The cold weather season is the worst time of year for garage door failure. These simple tips can help you diagnose and potentially solve the problem yourself, saving you time and money.
First, you’ll want to check the batteries in your remote control. When it’s cold outside, your motor has to work harder to open the garage door. If your remote is transmitting a weak signal due to old batteries, you could be stuck.
Is something blocking the sensors? Your garage door sensors, if equipped, transmit a signal between the two “eyes”. If this signal is broken by any type of obstruction, it won’t close. Boxes, lawn equipment, random items that may have fallen from the back of the car – if it’s in the way, your door will not close.
While you’re checking your sensor’s line of vision for possible obstructions, take a closer look at the sensors themselves. Are the lenses fogged? Sometimes in cold weather, these lenses develop a fine film of condensation that will break the connection between the two sensors, and keep your garage door from closing. Wipe them very gently, with a soft cloth, to avoid upsetting the calibration.
The biggest culprit of garage door failure in cold weather actually attacks from the inside. In particularly chilly weather, typically below 35 degrees, the oil that lubricates the motor and allows the door to slide down its track will thicken. When this happens, you will need to adjust the “down force” setting on your motor to allow for more power to drive the door. You can also spray the track with lubricant to compensate for the thickened oil in the motor. You will want to disconnect the door from the pulley system (usually a red cord hanging from somewhere on the track) and try to locate the “trouble spot”, where the door is sticking on the tracks. Coat the area with lubricant and reconnect your door to the track system.
Before you make any adjustments to your garage door system, you should always consult the owner’s manual. Your system may have particular nuances that need special attention. When in doubt, call a specialized garage door repairman to do the job. Good luck!