Garage Door Only Opens A Few Inches? How To Fix It

Today almost every new house with a garage has a built-in garage door opener. Garage door openers are very useful devices that can save us a lot of time and trouble, but they can also break down like any other electronic device. Therefore, regular maintenance is very important. One of the problems that you can encounter with garage doors is that they only open a few inches and then stop.

According to experts, this is not uncommon, and you don’t need to create panic about it. There are usually a couple of reasons that can cause this, such as a safety mechanism or a broken spring. In this article, we’ll explain how you can fix this problem and much more. So, let’s start!

Garage Door Only Opens A Few Inches And Stops?

Why Garage Door Only Opens A Few Inches And Stops? The most common reason why the garage door opens a few inches and then stops is most likely because of the spring assembly. If garage door springs are not adjusted correctly, the doors aren’t able to open because there is too much weight for the opener to handle.

According to experts and other garage door owners, this is a very common problem, so it is good to know what can cause the garage door to open only a few inches and then stop. Below we will talk about how to diagnose the problem, so you’ll know in advance what prevents your garage door from fully opening.

For those who want to learn more, feel free to read How Do Garage Door Sensor Work?

9 Reasons Why Garage Door Only Opens a Few Inches

Before we start fixing this problem, we must determine what causes the problem. So here are the nine reasons why your garage door opens only a few inches:

1. Something Is Blocking The Sensors

The first thing that comes to mind when a situation like this happens is that something stands between the garage door sensors and activates the reversing mechanism. Every modern garage door opener has a built-in reversing mechanism that keeps the door from forcible closure to avoid injury.

Check the sensors. Be sure to check that everything is good with the sensors and that there is no object between them. Sometimes sensors can malfunction because they are dirty and need to be cleaned to work properly. Clean and test them again.

Clean the sensors regularly. It is important to clean the sensors from time to time. Since the garages are exposed to a lot of things, dust, dirt, and spider webs accumulate on them after a while. Therefore, use a cloth and clean the lens.

2. Broken or Defective Springs

The second thing that you can check is to see if any internal components on garage doors are broken. The best method to check this is to disconnect the cord.

Open the Garage Door Manually. To be sure that everything is good with your garage door, try to open them manually by disconnecting the cord from the garage opener. If you manage to open the doors, then you probably have a problem with the broken or defective springs

We recommend that if you have a problem with the garage door spring that you contact a professional. This is not an easy job, especially if you have never encountered DIY tasks. Garage door springs are not easy to handle, and sometimes it can be dangerous to work with them. Serious injuries can occur, so it is recommended that you leave this to a professional.

3. Garage Remote Needs New Batteries

Sometimes the problem can be in the remote controller. If you have a low battery, the signal may interfere with the receiver and cause the garage door to open a little then stop. Replace the old batteries with new ones and then try. Make sure to use branded batteries.

4. Track Is Out Of Alignment

If you notice that the track on your garage door is out of alignment, it usually means that your garage door won’t close or open properly. This is due to the gaps or bends in the rails that cause the track to be out of alignment.

5. Adjust the Force Limit and Travel Limit

Another important thing to check is if something is binding the garage doors while they open and close. If there is a problem with binding, then it is needed to adjust the travel limit or force limit.

  • Check Travel limit. The main purpose of a travel limit is to control how far the doors will open and close during the operation mode.
  • Check Force limit. The main role of a force limit is to dictate how much pull is needed for garage doors to completely open.

Before doing any of this, check the owner’s manual and see how this is done. Every garage door opener model has different properties. You can also search on Google, by typing the right model of your garage doors. When you’re finished with the needed adjustments, be sure to check that reversing mechanism is working properly. The reverse mechanism on garage doors is in charge to keep the doors from hitting something.

6. Broken Logic Control Board

Every garage door opener to function properly needs to have a logic board. Its role is to receive and process the signal that the remote controller sends.

