Garage Door Won’t Close All The Way: Reasons And Solutions

I kept wondering why does my garage door keep opening for some time. I bet you did too. After a lot of digging, I found lots of reasons why my Liftmaster garage door won’t close.

Few of them are really silly but some of them had valid reasons. Luckily, I fixed them myself. It’s not that difficult to figure out yourself. I believe that’s the reason you are here.

Let me tell you something…You are in the right place even if you have a different brand. Not just talking about those reasons, I will talk about some effective solutions too that I learned the hard way.

Reasons Why Garage Door Won’t Stay Closed

Liftmaster garage door won't close

When you see it keeps opening on its own, you may think the garage door has its own mind. There is something spooky about it.

But let’s see why it won’t stay closed all the way and what to do about it before you call an expert.

  • Dirty Sensor Lens

Something is obstructing the sensor to send and receive signals. This is something you should consider first because it happens a lot where dirt accumulates on the lens!

Any clutter may obstruct the sensor and, in that case, your garage door won’t close or open. There are several reasons why the signal of the sensor may be interrupted.

So, the first thing you need to do is to check the sensor. The sensor light may go out completely or flash when the beam is interrupted. Of course, it depends on the brand of your garage door.

Even if you notice nothing is blocking the safety sensors, clean the sensor eyes. The dirt and debris may accumulate on the lens of the sensors.garage door sensors

If this is the case, the sensor may send a false signal to the control board and this may be the reason why the door is not functional. Use a soft cloth to wipe clean the lens of the sensors.

Another reason why the sensors are not working properly because the sunlight is hitting the lens directly. To test it, look at the LED light after holding out your hand to block the sunlight.

If the LED light is blinking but gives you a solid light once the sunlight is blocked, you should take the necessary steps to block the sunlight. You can use PVC or whatever works for you best to do so.

Another reason why the signal to the sensors may be interrupted is the severed or unplugged cable. Have a little inspection and make sure wires are connected securely.

Still, it’s not working?

Well, the next step is to make sure the sensors are aligned properly with each other. If not, gently bend them to have proper alignment. If it does not solve the problem, check the next point.

  • Check The Remote

This is a hugely overlooked factor for a troubled garage door. If it’s not closing or opening by the remove, it’s just common sense to check the remote.

Keep in mind that, your door opener is wired with the electrical system of your home but the remote is not. It needs a battery for power!

Over time, the battery power may be too low for the remove to function properly and that’s another reason why it can’t open or close the door.

To be sure there is nothing wrong with the remote, press the button on the interior wall. If that closes the garage, you have a problematic remote; most likely the batteries are dead.

So, are the remote batteries dead?

If dead, replace them.

However, you may have a locked remote situation here. Depending on the model, you may have pressed the lock-out button. If so, the garage door opener won’t receive any signal from the remote.

Pressing the remote repeatedly won’t solve the problem. Check the manual and solve the remote locked-out problem.

If it does not after replacing the batteries and unlocking the remote, you may need to reprogram the remote too. There is a chance that the memory of the garage door opener is wiped clean by a sudden power surge.

It’s easy to reprogram the garage door opener. This is how you should do it…

Remove the light cover from the opener or open the rear flap (depends on what you have). There is a ‘Learn’ button. Find it and press it until a light flashes.

Press any button on your remote when you see the light flash. The remote should work now just fine.

  • Bent Tracks and Damaged Rollers

The rollers should be moving up and down freely on the sides of the garage door. There should some slack between the wall and the roller too. If the track is not straight or any bending on the track will impede its smooth movement.

For such heavyweight doors, damaged tacks are very common.

Such obstructions like warped or bent tracks won’t let the door close all the way. And bending on the track will keep pinching the roller. So, this is something I would inspect next if the sensors seem fine.

It does not have to a bent track or damaged roller; any obstruction will cause the same problem. So, inspect both the tracks carefully to identify any damages.

You should fix those bent or damaged tracks fast because making any delay will worsen the tracks and make it potentially dangerous.

With hammer strikes or using a clamp, you can bend those tracks back to the position to solve the problem. Just make sure the roller has enough clearance and you have to careful to do so.

