Stuck or Reversing Garage Door

When a garage door gets stuck in the open or closed position, life can suddenly become complicated.  Who wants their car stuck in the garage?  Just as troubling is a door that continuously reverses as you try to close it on your way out.   You don’t want to leave for work with your garage door wide open.

Here are some of the more common reasons for these garage door problems and what you can do to identify and solve the issue:

  • Broken Garage Door Spring: Look above or alongside your door for a broken spring.  It must be replaced before opening the door.  Attempting to use your garage door opener with a broken spring will cause serious damage to the opener.  It’s also very dangerous. The door can suddenly fall, crushing anything or anyone in its path. Call an experienced garage door professional for help.
  • Opener Motor Runs, Door Does Not Move (or only moves a little). If you can hear the opener running but the door does not move, check that the trolley assembly is engaged to the drive mechanism of the opener.  The safety rope may have been pulled, releasing the door from the motor.  If it is connected, you most likely have a gear in the opener that is stripped.
  • Door is Painted Shut: Only mentioned here because it happens.  A fresh coat of paint on a closed garage door is trouble.  The paint dries to the vinyl weather seal trim and becomes glued in place.  Gently pry the seal away from the door and allow the paint fully cure before closing the door again.
  • Cable Off: A broken, frayed or disconnect garage door cable will usually result in a door setting crooked in the opening.  The door will bind itself in the track and get stuck.  Because of the extreme amount of force stored in these, repair should be left to an experienced garage door professional.


  • Safety Photo Sensors: They may just be out of alignment. When the sensors are unable to “see” each other, the door opener will not allow the door to close. It’s also common for a wire to be found shorted or broken. In rare cases, the photo eyes are found to be bad.
  • Cable Off: Spring tension and the door’s weight hold the cables in place. If anything interrupts the movement and causes the door to go crooked, a cable is likely to slip out of place. If this happens when the door is up, the cables can become tangled around the spring shaft and drum.
  • Door Binding in Track: Broken or out of place rollers, damaged door sections or track that is out of adjustment can make the door get stuck in just about any position.
  • Other Opener Problems: Today’s garage door openers are packed with sophisticated electronics that sense several aspects of motion and safety. The also include delicate mechanical parts designed to transfer the spinning of a motor into motions that will raise and lower a garage door. Everything must work together.. or nothing works.


  • Blocked or Dirty Photo Sensors: Keeping the area around the bottom of your garage door clean is important. If ANYTHING gets between the two sensor eyes, the door will reverse. This includes debris that might be stuck to the bottom of the garage door.. like a leaf or a piece of litter hanging from the bottom of the door.
  • Improper Opener Adjustment: The manual that comes with your garage door provides specific information on setting force and travel limits. Proper adjustment is necessary to ensure safe and reliable door operation.
  • Door Needs Maintenance: Proper lubrication and adjustment is needed to keep garage doors working. Making an opener force a poorly maintained garage door is a bad idea. Not only is it unsafe, it causes damage to both the door and operator.

Prevention is the best medicine for keeping your garage door and opener in top running condition. You can avoid the headache of having a door that reverses or gets stuck by keeping the area around the door clear. Brush off and align the photo sensing eyes and follow the safety test instructions that came with your opener monthly. (If your opener manual is lost, check out our library for an online copy.)
Have your garage door system professionally tuned-up on a periodic schedule. The few dollars it costs to have this service done every couple of years will more than pay for itself. If you live in or around Hendricks County, give Indy Door Guy a call. We will treat you right and help you keep your garage door in safe, reliable and trouble free.

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