When something goes wrong with your garage door it can be frustrating, but the good news is that you might be able to fix it yourself. This guide will help you by giving you some tips that you can try for yourself. It’s vitally important to contact a professional garage door repairs company if you encounter any problems in the process.

Making sure it’s the garage door motor

There can be lots of things that might go wrong with a garage door. To check it is actually the motor at fault, close the door and pull the emergency release cord, before seeing if the door will lift smoothly. If it doesn’t work, then it is likely that either your rollers or springs are at fault rather than your motor.

Problem Checklist

Issue: The remote is functional, but the wall switch doesn’t work
Fix: Replace both the switch and the wires

If your remote is working, but your switch at the wall, then the switch and/or the wires could need to be replaced. Take off the switch from the wall and press the two wires together. They are low voltage so this isn’t dangerous. If this works, then the switch is at fault, not the wires. If it doesn’t work you should use a small wire and jump the two wires on the opener terminal. If this works, then the wire connecting it to the switch is at fault. Sometimes you might find that the staples holding the wire squeeze and cause damage.

Issue: The wall switch is working, but not the remote
Fix: Change the batteries or buy a new remote

The first thing to do when your remote isn’t working is check the batteries, as this is an easy fix. If this doesn’t work, get in touch with an expert to have your remote replaced. If there isn’t one for your model then you might be able to use a universal remote.

Issue: The door works, but won’t go down unless you’re keeping hold of the wall switch
Fix: Check the safety sensor

If you have this problem, then your safety sensors might have been knocked out of alignment. There should be a light on each when there is nothing between them. If the light isn’t on, then there may be an issue. If your sensors catch any direct sunlight then this can cause issues, too.

Issue: The outlet has power, but nothing happens when using either the switch or remotes
Fix: Change the circuit board

If nothing’s happening despite having power, then it could be the circuit board at fault. This is the whole plastic housing holding the wire terminals and the lightbulb. There should be a part number written on the board.

This process should only take ten minutes if you follow these steps:

– Take off the light cover
– Remove the light bulb
– Disconnect the safety sensor wires and the switch
– Take out a few screws
– Unplug the board
– Done!

Issue: Everything is working, but not the lights
Fix: Change the light socket

If you know that your bulbs aren’t the problem, then the socket could well be at fault. To replace this, you will have to take out the circuit board, the process of which is written above. Once this is done you can take out the socket by pressing the clip. You should then take the wire connections out, and put the new socket in. You should always make sure that you’re using the right wattage bulb, or it could be dangerous.

Issue: The trolley carriage is moving, but the door isn’t opening
Fix: Change the carriage

If you’re experiencing this problem, the issue is more than likely going to be a broken trolley carriage. Clamp the chain to the rail and then separate it from each side of the trolley. Disconnect it from the bracket and move it to one side. Slide it off, and replace it with the new one. Add the chain back.

Issue: There is a grinding noise, but the door isn’t moving
Fix: Change the gear drive

If there is a grinding noise when you try to open the door, but no movement, then your gear drive is probably at fault. The main drive is the plastic gear that touches the worm drive gear. This is the most common part to fail on an opener.

It can be difficult to remove as you need to take out other things first, but one the gear has been taken out you can punch to get it out of the shaft or choose a kit that includes a new shaft.

Maintaining your garage door


Lubricate the rail

If you want everything to run smoothly, lubrication is necessary. Use one that doesn’t encourage dirt, like silicone spray. If you live somewhere colder, lithium grease is a good choice, as this won’t solidify as it gets colder. You should grease your rail at least twice a year – but be careful not to grease it so much that it drips on your car.

Check the tension of your chain

There should usually be between ¼ and ½ an inch of slack between your rain and chain – the exact recommendation will be in your manual. It’s important to get this right. Too much tension can cause it to wear, and too little could allow the chain to fall off completely.

Change the travel of the door

There are two knobs that can adjust exactly how much your door opens. It should press against the floor to ensure that there is no gap, and this helps to avoid wear and tear. With regards to upwards movement, it should travel so that the very bottom of the door is approximately the same height as the doorjamb. This can stop the trolley from hitting the opener, so could help you to avoid future damage.

Get professional help

Unless you’re an expert, you should ask for advice before doing anything yourself. Contact SDM Garage Doors for professional garage door advice. Remember, never do any testing with the door up, doing so could cause it to come crashing down, and this leaves you at risk of injury!