Common Reasons Why a Garage Door Isn’t Opening or Closing

Your garage door serves as an important entry point to your home and plays a crucial role in protecting your vehicle and belongings. However, there may come a time when you encounter issues with your garage door not opening or closing properly. These issues can be frustrating, inconvenient, and potentially pose safety risks. Understanding the common reasons behind these problems can help you diagnose the issue and take appropriate action to address it. In this blog, we will explore the most frequent causes of garage door malfunction and provide insights on how to rectify them.

1. Obstructed Sensors

Modern garage doors are equipped with safety sensors that prevent them from closing when there is an obstruction in the door’s path. If you notice that your garage door starts closing but then immediately reverses, it might be due to sensor misalignment or dirt accumulation. Carefully clean the sensors and ensure they are properly aligned to resolve this issue.

2. Broken Springs

Garage door springs are under a tremendous amount of tension and play a crucial role in lifting and lowering the door. Over time, these springs can wear out or break, causing the door to become unbalanced and difficult to operate. Replacing or repairing garage door springs is a job best left to professionals, as it can be dangerous to handle on your own.

3. Misaligned Tracks

Garage door tracks can become misaligned due to various reasons, including physical damage or loose bolts. When the tracks are not properly aligned, the door may get stuck or wobble as it moves. Inspect the tracks and tighten any loose bolts. If they are damaged, consult a professional for repairs.

4. Torsion or Extension Cable Issues

The cables that work in conjunction with the springs help lift and lower the garage door. If these cables become damaged or loose, it can result in an uneven movement of the door. Attempting to fix cable issues without proper knowledge and tools can be hazardous, so it’s advisable to call a professional technician to address this problem.

5. Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener

The garage door opener is the heart of your automated garage door system. If it malfunctions, it can cause the door to behave erratically or not respond at all. Check if there are any loose wires, worn-out gears, or damaged components in the opener. In many cases, repairing or replacing the garage door opener will resolve the issue.

6. Power Supply Problems

Sometimes, the simplest explanation is the most accurate. Ensure that your garage door opener is properly connected to a power source, and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Also, inspect the condition of the power cords and replace them if they are frayed or damaged.

7. Remote Control Issues

If your garage door doesn’t respond to your remote control, the problem might be as simple as dead batteries in the remote. Replace the batteries, and if the issue persists, make sure the remote control is programmed correctly. You may need to reprogram it to the garage door opener.

8. Weather-Related Problems

Extreme weather conditions can affect the operation of your garage door. In cold weather, metal parts can contract, making the door harder to move. Lubricating the moving parts can help. In hot weather, the tracks may expand, causing misalignment. Proper maintenance and lubrication can mitigate the impact of weather on your garage door.

9. Worn-Out Rollers

The rollers along the sides of the garage door help it move smoothly within the tracks. If these rollers are worn out or damaged, they can cause the door to become unsteady or noisy. Replacing old, worn rollers with new ones can significantly improve the door’s functionality.

10. Damaged Door Panels

If your garage door has visible damage to its panels, it can affect its operation. Dents or bends in the panels can obstruct the movement of the door, making it difficult to open or close. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to replace the damaged panels to restore the door’s functionality and aesthetics.

11. Limit Switch Misalignment

Garage doors have limit switches that determine how far the door should travel when opening or closing. If these switches are not correctly adjusted or become misaligned, the door may not reach its intended position. Consult your garage door opener manual to adjust the limit switches properly.

12. Rust and Corrosion

Rust and corrosion on the garage door’s components, such as springs, tracks, and rollers, can impede smooth operation. Regular maintenance and lubrication can help prevent rust, but if it has already set in, you may need to replace the affected parts.

13. Remote Interference

In some cases, other electronic devices or even nearby garage door openers can interfere with the signal sent by your remote control. Ensure there are no sources of interference nearby and try reprogramming your remote control.

14. Aging Door

As your garage door gets older, its various components can wear out. Springs may lose their tension, and other parts may deteriorate. If your door is significantly aged and showing signs of wear and tear, it might be time to consider a garage door replacement.

15. Lack of Regular Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is essential for ensuring your garage door’s longevity and proper functionality. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to a wide range of issues. Make sure to schedule periodic maintenance checks to keep your garage door in optimal condition.


When your garage door doesn’t open or close properly, it can disrupt your daily routine and compromise the security of your home. Understanding the common reasons behind these issues is the first step in resolving them. While some problems can be fixed with basic troubleshooting, it’s important to consult a professional for complex issues or repairs involving high-tension components like springs and cables. Regular maintenance and care will go a long way in ensuring the continued reliability of your garage door, protecting your investments, and enhancing the safety and convenience of your home.



Updated: November 12, 2023

Chip's Garage Door Repair

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