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The Most Common Garage Door Opener Problems And How To Fix Them

January 9th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Chris Henningsen

Common garage door issues and how to fix them

Any garage system would be complete with door openers, making opening and closing the door simple and convenient. Garage door openers, however, are mechanical devices, and they all have the potential to malfunction over time.

Depending on the quality or upkeep of the opener as well as the garage door, garage door openers are prone to various problems. Those problems may start interfering with your regular activities since it takes a lot of time to open or close a door.

Here are five of the most common garage door opener problems and how to fix them:

Problem #1: The wall switch works, but the remote does not.

Solution: Purchase a new remote or receiver or swap out the batteries.

Check the batteries first if the remote does not work but the wall switch does. If nothing happens, a new remote is recommended. A few models are sold at home malls, while internet shopping offers a huge variety.

The customer can call Gator Garage Door Repair as well.  Also, if they have a second remote, which many customers do, we’d recommend they try their second remote because it’s rare to have dead batteries in multiple remotes.  Then if neither remote works they can try purchasing a new remote and if that still doesn’t work then the root cause is more than likely the internal logic board.

The receiver swaps off the radio frequency that the opener uses with one of its own. New receivers will seamlessly update outdated openers to prevent bad people from obtaining your code to use the most updated rolling code system.  We might mention that the opener does have to have rolling code technology and can’t be an older dip-switch style opener.

Install the new receiver in a nearby outlet, then connect the two accompanying wires to the same ports as the wall switch.

Problem #2: The wall switch does not work, but the remote does.

Solution: Try replacing the wall switch and wiring.

You might need to replace the wall switch or the wiring if the remote operates, but the wall switch does not. First, unscrew the switch from the wall, then connect the wires (the wires are low voltage and will not shock you) to see if the switch or the wires are damaged.

If the opener starts up, your switch is faulty. An inexpensive doorbell button could work with an older model opener. Purchase the one made for your model if you have a newer opener with a light and a locking option on the switch.

Use a thin wire to jump those identical wires at the opener terminal if the opener does not operate when you touch the wires. If the opener works, the wire connecting it to the switch is faulty. A short circuit can occasionally be caused by the staples that secure the wire to the wall squeezing it. To fix the garage door, install 18 to 22-gauge wire.

On older openers, it’s common for the portion of the logic board responsible for wireless functionality to go bad so the hardwired wall control will still function but the customers keypad, car system, and remotes will not.

Problem #3: The door opens but only closes when you hold down the wall switch.

Solution: Adjust the safety sensor or change it.

Check the safety sensors for alignment if the door opens properly but only closes when you hold down the wall switch. Without any barrier, the little light on each sensor should be on. If there is no light, you may need to change the door sensors since they wear out over time. Utilizing the already-installed wiring will save you some time. Furthermore, sensor eyes may function poorly when regularly exposed to direct sunlight.

Problem #4: Everything is functioning but the lights.

Solution: Change the light socket.

You most likely have a broken light socket if the bulbs are fine, but the lights do not work. To access the socket, you’ll need to remove the circuit board.

Push the clip holding the old socket out of the way once the circuit board has been removed. After that, unplug the two wire connections, then put in the new socket.

Make sure you use a bulb with the appropriate wattage. A socket will break if you use light bulbs with a higher wattage than the socket is designed to handle. This mistake poses a fire risk other than being harmful to the socket. Additionally, if the yellowing of the light cover is a result of heat, your bulb is too strong.

Problem #5: The garage door does not open even if the trolley carriage is moving.

Solution: Change the trolley carriage.

If the trolley carriage rolls but the door will not open, the trolley carriage is likely to blame. Clamp the chain to the rail before removing the old one to start the garage door repair. The chain’s position on the sprocket will be kept consistent, and the reassembly process will go faster. Once the chain is fastened, take it off of the trolley’s sides.

The rail should then be separated from the header bracket and moved to one side. Put the new trolley in place after sliding off the old one. The chain should then be reattached, and the tension should be adjusted. The replacement processes for the trolley on a screw drive and a belt drive are relatively similar.

We get many calls, especially with the recent storm that we had where customers will pull the emergency release which disengages the trolley from the carriage.  Most of the time the customer should just have to depress the wall control a few times to allow the trolley to completely cycle thus allowing the carriage and trolley to engage but this doesn’t always happen because a small spring can become stuck open.  If this happens the customer needs to lightly pull on the emergency release cord to allow that spring to close thus allowing the carriage and trolley to engage.

Final Tip

Garages shelter vehicles and outdoor items from inclement weather. When all of your systems are working properly, they also act as a safe entrance and exit point for your house.

The garage door gets used more frequently than many other home devices. And if this situation persists, the garage door’s mechanical system will eventually need repairs and proactive maintenance.

Simple troubleshooting techniques will often address common garage door opener problems. However, a professional technician may be needed to identify and fix the problem in more difficult situations.