Our special thanks to State Farm Insurance, The Genie Company and the Door and Access Systems Manufacturing Association (DASMA) for providing the resources that inform these safety, maintenance and “how-to” tips.

Garage door systems are sensitive mechanisms. Please, NEVER try to fully repair a malfunctioning unit yourself. In addition to possibly voiding various manufacturer warranties, doing so can create a very high risk of injury or death to yourself and your loved ones. If you must make adjustments yourself, refer first to your owner’s manual. PROFESSIONAL MASTERS GARAGE DOOR SERVICES cannot be held liable for any injuries or property damage.

Contact a professional to perform any and all repairs.

Your Home’s Largest Moving Part

An average 300-400 lb. garage door can easily create safety hazards ranging from the capacity to injure hands and fingers that become trapped in closing door sections to crushing property, pets and people who may get caught beneath them. Knowing that, we consider it especially critical that small children be made aware of how dangerous a garage door can be when in motion.

To the end of doing our part to minimize such unfortunate accidents, all new doors have been designed inside and out with Dura-Safe pinch-resistant sections. The Protector System safety beam sensors and an automatic-reverse features comes standard with all electric openers provided.

Still, nothing is ever really “fool-proof”. Always exercise caution.

  • Children should never play near a garage door and should always be taught from a young age to find an adult immediately in case of an emergency
  • In turn, adults should be well-versed in activating the door’s emergency release as needed
  • No one, adults or children, should ever walk or run under a door as it closes
  • Any garage door button should be installed at least 5 feet up from the ground in full view of the door – never operate a garage door that you cannot clearly see
  • All openers manufactured after Jan. 1, 1993 have a mandatory reversing feature, which you can test by closing the garage door on top of a 2×4 – if the door doesn’t reverse instantly or it turns out that your system doesn’t have an automatic reverse, look into replacing it immediately
  • Regularly check the garage door’s springs, rollers, pulleys, cables and track for loose or worn parts
  • NEVER perform maintenance near the springs – the high tension of all associated hardware – mounting brackets, cables, and the springs themselves – can cause serious injuries
  • DO NOT manually increase the garage door opener’s closing or opening force yourself – if in doubt, call a technician


Buying a “Do-It-Yourself” kit from a hardware or retail dealer foregoes such protections as diagnostic or repair warranties – guarantees homeowners can expect from most factory-authorized and trained dealers. More importantly, the solid rail and chain that supports standard commercially sold garage door openers resist buckling or bending over time at a cost of $350-$450, including installation. By comparison, a garage door opener purchased from a hardware or retail location will cost between $200-$300 plus an additional $115 for installation, but won’t include extensive manufacturer protection in the event of defects.

Only two factors merit the extra cost of an insulated garage door: a need for the exceptional durability afforded by the more dent-resistant and stiff insulated door and/or an occupied room above or attached to the garage that would necessitate an insulated door’s thriftier energy efficiency.

Ideally? None. Performing your own alterations or repairs to the door may both void your garage door system’s warranty and expose you and your loved ones to unnecessary safety risks. That being said, there are a few general working-order considerations you may (and probably should) check regularly:

  • Frayed, worn or rusted cables on the bottom brackets
  • If a 10-year-old child can (SAFELY) lift the garage door easily, then the spring is lifting the weight properly
  • Lubricate your rollers if they are operating particularly noisily, but also take note of any bent tracks or worn-out roller bearings – either of the latter two problems can rewind an opener
  • Apply silicone with teflon spray lubricant every 6 months to springs, drums, rollers track, hinges and the opener’s belt and chain – heavy grease will collect dirt and grass as it hardens, causing a malfunction in the door

Much like tires on a car, door springs should always be replaced as a full set. Springs lose strength with use, so one worn-out spring should create concern that there’s no way to tell whether the other is in just as bad shape, if not worse. Imbalances in strength between two springs can also keep your door from operating properly.

Run down a brief troubleshooting checklist:

  • Is anything catching or obstructing the door’s path up and down the track?
  • Are the safety sensors functioning properly?
  • Can you feel any obstructions when you manually operate the door? Any signs of excessive weight, noise or imbalances?
  • Are you attempting to manually increase the door’s force on the opener? If so, stop. Right now. Call a professional.

