Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting and Repair Guide
When working on your garage door opener ensure that you unplug it from the mains outlet, or switch off the circuit breaker. If you do not feel confident in your abilities you should consult a repair company, you can find details of companies on our garage door repair company page.
Always consult the manual, see garage opener manuals.
If your opener does not respond when you press your remote control, try another remote, if it responds the problem is with the first remote control, if it does not respond, press the wall mounted hard wired push button, if it responds the problem is either with both remote controls which is unlikely, or more likely you have a faulty receiver or a problem with severe interference from other radio signals (see article about automatic door closers). An indication that there is interference present is when you activate your remote control right next to the opener and it activates, and as you move further away it fails to activate.
If neither the remote controls or wall mounted push button operate the opener ensure that its power cord is plugged into a working power outlet. If it is plugged in, test that there is power coming from the outlet, to do this plug in a known working appliance such as a hairdryer for example and switch it on, if it works you have power, if it does not the power outlet is the problem.
If you have power going to the opener and you can smell a burnt electrical odor, it is likely that the motor start capacitor is at fault, without special test equipment the only way to confirm this is to replace it.
If there has been thunderstorms recently the circuit board may have been damaged by lightning or a mains surge, this is not uncommon, inspect the board if you can see signs of burning (black marks) the board will need replacing, to prevent damage in the future fit a surge protector.
If your garage door will not close from the open position and reverses immediately or part way down there is a safety beam problem, usually there is a safety light on the opener which will flash when the safety beam is activated or faulty. Clean the photo beams with a clean damp cloth, check if the door now operates, if it does not, check that the safety beams have not become misaligned, there is normally a light on one of the sensors that indicates when they are correctly aligned, if the light is on it means they are not aligned, the light off indicates they are aligned. If they are not aligned try adjusting them, if this does not work they are more than likely faulty and will need replacing. If the problem only occurs at certain times of the day when the weather is sunny it could be that strong direct sunlight is affecting the sensors, try shielding them with a piece of card, if they then work you can make and fit a permanent visor.
If the safety beams are working correctly and the door still reverses whilst closing, locate the close force adjustment, sometimes located under the light lens cover or on the back of the opener, now increase the close force adjuster in small increments and operate the door at each increase until the door closes, if you need to increase the force to maximum, it indicates a problem with the springs,bent track, worn or damaged rollers and hinges.
The force sensor can be overridden by pressing and keeping pressed the wall mounted push button, do this, and if you can hear the motor operating but the door is not moving it is likely that one of the nylon drive gears has worn and needs replacing. The problem could also be that the travel carriage teeth that engage with the screw drive have become worn, in this case you need to replace the trolley assembly.
Also see garage door replacement parts.