Troubleshooting Common Garage Door Problems

The average garage door weighs about 150 pounds and opens and closes around 1,500 times per year. That’s a lot of heavy lifting! It’s no surprise then that garage door issues should pop up now and again. In this article, the team at Creative Door runs through seven of the most common garage door problems and provides some expert troubleshooting tips to help save you time and money.

loud and strange garage door noises

1. Your garage door is making loud noises

If your garage door is making a clamour, the noise is likely pointing you toward an underlying problem. Here are some particular types of sounds to watch out for and their probable cause.

  • Grinding or squeaking. Chances are that your rollers are insufficiently lubricated or are worn out. If it’s the former, apply a lithium- or silicone-based grease. If it’s the latter, call in a professional to get them replaced.
  • Rattling. If your garage door is rattling, it could be that some of the nuts, bolts, and screws on your garage door have become loose. Tighten the hardware with a wrench and socket set and the problem will likely be silenced.
  • Popping. Often, popping noises can be traced back to the torsion spring, which needs to either be lubricated or adjusted. Working on torsion springs is highly dangerous and should always be left to a professional.

For a more detailed guide on troubleshooting a noisy garage door, check out our article on the topic.

sagging and uneven garage door


2. Your garage door is moving unevenly

If your door seems to do the shimmy each time it opens or closes, there could be something blocking the tracks. Take a look and remove any obstructions you find. Also, take this opportunity to wipe down the tracks.

If this doesn’t do the trick, it could be that the spring system (the torsion spring or extension springs) is delivering too little or too much tension.  In this case, you’ll need to call in a professional to resolve the issue.

For more diagnoses and solutions to this particular issue, read our comprehensive article on troubleshooting an uneven or sagging garage door.

3. Your garage door won’t open or close

If your garage door refuses to budge, start by checking the batteries in the opener remote and inspecting the keypad to ensure it isn’t damaged. No problem there? Turn your attention the garage door opener unit. If the lights are out, that’s an indication that the motor has become disconnected to the power supply or that a fuse was blown, or a circuit breaker was tripped.

Find more troubleshooting tips for a stuck garage door in our in-depth article on this subject.

a man peaking out from his half-open and stuck garage door

4. Your garage door opens — just not all the way!

The photo eye sensors are usually to blame for this kind of errant behaviour. Ensure that they’re clean and properly aligned. As well, there may be an obstruction along the track (a branch, the end of a broom or hockey stick, or some other type of object).

If your garage door opens slightly but then immediately closes, you likely need to have the spring system replaced.

5. Your garage door is opening at a snail’s pace

If your door is dawdling while executing its duties, it’s often simply because the rollers need to be lubricated or the tracks need to be cleaned. Our customers in Vancouver and  Kelowna often find that sand and salt builds up on the tracks over time. And our customers in places like Edmonton and Calgary tend to find that they really need to stay on top of lubricating their rollers as garage doors tend to stick in dryer climates.

A slow-going garage door could also point to an issue with the speed setting of your garage door opener or with the springs. For more information, check out our detailed article about troubleshooting speed issues.

woman frustrated with her garage door opener

6. Your garage door closes way too fast

If ever your door slams shut when you hit the remote, chances are the torsion spring or cables are broken. If this is the case, your door’s not going to work again until you get a professional to come in and repair the spring system or cables.

7. Your garage door is possessed

Is your garage door opening and closing on its own? If so, there’s nothing spooky about this — in fact there are several potential causes, including the following:

  • The button on one of your transmitters (the wall control, keypad or remote controls) is stuck.
  • The opener’s limit setting needs to be readjusted.
  • There’s an issue with the control wiring or the electric circuits.

For more information about how to remedy these types of issues, read our troubleshooting guide about randomly opening and closing garage doors.

Nip Garage Door Issues in the Bud with Planned Maintenance

The famous proverb had it right: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To avert garage door troubles, sign up for Creative Door’s planned maintenance program. Our qualified garage door technicians will inspect and service your garage doors regularly and help ensure that no unexpected repairs are needed down the road. For more information about our planned maintenance program or to schedule a service call with one of our technicians, contact us today.

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