When a garage door won’t close all the way, the most likely culprit is a problem with the door’s safety sensors.
If one or both of them is obstructed, a signal will constantly be sent that there is something in the way. The door might close just a few inches and then retreat upward again.
A second common issue is that the sensors are misaligned, and the door coming down triggers the signal for the door to stop and go back up.
Neither one is a difficult repair, in most cases.
In this DIY guide, we’ll give tips for repairing a garage door that won’t go down all the way.
You can try the tips yourself without risk of damaging the door, if you’re careful.
A brief list of needed tools is given. If the repair tips don’t work, we suggest a few other potential causes of the problem.
You might have to call a garage door contractor if the tips don’t work. Below, we give garage door repair prices, so you’ll know what to expect.
We have several other guides that might help you with other issues such as garage door spring repair and garage door opener repair, in case you run into these problems as well.
Depending on the age of the garage door sensors, they might have lights on them to show they are properly aligned and that the signal is being received. A green (or red, or orange depending on manufacturer) light on the receiver means it is getting the signal, and the sensors are properly aligned. The sending unit often has a yellow light to show that it is sending a signal.
When one or both of the units are misaligned, these tips should help you fix the issue:
For simple adjustments of the sensors or bracket, hand tools such as pliers, adjustable wrench and screwdriver should suffice. If you need to repair wiring, wire strippers will come in handy for removing the coating from the wire to splice it or attach it to the sensor or garage door opener.
When sensor adjustment is the issue, you should be able to make the repair yourself. If you have to replace a sensor, the cost for the part and installation will run $100 to$150 depending on the brand. Wiring is cheap, but the company will likely charge for the service call, and your total could be more than $100.
Save Money on Garage Door Sensor Repair
If you need to buy a new sensor, installing it yourself will save you money. Call garage door companies that sell and service the brand you have, and ask to buy a sensor. If there’s no service call, the cost should be $25 to $50, depending on the brand. The risk you have is that if you try to install the sensor, and it’s not the problem, you won’t be able to return it.
If you need to have a repair person come to your home, the best way to save money on garage door repairs is to get several estimates for the work from contractors that know they’re competing for the work.
YouTube – This video shows how to adjust garage door sensors that are misaligned.
PDQ Doors – This video covers the sensors and other issues that might be causing the problem.
Overhead Door – This article discusses the issue of sensors for several brands: Genie, Overhead Door, Liftmaster and Chamberlain.
DDM Garage Doors – This site covers a long list of garage door issues. If you’ve got problems with more than just the sensors, this information will help.