What are the most common problems with garage doors?

We tend not to worry much about our garage door until something goes wrong. However, it’s easy to ensure that it works properly at all times by performing a visual inspection every two months and lubricating the major parts two times per year.

a car in front of garage door

If you happen to find a problem with your garage door, here’s a list of the most common ones. You’ll be able to identify the source of the problem and either correct it yourself or contact a garage door specialist to make the necessary repairs.

The door opens or closes with a thud

There are a couple of possible causes:

  • In a 9 x 7-foot garage door, the torsion spring located above the door, which serves as a counterweight, may be broken. If you have an extension spring system, in which the springs are located above the horizontal rails, one of the two springs may be broken.
  • If you have a 16 x 7-foot door, the vast majority of which use a torsion spring system, one of the two springs is probably broken.
  • The other possible cause is that one of the lifting cables is broken or on the verge of breaking.


  • Perform a visual check.
  • If a spring is actually broken, stop using your garage door and call a garage door technician immediately.

The door has come off its hinges

Most of the time, this situation is due to one of the horizontal tracks falling out of alignment, the metal bracket at the end of the track coming loose or the bolts holding the bracket in place coming unscrewed.


  • If the door has fallen on the garage floor, don’t do anything! Call a garage door expert immediately!
  • If the rollers are still in the tracks, close the door gently and firmly tighten the bolts holding the bracket in place. Also, take the time to make sure that the distance between the horizontal tracks is the same as the distance between the vertical tracks and that everything is parallel.
garage door expert
Call on a garage door expert

Sometimes the door opens and sometimes it doesn’t…

There are two likely situations:

  • The battery in your remote is dying.
  • Another possibility—although an unlikely one—is that if you have an opener manufactured before 1993, one of your neighbors might have the same type of device (using the same wave frequency) with the same transmission code.


  • In the first case, just change the battery in your remote. Take the time to change the batteries in your other remotes and in your exterior keypad, as well, if you have one.
  • In the second case, you’ve won the jackpot! And no, your garage door isn’t possessed! But seriously, change one of the code buttons on your remote (clips: +, 0, -), and that should straighten everything out.

When closing, the door goes down a little and then suddenly goes back up

  • In most cases, if you have an automatic photoelectric backup system (with sensor units placed on each side of the door approximately 5-6 inches from the floor), the units are probably misaligned.
  • On every garage door opener, there’s a button for adjusting the sensitivity of the motor when the door is closing.


  • There’s an invisible beam of light that travels across the door frame. If the beam is cut off, the door interprets this as meaning that someone or something is in the way.
  • All you have to do is align one of the sensor units with the other one. Take a look at the control panel installed near the door leading into the house. An indicator light should stop blinking.
  • In the case of motor sensitivity, you can turn it down a little by turning the button no more than a quarter-turn to the left. Check it by opening and closing the door with the remote. The sensitivity must be properly adjusted. It has to do with one of the two backup systems that protect you and your loved ones. To make sure that everything is correctly adjusted, you need to lay a piece of wood (2 x 4) flat on the threshold of the door. When the door hits the piece of wood, the door opener should reverse its course, lifting the door back up.
Photoelectric backup (picture 1) and Mechanical backup (picture 2)
Photoelectric backup (picture 1) and Mechanical backup (picture 2)

There’s a power outage!

Oh yeah, they happen sometimes. If you come back from doing your grocery shopping and your garage door doesn’t open when you push the button on your remote, maybe there’s a power failure in your neighborhood.


  • Open your garage door manually. To do this, you have to pull back on the emergency cord to deactivate the motor. To reclose the door, pull the cord forward, making sure that the carriage assembly is properly engaged.
Open your garage door manually

If we haven’t mentioned one of the problems you’ve encountered…

Always consult a garage door specialist in your area. They can email you a free quote for a service call or else they would be happy to come to your home to correct whatever problem you’re having with your garage door.

If you decide to replace your garage door or if you would like to get a glimpse of what your new door might look like, you can use a design centre like the one provided by Garaga or you can take a look at their image gallery.

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