Also, this is the perfect time to inspect the rollers. If you need to grease them, use silicone-based grease.

If the tracks seem beyond fixing, you may need to install new garage door tracks. I would call a professional to replace the old tracks.

  • The Disconnect Switch Issues

Normally, there is a disconnect switch with the garage door motor. It is there to help you out closing the door manually. It is a life-saver when there is no power!

If the disconnect switch is enabled, the motor will run but the door won’t close. Unlikely, but if someone unhooks the switch unwittingly, there won’t be any connection between the motor and the door.

Inspect this issue and if the switch is unhooked, re-attach it to establish a connection.

  • Limit Switch Problem

Every garage door motor unit has controls for the door to come down or up. They are popularly called limit switches and force adjusters.

You may have to adjust the downward or upward limit if the door is not coming all the way down or if it comes down but then bounces back up.

It happens a lot when the door closes but immediately opens instead of staying closed. This is true for new garage door installation.

Make sure to read the manual before you adjust the limit switch. The entire process should be explained there elaborately. And perform a safety test as mentioned right below this point.

This is how you should do it…

You can find the limit adjusters right on the side of the garage door motor unit. There are two adjusters for both the up and down limit.

Usually, if you turn the screw just once clockwise, there will two inches increase in the upward or downward limit. Turning counterclockwise will decrease the limit by the same measure.

So, hop on a ladder and find the limit adjusters. If the door is not coming down all the way down, turn the knob clockwise to increase the downward limit. You can use a screw-shaped adjuster to achieve that.

If it’s closing and bouncing back up, do the reverse—meaning, turn the knob counterclockwise to decrease the downward limit.

After that, run a complete up and down cycle for the garage door opener. But avoid doing this repeatedly to avoid overheating the motor. Once overheated, the motor will take at least 15 minutes to cool off.

Now, watch this video to see how it should be done.

  • Damaged Tension Springs Or Cables

The reason why the garage door closes slow and safely is because of the cables and the tension springs. But if the tension spring is broken, it will close really fast with a loud bang.

Imagine how dangerous it can be when someone is under the door and it’s closing FAST!

Let’s say the tension springs are fine but the cables may not. Because of the increased pressure, it is most likely the cables are broken too. It will cause the door to close fast too.

You should call a professional to fix those problems because it’s hard to fix the broken tension springs and cables without the right tools and expertise.

  • Transmitters Issues

Before I talk about it more, let me reveal an interesting fact first. If your neighbor has the same transmitter frequency, you will face trouble closing the garage door.

So, I would strongly recommend changing the frequency of your garage door to prevent it from happening again. Refer to the manual on how to set a different frequency.

Also, don’t get upset if you see your garage door randomly closes and opens even if you are not hitting any button.

Just make sure the transmitter is not stuck under something. And that something is not pressing the button.

Let’s say the transmitter has fallen under your car seat. In that case, something may be pressing the button rolling around the floor!

Let’s begin now with something serious issues with the transmitter!

You should be in range and there should not be any obstruction for the transmitters to work properly. So, the transmitters won’t work if you are within the range.

Let’s say you are within the range but still, the door refuses to close—what should you do?

Well, you should have a look at the antenna. Are there any obstructions preventing it from receiving the signal? If so, remove all such obstructions at once.

Another thing you need to consider is the battery of the transmitter. Yes, the transmitter needs a battery to work.

How can the transmitter send any signal to the door to close if the batteries are dead?  If you are sure the batteries are dead, it’s actually simple to replace them yourself.

This is how you should do it…

Slide the door open on the back of the transmitter to remove the batteries. You may need to use a screwdriver to remove the batteries if they are screwed in.

After you remove the old batteries, insert the new batteries keeping the plus and minus signs aligned with the transmitter. And you are done!

So, let’s say you have done everything I just said for the transmitter but you are still having some issues. In that case, you must reprogram the transmitter.

  • Run A Safety Test

problematic garage door

It’s a good idea to run a safety test when the garage door does not work as it supposed to. Modern garage doors come with a safety feature where they can bounce back if something is on their way.

