Can You Tell if Your Garage Door Opener is Malfunctioning?

by Loves Doors • March 15, 2021

Garage door openers are quite convenient. They are one of those house features that people take for granted until they stop working. If the opener goes out, you’ll be forced to open and close the heavy garage doors manually. Thankfully, there are a few ways to notice a failing door opener before it goes completely out of service and causes an accident or a missed meeting.

Here are some of the tell-tale signs that the garage door opener is failing.

Slow-moving or unresponsive doors

If the doors are opening slower than they used to, the garage door opener might be nearing the end of its expected lifetime. Garage doors will often open slower than they close (due to gravity), but an ailing opener will take much longer to raise the doors than usual.

In the worst cases, the garage opener might require more time to power up and open the doors. An unresponsive opener might be due to a faulty battery in the remote, but it can also mean the opener unit is worse for wear and needs to be replaced. While it’s possible to fix an unresponsive opener, the time and money involved in that operation might not always be worth the effort. They can be more expensive than installing a safer, modern alternative.

Unusual garage door noises

Chain-operated garage door openers will invariably make some noise while pulling the doors up and down by default. However, if the noise level has gone up in the recent months, or if there is an additional rattling noise present, it might be time to inspect the opener for possible faults. Motors will often be louder as they age, and an unusual noise needs to be checked out.

Belt-drive openers are relatively quiet by comparison. If the new belt opener starts to get noisy, it most likely needs to be inspected for possible problems and fixed.

Most of the time, if a motor breaks down, the only option is to get a new one and replace the adjoining machinery. Sometimes, getting a completely new garage opener, as a whole, will be a more worthwhile investment.


If the opener or the garage doors vibrate excessively while opening or closing, then it’s usually a sign that something is wrong within the armature that supports it. If the vibration is long and sustained, there’s a chance the doors can fall out of their mount and onto the ground, the car, or a person. When that happens, it’s safe to say that the opener needs to be replaced along with the doors.

Doors reversing

If the doors suddenly reverse after opening, the most likely culprit is the safety sensor installed in older garage door models. You can often replace the sensor without ruining the rest of the garage doors. But, such a fix might not last for long or can conceal the garage door opener’s other faults.

Is your garage door opener giving problems?

If the garage door opener is failing, the best way forward is to contact a professional garage door company. They will fix anything worth fixing or provide a suitable, cost-effective alternative to install a different door opener and solve the problems for good.

Loves Garage Doors specializes in residential garage door and garage door opener repair, installation, and maintenance in Phoenix and surrounding cities. Call (602)346-9516 today!

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