Troubleshooting Your Garage Door

Diagnosing Problems and How to Fix Them

Diagram Showing Garage Door Components

Garage door problems come in all shapes and sizes. While many issues require professional assistance, you can fix a variety of these problems on your own. Diagnosing faulty garage doors is even easier when you know what to look for. This guide is designed to help you navigate through the complex world of garage maintenance.

NOTE: if you notice any serious problems (especially concerning large torsion springs or heavy moving parts), do not attempt to resolve this issue on your own. An unskilled DIY job could further damage your garage door or result in serious injury. If you are unsure, always contact a professional garage door repair service.

check Springs – The springs on your garage door are located directly above the opening (called torsion springs) and/or above the track system (extension springs). These coils are responsible for a lot of the heavy lifting and will typically last about 10 years before they break. Check to see if these springs are unattached, broken, or rusted. If they are, do not attempt to remove them yourself, contact a professional immediately. NOTE: if you own a Wayne Dalton garage door, the torque master springs are not visible, so you will need a certified service team to help you out.

check Lock out – Check the owner’s manual of your garage door to see how the security lock out function works. If you have a wall-mounted garage door button, toggle the security switch to ensure that your garage has a dedicated lock out function.

check Off Track Garage Door  – Open and close your garage door and carefully watch to see any signs of misalignment. If the garage door is uneven or crooked when raising/lowering or you notice that the rollers become unattached from the track, then there is probably an issue with the springs or cables in your garage. After diagnosing this problem, call CSS Garage Doors to fix it, as it requires specialized tools and expertise.

check Broken Garage Door Opener – The garage door opener is the central device that is responsible for opening and closing your garage door. You might notice that the motor is running, but the actual door doesn’t work. This could mean that the trolley was disengaged by the emergency release or pull cord mechanism (the red rope that hangs from the operator). Consult the owner’s manual for how to reattach it. In some cases, there may be a more serious problem, in which technical knowledge of the operating system is necessary.

check Safety Sensors – Safety sensors are located on the bottom of your garage door and use simple infrared rays to determine if there are any obstructions in the way. These devices are often bumped into or stepped on, requiring simple realignment. If this doesn’t work, then there could be a wiring issue and new sensors may have to be ordered. In the meantime, override the safety sensors by holding the garage door button until it lowers properly.

check Garage Door Opener Limits – The opener limits on your garage determine how far the belt or chain needs to extend when lowering/raising your garage door. This setting is usually located on the inside of the opener’s motor casing and can be easily adjusted if your garage door doesn’t open high enough or close all the way. Be careful not to over adjust because this can cause more serious damage to the garage door. If you can’t easily adjust the opener limit or need to increase its range by more than 50%, call CSS Garage Doors for a professional repair.

check Slow or Screeching Garage Door – When your garage door just isn’t functioning like it used to, it probably means that small parts are wearing out. Try lubricating the track, springs, and cables with a Teflon or graphite based penetrating spray. Do not use WD-40 as a garage door lubricant.

check Broken Remote – This most common garage door problem involves the remote controls. A solution might be as easy as replacing the batteries and checking the terminals, but you may have to go as far as reprogramming the remote. Check the owner’s manual for a detailed explanation on how to do this.

check Opener Electronics – Is the light on your garage door opener flashing? This is a common indicator there is an electronic problem. Our easiest solution is to unplug the system for 30 seconds, and then try again. If the problem persists, then there is a mechanical problem within the operator.

This page is meant to offer helpful troubleshooting advice. The creators of this page are not responsible for any injuries or damages that result from improper operation of the garage door or attempting to repair any part of a garage door system.