Garage Door Opener Warning Signs to Watch and Listen For

by | Jun 22, 2022 | Garage Door Repair

Does your garage door opener not work? 

Whether it’s a frozen door failing to open in the Chicagoland winter or a loud noise causing you to cover your ears, a failing garage door opener can be frustrating. Not only that, but it can also be dangerous to have a heavy garage door malfunctioning all the time.

That’s why it’s important to diagnose the problem and choose the best solution. The first step in that process is to pay attention to warning signs. 

Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common ones.

The Importance of Garage Door Maintenance 

Before looking at the specific kinds of failures, let’s take a look at maintenance.

Just as healthy eating and exercise can prevent future diseases, regular maintenance on a garage door can prevent future failures. 

This can take the form of checking the safety, checking the hardware (cables, rollers, bearing plates, and more), and testing the opening/closing functions. A yearly check should be fine, assuming nothing else is wrong.

Since these three critical tasks can get a bit involved, it’s helpful to call in local Chicagoland experts to make sure the maintenance is thorough and accurate. 

Warning Sign #1: Noise

Garage door openers are meant to be fairly quiet. So, when you hear something unexpected, such as a loud or grinding noise, then it’s a good sign that something might be wrong.  

A loud noise usually means that something’s wrong with the garage door springs. Usually, they’re unbalanced and a replacement or readjustment of the torsion or extension springs is required. It’s best to repair your garage door springs to prevent further damage. 

If you hear a grinding noise instead of a loud noise, then that usually means something’s wrong with the garage door opener gears.

Ignoring the grinding noise could result in gear problems that make the chain unable to turn. That inability to turn means you’ll have to open and close the garage door yourself —which kind of defeats the purpose of having a garage door opener.

Warning Sign #2: Slow Movement or Stalled Movement

A garage door opener should run at a steady and reasonable speed. Too fast can be dangerous; too slow can be annoying. It can also be a sign that something’s wrong. 

Slow movement (say, longer than 20 seconds) could be the result of an old door or poor lubrication.

Old garage doors could have worn-out components, bent tracks, or broken springs that all lead to slow openings and closings. This may require a garage door replacement.

Poor lubrication is a bit easier to fix. You can either lubricate the hinges, rollers, and tracks yourself, or call in an expert garage door repair company to do it. 

Warning Sign #3: Garage Door Opener Isn’t Working

If the garage door opener isn’t working at all, then it’s best to take a careful approach to clearly identify what’s wrong. 

First, test both your wall-mounted garage door opener control panel and your remote to see if they work. If the first one works but the second one doesn’t, then it’s most likely a battery issue with the remote. However, if none of the remote garage door openers work, then it could be related to the power supply. 

Second, test for range and interference. If a remote garage door opener is outside its range of effective use, then it’s unlikely to work. Alongside that, there’s the possibility of interference from other electronics (for example, LED lights). 

If you’ve removed electronic interference and changed the batteries but the remote garage door opener still isn’t working, then it may require fixing the logic board or getting a new garage door opener. 

However, if the opener continues to lose range, then it could be something more drastic such as the travel module, an RPM sensor, or an encoder.

Warning Sign #4: Garage Doors Not Shutting Properly 

If you press your garage door opener and the door stays partly open or begins reopening, then something may be wrong with the sensors. 

All garage doors in Chicagoland and across the U.S. are required to have two sensors, one on each side of the garage door. These communicate with each other to determine if it’s safe to close. 

When the two sensors are not calibrated correctly or are out of alignment, it may result in the sensors “thinking” something is in the way when it isn’t. This causes an incomplete close or a reopened door. 

Not only is this annoying, but it’s also dangerous. An alarming amount of home intruders go in through the garage doors. Leaving the doors partially open only makes it easier for them.

To avoid that, it’s best to call in the pros to readjust the sensors. 

Warning Sign #5: Intermittent Loss of Power

When garage door openers only work occasionally, it’s often the result of capacitor problems. Capacitors help provide an extra boost of energy to your home’s electric outlets so they can open and close the heavy garage doors. 

If the garage door opener works sometimes but not others, it’s usually a sign that the capacitor is failing. When it completely fails, you’ll hear a mini-explosion-like sound followed by some smoke. 

Unfortunately, a blown capacitor often spills over into the logic board, causing that to fry as well. When both happen at once, the best solution is often an entirely new garage door opener.

Fix Your Garage Door Opener with AG Smart Garage

Paying attention to the five warning signs above can help you diagnose common problems with your garage door opener. Although some of the minor problems you may be able to fix on your own, most of the major ones require qualified experts to safely fix. 

AG Smart Garage has been repairing and installing garage door openers in the Chicagoland area for many years. Reach out to us today to see how we can help.