Garage Door Troubleshooting 101

What’s wrong with your garage door?  You’re far from being the only homeowner to ask the question.  Here, we’ve collected a comprehensive guide to the most common garage door troubleshooting problems—from a stubborn, motionless door, to an unsettlingly loud bang.

garage door troubleshooting door springs

The Garage Door Doesn’t Open

It doesn’t matter what type of garage door opener you’ve got, they all require one thing: lubrication.  If your garage door is refusing to open, it’s probably because the rail is dry as a bone.  Silicon spray will do the trick, which you’ll need to do at least twice a year (for colder climates, use lithium grease to withstand temperature drops).

The Garage Door Stops Halfway Up

This problem will have you check the chain tension as your first solution.  Chain-driven opener manufacturers suggest that you tighten the chain so there’s ¼”-½” of slack going from the rail to the chain. Nonetheless, you’ll need to confirm this with your opener’s manual.

Tighten the chain too much and you’ll get too much wear on the shaft and its gears. If you tighten the chain too little then the chain could miss the sprocket (and smash onto your car, which is definitely not good).  So, it’s essential to maintain the optimal amount of slack for your door to open fully.

The Door Slows, Rubs, & Struggles to Move

You can blame this one on the door track being out of alignment, and it’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed right away.  If you spot gaps between the rollers and rails or bends in the rails, there’s a problem, and the weight of the door alone will only intensify it.

You can tell the track is misaligned too if your door is moving but making rubbing noises, or struggling at certain points along the track.  To troubleshoot, you can realign the track yourself by loosening the screws that hold the track to the frame.

man fixing a garage door with tools

Then, use a rubber mallet to hammer it back into position.  Tighten the screws to secure the track back into position.  If the problem is that the door isn’t moving at all because of its alignment, then call a professional because they’ll have the equipment and skills needed to tackle the problem for you.

The Garage Door Remote Doesn’t Work

Your garage door isn’t responding when you hit the buttons on your remote control. Then again, the wall switch seems to open and close the door just fine, what gives?  Don’t feel silly when the problem is just simply that the batteries in the remote are dead and need changing because it happens a lot.

The Garage Door Opens But Doesn’t Close

Thanks to much-needed safety features that are now an industry standard, your garage door won’t close if its precautionary transmitters are out of alignment (also known as photo eyes). This protects the door from slamming into anything that it believes is in its path.

While this has saved many mischievous kids from getting injured from playing beneath a garage door, the photo eyes can get out of alignment from just being knocked askew. So if the door isn’t closing, it could be because of this.  All it takes is a little adjusting, to ensure the beams are lining up and the door should be on track for full operation.

The Garage Door Refuses to Close

The solution here starts with the two knobs that are responsible for controlling the travel of your garage door.  The door should be pressed against the garage’s floor when it’s closed, making a tight seal with its weatherstrip. However, if it travels too far down, the rail can bow upward, tearing up the shaft and gears.

And the door should be traveling up so that it’s consistent with the height of the doorjamb.  There’s a doorstop that prevents the carriage trolley from opening and slamming into the opener, and you’ll want to make sure the trolley is stopping before it makes contact with the stopper.

An Ominous Grinding Sound and Immobile Door

Your garage door is making a gut-wrenching grinding noise and the door is not moving.  The bad news is the problem can probably be blamed on a fired main drive gear, a plastic gear that is known to be a common failure in openers of all makes and models.

You’ll have to replace it and if you’re an average DIYer, then you can do the job. It does take some tools and equipment, a new gear and shaft kit, and a little patience to get yourself through the walkthrough.

There Was a Loud Bang…Now the Door Won’t Budge

If your garage door suddenly won’t go up at all and you’re certain the problem can’t be blamed on the transmitters, the torsion springs could be broken.  If you heard a bang so loud you thought firecrackers were set off inside your garage, it’s the torsion springs snapping.

These heavy-duty springs are responsible for lifting the weight of the door.  This is a problem that requires a professional, as the springs can be extremely dangerous to work with.

Garage Door Troubleshooting Problems Solved

One quick way to fix all your garage door problems is by replacing your garage door with Feldco. Let’s face it, you can troubleshoot your garage door but the problem won’t go away. Your garage door is possibly old and it’s deteriorating from years of weather punishments to kids hitting your garage door.

At Feldco, we have steel garage doors and carriage style garage doors that will greatly improve the curb appeal and insulation of your garage. We have installed over 100,000 doors thanks to great products, services, and installation. Since 1976, we have helped over 400,000 happy homeowners in the Midwest. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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