Garage Door Opener: Works intermittently

Radio interference from other devices-such as photoelectric sensors for security lights-can prevent the garage door opener from responding to the signal from the remote. The problem is often intermittent. To test, trigger the remote while standing close to the motor unit-if the door opens consistently from that close distance, interference is likely the problem. To solve the problem, identify the source of the radio interference and either move it or turn it off.

If the door doesn't open when you're standing close to the motor unit, follow the troubleshooting tips in our garage door opener remotes won't work video to help you fix the problem. If the garage door opener lights blink 10 times when you're trying to close the garage door, then the safety sensors may need adjustment or the sensor wiring may need to be repaired or replaced.

garage door opener

These repairs may help solve your garage door opener problem

Find and remove garage door opener RF interference source

Find and remove garage door opener RF interference source

When the garage door opener works intermittently, the logic board may be experiencing radio frequency (RF) interference from nearby sources such as security lights, ham radios and some electronics. If the remote works only when held within a few feet of the motor unit, RF interference is probably the problem. Locate and eliminate the source of the RF interference. To determine the source, disconnect electrical power to suspected sources, one by one.

Repair or replace external garage door opener wiring

Repair or replace external garage door opener wiring

External wiring connects the wall-mounted door control and the safety sensor to the motor unit of the garage door opener. That wiring can become damaged or disconnected. Check that wires are securely attached to the sensor's photoelectric eyes (each eye has 2 wires) and the wall unit. If any wire is cut, strip insulation from the end of the wire and reattach it. Check that wires are still attached to the terminals on the back of the motor unit. Replace or repair any frayed, pinched, or exposed wires.

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.