Why Your Garage Door Won’t Open

It’s the early morning. You’ve got the kids in the backseat of your car, ready to take them to school. Your morning coffee’s getting cold as you start your engine, disengage the parking brake, mentally prepare yourself for Orange County traffic, and press the button to open the garage door. Nothing happens. Your garage door won’t open, and you’re stuck inside with a pair of impatient little ones behind you. The question that immediately springs up is, why? Why does a garage door refuse to open?

Embarrassingly, many times a garage won’t open due to simple user error, such as letting the transmitter batteries die. If the transmitter in your car doesn’t work, try the one on the wall inside your garage. If it then opens, odds are you just need a simple battery replacement in your remote transmitter. 

Another common issue is that the door may be manually locked. If your garage door’s motor runs for several seconds and then shuts off, the locks might be engaged. Many doors, especially older models, come with locks in the shape of a knob or handle. These will be located in the middle of the door, appearing as two bars running horizontally from each other with a button on the top or side of the handle that can be pressed to slide the bars across the doors and lock it from the inside.  

Modern garage doors use a pair of photo eyes that transmit an invisible beam between each other to prevent the door from closing on something in its way. If the beam is broken by an object in between the two eyes, the door will refuse to open or close. However, the photo eyes can be disrupted in several different ways. The lens of the photo eye can be blocked or distorted by damage or dirt, which can be washed off with a mild streak-free cleaner and a soft cloth. It’s also possible that the photo eyes can be misaligned. Check that the eyes are pointing in the exact same direction and angle at each other, ideally with a level tool if you have one at home. 

Problems with the door tracks can also disrupt proper functioning. The metal track the door runs on needs to be properly aligned for the door to move. If there are gaps between the rollers and the rails or bends in the rails, this is a serious problem. The heavy weight of the door can compound these issues and make them worse until it becomes outright dangerous to operate the door. If you see your garage door mechanisms bending, you should contact a garage door repair service immediately. 

A common mechanical failure in garage doors lies in their torsion springs. These springs only last for so long before they break and need replacing due to the mechanical stresses they go through, and the sound of one breaking sounds like a loud firecracker. If the garage door won’t go up, and you’re sure the transmitters are working properly, the issue might lie there. If one is broken, the opener will struggle to lift the door or fail completely. Contact a professional garage door repair and installation service, as these components can be dangerous to work with for the untrained.

The final common point of failure is in the transmitters. Check the antenna hanging from the motor inside the garage and make sure that nothing is blocking it and that it hasn’t been damaged. If it is, you’ll need a repair technician to fix it. Alternatively, if the garage door is opening and closing at random, there’s a good chance that your transmitter’s frequency is the same as one of your neighbor’s, causing it to open and close whenever they open or close theirs. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. Simply change your transmitter’s frequency as directed in your owner’s manual. 

While some issues with your garage door can be solved quickly and easily by yourself, others are best left to a trained technician. All Right Garage Doors is the premiere garage door installation and repair service for Orange County, with experienced professionals that can repair your door in a quick, efficient, and affordable manner. Give us a call today at (714) 726-2225 for a free estimate.