Garage Doors Won't Open Fully? Consider These Top Causes

Garage door stuck halfway open with sedan inside and two toddlers in adjacent driveway

The garage door is a marvel of modern engineering that adds a level of convenience to everyday life that we tend to take for granted. In most cases, it's only when the garage door malfunctions for some reason that we're even aware of its existence. One of the most troubling types of malfunction is when the door simply refuses to open all the way. This often happens with little or no warning and can leave a homeowner scratching their head or calling a Loveland garage door repair specialist. In this post, we're going to take a look at the reasons your garage door isn't opening as it should.

The Most Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open All The Way

We take it for granted that when we hit the "open" button on the garage door remote that the door will open. And 99.9% of the time it does. But every once in a while you’ll hit that button and the door will inch up a bit and then stop.

Life being what it is this usually happens when we least expect it and when we’re late for work or we’re on the way out to pick up the kids at school. But more important than the "when" is "why". Why is the door refusing to open all the way? Here are some of the most common reasons.

The door is locked

This is one of the most common reasons a garage door won’t open and it typically happens when more than one member of the household uses the garage. Person A will come home late at night, see someone creepy lurking on the street and flip the manual garage door lock just to be safe. When Person B comes down in the morning to go to work they hit the "open" button and nothing happens. The door goes through a quick spasm and then shuts down. Some openers also have a lock mode that’s activated by holding the "close" button for several seconds. Before you start thinking you’ll need a new garage door installation, check to see if it’s locked.

A track is misaligned

If the door is to raise and lower properly the tracks need to be properly aligned. If they’re not a roller or rollers could become jammed, preventing the door from moving any higher or lower. It doesn’t take much to throw a track out of alignment. Backing into it with the car is a common cause of misaligned tracks. But folks sometimes make contact with the tracks when moving the lawn mower in or out of the garage too. If your tracks need realignment you should call the pros at C & M.

Dead batteries in the remote

If you’re hitting the "open” button and nothing is happening it might not be the door’s fault. It could be the batteries in the remote have passed on to that big power source in the sky. This happens often enough that when Loveland homeowners call C & M about a garage door that won’t open our first question is usually "Did you check the batteries in the remote?” If the batteries are sound and the door is not opening then it's something more serious.

The electric eye is misaligned

Every modern garage door opener has an electric eye sensor that shines a beam of light across the door opening. If something breaks that beam of light (like a child or a pet) the door will automatically return to its open or closed state. If something makes contact with the sensor it can be knocked out of alignment and return a false positive that prevents the door from opening or closing. A dirty sensor can produce the same false positive.

Problem with the power source

If the door won’t open it’s not always the fault of the door itself. The problem may lie with the opener. Specifically, the power source for the opener. Was there a power surge that tripped the circuit breaker for the garage? Did the power cord for the opener get unplugged by mistake? If you’re hitting the "open" button and not getting any kind of response from the motor, check the power source. The solution may be as simple as flipping a circuit breaker.

The door has become unbalanced

If the door is unbalanced the uneven weight distribution can cause the opener to shut down. While rebalancing the door is a job for professionals, diagnosing the problem is fairly easy. Just make sure you and everyone else is clear of the door before performing this test! Disconnect the door from the opener by pulling down on the red disconnect cable. Once the door is disconnected pull it up until it’s about halfway open. If it’s properly balanced it should stay there on its own. If it’s out of balance it will likely slam shut. If your garage door is unbalanced call C & M for expert garage door repair.

For Expert Garage Door Sales, Installation and Repair Trust C & M

A garage door that won’t open can be a major inconvenience, but it does not necessarily mean you need a new garage door installation. It could be something as simple as dead batteries in the remote or the opener getting mistakenly unplugged. If your garage door won’t open and the reason is not obvious, call the pros at C & M Garage Door at 970-663-7335. If you’d like to set up a service appointment you can use the contact form on our website or email us at

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