How to diagnose a problem with your garage door and motor

  • Published on September 8, 2017

It can be understandably frustrating when you encounter a problem with your garage door. If it won’t open, this means your car could be stuck inside the garage, or locked outside. If you don’t know what to do, having a garage door that is stuck can often mean you’ll need to make an expensive call out to a professional to fix the problem. But what if you could avoid doing that? If you can solve the problem yourself, you can save a lot of time and money. So what do you have to do to diagnose a problem with your garage door and motor?

How to diagnose a problem with your garage door

1. Be safe

When you’re trying to resolve the problem with your garage door, you want to make sure you’re doing it safely. Always ensure you undertake work with the garage door down. If there is a problem, the door could spontaneously crash down, potentially causing damage to the door and injury to the people working.

You should also unplug the door opener. If it accidentally gets hit while you’re working on the door, it could cause injury to your hands or even result in electrocution. Play it safe and unplug it before you start working.

2. Discover what the actual problem is first

The only way you’re going to fix your garage door is to find out what the actual problem is. To find this out, you’ll need to first check your garage door. Make sure your garage door is closed, and then pull the emergency release cord. You should then be able to lift the door and see if it opens and closes without any problems. This will help you know whether the problem is with the opener or with your tracks.

3. Check if the remote works

Is your remote working, but the switch on the wall isn’t? This indicates there is a problem with the wall switch. Either the switch or the wires will have to be replaced. But how can you tell which one you need to replace?

The first thing you need to do is take the switch off the wall and touch the two wires together. If the wires work, this will cause the opener to run. This will let you know whether you will need to get new wires or a new switch.

If your remote isn’t working, but the wall switch is, you will need to replace the batteries in your remote or buy a new remote. It’s best to replace the battery first. If it still doesn’t work, you will need to get a new remote.

4. Check the safety sensors

Sometimes your garage door will go up, but not down correctly. If it only goes down when you hold onto the wall switch, there may be problems with the alignment of the safety sensors. Check if there is a light displaying – if there isn’t, you may need to replace the sensors. You don’t necessarily need to replace the wires too, save yourself some time by using the existing wires with the new sensors.

5. Problems with the circuit board

If the outlet has power, but there is no lights or sound when the remotes and wall switch are pressed, it can mean there is a problem with the circuit board. Purchase a new circuit board, and make sure you also get a surge protector to prevent lightning strikes.

You can replace the circuit board yourself. Simply remove the cover from the light and remove the lightbulb. Next, disconnect both the safety sensor wires and switch. You will then have to remove several screws before you can completely unplug the circuit board.

6. The light doesn’t work

If the light doesn’t appear to be working, you may need to replace the light socket. Once you have removed the circuit board, following the steps mentioned above, you can remove the socket and replace it with a new one.

7. Does the trolley carriage open the door

If your garage door doesn’t open, but the trolley carriage is moving, you may have a faulty trolley carriage which will need replacing.

To replace it, secure the chain and then remove it from the trolley. You will then be able to disconnect the rain from its header bracket. Next, move the rail off to one side, remove the old trolley and replace it with a new one. Once this is done, you can put the chain back on and correct the tension.

8. Check the tension in your chains

It’s always important to make sure you have the right level of tension in your chains. If there isn’t enough tension, the chain can come loose and fall off the sprocket. If it’s too tight, it can result in accelerated wear and tear.

Following these steps will allow you to diagnose the problems you’re having with your garage, and avoid having to call a professional.

Do you still need help with your garage door? Doors Direct offer repairs and servicing for all garage doors. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your garage door problem.