A garage door opener is a device that almost every modern garage has today. With it, we can open or close our garage door without getting out of the car. However, as these are mechanical devices, malfunctions can easily occur and affect their operation. One of the problems we can face is that our garage door opens only a few inches and stops. In this article, we’ll discuss why this happens and how to solve it.
What If Garage Door Only Opens A Few Inches? Usually, the most common reasons why a garage door opens only a few inches are a blocked sensor, defective or broken springs, low batteries on the remote control, or a faulty control board. Another reason that can also cause an opening problem is a low temperature which leads to shrinking problems.
As garage door openers are used a lot, many things can cause them to malfunction. That’s because they consist of many parts. The cause of the failure can therefore be mechanical, such as the contraction or expansion of the springs, or things such as a sensor malfunction. In the next chapter, find out what can be the reason why your garage door opens only a few inches.
10 Reasons Why Garage Door Only Opens A Few Inches
Below is an overview of all possible reasons why a garage door opens only a few inches. Read each of them to help you determine which problem is troubling you.
1. Something Is Blocking Garage Door Sensors
One of the most common problems that can cause a garage door to open only a few inches is that something is interfering with the garage door sensors. It can be a small object blocking the entrance or simply a layer of dust and dirt interfering with the sensors.
Find where your garage door sensors are located, look at the area around them, and clean the sensor lens well. After you’re done, try to click the open button again. In most cases, one of those two reasons is the cause of the problem.
It is recommended that you regularly inspect the garage door sensors. They are part of a built-in safety mechanism that prevents the door from hitting something while moving.
2. Broken Connection Due To Power Outage
Perhaps while you were sleeping or out of the house, there was a problem with the electrical grid to which your household is connected, and there was a loss of power. A situation like this can cause your garage door to lose power and create a broken connection, leaving the garage door open only a few inches.
To solve this problem, it is necessary to reset the system. Disconnect the garage door from the electrical grid, wait at least 30 seconds, and reconnect them back on. This simple trick should solve the problem.
3. Garage Door Track Is Out Of Alignment
The problem with the track alignment can also be this issue. The rails on the garage door tracks have possibly warped, preventing the door from opening more than a few inches. Fortunately, there is a simple DIY solution to this situation. Grab a rubber mallet and align the door track rails. Lastly, you can secure them well with a few screws.
Note! Self-solving door track alignment is recommended only if you have experience with similar situations. If you don’t, it’s always better to call a professional for help than to make the problem even bigger.
4. Garage Door Have Defective Springs
It is possible that the garage door will not open more than a few inches if one of the springs in the system is damaged or broken. The garage springs should be checked, and the best way to do this is to disconnect the garage door from the grid and try to open it manually.
Do it slowly and be very careful. In these situations, you can get hurt if you don’t pay enough attention to safety. If, when opening the door manually, you feel that it moves slowly or that the system offers resistance, there is probably a problem with the broken or defective spring. It is advisable to call an expert for help in such a situation.
5. Garage Door Remote Has Low Or Dead Batteries
Low or dead batteries from your garage remote can also cause the problem of why the garage door cannot be opened more than a few inches. As the garage remote needs to send a signal to the receiver, the door will not start to open if the signal is weak.
Therefore, if you are facing this problem, try replacing the old batteries with new ones. We recommend buying quality batteries so you don’t have to replace them from time to time.
6. Issue With Binding
One of the possible reasons why your garage door opens only a few inches is that something is binding your door. You can check this by manually opening the garage door. First, disconnect the door from the power, and then try to open your garage door slowly.
If you can’t move the doors even an inch in any direction, you probably have a problem with the travel or force limit setup.
The travel limit represents the range in which the garage door can be opened or closed, while the force limit represents how much force is required to open the doors.
You can find how to adequately adjust the travel and force limit in the instructions that came with the owner’s manual. These instructions can also be found on the manufacturer’s website.
7. Broken Logic Control Board
If you’ve checked everything we’ve listed above and still have a problem with your garage doors, check the garage door opener. We recommend inspecting the logic control board inside it. It is a part of the garage door opener system that is responsible for controlling the door.
Unfortunately, when problems arise with your logic control board, it usually means that you will need to replace it with a new one, which is expensive. Before buying a new one, try a few more things. Try rebooting the control board. Sometimes this might help.
8. Problem With Low Temperatures
Garage doors should be regularly maintained so they can work in all weather conditions. This is especially true during winter months when they are exposed to low temperatures. The best way to prepare your garage door for winter is to apply silicone lubricant to the pulleys, bearings, shuttle, and springs.
Also, apply spray solvent for winter maintenance on the rollers, hinges, and track. Before you start lubricating the parts, be sure to clean your garage doors well and check whether all the parts are working as they should.
Note if the temperature is well below zero, it is recommended that you disconnect your garage door opener from the power and that you open your doors manually. Smart systems often get stuck when it’s very cold, so it’s much better to manually open and close your doors.
9. Problem With Garage Door Contraction
Metal on your garage doors can easily shrink due to low temperatures, preventing garage doors from opening or closing.
This problem can be prevented by using lubricant. Simply lubricate the spot where you think the door is stuck. These are usually springs or hinges. Doing this will solve the shrinking problem, and your garage doors will function normally.
Regular maintenance is very important because your garage doors can be easily affected by low temperatures during winter. Check the garage opening system periodically to make sure everything is working.
10. Broken Springs
The most important part of every garage door is the springs. As the springs are constantly under load, they are very sensitive and can easily break. Therefore, pay special attention to them.
If you have a broken spring, that can be the reason why your garage doors open only a few inches. To fix this issue, we recommend calling a professional. Replacing an old spring with a new one is a very demanding and dangerous job that requires experience.
Considering that you will have to pay for an expert, I believe that you will agree that it is much better to maintain your garage door regularly to avoid situations like this.
How To Fix Garage Doors That Won’t Go Up All The Way
If you still have problems with your garage doors, watch this video:
When To Call A Professional?
Garage doors can sometimes have a more complicated problem than it seems. Therefore, it’s no shame to contact a professional to fix your issue. If you’ve tried everything we’ve listed above and can’t find the cause of your problem, it’s time to use Google and find a local professional. Also, it is always a good option to look for a recommendation for a quality specialist on the manufacturer’s website.
If your garage doors open only a few inches, don’t panic. This is a problem that can appear. The most common reasons for this can be: broken springs, faulty logic control board, low batteries or blocked sensors in the garage remote, track alignment, or binding problems.
Some of these problems have simple solutions that you can easily implement yourself. It’s definitely worth going through the above list and going through each of them separately. However, if you can’t fix the problem by following these steps, call a professional for help.