4 Garage Door Troubleshooting Tips

Posted on: 16 January 2015


Automatic garage doors are one of the biggest conveniences of modern homes. Many people do not realize just how convenient they are until they stop working. While some homeowners will want to call a professional as soon as their garage door stops working, there are a few steps that any homeowner can take to troubleshoot common garage door problems.

Garage Door is Noisy

A properly functioning garage door should be both convenient and quiet. If your garage door is making scraping and grinding noises when it goes up or down, it is definitely a sign of a problem. Common causes of this problem are worn rollers, loose nuts and bolts, or an end bearing that needs be replaced.

The first steps that you should take to fix a noisy garage are to tighten all nuts and bolts along the track and grease the rollers and track by hand. If you still hear noise, inspect the end bearing for wear. To replace the end bearing, use a hammer to knock it out of the plate and take the bearing to a hardware store to find the right replacement. If the new bearing is the right fit, it can simply be hammered back into the plate.

Garage Door Won't Close All the Way

It is always important to make sure that your garage door closes properly to prevent accidental injury. Your garage door has safety sensors to determine when the door is in contact with the floor as well as when people or objects are under the door. If the door does not close all the way, there is usually a problem with these safety sensors that can be easily fixed.

The first thing that you should do is check the alignment of the sensors. Properly aligned sensors point directly at each other to create an invisible beam between them to detect obstructions. Adjust the alignment knobs on one or both of the sensors until their indicator lights turn on to show that they are properly aligned. Occasionally, the lenses of the sensors will get coated with dust, dirt, or water that prevents them from reading properly even if they are aligned. Cleaning the lenses with a cloth will sometimes correct the problem without making any adjustments to the sensors' alignment.

Garage Door is Uneven

If your garage door is coming down unevenly, it may look like a problem that you would need to leave to a professional. However, there are a few things that you can try to fix it yourself. If the door cannot be pushed back into place manually, try loosening the lag screw so that you can re-level the vertical track. After you have checked with a spirit level, retighten the screw to secure the door in place.

Sometimes an uneven garage door really is better left to a professional, especially when your torsion springs are damaged. Torsion springs are under high tension and can be dangerous to replace. Unless you have experience replacing them yourself, you should leave the job to a professional garage door service.

Garage Door is Jammed

Garage doors can stick for a number of reasons. In cold weather, they often become frozen to the ground and need to be freed by pouring warm water around the bottom of the door. Lubricating the tracks with grease can undo any jams caused by stuck rollers. You should also check to see if the tracks are slightly bent. When you notice a bent spot in the tracks, simply use a hammer and a wood block to straighten the track.

If you are dealing with garage door problems, these tips can help you fix your door as quickly as possible. Use them to reclaim the convenience of an automatic garage door without having to call a professional.