around the clock
Lic. #1081591

How to Repair a Garage Door

January 8, 2024

Did you know that the average garage door is opened and closed more than 1,500 times a year? Without regular maintenance and repair, garage doors can wear out, potentially exposing you to theft, adverse weather, and other risks.

Fortunately, at Safety Garage Door Repair & Installation, we provide solutions for both do-it-yourself enthusiasts and those in need of professional services, including insights into common garage door repair issues and their associated repair costs. In this blog, we'll guide you through these topics to help you keep your garage door in optimal condition.

How to Repair a Garage Door: Addressing Common Issues

How to Repair a Garage Door: Addressing Common Issues

In response to our readers' feedback and inquiries, we've assembled a comprehensive guide to address the common garage door issues faced by homeowners. This section offers practical solutions to ensure your garage door remains both reliable and safe as an integral part of your home.

1. What to Do If My Garage Door Won’t Open or Close?

Possible causes:

  • Dead battery: If you use a remote control, the issue might be as simple as a dead battery. Replacing the battery in the remote is a quick and easy fix.
  • Faulty wall switch or sensor: Sometimes, the problem lies in a damaged or misaligned wall switch or sensor. If the remote works but the wall switch doesn't, you may need to replace either the switch or the wires. To diagnose, unscrew the switch and touch the wires together. If the opener runs, the switch is bad. If not, use a small wire to jump the wires at the opener terminal. If it runs, the wire to the switch is faulty, often due to pinching by staples. Replace with 18- to 22-gauge wire.
  • Sensor obstruction: Garage doors rely on sensors for safety, which can be obstructed, preventing the door from opening. Clear any objects blocking the sensor's path. To fix misaligned sensors, unplug the garage door opener, adjust the sensors until aligned, and test by ensuring the small light on each sensor is on with no obstruction. If no light shows, the sensors may need replacing.
  • Disengaged trolley: The trolley, which connects the door to the opener, might be disengaged. This can happen due to manual operation or a power cut. Check and re-engage the trolley if necessary. Trolley carriage replacement is needed if the door doesn't open but the trolley moves. This is common when the opener is old or failing. To replace, secure the chain to the track, detach it from the trolley, slide off the old trolley, and connect the new one. Adjust the chain tension as needed.
  • Broken spring: Garage door springs counterbalance the weight of the door. If a spring is broken, the door won't open due to the lack of support. This issue requires professional repair.
  • Track issues: Lastly, inspect the tracks. Bent or misaligned tracks can impede the door's movement and may need straightening or realignment.
  • Power failure: First, check if there's a power outage in your area or if the breaker has tripped. This is a common and often overlooked cause. If the wall switch and remotes don't work despite power, the circuit board may be damaged, often due to lightning strikes. Replacing it is simple and takes about ten minutes with a 1/4-inch nut driver:
  1. Remove the light cover.
  2. Take out the lightbulb.
  3. Disconnect the switch and safety sensor wires.
  4. Remove a few screws.
  5. Unplug the old board.
  6. Replace with a new one.

A circuit board costs around $80, or you can buy a surge protector for less than $10 to prevent future damage.

If you haven’t found the answers, explore our guide on why your garage door remains closed.

2. What If My Garage Door Opens Slowly?

What If My Garage Door Opens Slowly?

Possible causes:

  • Low battery: Again, a low battery can still replace the battery in the remote control to ensure it’s functioning optimally. the issue, causing slower operation.
  • Lack of lubrication: Without proper lubrication, the rollers, tracks, and hinges can become stiff. Regularly lubricate these parts to reduce friction and improve movement.
  • Spring tension issues: Incorrect garage door spring tension can affect the door's operation. In this case, we recommend adjusting the spring tension (guide link) following the guide for smoother operation.
  • Faulty garage door opener motor: An old or damaged motor can struggle to operate the door effectively. If the motor is found to be the issue, consider replacing it for more efficient functioning.

3. What If My Garage Door Falls Too Quickly?

Possible causes:

  • Broken garage door spring: Springs control the door's descent, and a broken one can cause it to fall rapidly. However, due to the high tension involved, replacing a broken spring is a dangerous task and should only be done by a garage door professional.
  • Loose spring tension: If the springs’ tension isn’t enough, that might also cause the garage door to close too quickly. In some cases, you may be able to adjust the spring tension yourself. However, it's important to consult your garage door manual for specific instructions and ensure you're comfortable with the process before attempting it.
  • Faulty brake: The brake mechanism prevents the door from falling freely. Again, we recommend contacting a garage door technician as repairing or replacing a faulty brake requires specialized knowledge and tools.
  • Damaged hinges: Worn-out or damaged hinges can affect the door's balance and speed. Replacing damaged hinges with new ones is a relatively straightforward task.

