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What to do if your Automated Garage Door won’t Open

You’re late for work, you’ve grabbed your gear in a hurry, and you’re walking towards the garage pressing the button on the remote keyfob to get to your car – but nothing is happening; in fact you’ve probably pressed the button a dozen times by now, and still nothing has happened.  What do you do?


Well, the short answer is don’t panic, as this may be due to something very simple.  Firstly, have you checked the remote itself?  Is the LED lighting-up when you press the button?  If not, then it is most likely just a dead battery in the remote.  Most automated doors are supplied with more than one remote control, so find the other one and you should be on your way.   Just make sure you remember to fit a new battery to the dead remote, otherwise the next time this happens, the solution won’t be so straightforward!

Is the garage door the only way into your garage, or is there a service door that you can walk through to get inside?   If the garage door is the only way in, then you can probably save yourself a lot of heartache by ringing us straight away and requesting an emergency call-out, because all automated doors have built-in security locks, so if the remote does not open it then that door is not going to open from the outside without assistance.

If the remote is lighting-up, then enter the garage by the service door and press the internal operating switch; if the door operates normally, then the problem is most likely the remote signal receiver, which will probably need replacement.

If the door still does not move, listen to check if the motor is operating.  If there is no noise, then the motor is dead.  This could be something as simple as there being no electric power to the garage, so check the interior light and, if that is also dead, check the house panel to see if the garage circuit has tripped, or open and close the circuit breaker to see if that will restore power.

If the power is on, then the problem is most likely the motor itself, which will need repair or replacement.   In this case, there is an emergency cord that detaches the motor and drive train from the door mechanism; this is normally coloured red for ease of recognition.  Pull this and, once detached, the door can be opened manually.   You can then give us a ring and arrange an appointment for us to come and repair the motor mechanism.

If you can hear the motor operating, but the door isn’t moving, then there will be a physical reason preventing the door from opening; if this is the case, don’t continue to press the switch, as this could cause further damage.

Firstly, we all keep all manner of items in our garage, and it is not unusual for any of these to move due to air drafts or vibration.  So has anything fallen against the inside of the door, or into any part of the mechanism causing it to jam?  If so, carefully remove the obstruction and open the door.

If there are no physical obstructions in the mechanism, check the optical sensors to see if anything has fallen in front of them, causing them to render the door inoperative.  These sensors operate on a thin photo-electric beam, and even very small objects like a leaf or spiders’ web in the wrong place can cause them to signal an obstruction.   If there are no obstructions, check the lenses to make sure they have not simply become dirty.

If none of those possibilities resolves the problem, then the sensors may have become misaligned, or the drive train could be broken or damaged in some way.  None of these are something you can fix quickly, so use the emergency cord to detach the motor mechanism, and the door should open manually.   Then give us a call and make an appointment for one of our engineers to come-out and identify the cause for you.

If the door will not open manually, then there is likely to be some damage to the door springs, or the mechanism itself.  Visually check to see that all of the door rollers are still engaged internally within their tracks.  If any are outside of the track, then the door has become detached.  You should not try to move it, as it will probably fall off completely.   This would be a good time to put an emergency call into us, as all of our engineers carry the appropriate equipment to remedy this situation for you.

If the rollers are fully-engaged, are the tracks themselves bent or broken, or is there any scratching that may indicate that some of the moving components are seized.   If these look OK, but the door still will not open, then there is likely to be some damage to the door springs.  Once again, take care not to force the door, as it is a very heavy object – the reason it doesn’t normally feel that heavy is because the springs act as counterweights, making it easier to lift.

Take a look at the door springs.  They will be mounted either horizontally along a shaft above the door, or vertically at each side of the door.  Are they in one piece?  If any are broken, then there will be no assistance to open the door.  Also check the cables which again are either side of the door.  If any are broken, then the effect will be the same.

It may still be possible to lift the door with broken springs or cables, but it will be heavy and may become detached.  So it is better to have assistance opening it, because you could easily injure yourself trying to lift a door with broken springs; worse still, if the door has become detached from part of its mechanism, it can fall off.   This will cause damage to anything underneath it – including you!

Even when fully-open, any door with broken springs or cables that has been disconnected from the drive train will likely fall back down again if not supported.    A door with broken springs will fall quickly and heavily so, in this circumstance, be sure that the door can be supported or propped open before driving your car out.

Finally, remember that whatever the problem, Garage Door Rescue has fully-equipped service vans driven by experienced Garage Door Engineers who live locally to you and can fix your door quickly from as little as £34.99 + VAT.  Just ring 01793 303503.