My garage door opener is not working correctly. It will open the door halfway then die, and the door will fall closed. Sometimes it works correctly. It is like the motor does not hold the door open, dies and slips. With the door engaged to the opener, I am able to open and close the door manually. Is the motor suppose to "brake/lock" and keep door open or/and closed?

  • 3
    If you mechanically disengage the motor mechanism, can you manually open your garage door to any position and let it stay there without holding it? From your description I'd assume you can't, which leads me to believe that your door's spring/balancing system isn't adjusted correctly.
    – brhans
    Sep 6, 2017 at 17:35
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    You likely broke a door spring. Be careful, torsion springs are fairly easy to replace for the serviceman that repairs 10 or 12 a day. It's a dangerous DIY project tho.
    – Tyson
    Sep 6, 2017 at 18:26
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    The opener should hold the door open or closed. Your likely door spring issue has probably broken some gears inside the opener. It will need to be fixed or replaced once the door is repaired.
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 6, 2017 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


A well maintained door is easy to open and close. We use power openers so we can open the door without getting out of the car. The problem is, this denies us "tactile feedback" of a developing door problem and we don't know until the door goes BOOM. Assuming this is a broken spring, it would have suddenly failed in any case, but other problems may have contributed.

Doors are dangerous because they are in tension: the weight of the door is counterbalanced by a wound up spring. The force of either one can kill you.

Doors are DIY repairable, you just really, really need to do your homework on the safety stuff.

Your first step is put the door all the way down, so it's at rest, thoroughly inspect it. Now when they initially installed the spring, before they tensioned it, a guy shot a line of spray paint down the spring. With the door down, it should look like a candy-cane with typically 7.5 loops. If you only see 1 or 2, that's either broken or has come loose from the shaft.

Then disconnect the opener. If you don't see anything mechanically wrong, then try operating the door by hand and look for anything binding or sticking. It takes about 20 pounds of force to start lifting a sticky old 12x14 industrial door, so yours should be a feather.

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