Top Troubleshooting Tips To Fix a Garage Door That Won’t Close


Let’s face it, when it comes to things like garage doors, they are going to stop working properly after a certain period of time. Take a deep breath, this happens to everyone at one point or another and it is not too difficult to fix if you know what you are doing.

Common Reasons a Garage Door Won’t Close

There could be an issue with the safety sensors of your garage door if you hear clicking or if the garage door begins to close then quickly reverses direction. The safety sensor can be compared to an electronic version of eyes. They are used to detect if anything is obstructing the path of the door in order to prevent any person or property from being damaged when your garage door closes. One of these “eyes” is a transmitter and the other one is the receiver. They work together to ensure there is nothing in the way of your garage door closing. If one, or both, of these sensors are not functioning properly that is likely your problem.

How to Repair Your Garage Door

The first thing you should do is ensure there is nothing blocking the sensors at the bottom of the garage door frame. Anything obstructing the beam between the two sensors at the bottom of the frame would stop the garage door from fully closing. If you have an overly messy or cluttered garage it is easy for things to move slightly out of place.

Over time, things like spider webs, leaves, and dirt may adhere to the sensors which will obstruct the beam and prevent the door from closing completely. Also, if there is anything that hangs or dangles from the bottom of the garage door, it can trigger the sensor and prevent the garage door from closing as well.

With the progression of time, the garage door can shift the position of the sensors and knock one or both out of alignment. The sensors in the garage frame have wing nuts that you can loosen. Once you have the wing nut loose, you can reposition it into the proper place and tighten the wing nut back up again. You may need to do this to both of your sensors depending if they are both in need of realignment or not.

A common reason garage doors may neglect to close properly is poor wiring. Sometimes, if you shake the wires you may get a flicker from the led in the sensor. If you do see the led flicker, you may very well have a faulty wiring issue. Not to fret, this can be solved without too much complication. Your first step is to unplug the power source from the garage door opener. It is important to note here that you are going to require some wire cutters and electrical tape to carry out this task. The best way to tackle this task is to re-splice the wires while ensuring you maintain the original polarity. Once you have the connections all set up as they were originally, you can tape them so that they won’t short out on you. Lastly, you want to plug the garage door opener back in again. If you’ve done this and you still have a problem, you may require the replacement of the sensor itself.

Other Possible Things You Can Try

Should you notice one side of your garage door is slightly higher than the other side, there is likely an issue with the torsion spring cable, the extension spring cable, or the extension spring cable pulleys. Luckily replacing these parts will easily fix the issue for you without a lot of fuss on your part.

When your garage door closes part way then reverses direction it can be because of a few different reasons. You may require replacing the torsion spring cable or the extension spring cable. You can try adjusting the force as well as it may simply require adjusting. Ensure the track is well lubricated with the appropriate lubrication specified in your manual.

If you come across a jammed door, you can rest assured it won’t be too complicated to fix. You may need to replace your torsion spring cable or your extension spring cable. The track that your garage door slides on may need to be straightened or replaced as well, so keep an eye out for that. Worn pulleys are also a common reason to why your garage door won’t open.

Debating the Costs

The best part about this is that most of the issues related to your garage door not closing properly are around worn or malfunctioning parts—which are relatively cost effective compared to the costs of replacing the entire system all together.

To prolong the life of your garage door it is critical that you probably maintain all moving or working parts. Proper care and maintenance will always ensure the longest possible life for the parts you are servicing. With that said, things do eventually break down. This is not because of rough use, but the effects of the weather and everyday conditions on the system. As long as you keep up with things you should not run into any major issues.

Do-It-Yourself or Hire A Professional

At times the question of whether you should do something yourself or hire a professional is a daunting one. It really boils down to what is right for you, personally. Hiring a professional is a huge time saver for people who are short on hours within the day. It will ensure that the job is done efficiently and properly while taking all the guess work out of the equation. Unfortunately, hiring a professional is a lot more costly than doing things on your own. When you hire a professional you are paying for the time they put into the job and the parts.

Doing things yourself offers a great sense of accomplishment when you have successfully completed the task at hand. It will probably take you a lot longer than a professional to locate the exact issue and repair it, but you will only be paying for parts instead of the entire package.

Additional Notes

Always use caution when making adjustments or repairs on anything that has moving parts. It is very easy to injure yourself if you are not paying attention to what you are doing at all times. Ensure that you unplug the starter before beginning the task at hand as you want to ensure you do not accidentally start it and squish your fingers.

If you are doing something that may distract you, like watching the kids outside, you may want to wait to complete this task until a later time to avoid injuring yourself. If you are ever unsure of the issue or your ability to repair the issue, you can always check with a professional.

Lubrication can be used to reduce any unnecessary noises, however, you can also replace your metal rollers with nylon ones. Replacing your rollers does not cost much and will decrease the amount of noise you hear in the house from the garage door opening and closing.

Lubricating all moving parts will help to ensure there is no sticking and things are working properly. It is a good idea to check on your garage door opening system at least once every couple of week When you check on the system you can take a moment to lubricate anything that needs it and remove any dust from the track.

It may be a good idea to keep spare parts handy in case of something breaking. If something breaks, you would need to make a trip to the store. If you don’t want to go to the store, you can buy a spare part and keep it in a toolbox in the garage. This is more of a time saver than anything else. If you are planning on going through a professional, you will not need to have spare parts handy as they will bring their own.


About Neb Aleksic

Neb grew up in the garage door business. Since joining Doorcare he has moved up in the ranks, and now oversees a team, in addition to Doorcare's marketing efforts. He is passionate about what he does, and enjoys the small things in life.
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