Garage Door Won’t Close

What should you do when your garage door won’t close?  You press the wall mount button or remote control and nothing happens – or the door goes down a few inches and reverses right back up. This is one of the most common garage door related problems encountered by homeowners. Before you hit the panic button, there are a few troubleshooting ideas you can do yourself before calling a professional service repair technician. Here are a few ways to get your overhead garage door to close. 

Check Safety Sensors

The photo eyes are mounted 4-6 inches off the floor on the bottom right and left hand side of your garage door near or on the vertical track. There is a sending eye and a receiving eye, identified with a red or green glow indicator light. These sensors must be pointed directly at each other without obstruction for a proper signal. Children, pets, lawn mowers and garbage cans can easily knock the photo eye sensors out of adjustment. Holding your wall button down will over-ride your safety reverse feature, but remote controls will not close the door.


  1. Alignment – Safety sensors should point at each other and the glow lights should NOT blink
  2. Clean Lens – Dirt and other debris should be cleaned off the lens covers of each device
  3. Wiring – Photo eye wire should be properly connected and checked for loose or stapled wiring.
  4. Sunlight – Direct sunlight at a shallow angle can blind the safety sensors – block sunlight with cardboard cutouts.
  5. Circuit Board – If all else fails , replace old or damaged logic boards


Disengage Lock Button

Most garage door openers have a vacation button or lock out feature. Disengage this button on the wall to see if the door will close. Often this feature is accidentally enabled since it is usually next to light buttons and other operational buttons. Make sure you have not accidentally hit this button by checking your display screen or pressing the button to see if it has been disabled. The vacation/ away mode button locks the garage door so nobody can enter while you are away. Unfortunately, it may also lock you out of your own garage if not disabled.


Adjust Forces & Travel Limits

Force and limit sensitivity settings are usually located on the back of the motor that hangs from the ceiling. Using a step-ladder, find the force and travel controls. Often times these are in the form of a dial from 1 to 7. Always consult your owner’s manual for location and proper programming instructions.  Adjust the force and travel in small increments of 1-2 positions, testing the door periodically. Never crank the dials in one direction – doing so could damage your garage door opener or top door section.

Having to adjust the force on the garage door opener is a good indication of an underlying problem. Tracks can become misaligned , drums can slip and rollers can catch on the track around the radius – all causing your opener to overwork itself. Often times the torsion springs will weaken over time and the motor will have to work extra hard in lifting the garage door. This puts a lot of stress on your door and can damage the internal components like the gear and sprocket assembly.  You can learn how to test your garage door springs by reading our tutorial, “How to Check Garage Door Balance”. Always lubricate your garage door with the changing of seasons. If you find yourself constantly adjusting the forces & limits on your unit consult a garage door professional for advice.


Pull the Red Emergency Release