If you tried to open or close your garage door and it isn’t working properly, then the problem may be in the logic control board. One of the solutions is to replace the garage opener but before you try that, see if the logic control board causes the issue.

Reboot. Another thing you should definitely try is to reboot the logic control board of your garage door. All electric components, including the logic board, may only need a simple refresh to work. If this doesn’t work, then you’ll probably need to buy and replace your logic control board with a new one.

Related Article: How Much Does A Liftmaster Garage Door Opener Cost?

7. Cold Temperatures

During the winter, when temperatures are very low, your garage door opener may run into problems. It is normal that cold temperatures can cause an issue with motor or sensor operation and thus prevent the door from fully opening. You can’t usually influence such problems, but they are very easy to identify.

8. Problem With Contraction

One of the reasons why garage doors don’t work during the cold weather is due to contraction. This is because the metal in cold temperatures reduces the molecules and causes the material to shrink and contract. You can use a lubricant to solve this problem. Apply lubricant to hinges, springs, and all other metal components on your garage door. This will allow your garage door to open easily once again.

  • Lack of Lubrication: It is important to use lubrication whenever it is needed. If you don’t use it, the components that are exposed to cold temperatures can shrink, harden and break after some time. Then they will need to be replaced, which will cost you money.
  • Regular Maintenance: Sometimes, when you have an issue with garage doors that open only a little bit, be sure to check the joints and tracks. They need to be greased and lubricated to work. If they lack the lubricant, make sure to apply it.

Keep in mind that regular maintenance is the key if you want to maintain the longevity of your garage door. During winter and cold temperatures, this is even more important because then the internal components of the garage door are at risk. They need to have enough grease to work properly.

9. Broken Springs

The spring is the crucial component that allows the garage door to function normally. If any of the springs is broken, your garage door will not work properly (open or close).

Sometimes, these springs can also be rigid and frail. Cold temperatures can also cause the springs to become brittle. Therefore, if you indicate that the problem is related to garage door springs, let a professional do the job. It is not safe for someone who has no experience in similar repairs to do this job.

Regular Maintenance. Just like with all other devices, regular maintenance prolongs the life of the device and reduces failure. That way you will save a lot of time and money in advance.

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Contact A Professional

If you are unsure what the problem is or you think you can’t fix it, it’s best to call a professional. Although this solution will cost you money, at least you will be sure that the job will be done by someone with a lot of experience and knowledge in this area and will certainly make your garage door work.

After all, you can watch what he does, and try to learn. This will help you better understand the problem next time and maybe you will be able to solve it yourself. Either way, experience is the best school, only tuition is sometimes expensive.

You can also read this article, Garage Door Sensor Yellow Light Having Issues.

Related Questions

Why Does My Garage Door Only Open Sometimes?

The most common reason why this happens is that your remote control is most likely out of range. The garage door can’t receive the signal, and it won’t trigger the doors to open. Be sure to manually check the signal and see if the doors will stop opening.

Why Does My Garage Door Opener Keep Losing Power?

The reason why the garage door opener may lose power is because of a bad connection in the power outlet, internal wiring, opener cord, or in the components of the opener. By moving the cord you will see if the light on the opener goes off or if it flickers. Be sure to try an extension to another outlet so you can test it there.

How Do I Know If My Torsion Spring is Broken?

Torsion spring is the component that every garage door opener has. If the torsion spring is broken or damaged, the door will not function properly and may not open. If you are not an expert, you’ll not be able to determine if this is a problem.

The best way to see if the problem is connected with a broken torsion spring is to try to open the garage door manually. If the garage door is stuck or it is heavy to move, the torsion spring is likely broken.

Final Thoughts

Garage doors, like any other mechanical and electrical device, can break down. But if you know how to identify the problem, it is much easier to fix it because you know which part you need to replace. In this article, we have explained what the most common causes of failure that can happen are and why your garage door does not want to open. I hope that this article has helped you and if you have any additional questions feel free to leave the comment below.

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