Why Does My Garage Door Open or Close by Itself?

August 25, 2022

There are a few reasons a garage door can open and close itself. This phenomenon is often called “phantom operation”. Assuming the garage door has previously operated correctly, there are a few things you can check and possibly repair on your own. If you have a newly installed door and are experiencing this problem, consult your installation maual and make sure you completed all of the steps correctly.

Garage Door Opens/Closes at Random

Malfunctioning Circuit Board
If the door is opening or closing at random, particularly if the opener is an older model, it could be a malfunctioning circuit board. This problem is not uncommon. Generally the opener will flash an error code via the controller’s list bulb, which you can look up to determine the cause. 

Stuck Remote Button
Sometimes remote opener buttons can stick, causing the remove to either active the door or to trigger the learning function on the garage door opener.  It may not be obvious the button is stuck either. Try removing the batteries from all of your remotes and re-installing them one at a time. If a button is stuck it can usually be repaired with minimal difficulty, or replaced at a relatively low cost.

Garage Door Opener Remote Control

Control Button Wiring
Another possibility if the door opens and/or closes at random is the wiring at the control button on the wall. If the control button is hardwired to the unit, any short could cause strange behavior. It’s a good idea to disconnect power to the opener before checking the wire connections. 

Neighboring Garage Door
While it doesn’t happen often with modern garage door openers, it is possible that one of your neighbors has a garage door whose programming has inadvertently overlapped with yours. If you suspect this you can reset and reprogram your opener. Clearing the memory and using a new program will generally take care of this issue.

Hacked App
If you have a smartphone app that controls your garage doors, it’s possible someone has gained access to it by guessing or otherwise cracking your login. Try resetting your login to a secure username and password. 

Garage Door Starts to Close, Then Raises

Safety Sensors
If you close the garage door, but it comes back up at some point before completely closing, the safety sensor might be the problem. If nothing is in the path of the sensor’s lenses, make sure they are clean and properly aligned. Sometimes dirt on the lens, a slight misalignment, or a loose sensor bracket can cause the sensor to believe something has broken the sensor’s beam. Make sure everything is tight, lined up and clean. 

Sensor Wiring
If that doesn’t solve the problem, it could be the wiring between the sensors and the opener. Power down the opener and make sure the wires are connected securely, and there is no exposed wire that could come into contact with other objects. 

 Be sure to consult your product documentation before attempting to repair your opener. If you’re not able to determine the cause of the phantom operation you might want to contact an overhead door expert to troubleshoot the problem.

Garage Door