If your garage door only opens a few inches then stops, it can be a frustrating experience. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also be a security risk. In this article, we’ll walk you through the most common causes of this issue and how to troubleshoot them.
There are a few common reasons why a garage door might only open a few inches then stop. Here are some of the most likely causes:
- Obstruction: This is the most common cause of a garage door not opening all the way. Anything that blocks the path of the door, such as a toy, a piece of furniture, or even a pet, can prevent it from opening properly.
- Binding: The garage door may be binding or catching on something. This could be due to a bent or damaged track, a loose spring, or a misaligned door.
- Safety sensors: The safety sensors are designed to prevent injuries in the event of an accident. If the sensors are not working properly, they may prevent the door from opening all the way.
- Motor or opener malfunction: In rare cases, the motor or opener itself may be malfunctioning.
Once you’ve determined the cause of the problem, you can take steps to fix it. Here are some troubleshooting tips:
- Check for obstructions:
The first thing you should do is check for obstructions. Make sure the area around the door is clear of any objects that could be blocking it. If you find an obstruction, remove it and try opening the door again.
- Check for binding:
If you don’t find any obstructions, check for binding. Try opening and closing the door manually to see if you can feel any resistance. If you do, you may need to adjust the door track or springs.
- Check the safety sensors:
If the door is binding, but you don’t feel any resistance, check the safety sensors. Make sure they are properly aligned and that there is nothing blocking their line of sight.
- Call a professional:
If you’ve tried all of the above and the door is still not opening all the way, you may need to call a professional. A qualified technician will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.
Here are a few additional tips to help you prevent this problem from happening in the future:
- Inspect your garage door regularly:
Take a few minutes each month to inspect your garage door for any signs of wear or damage. This will help you catch any potential problems early on.
- Clean and lubricate the door track:
A dirty or dry door track can cause the door to bind. Be sure to clean and lubricate the door track regularly to keep it working smoothly.
- Test the safety sensors monthly:
The safety sensors are designed to prevent injuries in the event of a malfunction. Be sure to test them monthly to make sure they are working properly.
Additional troubleshooting tips:
In addition to the general troubleshooting tips listed above, here are a few more specific tips that may help you fix a garage door that only opens a few inches then stops:
- If the door is binding near the top, it may be due to a loose spring. To check the springs, open the door manually and look for any signs of wear or damage. If the springs are loose, you can tighten them using a wrench.
- If the door is binding near the bottom, it may be due to a bent or damaged track. To check the track, open the door manually and look for any dents or bends. If the track is damaged, you may need to replace it.
- If the safety sensors are not working properly, you may see a blinking light on the garage door opener. To test the safety sensors, open the door manually and place a piece of cardboard or a broomstick in the path of the door. If the door stops opening, the sensors are working properly. If the door continues to open, the sensors may need to be adjusted.
By following the troubleshooting tips in this article, you should be able to fix a garage door that only opens a few inches then stops. If you’re not comfortable working on your garage door yourself, you can always call a professional for help.