Troubleshooting Your Automatic Garage Door Opener

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An automatic garage door opener is a wonderful luxury that makes it easy to stow your car away during unpleasant weather conditions. But when your garage door opener is on the fritz – or simply isn’t working at all – that convenience quickly turns to annoyance. Before you call in a professional, try these quick troubleshooting tips to see if you can resolve the problem on your own.

Check the batteries in your wireless transmitter.

It may seem obvious, but dead transmitter batteries are among the most common causes for automatic garage door issues. If you’re able to open your garage door using another remote transmitter or the transmitter inside your home, then you’ve isolated the problem to one specific device.

In most cases, swapping out the battery on your transmitter is as simple as sliding the back off the remote, popping out the old battery, and tossing in a new one. However, some transmitters may have a small screw holding the battery door in place, so you might need a screwdriver to access the old battery.

After you’ve replaced the battery, take it for a spin and try to open and close your garage. If it works, you’re set! If it doesn’t, the transmitter itself may be broken and likely requires replacement.

Make sure the garage door’s path is completely clear.

Automatic garage doors are designed to be as safe as possible. To prevent them from harming anything in their way, they’re built to include a reversing mechanism. If your garage door starts to close but stops (or won’t close at all), something may be blocking its path.

Check to ensure the garage door’s path is completely clear. Move any boxes, toys, tools, and athletic equipment out of the way. Ensure nothing is stuck in the garage door’s tracks. You’ll also want to be 100% certain your vehicle isn’t blocking the garage door or tripping the photo eye sensor.

In some instances, these photo eye sensors get dirty and require cleaning. If you choose to clean these sensors yourself, be gentle! Photo eye sensors are as delicate as a camera lens and should be cleaned with extreme care. When cleaning photo eye sensors, follow the same practices you’d follow for cleaning a camera lens: a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth with a very gentle touch.

Look for and identify common mechanical issues.

There are other common mechanical issues among automatic garage doors that you may be able to identify yourself:

  • Check the tracks on either side of the garage door to make sure the door is still in alignment.
  • Check the photo eye sensors to ensure they’re pointing toward each other and are in proper alignment.
  • Give the motor and springs a visual evaluation and see if you notice anything unusual, such as a disconnected or broken chain.

With many of these issues, you’ll want to call in a professional to give it a more thorough evaluation. Although garage door opener repair can be expensive, Select Home Warranty offers plans that cover garage door opener components including control boards, motors, chains, belts, gears, pulleys, sheave forks, axle bolts, and switches. If issues with these components are the root of your problem and are covered under your plan, you can save money on the cost of parts and repair by making a claim.