Troubleshooting Garage Door Issues

Anyone with a garage has experienced garage door issues. Whether your door is moving too fast or too slow, making unusual noises or just not doing what you want, garage door problems can quickly turn a productive day into a frustrating one.

Most people want quick fixes that show effective results. We’ll take you through how you can handle some common garage door problems at home as well as how to know when you should call for professional assistance.

Alignment Issues

Most common garage door problems tend to come down to alignment, which plays a crucial role in keeping your system running smoothly.

Sometimes you’ll be able to see or hear that something is wrong. If it looks like one side of the door is moving at a different pace than another, or you hear clanging and screeching, you might have an alignment issue.

There are several reasons your door could be out of alignment, including:

  • Broken cables
  • Faulty springs
  • Dusty or bent tracks
  • Harsh weather

While broken garage door cables and faulty springs signify a more significant problem, there are measures you can take to check your tracks and inspect for weather damage.

Harsh winter conditions like wind and snow can forcefully move your door out of alignment. Rain can cause rust build-up on hinges or springs. Be sure to check for weather damage after severe weather and request panel repairs if you notice any.

If your garage door tracks are out of alignment, you can realign them by loosening the screws to unlock them and gently tapping them with a mallet or similar tool. If you need to adjust the lower tracks, you’ll need to remove the brackets. Always ensure the tracks are completely level to allow smooth operation.

After realigning your tracks, retighten all nuts, bolts and brackets to secure them in place.

Pace Issues

A garage door that opens too slowly or shuts too quickly is usually a sign of issues with your tracks, springs or cables. While you can handle some of these issues yourself, some will require professional repairs.

Too Slow

If your slow-moving garage door is a cause for frustration, try these quick tips for garage door issues to improve its speed.

Start with wiping everything down. Dirt, leaves, debris and other natural elements can quickly pile up on your tracks and other moving parts. Take a rag and wipe everything off to help clear the way for a faster-running door.

Next, you’ll want to lubricate everything properly. Your door has lots of moving parts and pieces and keeping them free of rust and build-up helps them keep working smoothly and efficiently. Adequately lubricating your components will also help save wear and tear, increasing the life of each part.

If your door is still moving slowly after you’ve cleaned and lubricated your system, you should call a professional to take a look. A technician will evaluate the condition of the springs and pulleys to ensure there isn’t a more significant issue.

Too Fast

Quick-moving doors typically indicate a problem with your springs or cables. These issues can present a severe danger, as the door may not stop when a person, pet, vehicle or other object is in its path.

Keeping these parts well-lubricated can help prolong their life. When you notice your garage door closing too quickly, call a professional to check and replace your springs and cables before they break. You should avoid using your door and leave your car parked outside the garage until you replace them.

It’s critical to leave these repairs to a professional rather than attempting them yourself. Loose springs (especially older style extension springs) can fly out and pierce people or objects, and snapped cables can lash out at anything in proximity.

You should contact a professional about door cable repairs immediately if you hear loud banging and aren’t sure of the cause. If you notice screeching or creaking sounds, it’s likely time to call for spring repair.


Drive Gear Issues

You can expect most openers to last around 10-15 years. Opener issues can cause loud, unnecessary noises in your garage and a door that doesn’t move.

The main drive gear is the cause of most opener issues. While removing and replacing this part by yourself can be challenging, it is possible. You’ll need to access and remove the shaft and use a punch to remove the gear to replace it with a new one. If you opt to insert a new shaft as well, you can find kits that have all you need. Once you’ve replaced all the parts, you’ll want to lubricate everything thoroughly to ensure seamless operation.

However, if your opener motor has reached the end of its usable lifespan, you’ll need to replace it entirely. Contact professionals to repair or install your door opener rather than trying to do so yourself.

Sensor Issues

Many issues with garage door openers stem from parts not receiving the signals they need. To ensure the door opens and closes properly, you’ll want to check the connection and status of the:

  • Photo-eye sensor
  • Remote
  • Antenna

Ensure that your antenna is free of any plant life or debris, and check your remote batteries. To help determine if your remote is causing the issue, try using it inside your garage. If your remote doesn’t work when the wall button does, the remote likely needs fresh batteries.

Photo-Eye Sensor

You can find the photo-eye sensors on either side of the garage door opening. The two sensors have an invisible connection that alerts them if something is in the door’s path. This connection prevents the door from closing on vehicles, toys, pets or people. If the sensors lose their connection, the door will not close.

The first thing you’ll want to do is clear the path. Branches, twigs and shrubbery can cause a broken connection between your door sensors. Also check for any tools, toys or other household items.

Lights and Wires

If you clear the path and the door still won’t close, wipe the sensors with a soft cloth to ensure dirt and dust aren’t blocking the signal. If you’re still experiencing issues, look closely at each sensor. You should notice two lights:

  • The green light sends signals and notifies you of problems.
  • The red light receives signals.

Either light blinking indicates a photo-eye issue.

A blinking red light paired with a solid green light likely means the sensors are out of alignment. You can carefully adjust the sensors to ensure they properly send and receive signals. It’s best to do this while blocking the sun to keep the rays from interfering with the light signals.

If both lights are off, there’s an issue with the power supply. You’ll want to check that the cable is still plugged in and that you didn’t blow a fuse.

In some cases, you may have tangled or broken wires. You can safely separate tangled wires. However, if you notice any damaged or punctured wires, you should call a technician to resolve the situation.


Maintenance With Quality Door Company

At Quality Door Company, we give what our name suggests, providing high-quality service to install and repair high-quality doors. We provide excellent service to anyone who needs garage repairs in the Western Michigan areas.

We know you want to rely on someone dependable. With over three decades of experience, we’re happy to take on that role. Request preventive maintenance with Quality Door Company to keep your garage up and running for years to come.


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