Garage Door Problems and Faults

Hormann Garage Door Remote Battery

Most garage doors will continue to run smoothly for many years. Occasionally, however, you may find that your trusty garage door fails to open or close properly. Here at ABi Garage Doors Leeds we obviously help people with their garage door problems quite a lot, and although there are times, unfortunately, when a professional repair is necessary, a lot of common problems can be easily solved.

Automatic Garage Doors

One of the more common problems we come across is an automatic garage door system that fails to open or close. This can often be as simple as a battery that needs replacing in the hand transmitter; it is even worth trying a couple of batteries as it is surprising how often we encounter replacement ‘dud’ batteries. If the door has safety photocells then a problem with these will often cause the door to not close properly or only close if the button on the hand transmitter is held down. This can be caused by photocells being misaligned, usually if one of them has been inadvertently knocked. Moving it back into position or tightening a bracket can often resolve this.

Some automation systems use a ‘bottom safety edge’ either instead of or along with photocells. This is a pressure sensitive device that runs along the bottom edge of the garage door. These can sometimes be wireless and have a small battery in the sensor on the door. A failed safety edge will usually cause the same issues as problems with photocells and replacing the battery can usually fix this.

An electrically operated door needs electricity! It sounds obvious but is often worth checking that there has not been a mains power cut or that one of the fuses in the property has not blown or been tripped. A word of caution however; fuses, breakers and RCD’s are protection devices, if something has tripped or blown then there is a reason for it. One of the most common power problems we come across in garages is ‘nuisance tripping’ as a result of water or damp affecting circuits, often from old leaky roofs. If there is no obvious reason for tripped or blown fuses then you should call a qualified electrician.


Obstructions can cause problems for both manually and electrically operated garage doors. This can be as simple as stones and pebbles stopping an automatic door closing fully which will usually result in the door opening again. Sometimes objects can fall into the garage door mechanism which can jam doors and stop them moving completely. We once came across a situation where a gardening spade fell into a garage door arm once the door had been closed and prevented it from opening, so it is worth making sure that you don’t leave anything unsecured that could potentially cause problems.

Tracks and Rollers

Garage Door Roller Track Parts

If your manual garage door appears to have become unusually heavy or stiff then one of the first things to check are the tracks and rollers. A clogged up track can cause a door to become stiff or feel ‘gritty’ when opening and closing. We don’t recommend using grease on rollers or tracks as this can collect dust and dirt over time. Check to make sure the tracks are clean and free from any debris that might cause problems for rollers and guides. The tracks can easily be wiped with an old cloth but watch out for any sharp edges and make sure the door will not move while you are cleaning the tracks. A broken roller can often be replaced by anyone that is reasonable competent at DIY but if you are unsure then call an expert.

Garage Door Springs

Henderson Garage Door Springs
Spring failure will cause your door to be a lot heavier than usual. There are generally two types of springs used on garage doors; extension springs and torsion springs.
Torsion springs run across the top of the door frame and have a spindle running through them. They can ‘lose’ tension over time or fail completely which will make your garage door heavier to lift. Springs can be replaced or tension can be added to existing springs but we recommend this is done by a garage door expert.

Extension springs are usually fitted at each side of the garage door frame. If one or both of the springs fail it will make the door very difficult to lift. Extension springs can be replaced and we keep a full range of springs in stock at our warehouse in Leeds for all the major manufacturers. We can also have obsolete and obscure springs custom manufactured. It is often not too difficult to replace extension springs. If you can source the correct replacement springs and are reasonably competent at DIY then it is possibly something you can do yourself. We recommend that the springs at both sides of the garage are replaced at the same time to ensure the door balances correctly. Please be aware, however, that garage door springs can be under a lot of tension and can cause serious injury if they are not fitted correctly, so if you are in any doubt then call an expert.

Lubricating Garage Doors

Garage doors don’t usually require a lot of lubrication. As previously mentioned we don’t recommend using oil or grease as it tends to attract dirt and debris over time. Some of the best lubricants to use are products that are designed for cycle chains; a small amount applied to the rollers and hinges is usually all that is needed.

Your friendly local garage door experts

Most garage door problems are easily solved without the need to call a professional, if you do need any help though, ABi Garage Doors Specialists are your local experts and our teams of qualified engineers cover the entire Yorkshire region. We keep a huge range of spares in stock and if we don’t have a part we usually know where to get it. We can often give advice over the phone so if you do have any questions about a problem with your garage door, why not give us a call?