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Why Isn't My Garage Door Opener Working?

Hiring a Pro to Fix Your Automatic Garage Door

An automatic garage door isn’t much good if your door won’t open and close. Some problems can be fixed easily by basic DIY troubleshooting, while other issues require a garage door specialist to come out and do the repair.

Here are some of the most common problems that cause a garage door opener to stop working, along with tips on what to do about them:

  • No power supply - Maybe your power is out or the garage door opener has been unplugged. Many people fail to check the power supply when the garage door won’t open, wasting their money on a service call.
  • Sensor is blocked or disrupted - Garage door openers have a component known as the electric eye, which prevents the door from closing when it senses a person or object in the way. If this safety feature malfunctions, or if the sensor is blocked or dirty, the door won’t work. Be sure to clean the sensor and make sure it is not blocked before calling a repair service.
  • Broken torsion spring - This is a very common problem. The torsion spring, which helps lift the door, is only made to last for so long. If you suspect the spring is broken, don’t attempt to open the door. Call in a professional. (Keep in mind that if your door is slower to open than normal, the spring is likely to break soon.)
  • Snapped cables - Your garage door opener’s cables are likely to snap when the torsion spring breaks. This also requires a professional. Attempting to open the door or fix the problem yourself is dangerous.
  • Worn pulleys or rollers - These problems require a professional fix, but the job is usually quick and inexpensive.
  • Remote doesn’t work - Some people mistakenly assume the automatic garage door is broken when their remote stops working. In most cases, all you have to do to solve the problem is change the battery. In other cases, you might have to reprogram the remote or buy a new one.
Garage Door Repair Cost

Cost to Repair an Automatic Garage Door

The cost to repair a garage door opener varies based on the type of repair and your geographic location. Most companies charge a service fee of $30 to $100 just to come out. Some companies waive or reduce that fee if a repair is needed and you hire them to do the job; others do not.

On average, most people spend anywhere from $100 to $400 for garage door opener repair. However, here’s a list of what you can expect to pay for various services. All prices include the service fee.

  • Spring replacement: $75 to $200
  • Belt change: $75 to $150, depending on size
  • Replacing the circuit board: $75 to $150
  • Replacement of drive gear: $40 to $80
  • Replacing faulty sensors: $45 to $85
  • Gear change: $40 to $80

Keep in mind that these prices are just meant to be guidelines - it’s possible that you might pay more or less. The best way to get an accurate price estimate is to seek quotes from repair services in your area.

Choosing a Repair Service

Not all garage door companies are alike. Some are more experienced than others, and some are more reputable than others. Here are some tips for finding a company that will provide quality service at a fair price.

  • Always get bids from at least two or three companies before hiring anyone. This helps you weed out companies who perform unnecessary repairs and those that charge exorbitant rates.
  • Look for a company that also installs new garage doors, not one that only performs repairs. Many unethical companies focus only on repair work because they want to take advantage of customers who are in a pinch and don’t take the time to get several estimates.
  • Do some background research on any company you’re considering. Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure the company has a physical street address and a website - companies that don’t are far more likely to rip you off. Always ask for references, and be sure to check them.
  • Don’t be fooled by excessive advertising. The company with the most Google ads isn’t necessarily the best. Often, reputable companies don’t need to advertise as much because they get business from referrals.
  • Watch out for companies that operate under several business names. Unethical companies tend to do this so they can get more phone calls and so they can be harder to track down when you are unhappy. If the BBB review on the company lists several alternate business names, be wary.

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