4. What If My Garage Door Makes Unusual Noises?

What If My Garage Door Makes Unusual Noises?

Possible causes:

  • Worn-out rollers: Old or damaged rollers usually cause grinding or squeaking noises. Check the state of the garage door roller, and replace the worn-outs with new ones to ensure smoother operation.
  • Damaged gears or bearings: A noisy garage door may be caused by damaged gears or bearings within the garage door opener. Main gear drive replacement is necessary if your opener is stuck or makes grinding noises. For DIY, remove the gear with a punch or kit and lubricate all parts, focusing on the rail and motor contact areas. Regularly check the tension of the chain drive to maintain 1/4 to 1/2 inch of slack. However, if you’re unsure, it's best to consult a professional.
  • Track misalignment: If the tracks are misaligned, they can cause rubbing noises during door operation. Straighten or realign the tracks to ensure the door moves smoothly without obstruction.
  • Chain issues: A dirty or worn chain can be a source of noise that bothers you. Simply cleaning and lubricating the chain will help, however, if it's excessively worn, consider replacing it.

Dive into the common sources of a noisy garage door and discover effective solutions in our comprehensive guide.

5. What If the Garage Door Moves Unevenly?

Possible causes:

  • Track misalignment: Bent or uneven tracks can lead to erratic movement of the door. Carefully straighten or realign the tracks using a level and screws to ensure they provide a smooth path for the door.
  • Uneven roller distribution: If rollers aren’t properly aligned or spaced, it can result in uneven movement. Check and ensure all rollers are positioned correctly and are evenly spaced along the track.
  • Damaged rollers: Damaged or worn-out rollers can cause the door to move inconsistently. Replace any damaged rollers to restore smooth and consistent movement of the door.
  • Spring tension imbalance: If the tension of the garage door springs isn’t balanced on both sides, it can lead to uneven lifting and lowering. You can adjust the spring tension by referring to the garage door manual for specific instructions on balancing the tension.

6. What If My Garage Door Remote Control Doesn't Work?

What If My Garage Door Remote Control Doesn't Work?

Possible causes:

  • Dead battery: One of the most common issues is a dead battery in the remote control. Replace the battery in the remote control, ensuring that the new battery is correctly oriented and compatible. If changing the batteries doesn't solve the problem, you may have to purchase a new remote.
  • Remote control is out of range: If you're too far from the garage door, the remote signal might not reach the receiver. Move closer to the garage door and try using the remote again to see if proximity was the issue.
  • Damaged remote control: Physical damage or internal malfunctioning of the remote can render it ineffective. Examine the remote for any visible damage like cracks. If it appears damaged or continues to malfunction, consider replacing it with a new one.
  • Faulty receiver: The problem might not be with the remote, but with the receiver in the garage door opener. If replacement is needed, install the new receiver by connecting it to an outlet near the opener and wiring it to the same terminals as the wall switch to enhance security with rolling code technology.

Continue reading about possible garage door remote issues and learn all the angles.

7. What If the Garage Door Motor Runs Without the Door Moving?

Possible causes:

  • Disengaged trolley: If the trolley, which connects the opener to the door, is disengaged, the motor will run without moving the door. Check the trolley and make sure it's properly engaged with the opener. The trolley may have been disengaged manually, often via a pull cord, for manual operation of the door.
  • Broken gears or belt: Inside the garage door opener, damaged gears or a broken belt can prevent the door from moving, even though the motor is running. These issues are complex and typically require professional diagnosis. A technician can determine whether the gear or belt needs repair or replacement.
  • Faulty limit switches: Limit switches in the opener signal the door's open and closed positions. If they malfunction, the motor may run without actually opening the door. Repairing or replacing limit switches is a technical task that requires expertise and specialized tools, unfortunately, you won't be able to do it yourself.

8. What If My Garage Door Frozen Closed?

What If My Garage Door Frozen Closed?

Before attempting any thawing methods, disconnect the power to your garage door opener to prevent accidental activation. This ensures your safety and avoids potential damage to the door or opener.

So, how can you handle this issue?

