My Garage Door Opens a Little Then Stops: Troubleshooting the Issue

Discovering that your garage door opens only partially before coming to a halt can be frustrating and inconvenient. This issue not only compromises the security of your garage but also disrupts your daily routine. Understanding the potential causes of this problem and learning how to troubleshoot it can help you address the issue effectively. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why a garage door opens a little and then stops and provide practical solutions to resolve the issue and restore the smooth operation of your garage door.

My Garage Door Opens A Little Then Stops

Blocked Safety Sensors:

Cause: One of the most common reasons for a garage door opening partially and stopping is blocked safety sensors. These sensors, usually mounted near the floor on either side of the garage door, emit an invisible beam that detects objects in the door’s path. If the sensors are dirty, misaligned, or obstructed by an object, the garage door opener will stop the door from closing fully to avoid potential accidents.

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Solution: Inspect the safety sensors and ensure they are clean and free from any obstructions. Check for any dirt, cobwebs, or debris that might be blocking the sensors’ path. If necessary, realign the sensors to face each other properly. Once the sensors are clear and aligned, your garage door should close without any interruptions.

Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener Motor:

Cause: A malfunctioning garage door opener motor can cause the door to stop prematurely during operation. The motor may struggle to lift the weight of the door, leading to a partial opening before shutting down to prevent damage.

Solution: Test the garage door opener motor by operating the door manually. If the door moves smoothly and without resistance, the issue is likely with the motor. Consult a professional garage door technician to inspect and repair the motor as necessary.

Track Misalignment or Obstruction:

Cause: A misaligned or obstructed garage door track can prevent the door from opening or closing fully. If the tracks are bent, dented, or misaligned, the door may bind or get stuck during its travel.

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Solution: Inspect the garage door tracks for any visible damage or misalignment. If you notice any issues, carefully attempt to straighten the tracks or clear any obstructions. However, track adjustments can be challenging and potentially dangerous. It is advisable to seek the assistance of a trained technician to adjust or replace the tracks safely.

Broken Springs:

Cause: Garage door springs play a crucial role in balancing the door’s weight and assisting in its smooth operation. If a spring breaks, the garage door opener may struggle to lift the door fully, leading to a partial opening and stopping.

Solution: Broken garage door springs are hazardous and should only be replaced by a professional. Contact a reputable garage door repair service to inspect and replace the broken springs to ensure the safety of the repair process.

Limit Settings Need Adjustment:

Cause: Garage door openers have limit settings that determine the door’s fully open and closed positions. If these settings are misadjusted, the door may stop before reaching its intended position.

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Solution: Refer to your garage door opener’s user manual to locate the limit adjustment screws. Carefully adjust the screws to set the open and close limits correctly. Make small adjustments and test the door’s operation until it opens and closes fully without stopping prematurely.


Experiencing a garage door that opens only partially and then stops can be a frustrating issue. By understanding the potential causes, such as blocked safety sensors, a malfunctioning motor, track misalignment, broken springs, or incorrect limit settings, you can take the necessary steps to troubleshoot and resolve the problem. For safety and effective repair, it is essential to consult professional garage door technicians for complex issues like broken springs or track misalignment. With timely troubleshooting and proper maintenance, you can restore the smooth operation of your garage door, ensuring convenience and security for your home or business.


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