Why Is My Garage Door Not Opening But Motor Is Running?

It can be very inconvenient to deal with a broken garage door, especially when you’re trying to get your car out.

The issue can get even more frustrating when the garage door motor runs and you can hear it, but the door itself doesn’t open. 

There are four main reasons for a garage door that refuses to open while the motor is running:

  1. There may be a problem with the motor. It may have a broken gear or another part that has malfunctioned. 
  2. Or the garage door and the opener are failing to engage, resulting in this issue. 
  3. There may be a problem with the garage door itself.
  4. Something may be in the way, stopping the garage door from being able to move.

This may seem like a confusing situation at first. And you have to determine where the problem lies to understand how you can solve it.

This article will help you assess the garage door and the motor and suggest different approaches to the issue. Keep reading!

Determining The Cause Of The Issue

Now, you need to take a closer look at everything to get to the bottom of the problem.

Start by finding the emergency release. If the door is completely closed, then disengage the emergency release. In case it is jammed, a technician will have to come in and repair it.

Usually, the emergency release is in a hanging position at the trolley and can be spotted on a red rope.

You can simply tug down the rope and disconnect the trolley. This will stop the door from moving and keep the door in its place. Meanwhile, the garage opener will still be running. 

You also need to manually disconnect your garage door. To do this, you have to locate the disconnect button. You can simply check the instruction manual to get an idea of where it could be. 

Now, try and manually open the garage door. This will help you determine whether the problem is related to the door or the motor in the opener. 

If you can manually raise or open the garage door, then the problem does not lie in the garage door.

This means that the opener is malfunctioning. You can ask a professional technician to come in and suggest whether it can be repaired or needs to be replaced. 

How To Rule Out The Motor

Start by making sure that the garage door is unlocked (you may laugh, but it’s an easy thing to do!).

Now, inspect the door and check if it’s smoothly aligned with the tracks. You should be able to see if the garage door is stuck.

There could be a roller or an obstruction in its place that can be fixed easily. Sometimes, a technician may be needed to fix the damaged track.

Next, the springs need an inspection. These springs help the door to open by giving it tension.

In case the spring is broken, the opener won’t be able to open the garage door. Springs hold an immense amount of tension and it’s best to call in a professional to repair them.

Never attempt to fix a broken spring on your own or try to lift the door manually when there is a broken spring as it can be dangerous.

Possible Problems With The Garage Door Motor

So, you have determined that the problem is not related to the garage door but it has something to do with the garage door opener. Here are the likely scenarios:

  1. There may a broken or defective part in the motor. You can determine this if the chain, screw, or belt doesn’t move but makes a sound as if it’s running. You can call a garage door expert or a technician to repair it.
  2. One likely possibility is that a stripped chain or gear came off the sprocket. As the chain has dislocated, the motor will keep running but it won’t work properly or lift the garage door up. 
  3. Another reason could be a jammed emergency release. This will make the motor run inefficiently and the door won’t open. An expert will be needed to fix this. 
  4. If your garage opener is more than five years old, it may have worn down and not be able to use enough force to pull the door up. This is usually a result of damage and wear and tear on the door rollers or trackers. 

How to Re-Engage Your Opener

As mentioned earlier, sometimes the garage door opener stops engaging with the door. You can fix this issue by consulting the instruction manual of your garage door system. 

If the garage door is open or partially open, do not pull the rope as it may release the garage door.

If there is any broken spring or imbalance causing the issue, the door could close rapidly and cause serious injuries or even death, if someone is standing underneath it. 

You should call your local garage door company or a trained professional to take a look instead. 

Final words

We hope this article was informative and will help you assess and solve the issue with ease. If the issue with your garage door opener has resolved, you should try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Simply get your garage door and motor regularly checked and try to keep it in a good condition. Getting all the moving parts routinely lubricated is also a good idea. 

If you plan on manually opening the garage door when required, always close the door before releasing it from the cord. Also, make sure there are no obstructions in its path. 

It’s important to make it clear that garage doors can be extremely dangerous. In fact, garage door accidents and injuries are quite common especially when people attempt to repair them themselves.

Even experienced technicians have experienced serious work-related injuries in this case. 

Please note this is not a garage door guide that speaks for every situation. If there is any confusion, then leaving the job for garage door professionals is the best option.

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