Troubleshooting Guide for Your Garage Door Opener

garage door troubleshooting

Has your garage door opener been malfunctioning again?

You may have been in this situation more than once before but if this time, the problem doesn’t go away with your quick fixes, it’s time for some serious troubleshooting.

The great news is that certain garage door openers like the LiftMaster garage door opener, Craftsman garage door opener, and Chamberlain garage door opener that were released after 2012, have built-in systems that can help you troubleshoot your garage door issues.

These openers are equipped with Security+ 2.0 and MyQ technology to make the entire troubleshooting process user-friendly. If you’re not sure that your current garage door system has this feature, look at the yellow LEARN button on the back of the housing or sometimes, it’s on the side.

Common Issues

Before we take a look at the specific reasons why your garage door opener may not be working properly, check and see if it’s one of these more common issues. The openers mentioned above have a wall control panel with a large enough screen that is easy to read and has functions that will help you troubleshoot and repair the problems.

More often than not, the issues we will be discussing are photo-eye reversal-related, which means the photo eye system units may have gotten unaligned. This could be due to an inadvertent knock or some things may be installed incorrectly or the wires connecting to the motor were cut.

If the issue you are having doesn’t seem to be one of the ones below, you may have to contact a garage door technician for a garage door opener repair.



Troubleshooting Guide

On your LiftMaster garage door opener, Craftsman garage door, or Chamberlain garage door opener, take a look at the back of the motor housing and locate the indicator arrows. There should be two of them – one pointing up and the other pointing down.

What you need to do is to count the number of times the up or down arrows blink then look at the guide below to determine the issue. Once you have identified the problem, you will be able to make the necessary repairs.

Opener Does Not Close

Following the instructions looking at the blinking arrows as mentioned above, if you’ve noticed that both the up and down arrows blinked only once, it means that the problem is that the garage door opener is not able to close itself. The lights should be flashing.

This means that the safety sensors or what is called the photocells are not correctly installed or not properly connected. It could also be that the wires are cut. To fix this, check the sensor wires and adjust the disconnected wires or reconnect them as necessary, if they are cut.

Wires Are Reversed

If you see the up arrow blink only once and the down arrow blink twice, it means that your garage door opener would not close. The main LED light should be flashing.

This happens because the photocell wire has been cut or more possibly, the wires are reversed. Check these wires and make the necessary adjustments.

Malfunctioning Door Control

Looking at the arrows again, if this time, the down arrow blinks three times and the up arrow blinks only once, it means that there is a problem with your door control.

You should check the door control wires to see if there is a reversed wire or a short wire. You could also check the photocell if you need to replace or readjust some connection points.

Misaligned Photocells

If the down arrow blinks four times and the up arrow blinks once, it means there are misaligned photocells or they could be obstructed. You should realign the sensor boxes until the LED lights stop flashing and become steady.

Garage Door Reverses

With five blinks on the down arrow and once on the up arrow, your garage door could be reversing after going up to about 8 inches. You need to manually open the door and close it again. There may be binding and obstructions or the connections of the wires at the module are incorrect.

No Movement or Complete Stop

If, like above, the down arrow blinks five times, there are two other possible issues. There may be no movement at all which means you have to check for obstructions or you need to replace the logic board.

It could also be that the opener would hum for a couple of seconds but would not move which means you may have to contact a garage door technician, if there are no obstructions.


Here are Other Possible Situations:

  • 1 blink up and 6 blinks down means door stops and slides. You have to program the travel module to the correct position.
  • 2 blinks up and 1-5 blinks down means there is no sound or movement at all. You must replace the logic board.
  • 3 blinks up and 2 down, your settings are not saved. Replace the logic board.
  • 3 blinks up and down and the power LED is constantly flashing means there’s a circuit error in your battery backup charging. It needs to be replaced.
  • 4 blinks up and 1-4 down, the door stops or reverses which means there are obstructions or you have to reprogram the travel module.
  • 4 up and 5 down, you may have to replace the travel module after checking the connections.
  • 4 up and 6 down, you need to realign sensor boxes and clear obstructions.