Garage Door Won’t Close? Try This Before Calling A Repairman

We have all been there before, coming home from a hard day’s work only to find that your garage door won’t close behind you.

Inconvenience aside, having a garage door that won’t close also poses a security risk to you and your family. Usually, our first instinct is to call an expensive repairman to repair the faulty garage door.

There are several easy fixes you should try first. 

Before you call a repairman to fix your garage door, thoroughly inspect your door’s sensors, rollers, tracks, trolley, remote, and limit screws. If your door still doesn’t close, check its manual before calling a repairman.

However, there are several common reasons why your garage door doesn’t close. This guide will enable you to quickly check for faults with your garage door.

You can likely solve the problem quickly, saving you time and money on repair bills. 

Why Won’t My Garage Door Close? 

There are various reasons your garage door won’t close, ranging from quick fixes to complicated mechanical issues. 

Often, your garage door won’t close due to a simple problem that most of us can solve ourselves. Mostly, the garage door’s sensor is faulty or is covered by something. Conversely, the garage door could have been thrown from its tracks, or the remote control must be reset occasionally. 

To find the source of the issue, you must follow a simple seven-step procedure. By following this checklist, you will likely discover the source of the problem and quickly fix it by yourself.

Inspect Your Garage Door’s Sensors

Your garage door sensors are susceptible to being knocked out of alignment. When this happens, it often leads to the door not opening or closing. 

As a rule, the sensors are at fault if your garage door closes partially but not all the way. 

Most modern garage doors have infrared sensors about six inches above the floor, next to the door’s tracks. 

Although the sensors occasionally cause issues, they are critical for the door’s entire mechanism. They detect obstructions, such as pets, children, or toys, from getting crushed by the garage door as it closes. 

However, these sensors often do not work as intended for various reasons. 

Usually, the sensors become dirty, leading to the garage door opener thinking there’s an object obstructing the door’s path. 

Garage door sensors are usually the reason why your garage door won't close

When that happens, it will not allow the door to shut completely, no matter how many times you try. 

Thankfully, this is an easy fix. Simply take a clean cloth and wipe both lenses until they are spotless, which should solve the problem.

If cleaning the lenses does not allow the garage door to close again, it is recommended to check if both garage door sensors are occasionally blinking. 

If the sensors are flashing, that means that either the transmitting or receiving sensor is misaligned. 

It’s possible to temporarily bypass your garage door sensors, but this should NEVER be a long-term solution. 

Check Your Garage Door’s Rollers And Tracks

If the garage door sensors are working correctly, the next place to check is for any obstructions on the track or rollers. Often dirt or animal nests can get in the way of the rollers, resulting in the door refusing to close beyond a certain point. 

Additionally, the garage door’s rollers or tracks could be damaged. A subtle bend in the track can easily throw off how the door travels up and down. If the damage is severe enough, it may cause the garage door opener to abort and open again. 

Thoroughly inspect the garage door’s tracks and rollers for visible damage. If you find any sign of damage, usually a bent track, try and bend it back yourself using a hammer or clamps. 

After inspecting the track for any damage, grease your garage door rollers with silicone or lithium-based grease to ensure they’re running smoothly. 

Inspect Your Garage Door’s Trolley

In most types of garage door openers, the door is connected to a trolley running along the center rail. However, if you can manually open or close the garage door, that means the door has been disengaged from the trolley. 

Commonly, the garage door’s trolley can be identified as it has a piece of rope hanging from it. The rope’s primary function is to disengage and reengage the garage door from its belt or chain, which is driven by the opener’s motor. 

Pulling the rope down with force allows you to manually open and close the door in an emergency. 

Garage door emergency cable

If the trolley moves freely back and forth, but the door remains where it is, all you need to do is reengage the door to the trolley. 

Start with the door closed. Then, press the button on your garage door opener to close the door. You should see the trolley move along the center track until it stops.

Next, lift the door slightly until the trolley seamlessly clicks back into place. You should then be able to open and close your garage door normally. 

Adjust Your Garage Door’s Limit

While not typical, one problem that may be stopping your garage door from closing is if the stop limit is set incorrectly. 

Stop limits are designed to inform the garage door opener when the door has reached the correct stopping point. Occasionally there’s a problem that causes the door to not fully close. Fortunately, when this happens, it is easy and quick to repair. 

Depending on your garage door opener, the limit stops are found on the garage door track or the opener. 

Most modern garage door openers have buttons or knobs on the side or back panels, so we’ll check there first. 

Using a stepladder, look at the back panel of your garage door opener. You’ll see several connections for wires and (hopefully) knobs or buttons. These may be labeled, but not always, and I’ve included some examples below for reference. 

Garage door opener stop limits

Unless your buttons are labeled, you’ll usually need to check with the manufacturer’s website to determine how to adjust your door’s stop limit. 

It is important to note that your garage door is only fully closed when the door’s rubber seal is tightly compressed to the ground. Once the door’s rubber seal is compressed, you should check that the door does not automatically retract, which would mean that you have turned the limit screw too far. 

Check Your Garage Door’s Manual

While most of us do not own a manual for our garage door, it usually has a troubleshooting section specifically tailored for your model. 

Many garage door openers have indicator lights that flash several times when a garage door doesn’t close. The number of times usually refers to the specific source of the issue. 

Manually Shut Your Faulty Garage Door

If these solutions don’t work and your door doesn’t fully close, you’ll still need to close your garage door while you wait for the repairman. 

To manually shut your garage door, you must disengage the trolley. Disengaging the trolley is straightforward, as was previously demonstrated, requiring you to pull the rope towards the door and slide the door shut. 

Most garage doors have either a key lock or manual latch to help secure your garage door. If not, there are heavy-duty garage door locks you could use in the interim. 


It can be frustrating when your garage door won’t fully shut. Most people’s immediate reaction is to call an expensive local repairman to come to fix it for them.

However, before you do, follow the steps above to troubleshoot it on your own. Usually, your garage door won’t close due to a straightforward issue that you can solve by yourself.

Need a new garage door? Check out our complete list of garage door manufacturers.

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.