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7 Common Garage Door Problems and How to Fix Them

Garage door problems are very common but well-built and properly installed garage doors will look great and function well for a long time. Yet, sometimes even well-built and properly installed garage doors will develop little problems. In many cases, these issues can be solved quickly without needing a full garage door replacement. Some fixes you can do yourself if you feel comfortable with home repair.

If you’re not the handy type or unsure what’s wrong with your garage door, contact our team at Precise Garage Door Services for help. Our experienced technicians are available 24/7 for garage door repair, including those emergency situations. But before automatically opting for a garage door replacement, check out our guide for troubleshooting these common garage door issues.

1. Malfunctioning Garage Door Remote 

When your garage remote isn’t working, the first thing that you should do is check the batteries. You might be surprised at how many people forget that the remote relies on battery power. 

If you have never changed the batteries in your garage remote, or if it’s been a while, then the problem likely is caused by dead batteries.

Another possibility is that you’re just out of range with the antenna, and you need to move closer to the door. Finally, make sure the antenna on the motor unit is undamaged and hanging downward. 

If those fixes don’t do the trick, then you may have a problem with the remote unit itself. In that case, call us, and we can get you a replacement remote.

2. Noisy Garage Door Problems 

If your garage door starts to run loud, you should check it out right away. Even a little amount of noise indicates an issue. A garage door should be silent when raising or lowering. Waiting until the noise gets really bad could end up requiring an expensive repair or even a replacement door. 

If you hear noise when operating your garage doors, the first thing you should do is check the nuts and bolts along the track. Some nuts or bolts may have loosened and are causing the track to come loose and make noise when the garage doors are in motion. 

When you have checked the nuts and bolts, and tightened them just to be sure you’re still hearing the noise, check the problem with the track itself. It’s very common for the track to get knocked off the line. 

A loose track is usually easy to fix by loosening the nuts and bolts holding the track in place, aligning the track, and tightening the bolts again. But, if the part of the track that is loose is hard to access, or if you’re not comfortable working on a ladder, you can always call us to come out and make sure the track is aligned. 

Your garage doors might also be noisy because they need lubrication. Simply lubricating the hinges, springs, and rollers can eliminate the noise. If that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that the springs and rollers need replacing. 

It could also be the case that the noise isn’t coming from the door at all, and instead, the actual opener unit has a loose belt that is making noise when the unit is engaged. Tightening or replacing the belts in the opener can fix that problem quickly. 

3. Garage Door Won’t Close All the Way

This issue happens to almost all homeowners at some point. In most cases, you can take care of the repair yourself. If your garage door is opening fine but won’t close totally, there are a couple of things that could be causing the problem. The first thing to check is the photo eyes.

Photos eyes are two small glass pieces that look similar to a camera lens. They are placed on either side of the door, pointing down at an angle. These photo eyes send an invisible beam to each other. If the beam is disrupted, the door won’t close all the way because it thinks something is in the way. The photo-eyes act like sensors to make sure that the door won’t close on someone or something left in the path of the door. 

These photo eyes can get very dirty very quickly, depending on where you live. First, try wiping down the photo eyes with a soft, dry cloth. You can also wipe them down with some glass cleaner to effectively remove dirt or grease on the lens. 

If cleaning the eyes doesn’t make your garage door close all the way, the next thing you should do is make sure the photo eyes are correctly aligned. They need to be positioned at the same height and angle so they can send the beam back and forth. If not aligned, that can cause the door to open but not close all the way. 

If the eyes are clean, and you’ve checked the alignment, check the track and make sure there is nothing in the way that would cause the door sensor to trick. Aside from obvious obstructions, there could be a buildup or debris in the way of the sensor. Things like weeds growing in cracked cement, the dirt piled up in the corners of a residential garage door, or even cobwebs can trigger the door to an obstruction. Get a broom and do a deep clean of the area.

4. Garage Door Won’t Open All the Way

Garage doors that won’t open all the way are still a problem, even if they open enough to let you get your car in and out. So if your garage door isn’t opening all the way, it needs to be fixed before the problem gets worse. When a garage door will open partway, but not totally, it’s usually because there is an obstruction in the track. 

Check the track to make sure there are no tennis balls, birds nests, bees nests, cobwebs, or other obstructions up there disrupting the movement of the garage door. 

When you’ve thoroughly cleaned the track, and the door still won’t open all the way it could be that the limit settings are off. The limit settings are what tell the garage door how far to open. The limit knobs are located on your actual garage door operator unit, and you can manually change the limits if your garage door isn’t opening as far as it should. Just make sure to only adjust in small increments to avoid damage. 

 But if your garage door was opening the correct amount and now is not, you might want to have one of our techs come and take a look just to be sure there’s not a bigger garage door repair needed. 

5. Garage Door Closes Partially, Then Reverses

When your garage door starts to close and then quickly reverses, it’s usually due to a limit problem, which you can fix by adjusting the limit knobs on the main garage door operator. However, this problem can also occur when something is obstructing the garage door track. Even something as small as a piece of gum on the ground caught by the photo eyes can cause the garage door to reverse. 

Very sensitive garage doors will often reverse when an obstruction is detected. Giving the track, the photo eyes, and the area around the garage doors a good wipe down should fix the problem if it’s not a limited problem. 

6. Motor Runs for a Few Seconds, But Garage Door Doesn’t Open

This issue frequently happens after a storm or after the power has been knocked out. If you hear the motor running on your garage door opening system, but the doors won’t actually open, there’s a strong possibility the disconnect switch was engaged. The disconnect switch allows you to manually open and close the door if there is a power outage or some other problem. But, once the power is back on, you need to return the disconnect switch to the original position in order for the doors to open the way they’re supposed to. 

The disconnect switch is attached to a rope or hook, which you can use to disengage it. If you have manually hit the disconnect switch due to a power outage, you will need to reengage the switch before the doors open again. If the disconnect switch was knocked loose or disengaged on its own, you will need to reengage it before the doors open regularly. 

7. Garage Door Falls Too Quickly

If your garage door is falling too quickly, that is a sign that you need to replace the springs or the cables, immediately. Springs and cables will eventually wear out, and you will know when they are starting to lose their integrity when your garage door starts falling more quickly. 

Eventually, they will give way entirely, and your garage door will slam into the ground, which could break the garage door and anything trapped underneath it. Don’t wait to get this repaired. Call us right away, and one of our technicians will come out and replace the springs and cables for you to make sure your garage door is operating safely. 

Garage Door Repair in San Diego

Troubleshooting and repairing your own garage door is possible! However, if you need some help from the professionals, contact Precise Garage Doors Services. We are a local, family-owned business that loves helping homeowners with garage door repair, installation, maintenance, and more! For garage door service and repair, contact 1-858-433-1800 today.