Garage Door Won’t Close

August 11, 2021

What should you do if your garage door won’t close? If your opener has power, some possible problems include:

  • Blocked sensor
  • Misaligned sensor
  • Dirty sensor
  • Light hitting sensor
  • Track damage
  • Trolley disengaged
  • Opener travel limit setting
  • Dead remote battery

Make Sure the Sensors Aren’t Blocked

Your sensors are typically mounted just inside the garage door, near the ground, on both sides of the door opening. These safety sensors prevent the door from closing if something is in the path of the door.

If your door starts to close, but doesn’t go all the way down, this could be the issue. Any object between the sensors while closing will cause the door to reverse direction.

Check the Sensor Lens and Alignment

If the sensor isn’t blocked, check the alignment. The lenses on each sensor should be pointed directly at each other. If they appear misaligned, there’s a wingnut on each sensor you can loosen/tighten by hand to make the necessary adjustments. Some sensors have a light that will blink or change color if they are misaligned.

These sensors often need to be cleaned also. Use a soft cloth to clean the lenses. Make sure there are no streaks after cleaning. A dirty sensor can also cause errors.

Also note, especially if you have issue only at certain times of the day, it’s possible the sun or other reflections are hitting the sensor lens, tricking it into opening the door. You can purchase or fashion your own sun shades to reduce the lighting hitting the sensor lens if this happens.

Check for Track Damage

Occasionally the track that guides your garage door up and down can have an issue. If the track is blocked, warped, or if it has been bent or damaged, your door may not close.

Check the track to make sure nothing is preventing the rollers from moving. Make sure there’s no visible damage or misalignment. You may be able to clear obstructions or straighten the track to get things moving again.

Be very careful if you attempt to remove items or manipulate the track in any way. The door could close unexpectedly, and even fall from the track if there is significant damage.

Look for Trolley Issues

The latch/pulley system (usually has a rope hanging from it) that connects the garage door to the opener is called the trolley.

If the rope on this devices is pulled, it can bypass the opener, which would prevent the opener remote or wall unit from opening the door. The door would only open manually in this state. You can pul the rope towards the door to re-engage the trolley.

Adjust the Door Travel Limits

Garage doors have a limit range that let’s the opener know how far the door should move before it’s fully opened/closed. If this is set incorrectly, the door may hit the ground and immediately bounce back up because it thinks there is something in the path.

This is normally only an issue on newly installed doors, but occasionally this limit may need to be adjusted.

How to make this adjustment varies depending on your opener model, but there are normally two screws or dials on the opener that allow you to adjust the limits.

Remote Batteries

If you’re trying to us your transmitter (remote) and the door won’t close, hit the wall unit to see if the door closes. If so, you may simply need a new battery for the transmitter.

How to Manually Close the Garage Door

If you’re unable to determine the problem, you should call a professional technician. To secure your garage, pull down on the bypass rope attached to the trolley. You should then be able to pull the door closed. Make sure you lock the door with the locks or latches attached to the side of the track.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manuals for troubleshooting and safety tips before attempting to repair your door/opener.