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Garage Door Opener Repair: A Complete Guide for Homeowners

The style of your garage doors can make or break the curb appeal of your home. But while most homeowners put a lot of time and careful thought into choosing their doors, most of us don’t give much thought to our garage door openers. That is until something goes wrong.

If your garage doors have suddenly stopped working properly, keep reading for a comprehensive guide to garage door opener repair.

Find the Source of the Problem First

Before you start searching for a replacement garage door opener or attempt to repair your current one, it’s a good idea to make certain that the opener is truly the source of the problem.

The tracks of your garage door, your garage door opener remote, the rollers, or the springs could also keep your door from opening properly.

Luckily, this is easy to check. Starting with your garage door closed, pull the emergency cord, which is how to open your garage door manually. If you can open and close the door with this cord, that means that the mechanics of your door are working. If the garage door won’t open, it’s likely that your tracks are out of line or your springs have become detached.

Think twice about fixing damaged or old garage springs on your own. If you don’t have prior experience, dealing with heavy-duty springs can be very dangerous. This is one garage door repair that should be left to the professionals.

Fixing Common Garage Door Opener Problems

When your garage doors and opener aren’t working properly, there are several common problems that could be to blame.

The Battery is Dead

Perhaps the easiest garage door opener repair is replacing the batteries in your remote.

If your garage door opener battery dies, you won’t be able to use it to open your doors. You can use your indoor garage opener button to check if your remote is the problem. 

Of course, if you have a smart Liftmaster garage door opener, your garage door opener might be connected to your phone. This means that you’ll be able to check to see if your remote needs a new battery.

Your Power Connection Has Been Disrupted

Your garage door opener is hooked up directly to your home’s power. If the power goes out, the opener won’t work. However, barring a power outage, if you find that neither your remote nor your indoor garage opener buttons will open your doors, it’s likely that the power source has been disrupted somewhere along the line.

Start by checking to see if you have tripped a breaker. Then, make sure that the unit is plugged into the wall completely.

The Motor Has Burned Out

If you can’t find an issue with the power source, it’s likely that the motor of your garage door opener has burned out. Unfortunately, flipping a switch or changing a battery won’t fix this problem. Instead, the motor will need to be repaired or replaced.

A burned-out motor is often a sign that a unit is getting old. It may be better to invest in a new opener–and maybe some fresh new garage doors–rather than continuing to spend on garage door opener repair for an aging unit.

The Remote is Broken

With regular use, your garage door opener remote may eventually wear out. The housing can crack or the button may jam, preventing it from opening your doors.

If your remote is worn out, you might need a garage door opener remote replacement. You can purchase a remote from the manufacturer of your garage doors. But you can also save money by buying a universal garage door opener online instead.

Garage Door Won’t Close Completely

Just because your garage door will open or close doesn’t mean that it’s working properly. Another common problem is when doors won’t close completely. Often, they’ll stop just inches above the floor.

In most cases, this indicates that the close-limit switch needs to be adjusted. This switch is what tells your garage doors that they have reached the floor. That way they don’t continue, hitting the concrete and potentially damaging your doors.

These switches also feature a safety sensor. This will let the garage doors know when a person, a family pet, or another object gets in the way of the doors. When it senses that something is in the way, it stops the doors.

Because each garage door opener is unique, you’ll need to check your manual to learn how to adjust the close-limit switch.

Occasionally, rusty or misaligned roller tracks can also cause your doors to stop short. However, if your tracks are properly installed and in good working order, it’s more likely that the garage door opener is to blame.

The Garage Door Reverses Before it Reaches the Floor

Rather than simply stopping short, your garage doors may reverse before hitting the floor, preventing them from closing at all.

There are two possible issues that can cause this. The first is that the adjustment screw, which controls the force with which your doors close, needs adjusting.

The second is that your garage door rollers are causing extra friction, either because they are damaged or beginning to rust. When the adjustment screw senses this friction, it may interpret it as the doors hitting the ground. This will cause the screw to stop them prematurely.

If the second issue is the problem, it’s time for new rollers. If the adjustment screw is to blame, check your manual to find the screw and learn how to adjust it.

The Garage Door Stops on the Way Up

Similar to your doors reversing before they get to the floor, if your garage doors stop on the way up, a switch is likely to blame. In this case, it’s the up-limit switch. 

This is perhaps the easiest switch to adjust. On most units, it’s a simple touch-lever activated when the doors touch the lever. If the lever is mounted too far away, the garage doors will come to a stop too soon.

Also similar to the door reversing on the way up, damaged rollers could be to blame instead.

Repairing Your Garage Door Opener

Whether you’ve already identified the issue causing your garage door opener to malfunction or not, getting it repaired as soon as possible is a priority. Without a functioning opener, you’ll be left lifting your door yourself each time you need inside. If your doors are stuck closed, your vehicle, and with it, your ride to work, could be trapped inside. A malfunctioning garage door can also pose a safety hazard to yourself and your family.

If you’re in need of garage door or garage door opener repairs or replacements, request your free quote today!