Troubleshooting your garage door: 5 common problems

By Steven Penn

It seems the natural law of things that your garage door will fail on your busiest morning as you’re headed to an early appointment. Avoid emergencies with routine inspection and maintenance. Troubleshooting your garage door begins with checking for these 5 common problems. [Image credit: iStock.com/BanksPhotos]

Troubleshooting your garage door: 5 common problems

Before your garage door opener actually stops working, you may notice:

  1. The garage door opens and closes by itself. While this is unusual, it’s usually a sign that there is a short circuit somewhere in the system, either in the circuit board itself or in the wall button, the remote or keypad. It is also possible that the remote has a defect that causes it to transmit random signals. For your safety, it is highly recommended that you call a professional to deal with electrical issues.
  2. The garage door doesn’t open or close all the way. This is usually an indication that the close limit switch needs adjusting. You can find the close limit switch either on the tracks or in the opener itself (check your user manual). The switches are actually knobs that can be turned clockwise with a flat-head screwdriver to increase the travel distance; turn the knobs counter clockwise to reduce the travel distance. Your user manual will give you detailed instructions on fine-tuning this adjustment and on testing the safety reversal system when you’re done.
  3. The garage door is stuck in one position. If you have a remote garage door opener, the first thing you want to do is check the batteries, sensors and switches. For manual garage doors, make sure the wheel track is clear of any obstructions. If it’s still stuck, it could mean your track is bent or you have a broken cable or pulley. In that case, a replacement track or cable may be necessary.
  4. The garage door opener is beeping. Many garage door openers have a backup internal battery so they can be operated during a power outage. If the garage door opener is beeping, it means that the opener is working on battery power and that external power has failed or that the internal battery is not recharging.
  5. The garage door makes loud noises. If you begin hearing loud screeching or grinding noises when using your garage door, that usually means there is dirt or debris in the track or it’s low on lubrication. If it’s the latter, use lubricant that is designed specifically for garage doors or a hardware lubricant like WD-40. Apply the lubricant on all the door tracks and hardware and then run the door a few times to see if the problem is solved.

Contact a repair company

If you’re still having issues with your garage door, it’s probably best to call the professionals. To find garage door repair companies in your area as well as reviews and tips, we recommend visiting YP.ca.

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