My Garage Doors Don’t Open or Close: Why and What to Do?

by in Automotive

We rely on our garage doors to open and close when we need them to. But what happens when they don’t work? What are the common causes of garage door malfunctions, and what can you do about it?

 Common Causes of Garage Door Malfunctions

Garage door malfunctions can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from mechanical issues to electrical problems. Some of the most common causes include:

 Mechanical Issues

  • broken or bent garage door springs: garage door springs are responsible for counterbalancing the weight of the door, enabling easy opening and closing. If springs are broken or bent, it’s likely the door won’t open, or it will be very difficult to lift manually. An unusual loud bang when trying to operate the door is often a sign of a broken spring;
  • misaligned or worn-out tracks: the tracks on either side of your garage door guide the door’s movement. If they are misaligned or worn out, the door won’t glide smoothly, and in worst scenarios, it might not move at all. Look for visible bents, gaps or flat spots, and check if the tracks are properly aligned. This problem could be caused by the door hitting something, worn out hardware, or lack of maintenance.
  • faulty door openers: a garage door opener is like the engine of your door – it’s what moves the door up and down. When this device malfunctions, your door might refuse to open or close, or it might not respond instantly to control commands. Problems with door openers could stem from various issues like burnt-out circuit boards, worn-out gears, or issues with the power source like a blown fuse or issues with the electrical outlet.
  • malfunctioning cables or pulleys: garage doors operate using a complex system of cables and pulleys. The cables can become frayed or snap while pulleys can wear out or seize due to normal wear and tear or lack of maintenance. When these components fail, the door might not open or close properly, or it might tilt to one side when moving. Frayed or broken cables are a serious issue and should be replaced immediately to prevent the door from crashing down with exponential force. Due to the high tension, it is highly advised to let a professional fix these issues to avoid personal injury or further damage.

 Electrical Issues

    • dead batteries: when batteries run out of power, the remote can’t send a signal to open or close the door. This issue is usually resolved simply by replacing the batteries in the remote;
    • faulty wiring: another issue involves wiring that connects the motor unit to the wall switch, or the wiring of the motor unit itself. Faulty or frayed wiring can interrupt the signal, preventing the garage door from functioning properly. Wiring issues should be addressed by a trained professional to prevent electrical shock or further damage;
  • faulty sensors: modern garage doors have safety sensors that detect objects or people in the way of the door. These sensors transmit a beam across the door, and if something interrupts this beam, the door will stop closing. Sensors can become misaligned or fail entirely over time, which can lead to your garage door not closing properly. If realigning doesn’t help, replacement of the sensors may be necessary;
  • dirty or corroded contacts: the contacts on the remote or the motor unit can become dirty or corroded over time. This can limit the effectiveness of the signal sent from the remote to the garage door opener, interrupting operation. A careful cleaning with a contact cleaner can solve this problem, but if corrosion is severe, you may need to replace the affected parts.

If you live in the Ontario region, you may contact a garage doors service company, which provides different services, in particular – garage door repair in Brampton, Oakville and other cities around Toronto, and in Toronto itself.

 How to Troubleshoot Garage Door Problems

If your garage door won’t open or close, the first step is to check the power source. Make sure the power is on and the circuit breaker has not tripped. If the power is on, try resetting the garage door opener by unplugging it and plugging it back in. If the power source is working but the door still won’t open or close, it’s time to check the mechanical and electrical components of the door.

 Check the Mechanical Components

Look for any signs of damage to the door, tracks, springs, cables, and pulleys. Make sure everything is properly aligned and in good working order. If you find any signs of damage, it’s best to call a professional for repairs.

 Check the Electrical Components

If the mechanical components are in good condition, it’s time to check the electrical components. Start by checking the batteries in the garage door opener. If the batteries are not the issue, check the wiring and sensors for any signs of damage or corrosion. If any of these components are damaged, it’s best to call a professional for repairs.


Garage door malfunctions can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from mechanical issues to electrical problems. The first step in troubleshooting is to check the power source. If the power is on, check the mechanical and electrical components of the door. If any of these components are damaged, it’s best to call a professional for repairs. With the right troubleshooting steps, you can get your garage door up and running in no time.

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