Garage Door Opener Maintenance: What You Need to Know

You’ve finally gotten the last of your moving boxes put away and the garage of your new or new-to-you home is finally free and clear. You’re so excited to be able to finally make use of that space! Now that you’ve mastered the skills in Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, and you used the KonMari Method to clean your garage, it’s time to park your car in the space.

A picture of 2 single garage doors in Classic CC design, 9' x 7', Ice White color, 4 lite Orion windows

Gorgeous doors! Love this look? We do, too! These garage doors are in the Classic CC design, in 1-car size, Ice White color, and with 4 lite Orion windows

Put on the Brakes!

Picture of warning sign

If your garage door opener hasn’t been used in some time (or at all if you’ve just moved in), you need to do a few things before you press that “open” button. In this blog, we’ll walk you through what you need to know, and it just might save your life (or at least lengthen the lifespan of your opener).

First: Check the MFG Date of Your Garage Door Opener

An example of a garage door label and where it can be found on different garage door opener models

In the image above, you can see the label locations for most LiftMaster garage door opener models.

Before doing anything, you need to locate the MFG date for our unit. It will be listed on the information label on the opener. You’ll also find other data, such as the model number, the serial number, and a lot more. That information will come in very handy if you need to contact a garage door specialist.

MFG date stands for manufacturing date – the date on which the opener was made.

Do you have a Chamberlain garage door opener, but it’s not labeled as a LiftMaster model? You should find some information in this FAQ.

You found the date. Was it before 1993?

If so, you can forget about repairing or maintaining your unit. It’s time to invest in a new garage door opener.

What happened in 1993?

1993 was the date by which all garage door openers in the United States and Canada were required to have two safety systems in place.

Mechanical Reversal: The first system is mechanical. Basically, if the door encounters an obstacle on the way down, it will automatically reverse instead of closing.

Photoelectric Reversal: The second safety system consists of two photoelectric eyes (an emitter and a receiver. They’re installed about six inches above the floor on each side of the door. An infrared beam connects the two, and if something breaks it while the door is closing, it will automatically stop and reverse.

Aren’t sold on the need to upgrade? Take a moment and learn more about photocell safety beams, as well as the urban legend about planes opening garage doors – which is true!

Was your garage door opener made well after 1993? You’re still not in the clear unless it was manufactured after 2012.

Why 2012, though? That’s when Chamberlain introducedrolling code technology with Security+2.0.

Why was it necessary? It all comes down to human ingenuity and the desire to take the easy road. People discovered that opener codes did not change, and some were shared across different remotes. They would take several remotes and drive around affluent neighborhoods, pressing the open button and seeing what happened. When they spotted a door opening, they entered the home and robbed it.

Rolling code technology gets around this problem by changing the code with each use. Each code can only be used a single time. That means stolen codes are useless to burglars.

The Security+2.0 label

This is the label to look for that indicates your garage door opener is not a hidden threat of your safety.

That concludes our safety feature roundup. Now it’s time to get started with the meat of this post – the how-to, nitty-gritty about maintaining and testing your garage door opener.

Second: Test the Mechanical Reverse System of Your Garage Door Opener

● Get a 2x4.

● Lay it across the threshold of your garage door.

● Use the remote to close the door.

● Watch for the door to contact the wood.

● It should reverse immediately. If it does not, contact your local garage door and opener specialist for immediate repairs.

Third: Test the Photoelectric Reversing System of Your Garage Door Opener

A picture showing where is the photoelectric safety reverse system on your garage door and what it does

Check that the 2 photo eyes are installed correctly on either side of the garage door and no more than six inches off the floor.

Here’s what you need to do to check your photo-eye reversal system:

● Get a large stuffed animal (one that you don’t mind getting squished.

● Place it in the door’s path so that it breaks the beam between the two photo eyes.

● Use the remote to close the door.

● If your photo eyes are working properly, the door should not even start closing.

Fourth: Investigate the Wall Control Panel of Your Garage Door Opener

A picture of garage door opener wall control panel

Struggling to find the wall control panel? It’s usually located by the small door out of the garage, but may be next to the main garage door in some cases.

● Press the open/close button. Does it work properly?

● Press the light button. Do the lights come on correctly?

Fifth: Keypad and Remote Verification

● Both the keypad and the remote require batteries to operate. Do you know when they were last changed? If not, it’s time to do a little bit of testing.

