What To Do When The Garage Door Won't Open

Your garage door remote doesn't raise the door and you're stuck outside in your car in the rain. There are a couple of things that you can do to get the door open. By doing so, you're also doing a little troubleshooting of what might be wrong. Here are the steps to get into the garage and find out why the door doesn't open.

  1. Go into the garage through the house.
  2. Press the garage door opener button on the wall. If the garage door opens, then your remote control device may not be working. Replace the batteries and try the remote again.
  3. If the garage door doesn't open when you push the button on the wall, try the light switch for the garage. If the lights don't come on, you don't have power to the garage. Find the circuit breaker in the electrical box for the house and flip the breaker on. Try opening the door again.
  4. If you have power in the garage but the door didn't open, check that something isn't blocking the infrared motion sensors on the floor at the bottom of the garage door. Remove any obstacles and try the door again.
  5. If the garage door still doesn't open, listen to the opener motor when you push the opener button. If the motor doesn't make any noise, it's likely bad and you'll need a company that specializes in garage door repairs to replace it for you. You still may get into your garage, though. Look for the red cord hanging down from the center track of the garage door opener. With the door closed, the cord will be at the front of the track. Pull the cord down to disconnect the door from the track. Now you can try to lift the door manually.
  6. If the motor makes any kind of noise, it's likely trying to open the door but can't because something is jammed. Inspect the following areas for something preventing the door from opening:
    • One or both of the high-tension springs are broken or disconnected.
    • One or more rollers on the sides of the garage door are outside of the metal track and are preventing the door from opening.
    • The metal track is bent, preventing the rollers from moving freely in it.
    • If you see any of these problems, you're not going to get the door open. Call a garage door repair company to fix the problems.
  7. If the motor makes noise and you find nothing blocking the door from going up, try the red cord as mentioned above. If you can manually open the garage door, then the motor is faulty and it's not able to lift the door. A garage door company can look at the motor, but they will likely have to replace it.

By following these steps, you might get your car in the garage. You will also have information to give the garage door service company when you call to make an appointment for them to come out.