Complete Guide: How To Fix Garage Door Problems

Garage door functions are pretty simple: close, open, close, open. But behind this seemingly basic operation is a series of parts that experience wear and tear. In just a matter of time, you’ll face technical issues. Knowing how to fix garage door problems will save you from the hassle, especially on a busy day.

A broken garage door is not just frustrating; it can also lead to property damage and injuries. This is why you should have your door repaired the moment you notice problems.
Here at California Garage Door Repair, we have witnessed every possible garage door problem. Below, we listed some of them and the solutions we provide.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Take note that DIY garage door repair can be dangerous for untrained individuals. It’s best to call a professional repair technician if you’re not skilled with tools.

Garage door problems and how to fix them

1. The door is not opening or closing.

The most common issue we’re often called for is garage doors not opening or closing. This could be due to various reasons, which we discussed below.

Poorly aligned door track. If the tracks are not properly leveled, it will not allow the rollers to glide smoothly. The door will only jerk, but since the tracks are blocking the rollers, it will not fully open or close. Replacing or leveling the track is the best solution here.

Misaligned photo eye. The photo eye is the safety feature of your door. If it’s dirty, physically obstructed, or damaged, it will not let the door open. Try cleaning the lens and see if the problem will be fixed. If not, the photo eye might be busted and a replacement is required. In some cases, we only need to replace the wiring.

Damaged opener. You need a professional to repair your door opener. While waiting, you can use the emergency release, so you can lift the door manually.

2. The door is operating on its own.

Phantom operation is common in garage doors. It’s extremely dangerous, so you should have it repaired the first time it happens. Here are the common causes of this problem:

Electrical surges. Electrical surges are a common culprit here since they will damage the garage door opener. In this case, you should disconnect the opener and have it repaired or replaced.

Short circuit. The wiring, wall buttons, and openers can short-circuit, which will damage all the components. If the circuits are fried, a replacement is the only solution.

Someone else’s door. If you and your neighbor both have old garage doors, it’s possible that the doors are programmed with the same code. Re-programming with a new code will easily solve this issue without professional intervention.

3. The door’s operation is too slow.

If your garage door travels too slowly, you have to check for the following issues:

Dried-out rollers. Dry and dust-covered rollers will move slowly. Give it a quick brush and apply lubrication to make the rollers glide smoothly. Test the door several times to allow the lubricant to spread evenly throughout the tracks. Aside from that, you should also oil the hinges and brackets.

Insufficient spring tension. A torsion spring with insufficient tension will open the door slowly. You can call a professional to make the adjustments since each garage door kit needs a specific number of turns. Otherwise, you may over-tighten it, which will cause the door to open too fast.

4. The door has broken springs.

Most garage door springs can last for up to 10,000 cycles. As you use the door, the spring will sustain wear and tear. When the spring snaps, it will cause the door to drop out of control.

There’s no possible way to repair a broken torsion spring. Never attempt to intertwine the broken ends just to put them together. This isn’t strong enough to support the weight of your garage door and will likely snap again.

The best move is to call a professional to have the spring replaced. Trying to fix it yourself may end up as a side trip to the ER. 

5. The door opens/closes unevenly.

An uneven garage door when opened and closed can be due to various reasons. The following are the most common causes we encounter:

Jumped or frayed cable. Sometimes, the garage door cable may unwind, which will lead to uneven opening/closing. The same goes for frayed cables, which require immediate replacements.

Uneven tracks. It’s possible that your garage door tracks are uneven midway, which is why your door won’t operate fully. Call us anytime and we will fix the level of your tracks.

Misaligned panels. Door panels that are not stacked evenly will cause problems later on. You should call a professional to redo the panels to fix this problem 

6. The door creates loud noises during operation.

Unusual noises when the door is opened are a sign that there’s something wrong with the operation. Usually, the kind of sound will give you an idea about what part needs repairs. In our years of experience, here are the common sounds we encounter:

Grinding or squeaking: loose or dried rollers

Slapping: loose chains

Banging scraping: Alignment issues

Rattling or vibrating: loose fasteners (nuts and bolts)

Clinking: presence of rust

Rumbling or popping: broken springs

If you notice any of these, you should contact a garage door repair company immediately. A thorough inspection will confirm the problem with your door.

7. The wall switch is not working.

Do you have a dead wall switch? If your door isn’t opening no matter how many times you press, the following might be the issue:

No power. First, check whether the opener is connected to a power source. If not, hook it up and test if the door will work again.

Bad switch.
If the power source is fine, the switch might be the problem. Try removing the switch cover and detach both wires. After that, slowly touch the wires together to see if the door will open.

Busted wires. If nothing happened, the wiring must be replaced. Call us and we will handle the wiring job, so your door will be functional right away.

8. The door keypad is not working.

Malfunctioning garage door keypads are very common. In most cases, it’s due to these reasons:

Drained battery. Most garage door keypads have a battery compartment located at the bottom part. Open this and replace the battery with a new one. See if that solves the problem.

Damaged wires. If nothing happened, the wires might be frayed and due for replacement. Our technicians can easily fix this for you.

Stuck keys. Door keypads are exposed to outdoor elements, so they can get really dirty. In turn, the keys will get stuck, which will make it impossible to enter the pin code. For this part, you need to remove the keypad cover, brush off the dirt, and see if it works.

Pin code issues. In some cases, the keypad is fine; you just have issues with your pin. You can call us to reprogram your keypad if your code is not working.

9. The remote is not working.

A garage door remote makes opening and closing the door a total breeze. But just like any component, it will experience glitches.

If the remote isn’t working, here’s how to troubleshoot it:

Drained batteries. The most common cause here is empty batteries. Simply pop fresh ones in place and see if your door will open like usual.

Reprogram the remote. If that didn’t solve the problem, try reprogramming your remote using the manufacturer’s instructions.

Busted remote. If both the steps above didn’t help, you probably need a new remote. Call us and we will deliver and program it for you.

10. The motor runs, but the door doesn’t.

A motor that runs without opening the garage door might be due to broken parts, stripped gears, or jammed emergency release. Here’s what to do:

Broken parts. For this issue, we recommend calling a professional since garage door motors are complicated. Trying to repair it on your own may result in further damage.

Stripped gears. If the chain jumped out of the sprocket, you’ll lose the connection between the motor and the door. Also, stripped gears won’t be able to lift the door panels. In this case, a replacement is needed.

Jammed emergency release. This problem is best handled by a professional technician since it requires work on the belt or chain.

Locked garage door. If your door is locked, there would be no way for the motor to open it. Take note that some homeowners use locking pliers to lock their doors during a power outage. Someone in your family probably did it.

Trust professional garage door repair

Are you dealing with any of these problems with your garage door? Instead of stressing yourself, you should call a professional like California Garage Door Repair instead. We provide emergency garage door repairs even on weekends and holidays. Depending on your location, we can reach you in as fast as 1 hour.

Whatever garage door brand, make, or model you have, our technicians can provide the necessary repairs. Take note that professional repairs will protect your family and your door’s warranty!