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My garage door and opener work reasonably well most of the time -- hot weather or cold.

Sometimes when it rains, though, the door "catches" a little bit, at about 2 feet from the ground, and it is enough to cause the opener to stop and re-raise the door.

If I stand next to the door and pull down while it is closing, it will close successfully.

I can't seem to identify the source of the problem, and am asking for any general tips as to what I might look for or try in order to improve the situation.

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4 Answers

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Most garage door openers have a feature that when they encounter too much resistance, they will reverse. This is to prevent the door from trapping/crushing something that didn't get out of the way (a car, person, or your dog). It sounds like the door isn't jamming completely, but it is just "rough" in one spot of the travel, which kicks the the opener into reverse.

Do you have the option of shutting the door manually? In my garage, there is a latch that lets me disconnect the door from the opener, which allows me to slide it up and down by hand. Try opening/shutting the door hand and see if it feels "tight" at the point where the opener would reverse.

If you can identify a spot where this happens, you have something off in your door/track.

If not, something is wrong with the garage door opener.

If it is the opener, some things to look at:

  • Some openers require periodic lubrication of the screw drive mechanism (not the door track). Find the manual for it and see if there are any reccomendations for greasing it. There may also be crud in it, preventing a smooth travel.

  • The electronics inside the opener that detect a jam may be malfunctioning. If so, good luck finding replacement parts.

One other things to note: Did it suddenly get cold out? Thermal expansion properties of the door and track can trigger problems.

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Detaching the door from the opener and opening/closing it by hand a few times helped me find that someone had bonked the track with the trash can at some point, but a nice bow in it which caused it to bind up for about the last two feet. it's all in feeling where the motion gets tougher and watching where the wheels are. –  cabbey Jan 17 '11 at 23:36
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My garage door had the same issue sometimes. There are a couple things to look at:

1) Make sure the track is still aligned properly. The brackets that attach the track to the door frame sometimes come loose, and then there is too much friction on the door casters.

2) Check the bracket that attaches the wheels to the garage door. One of the bolts on mine came out and it angled, which made the wheel angle in the door track.

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I had a similar problem. A few simple steps seemed to help:

  1. Be careful working around the springs. These things can deliver a lot of pain if you make a mistake
  2. Go over the door and look for warping, dents, or other damage
  3. Tighten the bolts/screws on all the hinges. If you tighten a part that moves, make sure it moves freely
  4. Grease the moving parts of the door, the rollers, the track, the hinges.
  5. Grease the chain.
  6. Since you have the ladder out, blow/vacuum any dust and spiders off/out of your opener
  7. Change the opener lightbulbs since you have the ladder out already
  8. Check the connections from the switches and safety devices
  9. Look (but do not touch) the safety devices. If they appear misaligned, RTFM and align and calibrate them

YMMV, RTFM for your door/opener. If that has specific directions follow those instead of my generic steps.

Garage doors are not terribly complicated, but like all machines with moving parts they loosen up and need lubing once in a while. This process will get your eyes all over the door and opener and will help spot any damage or problems.

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Regarding the springs: Install safety cables if you don't already have them. They are a lot cheaper than replacing a windshield when a spring snaps! –  msemack Jan 13 '11 at 18:34
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I had this exact thing happen, and here is what was wrong: The track for the door, near the floor, was too close to the wall, so that when it closed, the door got jammed between the track and the wall. It only happened one time out of eight or so. It may have been that something had knocked the track, or something else, but loosening it, and pulling it out a ways fixed the problem.

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