Why Does My Garage Door Stop Halfway Down?

Garage doors are designed to close and open when activated by remote control. However, they can sometimes malfunction and stop halfway down, which can be a huge inconvenience and a security risk. What could be causing this issue?

Common causes for a garage door stopping halfway down include damaged drums and springs, improper limit settings, and misaligned or obstructed sensors. You can fix this by diagnosing the specific cause and applying an appropriate fix. You can also call a garage door expert for more assistance.

Figuring out why your garage door stops halfway is the first step toward fixing the issue. Let’s look at how garage door sensors work, some of the reasons why they malfunction, and what you can do about it.

Risks of a Malfunctioning Garage Door

Open garage door

1. Security Risk

One of the major reasons you have a garage door is to keep your possessions safe from vandalism and theft. A garage door that stops halfway down provides an easy access point for burglars.

It could also pose a threat to the rest of your house if the garage is attached.

2. Costly Repair

Sometimes, when the garage door stops halfway down, it can cause damage to other parts as well. This would mean that one small problem can progress into a more expensive problem.

If things deteriorate, you might need to install a whole new garage door. This is a very expensive solution that you probably want to avoid.

3. Injury and Damage Risks

A garage door that stops halfway clearly isn’t functioning as it should, and that means it could come down unexpectedly. The door could hit your possessions, leading to damage. Worse still, a garage door that isn’t working properly could come down on you or someone else,  causing severe injuries or even death.

How Garage Door Sensors Work

Garage doors are designed to be opened and closed using a remote control. The remote activates the motorized trolley, allowing you to open your garage door while sitting in your car.

The garage door system employs an infra-red signal. This activates the electrical motor when the button is pressed on your remote. The electrical motor then engages a track-and-pulley system on your garage door, closing or opening it.

For your garage door to keep functioning properly, the rays of the infra-red sensors must connect if the infra-red sensors malfunction for whatever reason, one of them will start to blink. As a result, the door may stop halfway and reverse or open instead of close.

Possible Reasons Your Garage Door Stops Halfway Down 

Exterior of a garage attached to a house

1. Damaged Springs and Drums

The spring system supports most of your garage door’s weight and assists in running the metal drums that lift your garage door through vertical cables on either side.

A broken spring can throw off the whole system. The drums can also get blocked by a stray cable or another obstruction.

Therefore, if your door closes halfway, you will probably need to contact a garage door professional. This is because the drums and springs are highly tensioned and can come crashing down. Attempting to fix the issue on your own can be very dangerous.

2. Limit Settings

Typically, the automatic garage doors come with limit settings that restrict the amount of force they can exert for closing or opening. If this limit setting is off, it can cause the garage door to stop midway.

3. Weather

The current weather condition could also be why your garage door is stopping halfway down. For instance, the freezing winter and hot summer can wreak havoc on the garage door, causing the rails to contract or expand. To counter this, the door opener may require a little extra pressure to get its job done.

How to Diagnose the Problem

Diagnosing the problem is the first step you need to take in order to restore your garage door to working condition.

To diagnose the problem, follow these steps;

  • Close your garage door entirely.
  • Pull the emergency release cord. This helps to disengage the opener trolley of your garage door.
  • Lift the garage door manually. If the garage door opens without any hitch, the problem lies with the automatic opener. However, if you can only open the garage door halfway, the problem is with the garage door itself.

When to Call a Professional

You should call a garage door professional if:

  • You are unable to diagnose and fix the problem by yourself.
  • Fixing the problem involves highly tensioned parts such as pulleys and springs. Attempting to resolve this problem on your own can be very dangerous.
  • You have a strict warranty on the door. Some garage doors come with a warranty that will be voided if you try to fix them yourself. Make sure you check on your specific model’s warranty before you proceed with any DIY repairs.