If you have limited garage access and experience a power failure when your remote is unavailable, you can utilize an emergency release kit to turn a key in the hole on the garage door’s locking mechanism and pull the lock’s body out. You can then lift the door manually when the key pulls a cable attached inside the opener release.

If you don’t have an emergency release kit, a professional can “fish” the release by drilling a hole in the door and replacing it with an emergency key release.

This isn’t a significant issue. The door’s constant vibration when in motion and shaking when it comes to a stop at the top of the track can cause bulbs to jostle and burn out.

DIP-SWITCH STYLE remotes have a set of normally up to 10 switches on the back of the garage door opener or an independent receiver box that program the remote when switched into varying positions. Match the corresponding numbers’ settings on both the opener/receiver and the remote.

Remotes with LEARN-CODE STYLE button technology program by pushing the “Learn” button once to activate the feature, enter the code, then pushing the button twice more.

DIP-SWITCH STYLE pads often require the pad’s original programming instructions, but newly purchased versions of keyless pads can often operate older-model openers.

LEARN-CODE STYLE pads follow similar instructions as those for remotes: activate the feature by pressing the “Learn” button, enter your code, then finishing by either pushing “Enter” or pushing “Learn” twice more to accept the code.

Though this may be caused by the opener pulling excessively, check for a broken or bent chain sprocket above the opener. Tighten the chain if necessary; you’ll most likely find the opener-chain tensioner on the chain itself, a locking nut above the opener that you can adjust by tightening or loosening the tension screw. Finally, manually test the door for excess weight or drag.

Manual release mechanisms function similarly across most garage door opener brands: disengage by pulling down and either forward or back on the rob. To reattach it, many brands require that you pull once on the rob, move the metal leveler or direct the pin at the end of the trolley into position. Finally, run the opener until it automatically engages.

As stated above, if a 10-year-old child can’t easily and safely lift the door, there’s a good chance that a spring is at the end of its lifespan and could damage the opener and create a safety hazard with continued use.

Your door should work smoothly and quietly, whatever its age, with necessary lubrication and regular visual inspection of the rollers, cables and tracks to spot issues or weakened parts. A door that struggles to open or close risks damaging both the door and its components. Any adjustments should be made only by a trained professional technician.

First, make sure that nothing is obstructing the sensors’ paths. Also, check that the sensors haven’t been knocked out of alignment and examine them for broken or cut wires in the connection between the sensors and the garage door opener.

The sensors should always display solid lights, if their paths are properly aligned to face each other and uninterrupted by foreign objects.

Can you? Yes, but due to substantial risks to your garage door and personal safety, we can’t advise against it strongly enough without legitimate training and the specialized tool needed to adjust a torsion spring under high tension.

Step #1

Measure the door opening’s height and width in feet and inches to determine the appropriate door size.

Step #2

When measuring for side room, allow 3-¾” on each side to install the vertical track’s standard extension spring, standard torsion spring and EZ-Set Torsion Spring System. Allow 5-½” for EZ-Set Extension Spring System.

Step #3

Measure the “head-room” distance between the “jamb header” door opening and the ceiling or floor joist. A standard extension spring or EZ-Set Extension Spring System requires 10” of space. Standard torsion springs and EZ-Set Torsion Spring Systems both require 12”. Look into special hardware if you have limited head room, as more space may be needed to accommodate an automatic opener. Adjust head room accordingly if the door height extends above the opening.

Step #4

Back room distance measures from the garage door opening to the garage’s back wall and should provide for the door height plus 18”. You may need more space to install an automatic opener.

  • Make sure the ignition is on in your vehicle.
  • Start by erasing any existing code by holding the outside buttons till the indicator light starts to flash.
  • Position the hand held remote 1-3 inches away from the desired button on your homelink.
  • Using both hands, push and hold the garage door remote and the desired homelink buttons – at the same time, moving your remote closer until the homelink indicator goes from flashing slowly to repeatedly.
  • Locate and push the “Learn Code” button on the back of the garage door opener, then return to the vehicle and push the desired homelink button again to activate.