The 10 Most Common Garage Door Problems

The 10 Most Common Garage Door Problems


Most often the case, garage door problems occur due to normal wear and tear. Fortunately, modern garage doors are better equipped to deal with the changing of the seasons. However, time does not improve all things. For example, problems such as dirty or misaligned sensors can happen at any time. 

That may sound simple enough, but most garage door problems can be prevented with regular maintenance. This way you can identify ear in a never-ending barrage of squeaks and squawks that eventually stop the door in its tracks, literally. 

 Top 10 Most Common Garage Door Problems 


Have you noticed your garage door making more noise than it’s usually smooth, even rumble as it makes its way along? You’re likely hearing the start of typical mechanical noises associated with garage door problems, gradually growing louder due to a lack of lubrication or worn parts.

Noises tend to demand attention because they tell you to take a look and find out what’s causing the problem. After all, a noise today may well turn into a more severe problem in a few days. Below is our list of the top 10 issues you’re likely to encounter with your garage door. 

 1. Worn-Out Rollers 

If you look at the overhead track as the door opens and closes, notice the rollers connected to small axles on each side of the door. The rollers ride in tracks that guide the door up and down smoothly. 

The rollers wear out over time through everyday use, and if neglected, they eventually show signs of wear that quickly worsen. Soon, the rollers or tracks begin making the unmistakable noise of metal-on-metal as the door rolls up.

When the rollers wear to the point where they stick, the garage door can stall or even jump off the tracks because of pressure applied by the opener when it’s in motion. At this point, the door may not open completely, or jerk erratically, forcing you to stop the door and call for a repair technician. 

Never replace the rollers yourself because the tension of the torsion springs poses a serious risk of injury.

 2. Broken Torsion Springs 

Looking at your garage door tracks, you will see large springs. Your garage door can weigh hundreds of lbs. which gives you a good idea of how powerful the springs must be to support it. 

The springs are under constant stress because their only job is to support the weight of your door and move it steadily along the tracks during opening and closing on command. The springs eventually wear out and lose their strength, or worse, they can break in two. Repair or replacement of the springs requires specialized training and equipment.

 3. Broken Cables 

The cables used in garage door openers during motion are meant to apply steady pressure to the garage door for clean movement. When cables wear, stretch, or break, the garage door can look uneven when it’s moving. A broken cable often causes the door to remain partially closed that may cause the garage door to crash, posing a danger to pets or someone going under it.

 4. Broken Sensor

A garage door can start doing unexpected things, such as suddenly opening/closing, or being unable to use remote control commands. This can be frustrating, but many times it simply requires cleaning the sensor lens.

The optical sensors sit on the rails, on each side of your garage door. One is the emitter, and the other is the receiver. When you calibrate the sensors, it means to align them with each other and adjust the amount of resistance required before activating the automatic reversal function.

The purpose of the sensors is to prevent the garage door from closing if the laser beam is broken. If anything trips the sensor, the opener assumes something or somebody is blocking the door. The door will then immediately reverse and go back to the open position. 

 5. Rattling Noises 

If your garage door starts making strange noises, it’s time to check all the nuts and bolts of the system. Regardless if it’s old or new, loose bolts will make a strange sound that could signal the garage door is about to collapse. 

It may do that if you wait long enough. If you remove all power from the unit and have the proper tools, a little elbow grease might make things all quiet again by tightening the screws and bolts.

 6. Door is Lopsided 

If torsion springs are not adjusted or too worn to provide enough tension, one side of the garage door will start sagging. That’s because when the door moves, one side moves faster than the other. 

 7. Door Won’t Move at All

It’s going to happen sooner or later where your garage door suddenly won’t budge. 

A dead opener can be caused by a power surge, a blown fuse, or the outlet connected to it has stopped working. If none of those provide the solution, check the circuit breaker or use the reset button on the opener. 

 8. Garage Door Opens Slowly

Sticky or old rollers create noise, but can also cause a slow-moving garage door. Another cause could be the speed setting on the garage door opener.

 9. Broken Wall Switch 

A broken wall switch included with your opener will prevent the door from opening. Sometimes, the microswitch holder inside the case breaks off and won’t contact the plunger of the wall switch. Other times, it’s a wiring problem or a tripped breaker. It’s a good place to start troubleshooting if everything else checks out. 

 10. Unintended Operation 

Common garage door problems like unintended operation might startle you when the garage opens and see the door starting and stopping by itself. The most likely cause is a stuck key on your wall remote or the car remote. 


If you’re experiencing any of the garage door problems listed above, call Dodds today at 1-877-503-6337 for 24/7 garage door repair.