You’ll only need to perform one simple test: Press the remote. Does the LED come on? Does the door activate? If not, your batteries may have to be replaced. Open the battery compartment and remove them, then replace them with fresh batteries.

● With fresh batteries in place, try to use the remote again. Does it work? If not, the problem could be related to programming. You’ll need to reprogram it. Thankfully, you can use this blog on how to program many LiftMaster accessories.

● If you’ve tried changing the batteries and reprogramming the remote, then the problem lies a bit deeper. You will need to take matters into your own hands. We recommend that you learn more about remote controls, 3-button mini remotes, and universal remote compatibility.

Keep an eye on the antenna: Your garage door opener should have an antenna – a piece of wire hanging down from the body. Make sure that this isn’t damaged in some way. If it is cut, it will need to be replaced. If the wire is bent upward, it may not be receiving the signal from the opener. Bend it back into place and try the process again.

Sixth: Release Handle and Cord Check

A picture of an installer a garage door opener emergency release rope and handle

Do you have a modern garage door opener? If so, there should be a cord with a handle hanging down from the rail. Note that this is not the track, it’s the rail that connects the opener to the door.

When you have the door shut, the cord and handle should be positioned close to the garage door opener.

Here’s how to check to ensure that it operates correctly:

Pull the handle:

The trolley connects the garage door opener to the door. When the opener engages, the trolley is what allows it to raise or lower the door. When you pull the handle, it disconnects the door and the opener, allowing you to open and close the door by hand, but rendering the opener inoperable.

Find the garage door handle and lift:

Find your garage door’s manual use handle. It’s usually on the bottom but may be midway up the door. Use this to lift the door up. It should move smoothly.

With a well-balanced garage door, all you’ll need is a single hand to open the door.

Does the door feel heavy? Is it binding as you lift? Stop right there!

Slowly close the door and leave it alone. Make sure that no one else comes into the garage until you’ve had a chance to have it repaired or maintained.

Your garage door springs are under incredible tension and if one breaks, it could come loose and injure or even kill someone standing nearby.

Remember this – the garage door opener isn’t what raises the door. The springs do all the hard work.

Seventh: Garage Door Opener Trolley and Rail Maintenance

We’re almost done with your safety and maintenance checks. The last thing to do is a little bit of maintenance on the trolley and the rail. It’s simple and fast, too!

A picture of an installer checking if the  garage door opener trolley slides well on the rail

The installer is checking if the garage door opener trolley slides well on the rail

● Visibly watch the trolley move as the door opens or closes. Does it move smoothly?

● Take a clean, dry cloth and clean any debris or rust from the trolley.

● Buy a decent petroleum-based lubricant and lube the trolley.

Go Further: Since you already have all the supplies out, why not take things further? You should clean and maintain the tracks, the hinges, and the rest of your door’s hardware so that it stays in great shape.

You’re all done! Now, don’t forget that this process has to be repeated two times a year. Otherwise, it’s possible that your garage door opener will become a safety hazard.

Not Up for All This? There’s a Simple Solution – Call in the Experts!

A picture of a garage with 2 single garage doors in Prestige XL design, 9' x 8' size, Moka Brown color, with Cachet windows

Are you looking for a prestigious exterior look for your house? Our garage door Prestige XL design would enhance it even more! Here shown in 9'x8' size, Moka Brown color, with Cachet windows.

Need expert help? Call us!
Miramichi: 506-622-3146
Bathurst: 506-546-6988

We’re proud to offer expert garage door maintenance, repair, or installation. We also offer maintenance, replacement, and installation of garage door openers. We have decades of experience in this industry – garage doors and accessories are our passion!

Are you ready for a brand-new garage door opener?

Maybe you’ve got your eye on a new garage door?

At Allison's Manufacturing Ldt, we can help with both needs. All you need to do is give us some basic information, such as your budget and your personal tastes, and we’ll go to work to find the right option for you! Our garage door specialists can help match you with the ideal garage door for your home and your budget.

Already have an idea of what you want? No worries!

In that case, all you need to do is request a quotation by email.

Need a little bit of inspiration? We can help there, too!

Take a few minutes to explore the work we highlight in our residential photo gallery. Want to take things a bit further? Use your smartphone to snap a couple of pics of your garage’s exterior and then use our Design Centre to explore how different doors and accessories look on your home.

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