  • Heat lamps or hair dryers: Apply warmth from a safe distance to melt the ice buildup on the bottom seal, tracks, and sensors.
  • Warm water: Pour warm water (not boiling) on the ice, focusing on areas with the most significant accumulation.
  • Commercial de-icing products: Use a de-icing solution specifically designed for garage doors, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Space heater: If temperatures are mild and the problem seems minor, place a space heater near the door to gradually melt the ice. Monitor the situation closely to avoid overheating.
  • Prevent future freezing: To prevent your garage door from freezing shut again, regularly clear snow and ice from around the door during the winter months. Regularly lubricate the rollers, tracks, and hinges with a silicone-based lubricant to prevent ice from adhering to them. Check the weather stripping for any gaps that might allow moisture in.

9. How Can I Repair a Broken Garage Door Window?

Measure the opening to determine the size of the replacement glass you'll need. Use adhesive or silicone sealant to secure the glass in the frame, placing it firmly. Hold the glass in place with glazing points or clips. Apply glazing compound to seal the edges. Afterward, remove any excess sealant and clean the area thoroughly. Allow the repair to dry completely before using the garage door.

Garage Door Repair Cost by Type

Maintaining your garage door is the most efficient way to avoid spending money, time, and energy on repairs. So, how much does it cost to repair a garage door? As you can imagine, citing exact costs is nearly impossible, given the variables. Below are rough estimates based on hardware.

Type of Repair Cost Range Additional Notes
Panel $400 - $2,400 Average cost is around $1,200. Replacement might be necessary for custom panels.
Opener $200 - $500 Depends on opener type, brand, size, and labor.
Glass $4,000 - $15,000+ Varies with door size and glass type (e.g., Low-E, tempered, double/triple-pane).
Cable $100 - $400 Includes cost of labor. Unrepaired cables can lead to the door running off track.
Alignment $100 - $300 Annual realignment recommended for smooth operation and noise prevention.
Rollers $50 - $75 + labor Replacement advised every 7-10 years, depending on roller type.
Sensors $150 - $250 Essential for safety and proper functioning of the door.

Additional Factors Affecting Garage Door Repair Cost

The repair cost of garage doors varies with their style and complexity. Simple designs typically mean easier, less expensive fixes, while intricate doors can lead to higher costs. Below is a summary of some additional factors that typically affect garage door repair expenses:


  • Metal: $150 to $500;
  • Fiberglass: $100 to $400;
  • Wood: $200 to $300.


  • Tilt-up: $150 to $300;
  • One-panel: $500 to $2,000;
  • Sectional: $800 to $3,000;
  • Carriage: $1,000 to $10,000;
  • Custom roll-up: Varies depending on the specifics of the door.


  • $75 to $150 per hour, or a flat service fee of $50 to $75.


The price of repairing a garage door may vary depending on your location.

Garage Door Repair: DIY vs. Hiring a PRO

Addressing garage door repairs requires professional expertise for safety and efficiency. Garage doors, weighing up to 400 pounds, pose significant injury risks, especially when dealing with high-tension components like springs. DIY repairs can lead to further damage and additional costs, and may invalidate warranties.

Please note that our professional services are exclusively available in the San Francisco Bay Area and select cities in San Diego County.

Our team of professionals offers quick, accurate diagnoses and garage door repairs and installation services, ensuring compliance with safety standards and regulations. Their experience and specialized tools facilitate faster, more reliable repairs, maintaining warranty validity. Opting for professional services not only guarantees safety but also provides long-term cost savings by avoiding improper fixes. Contact us today for secure, efficient repair and valuable maintenance advice to prevent future issues.

Ammar Hanafieh

Ammar Hanafieh

Following the family's trade, Ammar has been working in the garage door repair and installation industry since 2010. He brings his expertise via the excellent service and industry insights.
Back to Blog

FAQs about Garage Door Issues

What is the average cost to repair a garage door?

The cost of repairing a garage door depends on the type of damage, the materials needed, and the labor costs. Generally, average costs range anywhere from $100 to $500.

Why won't my garage door go down?

The garage door is not closing because of either loose wires at the sensors or an obstruction in the path between the sensors. The transmitters may be malfunctioning. To fix this, unplug the garage door opener and plug it back into the outlet.

How long do garage doors last?

The average life expectancy of a garage door is 10-15 years. However, with regular maintenance, a garage door can last much longer.

Is it safe to repair a garage door yourself?

If you are familiar with the task, call a professional for help. However, you could save some money by tackling the job yourself, provided you're confident in your abilities.

Show More

You May Be Interested In