What To Do When Your Garage Door Won't Open All The Way

Few things are as frustrating as a garage door that won’t open or close all the way. Until it’s fixed, a dysfunctional garage door can be a major headache that interrupts your life.

The good news is that our garage door repair services may not be necessary. While garage door repair in Portland and Vancouver, WA is our specialty, you may be able to handle the problem on your own.

Make Sure the Transmitter Is Working

If you’re lucky, the reason your garage door is stuck is because your transmitter just needs a new battery. Ensure that’s not the problem before you proceed. In fact, it’s worth checking all transmitters and remotes for the door, including any permanent fixtures, for functionality. This can rule out several issues right away.

Confirm the Photo Eyes Are Clean and Facing the Right Direction

On either side of modern garage doors, you’ll find two photo eyes. They transmit an invisible beam that, when broken, interrupts the movement of your garage door. The problem could be that they have become misaligned, blocked by a foreign object, or just dirty. In any case, the invisible beam could unintentionally be broken.

Check for Something Blocking the Garage Door’s Path

Next, you need to check your garage door’s path. To do this, you’ll need to freely move the door through the track manually, which should make it clear where the door might be running into problems. It could be that a piece of debris is causing the door to get stuck or one of the tracks has been bent slightly.

First, make sure the door is fully closed (do not attempt this test with an open or partially open door). Pull the emergency release handle down and then back toward the garage door opener. This should dislodge the door from the trolley. Next, slowly guide the door through the full motion of the track by hand. You should be able to tell if there are any sources of friction along the path. If not, and the garage door easily slides along the path, the track is probably not the issue. Re-engage the door into the trolley before proceeding to the next step.

It may also be possible that your opener’s safety systems are a little too sensitive. Even light friction may be enough to prevent proper garage door operation. Some garage door openers have manual force adjustment dials that will allow you to increase the allowed level of force. If you have one, you should be able to find it either on the side of the opener. But be careful to only adjust this dial when you’re sure of the issue – too much force can damage your garage door or track. Additionally, verify that the new force settings still trigger the safety reversal system. Place a small (2” high), flat object on the floor and close the door. The object should force the garage door to reverse direction without too much pressure.

See if Your Garage Door Torsion Spring Is Broken

It’s your garage door torsion spring that actually does all the heavy lifting when you click your transmitter. Look to see if the torsion spring is broken (you should be able to see a visibly separated gap in the spring). A spring that is exposed or hanging loose is one that needs to be fixed for your garage door to work. Do not to use your garage door opener if you have a broken spring because it will burn out the motor and you may have to replace the entire opener. And, do not attempt to adjust a garage door torsion spring on your own. There is an incredible amount of tension in these types of springs that can easily cause serious injury to anyone inexperienced with professional garage door repair.

If you identified one of the last two issues as being the problem, you most likely need our help with your garage door repair. We have over 40 years of experience as a garage door repair company in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR area, so you can trust that we’ll get the job done right the first time.

Contact us today and a garage door that won’t close or open all the way won’t be a problem much longer.