9 Common Reasons Why Your Garage Door Is Not Opening/Closing

Fatima Buzdar

September 4, 2022

A hand holding a blue remote control is seen in the foreground with a garage door in the background. The garage door is partially open, revealing glimpses of the house exterior, including a window and some plants. Nearby, a locksmith van is subtly parked, suggesting ongoing security services.

Garage doors are an essential part of home security for your vehicle and other valuables. A garage door refusing to open or close properly can be frustrating, as well as disruptive to the security and assessability of your valuables. On top of it, the cause behind the problem may also potentially pose a safety hazard.

If you notice that your garage door is not opening or your garage door is not closing properly, then it is important to promptly figure out the root of the issue. Negligence or taking it on your own can be dangerous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are over 12,000 ER visits due to garage door accidents just in the U.S. annually, which includes garage doors falling down or people trying to implement DIY fixes for the issues. 

Read more to learn how you can recognize some common issues with garage door components. This will help give you a basic idea of how the issues work and which ones indicate the need for prompt professional services. You can also understand how an expert can help resolve them.

Common Reasons Your Garage Door Is Not Opening or Closing and How They Can Be Fixed

There is a multitude of reasons why your garage door won’t open or close. A garage door is an intricate machinery supported by many parts. It requires expertise and knowledge to go through these parts, locate the root of the issue and deduce an appropriate solution.

It can be a headache or even dangerous in some cases to try to troubleshoot the issues on your own for such complex machinery. While you may be able to solve some issues with simple methods like lubricating and cleaning the parts, many solutions may be beyond your capability and best left to experts.

A garage door expert can promptly diagnose the issue and resolve it in a timely and safe manner. Here are 9 of the common causes and ways how the expert might fix them.

1. Damaged Track

The track is a metallic piece attached to the sides of the garage door. It heavily supports the mechanisms for opening or closing the door and ensures both actions can be done seamlessly.

When the track on a garage door has gone out of proper alignment, gotten bent, worn out, or rusted, etc., it can cause the door to not open or close. As a result, this would cause resistance when trying to open or close the door. A garage door expert can adjust or replace the track as appropriate and in some cases, it may be as simple as lubricating the track. 

2. Broken Springs

Springs are a pair of metal coils horizontally located above the garage door. They play a part in raising and lowering garage doors by managing the tension. Known for breaking with an explosive sound, broken springs can cause the garage door to not open as it becomes too heavy to lift. This issue also can pose a serious safety hazard.

In this case, you should not attempt to open the garage door as it can potentially fall and injure someone or harm any valuables. As it can be a dangerous case, you should promptly seek professional garage door repair services. The expert would likely replace the springs or tighten them if that can solve their issue.

3. Loose or Worn Tension Cables

The garage doors also rely on cables to lift or lower, which are attached to springs. Without properly working cables, the garage door lacks fundamental support, and it gets hard for it to lift its heavy weight. Hence, the garage door would have difficulties in opening and even potentially slam to the ground which poses a serious danger. This should also have immediate professional attention, as well as your caution.

4. Capacitor Not Functioning

A capacitor gains a signal from the logic board to kick—start the motor to open or close the garage door. It is a cylinder in the back of the garage door motor unit. If the capacitor gives out on functioning, then the motor lacks the power to run. As a result, the motor would just hum or buzz, and it may also result in some smoke or a bad smell. This may be a reason why your garage door is not closing or opening.

A capacitor showing signs of leakage, bulging, etc., would likely need to be replaced. In that case, the capacitor has to be exactly the right type for your garage door unit. A garage door expert would be able to determine the right component easily and implement it for you.

5. Safety Sensors Not Working Properly

Also known as photo—eyes, safety sensors are vital safety measures because they signal the door to not close if they detect any obstruction in the way of LED beams that they shoot towards each other. They are a pair, each located near the bottom of opposite sides of a garage door on the inside. As the sensors are sensitive to the obstructions they catch, debris may set off a false alarm for them. This may result in the garage door stopping while closing and then reversing back up. In that case, the safety sensors need to be wiped clean.

