Simple Garage Door Troubleshooting Tips

How often do you use your garage door? Once a day? A couple of times a week? You might not think about it much, but when it stops working, it can be a major inconvenience.

Irrespective of their size and material, garage doors are complex pieces of machinery with lots of moving parts. This makes garage doors susceptible to malfunctions and breakdowns, which can be dangerous and costly.

Fortunately, homeowners can easily fix many common garage door problems with some basic knowledge and tools. But for issues that persist, it is always suggested to call a reliable professional for help.
Before you attempt any repairs, it’s vital to know some common problems you can face with a garage door.

Common Garage Door Problems & Solutions

Is your garage door giving you trouble? Here are some of the common problems and ways to fix them on your own:

  • Garage door Won’t open or close

If your garage door opener is working, but your door won’t move, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem yourself.

  • The Outlet Might Not Be Plugged In

Since the garage door opener is powered by electricity, first check to make sure that the outlet it’s plugged into is working. If the outlet is working, the next check is the opener’s sensors.

  • Faulty Photo Eye Sensors

The sensors tell the opener when to stop and start, so if they’re not working properly, the door won’t move. To test the sensors, place your hand on the door’s path.

If the door doesn’t stop or reverses when it comes in contact with your hand, then the sensors are probably not working. 

Once you’ve determined that the sensors are the problem, there are a few things you can do to try to fix them. 

First, check to see if the sensors are just dirty and need to be cleaned. If they’re not dirty, you may need to adjust the sensors to point in the right direction. 

Moreover, if adjusting the sensors doesn’t work, you may need to replace them, which can be done by unscrewing the old sensors and screwing in new ones.

Elite Garage door technician standing on a ladder tuning up a garage door.
  • Broken Torsion Spring

If you have a broken torsion spring your door will not open. This will cause the door to be very heavy and also dangerous. Be careful. If you have a broken torsion spring you’ll need to call in an expert.


This is one of the most common garage door problems, and the following can be a few potential causes:

  • A Dead Battery in the Remote Control

If you have doubts about whether the batteries in your remote are dead, try pressing the button on the wall switch. If the garage door opener works with that, then you know it’s time to change the batteries in your remote.

  • The Antenna on the Garage Door Opener is Blocked

If your remote control has an antenna, ensure nothing is blocking it. Sometimes, even a little bit of dust can interfere with the signal.

  • The Garage Door Opener’s Limit Switch Needs to be Adjusted

Each garage door opener has a built-in limit switch that tells it how far to open or close the door. If this switch is out of adjustment, it can cause the door to stop working.

To adjust it, simply turn the knob or screw on the limit switch until the door opens and closes properly.


When a garage door gets stuck, it is usually because the sensors are dirty or something obstructs them. But it is just one of the common problems that you might come across.

If your garage door doesn’t open fully or vice versa, it can be because of:

  • The Photo Eye Sensors are Misaligned

If your garage door is stuck and won’t close or open fully, the problem could be with the photo eye sensors. These sensors send an invisible beam that helps to keep the door from closing if there’s something in the way.

To fix this problem, you first need to see if the sensors are dirty or dusty. If they are, clean them with a cloth.

If the problem persists, try realigning the sensors. To do this, check that they’re both at the same level. Then, adjust them until the beam between them is interrupted.

  • The Garage Door Track is Obstructed

Obstructed tracks can cause your door to get stuck midway. This track helps to guide the door as it opens and closes, so if something is blocking it, the door won’t be able to move properly.

Look whether any debris or dirt might be blocking the tracks. If you find any, use a vacuum to clean it out.

And if not, try lubricating the track with WD-40 or a similar product.

  • The Garage Door Opener is Faulty

The opener is the motor that opens and closes the door, so if it’s not working properly, the door won’t be able to move.

First, check to see if the door opener is plugged in. If it’s not, plug it in and see if that solves the problem.

Next, try resetting the door opener. To do this, find the red button on the opener and press it to see if the door works fine now.

  • The Springs are Broken

Springs help to counterbalance the door’s weight, and broken or faulty ones can interrupt the smooth functioning of the door.

If you have torsion springs, you’ll need to call a professional to replace them. It is because they’re under a lot of tension and can be dangerous to replace on your own.

If you have extension springs, you can try replacing them yourself. First, disconnect the springs from the opener. Then, remove the springs and replace them with new ones.

  • The Cables are Damaged

If all seems okay, it is time you check the cables for a problem. 

If you see that the cables are frayed or broken, you’ll need to replace them. To do this, first, disconnect the springs from the opener. Then, remove the old cables and replace them with new ones.

  • The Limit Switch is Faulty

The limit switch tells the opener when to stop moving the door, and a problem with it can give you a lot of trouble.

So, first, try resetting the limit switch. To do this, find the red button on the opener and press it.

If the problem persists, try replacing the limit switch. Then, remove the old switch and replace it with a new one. You’ll need to disconnect the opener from the power source to do this.

  • Garage Door Opens/Closes But Reverses Quickly

A garage door that starts to open/ close and then quickly reverses is usually due to an obstruction in the sensors’ path. 

You should first check for any objects that may be blocking the sensors, such as a broom or dustpan. 

If nothing is blocking the sensors, then the problem may be with the sensors themselves. Try cleaning the sensors with a cloth or compressed air.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to replace the sensors.


While some troubleshooting is indeed straightforward, others can be slightly tricky! Thus, hiring professionals who know exactly what to do to get your garage door back in working order is the way to go when in doubt!