5 Common Garage Door Problems—and How to Fix Them

Leah Lopez Cardenas
Updated May 19, 2022
 Garage and workshop with a van parked inside
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Just because your garage door isn’t working, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s broken.

  • Make sure your automatic door has working batteries and nothing is blocking the sensors.

  • It’s best to call a professional garage door company instead of trying to fix the problem yourself.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

If your home has a garage, there’s a chance that sooner or later, your garage door will fail and you won’t be able to open or close it. While it’s a frustrating problem, there are things you can do if your garage door stops working. Here are five common garage door problems and what to do to get it working properly again.

1. Garage Door Starts and Suddenly Stops

If you’ve ruled out the possibility that you just pushed the button on the garage door opener twice (or someone else in your house is playing a trick on you), it might mean there’s a problem with your garage door’s logic board.

The logic board is a pretty sophisticated piece of the puzzle that makes a garage door function, so you’ll definitely want to contact a professional garage door repair person to take a look at it vs. tinkering with it yourself.

Also be sure to clean your garage often to ensure nothing is blocking the garage door’s sensors to cause it to stop moving.

2. Garage Door Is Opening By Itself

Suburban house with the garage door open
Photo: JodiJacobson / E+ / Getty Images

If your garage door is opening by itself, it can be a little unsettling. But don’t worry, your house isn’t haunted. Instead, it’s probably an indicator of one of these issues:

  • Overlapping signals

  • Blocked safety sensors

  • Stuck control buttons

  • Incorrect setting limits

  • Circuit board malfunction

Luckily, the fix for most of these problems involves either tweaking your garage door opener’s settings or buying a new garage opener to replace the one you have.

3. Garage Door Opener Won’t Work

If your garage door won’t open with the remote, it probably means the opener is broken and needs replacing. However, there are a few other causes:

  • Faulty keypad

  • Blocked or mis-aligned photo eye

  • Unaligned tracks

  • Broken springs

If your garage door opener uses batteries, be sure to double check the batteries aren’t dead or go ahead and replace them with new ones to see if that solves the problem.

4. Garage Door Is Partially Open and Crooked

If the door is partially open and crooked, don’t touch it. It’s a sign your door is off balance, and it’s usually caused by a problematic cable. It’s likely the door is still under tension from the spring, and one false move could send a 150-pound door crashing down, causing damage or injury. Because of required hurricane reinforcement, garage doors in coastal regions in particular are even heavier, with many weighing a whopping 350 pounds or more.

If this is the problem you’re facing, it may be a sign that your garage door is broken and you need to call in the professionals to fix or replace it.

5. Garage Door Is Closed and Won’t Open

Two car garage interior with garage door closed
Photo: BanksPhotos / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

If the garage door is closed and won’t open, it’s possible to still raise it. Look for the red emergency release rope hanging from the door's track. Pulling it enables you to manually release it from the opener and lift the door. However, you don’t want to keep pulling if it feels like you’re having to force it in either direction. Instead, wait until a pro can come to your aid.

You can also use the emergency release rope to free a door if it gets stuck in the open position, but be careful about pulling it shut as it could slam.

Another safe and convenient solution is to install a battery backup system, which allows you to open and close the door even if you lose power to your home.

When to Contact a Garage Door Company

Depending on the situation, there’s a chance you could temporarily fix your garage door problem until professional help arrives. However, it is safest to contact a professional garage door company if you’re not sure what to do, especially if fixing it involves heavy lifting or inspecting electrical components.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.