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When Your Garage Door Malfunctions: Helpful Advice for Homeowners Who Want to DIY

typical  facade of a modern suburban  house

Nobody wants a broken garage door: not only is it a hassle to park your car when you have to get in and out to open the door, but your possessions can be at the mercy of criminals and the weather.


But a broken automatic garage door doesn’t have to be a big hassle. In fact, if your door isn’t working properly, there are a few potential problems you can check out yourself. If all else fails, you can find great  garage door repair in Las Vegas. But if you want to try to fix it yourself, here are a few things to look for:


Photo Eye is Misaligned


If you look near the inside floor on either side of your garage door, you will notice a small “eye” that should be aligned with it’s counterpart on the other side. These eyes create an invisible beam that, when broken, prevents the garage door from closing. This is a preventative measure from the early 1990s that all automatic doors are required to have, so they cannot close if an object, like a child, breaks the beam.


If either one of these eyes is out of alignment with the other, the beam is broken and the garage door thinks that someone or something is beneath the door and it will not close. If your garage doors open fine but will not longer close, it’s a safe bet that one of the eyes has been knocked out of alignment. It’s also possible that they need cleaned, as dirt and grime can prevent the beam from connecting as well.


You can usually eyeball the alignment of the sensors and get them back in line with trial and error.


Misaligned Track


The track is what the wheels on the door are attached to so the garage door opener can pull it up and let it down. If you can see any gaps between the track and the wheels, or any bulges, cracks or bends, then you may have a serious problem. The weight of the door can make these problems worse, so look for even the slightest malformation.


If the door doesn’t move at all, your best bet would be to call a professional. But if the door can still move, albeit with difficulty, then you have a few options. First, loosen the screws that hold the broken  track to the frame. Then, using a soft mallet, gently tap the track back into alignment. This may take some trial and error, so be patient. When you’re satisfied, tighten the screws and see if the alignment holds.


Repeat on the other track if it doesn’t work. If you still can’t get the door to open and close automatically, you’ll need to call a professional.


Broken Springs


If you look near the top of your garage door, you will see two springs — one on either side. These are called torsion springs and they, not the garage door opener, do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to opening and closing the door.


These springs are highly-wound and hold the weight of the door as it moves. If you are home when one of them breaks, you’ll know it: there will be a loud pop, like a firework. If it happens when you are driving away as the door closes, you may not hear it, but a broken spring is easy to spot. The spring will typically snap in two, or rip out of its connector altogether.


If you see a broken spring, don’t try to repair it on your own. They are dangerous to work with and should only be fixed by professionals.


Bad Transmitter


Your garage door opener operates on with radio waves, much like your car stereo. The transmitter you carry around in your car acts like the radio station, sending a signal to the motor inside your garage. Wither one of these can go bad.


If you suspect this is the case, make sure that nothing is blocking the antenna that hangs from the motor inside the garage. If it’s clear, try replacing the battery in your opener. If it still won’t work, you may need to reprogram your transmitter, This is an easy process and will be outlined in your owner’s manual; or you can find out how to do so online.


Don’t let a faulty garage door opener get you down. Look for these common problems and you should have it fixed in no time.


Hi My name is Sam Halicia, I have been working in the Garage Door Industry for over a decade. I started as a technician and now am the owner/operator of D&L Las Vegas Garage Doors. As a technician I worked around the clock at the convenience of all my customers. My business now thrives off those very same principles. I provide same day services at no extra cost as well as unbeatable customer satisfaction. No matter how big or small a problem may be it has been my goal to make sure each job gets handled in a timely fashion with no surprises.