Alternatively, the safety sensors may be misaligned in height and hence their beams would miss each other. This will obstruct the sensors from allowing the door to close, so their alignment would need to be fixed. There may be various other issues with safety sensors that would get in the way of the garage door opening or closing, like wiring or damaged LEDs. These cases may require sensor replacement by a garage door repair expert.

6. Incorrect Limit Switch

A limit switch is a mechanism found in a garage door opener. It is programmed to signal how much distance is required for the garage door to travel up to open or down to close. If this garage switch is not working properly due to being maladjusted, then it may mistake that it has traveled the required distance even though it is prematurely opened or closed, or even not opened or closed at all. A garage door professional will inspect the limit range and readjust it to the appropriate limit.

7. Malfunctioning Logic Board

You may also know it as a circuit board. This is what relays the signal of your remote to your garage door opener. As such, it is an extremely vital part of the garage door mechanism. Any problems with it can prevent different parts of the garage door from working as needed.

This may cause the garage door behavior to be erratic. For example, it may open on its own, not close or open fully, not close or open at all, etc. It may also extend to components like safety sensors not getting power despite being plugged in and having no issues, remote or keypad not working despite functioning batteries, etc. Its warning light may also blink.

As a logic board is an intricate electric mechanism, it would be dangerous to tamper with it on your own. A garage door professional would disconnect it to work safely, and then inspect it closely and determine whether it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.

8. Worn Out Opener Gears

A garage door makes use of opener gears to rise. If your garage door is not opening, then it may be that the gears have worn out from constant use. This issue may be indicated by the opener merely humming when the garage door is prompted to open. Many such cases would require the opener to be replaced by an expert.

9. Too Low Sensitivity Limit

A sensitivity limit is a force range that can be adjusted from the garage door opener. It guides how much strength should be put into moving the garage door up or down. It comprises a pair of screws located at the back of the garage door opener, one of them being open force and the other one being close force.

Due to the wear down of door tracks and rollers, the sensitivity limits may require adjustments. If either force screw is set to too low for the current state of garage door components, then it would disrupt the garage door from opening or closing properly. It needs to be adjusted back to an optimal limit in that case.

However, this adjustment must be done with care. If you set the force too high, then you can risk damaging your garage door or even a serious safety hazard that would prevent the garage door from reversing upon hitting an obstacle. An expert would have a better idea of an optimal limit and how to safely get it to that limit.

How to Avoid Issues That Cause Your Garage Door to Not Open or Close

Your garage door opens and closes thousands of times throughout its lifespan. As such, it naturally requires regular maintenance, which includes lubricating, cleaning, and adjusting the components. While it is recommended to do your part in taking care of your garage door, it is not a substitute for professional services.

You should get your garage door inspected on a regular basis because a layman can not detect all the possible issues. Additionally, as mentioned before, there are some solutions that are unsafe for you to undertake. Taking both measures can help you avoid facing any safety hazards and save up heftier costs on issues that exacerbate due to delay.

Can a Regular Person Work on Garage Door Repairs?

Dealing with your garage door is a job that requires specialized skills and knowledge. It would be unwise to try to repair your garage door by yourself because you are not trained for it and many of the pieces rely on a certain degree of precision. A garage door is a heavy piece of equipment that requires powerful motors to open and close, not to mention it features springs and pulleys that can be very dangerous due to the fact that they are under tension.

We advise you not to try DIY repairs: You may end up causing more damage to your garage door, and you may even injure yourself. The best thing that you can do is to call a professional for the repairs.

How Can You Avoid a Garage Door Catastrophe?

If your garage door is not closing or opening, then Faster Locksmith experts are ready to troubleshoot any of your garage door issues and ensure that your garage door provides you optimal security and safety. With our 5 years of serving Toronto with top—rated services, we can promptly troubleshoot any issues at all, as well as inspect and maintain your garage door and ensure that your garage door keeps working smoothly and safely. 

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.