information about paired devices, like remote controls.

Do automatic garage doors have reset button? ›

To reset the system, you will need to locate the button on the motor that reads “Learn” or “Home.” In many cases, this button will be located on the same side as the device's antenna and next to an LED.

What does the reset button do on a garage door opener? ›

To reset a garage-door opener manually using the opener unit, locate the LEARN or HOME button. Press and hold that button for several seconds until the LED next to the unit goes out. This will reset the unit and unlink any remote-control devices that were associated with it.

How much does it cost to reset a garage door? ›

If your circuit board needs replacement, garage door service providers typically charge $100 for the circuit board and reprogramming services needed for your controls.

How do I know if my garage door opener logic board is bad? ›

How do I know if my garage door circuit board is bad?
  1. The warning light is flashing or shining constantly.
  2. Your photo eyes aren't getting power despite being plugged in. ...
  3. Your keypad or remote aren't working as intended. ...
  4. Your opener is operating in an unexpected manner.

Should both my garage door sensors be green? ›

Do both garage door sensors need to be green? Your garage door has sending and receiving sensors with LED lights that should glow steadily if there are no issues with the alignment. The lights on of these types of sensors will be green if there are no obstructions or misalignment.

How do you know when it's time to replace your garage door opener? ›

6 Signs That It's Time to Replace Your Garage Door Opener
  • Inconsistent operation. ...
  • Garage door opens and close on its own. ...
  • Door doesn't open at all. ...
  • Garage door starts to close then re-opens. ...
  • Door fails to close completely. ...
  • Unusual noises.
May 30, 2018

How do you check if a capacitor is blown? ›

You can use a digital or analog multimeter while selecting the DC voltage range for the same purpose. Note the initial voltage reading in the voltmeter. If it is close to the supplied voltage you gave to the capacitor, the Capacitor in in Good condition. If it shows far less reading, Capacitor is dead then.

What happens when a capacitor is faulty? ›

A bad capacitor prevents the exterior unit from properly functioning, which hinders the cooling process as a whole. Second, improper voltage delivery to exterior unit components forces the system to work harder as it attempts to perform its job. Additional components often sustain damage due to a faulty capacitor.

How do I know if my garage door sensors are misaligned? ›

Find the receiving sensor, which features a green LED light. When your sensors are misaligned, these green LED lights will be off entirely, flickering or dim. Loosen the wing nut that keeps the sensor in place and then move the sensor around until it glows steadily and brightly. This indicates it's back in alignment.

How do you test a garage door opener sensor? ›

To test your garage door sensor, you will need a common everyday object like a cardboard box. Place the box in the line of the sensors and try to close the garage door. If the door reverses after sensing an obstruction, your door is functioning correctly.

What is the life expectancy of a garage door? ›

Though many factors contribute to a garage door's lifespan, a typical garage door will last around 15 and 30 years. Your garage door's lifetime will vary depending on the type and brand you choose. Factors like the weather, environment, usage and maintenance schedule also impact the longevity of your garage door.

What type of garage door is most durable? ›

Steel is a largely popular garage door material due to its design flexibility, durability, and overall value. Steel garage doors are available in an endless number of design options and provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to natural wood. Opt for insulation to strengthen your garage door and boost R-value.

How often should a garage door be replaced? ›

The average lifespan of a garage door is about 30 years with the right maintenance. But individual circumstances vary — maybe your newly minted teenaged driver accidentally backed into the garage door, or maybe a windstorm flung debris at your door and damaged some panels.

Is replacing a garage door worth it? ›

Replacing a garage door does more than add curb appeal—it's actually the home project that gives you the highest return on investment at resale. According to Remodeling magazine's 2021 Cost vs. Value report, the national average for garage door replacement is $3,907, with a $3,663 resale value.

Is it better to repair or replace a garage door opener? ›

As with anything, garage door openers won't work forever. Because safety, efficiency and security measures have improved so much within the last decade, if your garage opener is old, then the only way to ensure your garage opener is effective is to purchase a replacement.

How long does it take a professional to replace a garage door opener? ›

It typically takes about four to six hours to install a garage door opener. However, the time can vary whether you're installing a garage door opener in a garage that doesn't have one or if you're replacing an existing unit.

How much does Lowes charge to install a garage door? ›

Lowe's charges between $199 and $599 (CAD 270 and CAD 800) to fit both a new garage door and the opener. This figure is for labor fees only; the door would cost extra.

Which garage door brand is best? ›

Top 6 Garage Door Brands We Recommend:
  • Clopay.
  • Amarr.
  • Wayne Dalton.
  • CHI.
  • Martin.
  • Northwest.

Is a single or double garage door better? ›

Double Garage Doors Give You More Space

The main reason homeowners choose double garages is that they offer more flexibility in how the garage is used. It's increasingly common for people to drive SUVs, trucks, and other large vehicles. It can be challenging to squeeze these cars into a single car garage.

What type of garage door is the quietest? ›

Belt drives are the quietest option and also highly durable, but the most expensive. Screw drives fall somewhere in the middle of the other two when it comes to noisiness and price.

How often should you lubricate your garage door? ›

Like most things, the metal parts of your garage door need a little preventative maintenance to keep working the way they should. Lubricating your garage door at least once a year should be part of your maintenance process. However, you can follow this process any time you have a noisy door.

Can you replace just the garage door opener? ›

Can I reuse the old rails and parts when installing a new garage door opener? Although your new garage door opener may appear similar in design to your old opener, our recommendation is that you replace the entire opener. This includes mounting hardware, rails, wired door controls and wireless remote devices.


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