Is Your Garage Door Not Opening?

Kansas home with 2 garage doors

7 Easy Troubleshooting Steps to Fix a Broken Garage Door

Kansas home with 2 garage doors

Your wonderful automatic garage door is anything but convenient when it’s not working. You were probably taking the convenience of a working garage door for granted until you suddenly find yourself stuck with not being able to get in (or out of) your garage.

Why is your garage door not opening?

Whether you have a new garage door or an old one, unfortunately, problems can happen. While Cheney Door Company is here to provide repair service for any garage door (even if we didn’t install it), there are some things you can try yourself.

There are some troubleshooting steps to a garage door not opening that most homeowners can handle easily on their own.

7 troubleshooting steps to fixing a broken garage door not opening

7 Troubleshooting Steps to a Garage Door Not Opening

Step #1: Check your remote’s batteries

This is the easiest and quickest step. But not just that, a lot of the following steps won’t work without it. Be sure that your garage door remote has functioning batteries. Replace the battery and see if this immediately handles your problem.

Your remote control may have an LED light on it. If so, you may be able to know that its battery is dead just by seeing that the light is out.

PRO-TIP: Avoid this potential problem by having extra batteries ready and in your car. Check to see which type of battery your remote requires and put them on your shopping list today. You may save yourself a lot of time (and a big headache) if your remote’s batteries die on a day you really, really cannot be late.


Step #2: Check the wall unit

You want to rule out that the problem is not with the garage door remote itself.

First, you want to make sure the remote has access to tell your garage door to open. Check for a green light on your wall unit. If it is blinking, that means your remote is locked out from working. Just hold down the lock button for a few seconds to fix that.

If that wasn’t the problem, check to see if the wall-mounted opener is functioning. If the wall switch does open the door, you may want to reset the remote. This is typically an easy procedure. But because different openers have different ways of doing this, you will need your operator’s manual to reset your remote.


Don’t have your opener manual? You can usually find one available online from the manufacturer’s website. If you got your opener from Cheney Door, chances are you have a LiftMaster, a top-of-the-line series of openers both for residential and commercial. You can find the manual you need at LiftMaster’s website.

LiftMaster opener manufacturer logo

If you can’t locate your manual, call us at Cheney Door Company in Wichita at (316) 262-2098. We may be able to help give you directions over the phone. We would also be able to come out and fix the problem completely. We are available for 24/7 emergency service.


Step #3: Inspect the opener

First, you want to check to make sure it is plugged in. This is a surprisingly common problem. Whether someone knocked it out or it just got loose over time on its own, a garage door opener can inadvertently become unplugged. It may be just slightly loose, so be sure to push it in the outlet to ensure that it is entirely in.

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Step #4: Is the garage door locked?

While you’re inside your garage making sure the opener is plugged in, look to see if someone locked the garage door from inside.


Step #5: Does your home have power?

When your home doesn’t have electricity, your garage door will not work. If you are just arriving home when you encounter your garage door not working, it may not be obvious that you had a power outage.

If your power is on, there could be a breaker that was tripped and stopping the power from getting to your garage. Try resetting any flipped switches.

NOTE: If you’ve lost power to your home and need to exit your garage before power can be restored, you can lift the door by hand with the emergency release. The way to do that is with the pull cord (or switch) that releases the opener’s trolley from the chain drive. You can consult your opener’s operating manual for instructions on how to do that


Step #6: Dirty sensor

Your garage door should have a small safety sensor. This is called the photo eye. This sensor is located a few inches off the ground, and it casts a laser beam to detect objects. If it notices anything in the path, such as a child, it will keep your door from closing.

You simply need to wipe it with a soft rag in case there is any dirt or debris preventing the sensor from working correctly.

If you were having a problem with the door not shutting or not shutting all the way, it’s possible there is something, even a tiny twig or pile of leaves, that the photo eye is sensing. Move or sweep away anything that could be telling you signal to stop shutting the door.

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Step #7: Trolley connection

Is your garage door not opening but motor running?

In Step #5, we talked about how the trolly can be disengaged from your automatic opener if you need to open your garage during a power outage. It is possible that the trolley may have become engaged, and that is what is keeping your door from opening or closing.

This is a great time to consult the operator’s manual to see how to reengage the trolley.

There is a pull cord with most openers that lets you move the trolley along the track manually. If the trolley moves without the chain moving, it is not engaged. You may notice the spring coil is extended.

To reconnect the trolley, pull on the cord towards the garage door.  You should see that spring tighten up. Now you can pull the cord to move the trolley to the plate that allows it to connect with the opener’s chain.

Trolley can come off track and cause a garage door to not open

Garage Door Still Broken?

If you’ve tried all of the above 7 easy troubleshooting steps and your door still won’t open, then the problem is likely more complicated. Give Cheney a call at (316) 262-2098, and one of our expert repair technicians will be able to come out to diagnose and fix the problem completely. We’ve been installing and repairing garage doors for half a century, so you can trust us to get your door back up and running perfectly.

Is your garage door repairable?

Cheney Door Company truck at construction site in Salina, KSSometimes a garage door opener is beyond repair, especially if it’s very old. Was your opener installed more than 10 or 15 years ago? That could mean it’s time to consider getting a new opener installed. There have been significant advancements in garage door technology over the past decade, so you may find the many high-tech options now available to be a welcome change for your home!

You can request a free quote online from Cheney Door Company to get started on considering options for a new garage door or accessories.

Call Cheney Door Company for everything from a quick repair to a complete garage door replacement. In the Wichita area, call (316) 262-2098. In Hutchinson, call (620) 669-9306, and in Salina, call (785) 820-8366.

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