It’s a life-saving safety feature and designed to safeguard kids and pets. So, this is what you should do.

Lay a smaller 2×4 board on the ground and try to close the door. If it bounces back, it’s okay. If not, it’s not safe for anybody.

  • Follow the Manual

All the latest garage door brands understand what future problem you may have. So, it’s a good time to refer to the manual you have. May by you will find the solution there!

If you notice a blinking light when your Chamberlain garage door won’t close or, it’s a sign that your door is telling you something! And you will find that in the manual.

You need to count the number of blinking and refer to the troubleshooting guide of the manual. Don’t fret if you don’t have the manual anymore.

You can always get it from the manufacturer’s website. Also, a simple Google search with the garage door model number should be able to find it.

  • Manually Close The Door

There is a manual release cord located on the garage door opener. It is there to manually release the garage door opener from the door in case you want to manually close the door by yourself.

You should find a handle at the bottom of the door. Release the door from the opener to close it manually.

  • Call A Professional

Unless there is something seriously wrong with your garage door, the above-mentioned tips should fix your problem of not closing or opening the garage door

But bad luck happens and such stuff tends to stop working after a while. So, if nothing works, you should call a professional to have a look and fix it.

I would not recommend doing any extensive DIY work on your own to prevent further damages.

Garage Door Maintenance Tips

garage door maintenance tips

The door itself cost a lot. The repairing cost is also higher. But you can give your garage door a trouble-free long life if you just regularly maintain it.

Here are some effective maintenance tips for your garage door:

  • Pay Attention

Every time you use the garage, you should observe it while in action. Observe whether it is smooth or jerky. Notice whether it’s making any grinding noises or operating silently.

Observing such issues regularly is the best preventive measure you can take to give it a longer life.

  • Lubricate Moving Parts

Just to keep the garage door moving smoothly and silently, a small amount of lubrication goes a long way! Every now and then you should lubricate the chain of the garage door openers, rollers, and tracks.

  • Tighten Up The Loosen Hardware

The door goes up and down more than 1000 times each year, several times a day. Due to these huge movements and vibrations, some parts or hardware may loosen up. If unchecked, this may lead to more serious problems.

So, it’s a good idea to inspect that hardware and tighten them up if found loose.

  • Check the Auto Reverse Feature

It’s a safety mechanism designed to protect children and pets. You should check this feature at least once a year to see whether it’s working properly or not.

Test it by placing a brick or piece of wood directly underneath the door and try to close it. It should reverse immediately detecting such objects.

  • Inspect Door Balance

The garage door opener has to work hard when the door is not perfectly balanced. Working hard will lead to more complex problems you want to avoid.

Pull the release handle to disconnect the opener. Move the door halfway up manually. It should stay put there.

If it’s not, the springs (counterweight system) are not properly balanced. I must recommend a garage door professional to adjust the spring.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my garage door keep going up and down?

Answer: You have a malfunctioning infrared sensors problem if your door keeps going up and down on its own. In that case, you should see the sensor lights blinking.

Why does my garage door not want to close?

Answer: There may be many reasons like a blocked path between the sensors, loose wires or dirty lenses of the sensors, and many other reasons.

Why is my garage door sagging?

Answer: If you keep the door open for a long period of time, the door may sag.

What happens when you pull the red string on a garage door?

Answer: It allows you to manually move the garage door by disconnecting the trolley from the carriage.

How do you adjust a limit switch on a garage door?

Answer: You can use a flat-head screwdriver to turn the knob clockwise or counterclockwise of the limit switch. To increase the travel distance of the limit switch, you can turn it clockwise. Do the opposite to decrease the travel distance.

How do you fix garage door that won’t close all the way?

Answer: Make sure nothing is blocking the sensors, check the rollers and tracks, inspect the trolly and your remote. If you can fix those problems yourself, it should work again.

Final Thoughts

I mentioned almost all the possible reasons why your garage door won’t close all the way and tried to help you out with those problems. Unless something is seriously damaged, those tips should work.

Let me know whether you have success following this guide in the comment box. It will encourage me a lot!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top