Garage Door Opener: Reverses on its own

If the garage door only travels down an inch or so before reversing, something is probably blocking the beam between the two safety sensors at the bottom of the rails, or the sensors aren't aligned. Watch our safety sensor troubleshoot video to determine whether the sensors work; replace them if they're broken.

If your garage door stops and reverses direction after it's more than halfway down, you may need to adjust the downforce setting or adjust the door tracks so the door doesn't bind up on the way down.

garage door opener

These repairs may help solve your garage door opener problem

Adjust and align the garage door opener

Adjust and align the garage door opener

When the garage door opener doesn't work operate properly, check the alignment of the motor unit and/or the rail and realign if necessary. If necessary, adjust the settings for travel limits and force limits, following the instructions in the owner's manual. make sure that the photoelectric eyes of the safety sensor are aligned.

Replace the garage door opener safety sensor

Replace the garage door opener safety sensor

The safety sensor has a pair photoelectric eyes at the base of the rails-one eye emits an infrared beam and the other receives it. If an object, person or animal blocks the beam, the closing door reverses direction. Test the sensor eyes by connecting them to short wires directly at the motor unit. While holding the sensors close together and facing each othe, click the remote. If the door doesn't close and the lights don't blink, replace the safety sensors.

How to replace a garage door opener safety sensor

If your garage door opener remotes don’t work and the lights on the motor unit blink when you press the remote's buttons, the safety sensors may have failed. This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to test and replace the safety sensors on a garage door opener.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
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Do garage door opener preventive maintenance

Do garage door opener preventive maintenance

To keep the garage door operating smoothly, periodically <a href="https://www.searspartsdirect.com/article/how-to-maintain-a-garage-door-opener.html">check the garage door opener</a> for proper alignment and settings, following instructions in the owner's manual. Inspect hardware and lubricate moving components. Check the safety sensor for proper operation.

Symptoms common to all garage door openers

Choose a symptom to see related garage door opener repairs.

Things to do: check garage door travel, tighten brackets and fasteners, test safety sensors, check travel limits and force limits
Main causes: garage door opener misaligned, travel limits need adjustment, bad travel limit switches, faulty logic control board
Main causes: neighbor's remote programmed at the same time as yours, faulty wall control wiring, bad wall control unit
Main causes: radio interference, weak remote batteries, sunlight interference with safety sensor beams, safety sensors need adjustment
Main causes: faulty logic control board, bad RPM sensor, broken gears in the drive system, bad drive motor
Main causes: garage door locked, damaged garage door tracks, up-force setting needs adjustment, RPM sensor failure, bad drive motor
Main causes: safety sensor beams blocked, safety sensors not aligned, downforce setting needs adjustment, damaged garage door tracks
Main causes: loose fasteners, broken brackets, need preventive maintenance, worn drive gears, loose or worn belt, loose chain
Repair guides common to all garage door openers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your garage door opener.

June 20, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a garage door opener battery

The garage door won't move during a power outage if the battery is dead. Here’s how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a chain-drive garage door opener gear and sprocket assembly

Learn how to replace the gear and sprocket assembly on your garage door opener if the drive motor runs but the door won't move.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
How to replace a chain-drive garage door opener drive and worm gears

If your garage door won’t move, the drive and worm gears could be broken. This guide will help you replace the gears.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Articles and videos common to all garage door openers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your garage door opener.

January 16, 2019
Installing a sensor sun shield on your garage door opener video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

This inexpensive gadget prevents sunlight interference with the sensors.

February 1, 2018
How to read a wiring schematic video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.

July 1, 2016
How to make force adjustments if a garage door won't open or close video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Check out these troubleshooting tips if your garage door freezes on the way up or if it stops and reverses directions on the way down.