What to Do When Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Discovering that your garage door won’t open is an inconvenient, unwelcome surprise, especially when you’re trying to rush out in the morning. The good news is that the problem often has a simple solution.

However, there are instances where you’ll need to call professionals. Here are a few reasons your garage door won’t open and what to do about them.

Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Before you get anxious about the possibility of expensive repairs, first check to see if your garage door is stuck for one of these reasons you can quickly fix yourself.

Your Remote Needs Batteries

If you try to open your garage door and it seems like there’s no response at all, the first thing you should check is your remote’s batteries.

This is the easiest fix for a garage door that won’t open and one of the most common. Just pop in some new batteries and you’ll be on your way!

The Power Was Disconnected

An unplugged power cord is another simple and easy-to-diagnose cause of a garage door that won’t open.

If it looks like your cord is secure in the socket, the next step is making sure the socket itself is supplying power. Sometimes, wall sockets are controlled by a switch nearby.

Your Keypad Is Out of Sync

Your keypad and remote control must be synchronized to work. Look in your opener’s user handbook for directions on how to re-sync the keypad with the remote. If that was the issue, your door should open without any issues after it’s fixed.

The Parts Need Lubrication

This is common, especially in colder months – lubricating the rollers and the garage door tracks may be all that’s needed.

Your garage door will struggle to open if the components are stiff. To fix this, spray your rollers with a garage door-friendly lubricant (not WD40).

The Sensor Is Blocked

Photo eyes are an important, universal safety feature of all garage doors and were made mandatory in 1993. They prevent your garage door from closing when something is in its path.

Sometimes they get blocked – either by an object or some dust and debris – so you’ll need to clean them off before operating your garage door.

The Garage Door Is Locked

Does your garage door have a manual lock (also called a slide lock)? If so, be sure it wasn’t pulled into the locked position on accident.

Some garage doors also have a lock mode that activates after pressing the open or close button for several seconds. If this is activated, you won’t be able to open the door with a quick tap of the button – you’ll need to hold it down again to deactivate the lock mode.

How to Manually Open Your Garage Door

Garage door manual safety release cordIf you’ve checked all the options above and none of them got your door working properly, don’t worry – you aren’t stuck! You can manually open your garage door using the emergency release cord.

Here’s how to do it:

  • First, make sure your garage door is closed – This shouldn’t be a problem if it won’t open, but it should be fully closed to be safe. This is to avoid the garage door crashing down just in case your spring is broken.
  • Pull the emergency release cord – It’s the red cord that hangs from your garage door trolley and moves with your door as it opens and closes. Once you pull it, you’ll be able to freely move your garage door.
  • Open your garage door – Be sure to return it to the closed position once you’re done.
  • Re-engage the carriage – Pull the emergency release cord toward the door. By doing so, the spring lever will be compressed, enabling the two mechanisms to reconnect.


When To Call a Professional

If you’ve checked the list of common reasons your garage door won’t open and none of them seemed to do the trick, it’s time to call a professional.

We’ll be able to perform a safety inspection and figure out what’s causing your garage door to get stuck.

In many cases, attempting to fix a garage door that won’t open yourself is very dangerous. Call Precision to come inspect your door if you suspect that it isn’t opening for any of the following reasons.

Your Garage Garage Door Spring Has Sprung

There are two different types of garage door springs: torsion and extension. Tension springs are normally installed horizontally on the wall above the door. Extension springs attach to either side of your garage door track, not above it.

The average garage door spring has about a seven-year lifespan. They hold a lot of tension that allows your heavy garage door to open and close, but eventually, they wear out and snap.

Once they break, you won’t be able to open your garage door until a professional comes to install new springs. Call Precision right away if you need new garage door springs installed!

The Garage Door Cables Are Loose

Loose or broken cables are another common culprit of garage doors that won’t open. They line up with the door’s springs on either side, and the garage door will crash down (or simply not open up) once they break.

Properly working garage door cables should be taut. You’ll know your cables are broken if you see them sagging or hanging down.

As with broken springs, you won’t be able to open the door once your cables break, so the best option is to contact a professional as soon as possible to replace them.

The Tracks Need To Be Realigned

You might have an issue with the door tracks if your garage door hasn’t been opening smoothly (if this is the case, you’ve probably noticed creaking while using the door).

The garage door track can become misaligned after something heavy hits it or if debris repeatedly gets in the way of the rollers. You can examine the area for any lumps and bends and remove any debris from the tracks if needed, but you should call a professional to come fix a misaligned track.

The Rollers Are Cracked Or Broken

Rollers are key components of any garage door system. They connect the door to a series of tracks that allow quick and effortless opening and closing.

The rollers work hard when you open and close your garage door, and they need to be replaced occasionally due to gradual wear and tear. Broken rollers will make it difficult for your garage door to open or prevent it from opening altogether.

What If Your Garage Door Won’t Open All The Way?

Your garage door has a limit switch that electronically regulates or restricts how far it can move while opening and closing. If your garage door won’t open all the way, the limit switch on your garage door opener might need to be adjusted.

Here’s a general overview of how to reset it, though we recommend consulting your manual to make sure these steps apply with your opener:

  • Measure the distance from the top of the garage door opening to the bottom of the garage door while it’s open
  • Find the limit switch adjustment screw on your opener (the location will vary by model)
  • Turn the screw clockwise with a flathead screwdriver. One full turn will raise your door about three inches
  • Open and close your garage door to set the correct distance

That should reset your limit switch get your garage door to open properly. If not, call a professional to come inspect the issue further.

Need Help With a Garage Door That Won’t Open?

Always call a professional if you’re dealing with broken components like springs, cables, tracks, and more. The risk of trying to fix those issues yourself isn’t worth the damage they could cause to you, your property, and your home’s occupants.

Our professionally trained technicians arrive in fully stocked trucks to solve your problem in one visit. We use the highest-quality parts available and back them up with a lifetime warranty. Your tech will also perform a 21-point safety inspection to ensure there are no other issues with your door. Call Precision 24/7 to schedule service!


Serving Greenville, SC and the surrounding areas, we can safely and correctly install a new garage door that’s perfect for your home.

For more information or to schedule a service visit, please contact us today!

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(864) 326-2989