Garage Door Repair: My Garage Door Won’t Close

This is probably one of the biggest frustrations for garage door owners and it is a constant problem in the garage door industry. This often happens at the most inconvenient of times when you for example are in a rush to be at a meeting or the kids need to be at school. You back out of the garage (presuming you tried to open the door first – I have seen a few persons that have not). To your amazement, you press the remote button and NOTHING happens. You keep trying and still nothing happens. You are livid!. Blaming the idiot who installed the door! STOP. Relax, the problem can be resolved… Now let us look at the problem – it will not take long and in the end you will know what to do if it ever happens again.

Garage Door Repair

Firstly, check the Vacation Switch/Lock-out Button

Establish if the door closes when pressing the button situated on the wall. The problem is probably the “Lock Out Switch” or “Vacation Switch” that was activated. The majority of manufacturers of garage door openers add this function on their wall control stations. I am not sure why as no one ever uses them and they are a nuisance – that is an issue for another day. The majority of control stations will have the following buttons: a “Light” button which turns the light on and off; a “Vacation”/”Lock Out” button to lock out the remotes and an “Open/Close” button. I would suggest you first disengage the “Vacation” option and then press your remote again as this might be the problem. It this has resolved your nightmare then you can make that appointment and the day can return to normal. However, If the remote still does not work then see below for more options.

Secondly, Check the Photo-eyes

The photo-eyesor sensors are situated near the floor on either side of the garage door. There are two sensors: an Emitter sensor and secondly a Receiver sensor. It is imperative that these sensors can “look” at each other for them to work optimally. They can be out of alignment due to receiving knocks from objects or persons. If these photo-eye sensors are out of alignment, they will not “see” each other and result in the opener not being able to close the garage door. Note that there is a manner in which you can override the unit. You must keep pushing the close button on the wall station and continue holding until the garage door closes completely.

Perform the following checks:

  • Are sensors aligned?
  • Is anything, such as a garbage bin, blocking the sensors? This is very often the case.
  • Are the lenses on each sensor clean? Check for dirt or soil which will interfere
  • Has the wiring to the sensors and the wires that run to the power head become loose? l
  • Is the sun shining on the sensors as the sun can actually cause the sensors to act as though an object is blocking the garage door opening? If you find the sun is affecting the sensors, the solution is to move them further back in the garage and out of the sun.

Thirdly, Check Door Close Sensitivity

You may not feel confident enough or would rather not take the risk of performing the adjustments to the opener settings yourself. If this is the case, you should rather call a garage door technician that is experienced in checking operators. If you make mistakes when performing the adjustment you will more than likely make the situation worse than it already is. If you feel you do have the skill then make use of the relevant opener manual which will help with the sensitivity settings. There are very few openers, without sensitivity settings, as these settings are crucial in the opening and closing of the garage door. Please remember it is imperative, when adjusting setting, that you disconnect the opener from the door. This is done by pulling the emergency release. Now see the way in which the the door balances and moves. If your door remains difficult to open and close there could be another problem and it might not be the opener. Now is the time to contact a professional technician and let him perform the adjustments to the garage door.. If you find the door performs well manually all you need to do is reconnect the opener. Once you have done this, the door close sensitivity can be adjusted.


You must adhere to the recommendation of the manufacturers. You can do a simple test. Put a 2×4 under the door. If the opener does not reverse, you will have to increase the sensitivity. If you fail to do this, a person can become badly injured.

If you have performed all of the recommendations above and the opener still fails to close the garage door you should pull the emergency release. The emergency release, in most cases, is a red cord hanging from the trolley. Now close the garage door manually and simultaneously lock the interior lock on the door – if there is one. Now is the time to call your local garage door professional for assistance. It is more than likely the fault with the opener lies elsewhere. It may be that the sensors or the logic board in the opener is faulty. If that is so, they need to be replaced.

If you were successful with one of the solutions given above you have saved yourself the fee charged by your local garage door professional.

Remember always, if you do not feel comfortable or confident enough to perform any of the tasks discussed and you want to avoid the time consumption and aggravation of performing them then rather call your helpful local garage door service technicians. They should be able to assure your problems are resolved quickly and effectively within a short period of time.