Are You Having Trouble with Your Garage Door?
Mechanical issues are never fun. Getting stuck is frustrating, whether it’s your car or garage door.
Learning how to troubleshoot basic garage door issues helps homeowners avoid issues before they become emergencies.
A bit of help with a Craftsman garage door opener, Liftmaster garage door opener, or Chamberlain garage door opener will get you ahead of the game. If you have one of these models that were released in the past 10 years, troubleshooting is simple because they have embedded MyQ tech and Security+ 2.0
Knowing what to look for and when to call for professional garage door repairs will save you a lot of stress and, likely, a good deal of money.
Here’s a basic guide to garage door troubleshooting and information on when to call a technician.
Why Isn’t My Garage Door Opening? – Some Common Problems
Most modern garage door openers have panels on a wall that will indicate the problem. They’re a great place to start when troubleshooting your door.
Then, you should look at your Chamberlain garage door opener, Craftsman garage opener, or Liftmaster garage door opener. On the back of the motor, there should be indicator arrows, one pointing up and the other down.
The motor will tell you what’s wrong based on how many times each light blinks.
- Garage Door Movement Reversing – 5 blinks down and 1 up – You should open the door manually before closing it again.
- Problems with Your Door Control – 3 blinks down and 1 up – Check the control wires. Also, look at the photocell to see whether it needs realigning.
- Reversed Wires – 1 blink up and 2 down – This means your door won’t close. The LED light will flash consistently. You likely have a wiring issue.
- Sensor Issues – 1 blink up and 4 down – The photocells are out of alignment or obstructed. Check to see if they are in the right position. Once rearranged properly, the LED should stop blinking.
- Nothing Moves – 5 down blinks – Check for obstructions. In addition, you may need a new control board.
Here are some of the other main reasons why your garage door won’t open:
- Dead Batteries – Your troubles could be as simple as a dead battery. If your transmitter has no juice, nothing will happen when you click the button. We’ve been on several calls for repairs, only to discover the batteries inside the remote were dead. Check your batteries first.
- Roller Track Misalignments – If your tracks fall out of alignment, your door won’t open. Basically, when your door starts to move, it will jam against the wall of your tracks, making it impossible to go up further.
- The Door Is Locked – Most garages come with manual locks. They can be inside the garage or at the base of the exterior. If the lock is engaged, the motor won’t open the door, no matter how long it runs.
- Something’s in the Way – Modern garage doors are designed to be ultra-safe. That means anytime there’s something in the vicinity of the door, it might not open or close. Typically, garage doors use sensors to gauge whether something’s near the door. Check that your sensors aren’t blocked by a bike or garbage can in your garage.
- Broken Springs – Broken garage door springs will make it impossible to open your garage door. These springs are incredibly strong and last for several years, but they eventually break. Replacing broken garage door springs is relatively common, but it usually requires professional assistance because each garage needs specific springs.
- Opener Malfunctioning – Another culprit could be your opener. These days, openers are more complex than older models. They come with integrated technology that offers more features but makes them harder to repair. If your garage door opener isn’t getting the right signals, your door won’t open.
Why Isn’t My Garage Door Closing?
On the other hand, some specific issues only relate to your garage door staying open. Just as a door that won’t open can be stressful, having a door that won’t close is a problem.
No one wants to leave for the day with their garage door open for all to see. It’s a safety risk for your home and leaves whatever is in your garage exposed to the elements.
Here are some possible reasons why your garage door won’t close.
- Photo Eye Alignment – Your garage door likely has a photo eye that transmits signals across sensors to detect whether it’s safe to close.
- The sensors must be in alignment for the photo eye to work properly. If it’s not getting a solid signal that it’s ok to close, it will stay open until it does.
- The Disconnect Switch – Every garage door has a disconnect switch as a safety feature. It’s supposed to keep things safe if you lose power or want to disconnect the motor for some reason. Check to see if the disconnect switch is on or off. Even without the motor, however, you should be able to manually close the garage door if you have to get somewhere before a technician can arrive.
- Broken Cables – Similar to springs, garage door cables make it safe for the garage door to close slowly without hurting anyone. These cables work with extension and torsion springs to manage the door’s weight. If a cable breaks, your garage door may not close. In addition, operating a door with broken cables can be dangerous.
Other Possible Issues
In addition to the above problems, there are other reasons why your garage door may not work correctly.
Again, the indicator arrows offer clues as to what the problem is. Here are some possibilities:
- 4 arrow blinks up and 5 down – you may need a new travel module.
- 3 arrow blinks up and 2 down – settings aren’t saved and you likely need a new logic board.
- 1 arrow blinks up and 6 down – reprogram the travel module.
- 4 arrow blinks up and 6 down – check your sensor boxes to ensure they’re clear and aligned properly.
- 2 arrow blinks up and multiple blinks down – you need a new logic board.
- 4 arrow blinks up and multiple blinks down – your door reverses movement because there are obstructions.
- 3 arrow blinks up, and the power light flashes – you likely have a circuit problem or your battery is having issues.
Garage Door Limit Settings
Many homeowners assume garage doors automatically know when to stop moving as they open or close. This is true to a certain degree, but it requires a good amount of setup by the installer or repair technician.
If you’re having problems like your garage door slamming into the ground or moving up and down several times before it finally closes, then your limit settings could be off.
Essentially, your motor isn’t communicating with the mechanism, so it’s not stopping when it should.
Adjusting the limits on your garage door isn’t complex. Motors change limits by adjusting a screw on the device that lifts or lowers the limits.
These are just some of the reasons why your garage may malfunction. In addition to this garage door troubleshooting guide, a reliable repair company will help you keep your garage door in great shape and avoid emergencies.