Troubleshooting a LiftMaster Garage Door Opener: Motor Runs but Chain Doesn’t Move

A garage door opener is a marvel of modern convenience, but when it malfunctions, it can be incredibly frustrating. If you find yourself in a situation where your LiftMaster garage door opener motor runs but chain doesn’t move, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. In this article, we will explore the common reasons behind this problem and provide step-by-step troubleshooting and solutions to help you get your garage door back in working order.

Liftmaster Garage Door Opener Motor Runs But Chain Doesn'T Move

Understanding Your LiftMaster Garage Door Opener

Before we delve into troubleshooting, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of how a LiftMaster garage door opener works. A typical garage door opener system consists of the following key components:

  • Motor: The motor is responsible for powering the lifting mechanism.
  • Chain or Belt Drive: This is the mechanism that connects the motor to the garage door. In LiftMaster openers, a chain or belt moves the trolley along the rail, which raises and lowers the door.
  • Trolley: The trolley is attached to the door and is moved by the chain or belt to open or close the door.
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Common Causes of the Issue

When the motor runs, but the chain doesn’t move, several factors could be responsible for this problem:

  1. Obstruction in the Rail: Something may be obstructing the chain’s path, preventing it from moving. This could be due to an object, debris, or even a misaligned trolley.
  2. Broken Chain or Belt: The chain or belt connecting the motor to the trolley may be broken or severely damaged, causing it to lose its grip on the trolley.
  3. Trolley Misalignment: The trolley might not be aligned properly with the chain, preventing it from engaging and moving along the rail.
  4. Trolley Disconnect: In some cases, the trolley may have become disengaged from the chain, causing it to no longer move.

Troubleshooting Steps

Here are the steps you can follow to troubleshoot and fix the issue of the LiftMaster garage door opener motor runs but chain doesn’t move:

1. Check for Obstructions:

  • Inspect the rail and the path of the chain for any objects, debris, or obstructions that might be blocking its movement. Remove any obstacles you find.
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2. Inspect the Chain or Belt:

  • Examine the chain or belt to ensure it is intact and not broken or damaged. If you notice significant damage, it may need to be replaced.

3. Trolley Alignment:

  • Make sure the trolley is properly aligned with the chain. If it’s misaligned, adjust it so that it engages with the chain.

4. Trolley Engagement:

  • Check if the trolley has become disengaged from the chain. If so, re-engage it by following the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.

5. Test the Opener:

  • Once you have performed these checks and made necessary adjustments, test the garage door opener to see if the issue has been resolved. If not, you may need to seek professional assistance.


A LiftMaster garage door opener is a reliable and durable piece of equipment, but like any mechanical system, it can encounter issues over time. When you face the problem of the motor running but the chain not moving, it’s important to address it promptly to ensure the continued functionality and security of your garage door. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can diagnose and resolve the issue in many cases. However, if the problem persists or you’re unsure about the necessary repairs, it’s always advisable to contact a professional garage door technician for expert assistance and a safe resolution.

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