Troubleshooting Tips and Advice for a Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers make accessing your garage much simpler at any given time. You can now open or close the door at a distance with the push of a button. These devices can even work in tandem with antitheft technology to assess who is accessing the door at any given time, preventing a stranger from getting into your garage. You can save yourself the bodily strain of having to physically and manually open and close the door yourself with a remote opener, and avoid pushing the heavy weight of the steel, aluminum, or wood with a handle.

While these openers have certainly improved the lives of many, they can of course still experience issues. If you own a garage door opener that has malfunctioned, you can take a variety of troubleshooting steps to try to get to the source of the problem yourself. You can possibly even make the repairs yourself if the door or opener isn’t severely damaged and won’t require any big fixes. If you have to deal with a lot of electronics or crucial parts, then you should call a repair company to step in and fix your door. However, start with these steps first:

Check the Batteries or Other Power

If your garage door opener runs on batteries, double-check these. They could have possibly just died, which would only necessitate a quick change. With more severe problems, you might experience issues with the actual garage door’s power source. In that case, inspect all of the electrical parts, looking if any plugs or sockets may have knocked loose. Once again, this necessitates a small fix. Just plug those parts back in and everything should work as normal.

If the plugs or sockets have somehow experienced severe damage, then you will have to dial up your repairperson to come and fix it. It may be extremely dangerous to attempt this work yourself. If everything with the plugs and sockets appears as normal though, then perhaps your issue doesn’t involve with the power source at all. Keep looking.

Check for Lubricated Parts

Your problem could stem from the fact that your door didn’t experience regular maintenance throughout the year. You can actually perform this yourself by checking on all of the moving parts of the door once or twice annually. You should also apply lubricant to all moving parts to keep them well-oiled and ready to work. If you experience a lot of cold weather, this step becomes all the more crucial. Cold weather can damage garage doors, sometimes irreparably. By applying lubricant every few months, you prevent this damage. If you have just experienced a cold snap, the lack of functioning in your door could have to do with the extreme weather. In that case, you will need repairs or a replacement. If you haven’t recently had cold weather, keep troubleshooting.

Look for Items Blocking the Door Tracks

You may think because you haven’t noticed any items in the door track that none exist. However, even tiny pieces of debris such as pebbles, paint blobs, or hardened clumps of dirt can deter the garage door from functioning as it should. Take a close look at the door for any of these obstructions. Clear the door track area anyway with your hands or even a broom. This could possibly take care of the issue. If not, then continue looking for the source of the problem.

Watch for Loose Parts

You can also try to determine if any of the parts of the garage door have loosened. This can occur over time or because someone may have accidentally bumped into the door. If you find any loose parts, such as the door bracket or the header, then you should tighten these up. You can generally do this yourself. If you find no loose parts, then perhaps something else has caused the issue with the door not working. Keep troubleshooting.

Check the Door Belt

The drive belt in your garage functions through a drive unit and a transmitter. This drive belt hooks up to the motor and a pulley and can also become loose. Again, time could cause this or someone bumping into the door could as well. Check the door belt and determine whether or not it has become loose. If it has, then you can either tighten it up or replace it. You should consider replacement if the door has used the belt for many years or if it shows severe signs of wear and tear. Once you fix your door belt, this should hopefully take care of the issue. If it doesn’t, then continue.

Adjust the Sensitivity Controls

Lastly, you can also try to adjust the door’s sensitivity controls. If you have noticed that your door seems to move in reverse instead of opening or closing, then toggling with these controls ought to rectify the issue. By doing this, hopefully the door will begin to open and close vertically as it should. You should also check these controls if you notice that the door opens, but not fully. If the door only closes partially, also adjust the sensitivity controls. Through these adjustments, you should have hopefully by now fixed the problem with your garage door opener not functioning.

However, if none of the above steps work, you can still try any others that come to mind. Just do so carefully so that you don’t cause severe damage to an already malfunctioning door. If you run out of ideas or if none of the above suggestions work, then you should call a repair company to come out and look at the door. Possibly, an issue afflicted the door that you could not have diagnosed yourself without the proper knowledge. Whatever the issue, the repair person should correct it so that your door once more works through the remote opener.


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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