DIY Door Diagnosis

DIY Diagnostic guide

How to diagnose problems with your garage door.

CAUTION! Diagnose the door before you operate the opener. Operating an opener with a broken garage door can result in unnecessary  damage to both the door and opener. Remember to manually disconnect the opener from the door by pulling the emergency release.

Look don’t touch

  • Don’t operate the door until you have visually inspected it. Continued use of the door when it is not functioning properly commonly causes more expense and damage.
  • Check for any items you have stored near the vertical tracks on both sides of the door. Brooms, scrap wood, bicycles, and scooters are common items that work their way into the path of closing overhead garage doors.
  • Is the door uneven? Look at the drums and check the cables are spooled around the drums. If the cables are not spooled properly or the cables have broken do not operate the door with an automatic opener or manually. (Do not assume the cables are broken when they are loose)
  • If the door is level and has properly spooled cables look at the springs above the door. Doors under 12’ wide generally have one spring whereas doors over 12’ have two springs. Look for a gap in one or both of the springs (if your door is stuck open you should still be able to see the springs).
  • (Wood Doors especially) Check bolts\nuts what hold the hinges on the door. Hinges come loose on wood doors and need to be tightened one to two times a year. (DIY for anyone Grab a 7/16th socket and hand tighten with a wrench)
  • If everything looks ok disengage the door from the opener and run it by hand. Things to watch when opening the door by hand: Excessive weight it shouldn’t feel heavier than 5-15lbs.   Does the door lift evenly? If the door isn’t staying level do not continue opening. Watch the roller spacing particularly the top corner rollers if they are excessively tight or spaced out too far in relating  the top fixture bracket. If the roller falls out of the top fixture excessive damage can happen quickly especially with window sections.
  • If the door opens with no problems by hand you are more likely to have a problem with the automatic opener and can move on to safely diagnose any issues it may have.                                                                                                                                                      


  1. Properly spooled cables on door in open position.
  2. Single spring, double spring and broken spring.
  3. Proper Roller spacing, top fixture.
  4. Manually disconnect rope

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