Garage Door Opener Hums, But Doesn't Move? (We Have A Fix)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Like every mechanical device, something can go wrong where troubleshooting is necessary. It can be something minor, so there is no need to panic or get upset. If you push the buttons for the garage door, and it hums, here is what you can do.

Go down a checklist of troubleshooting and check the cables for offsets, the springs, rollers, the battery, and the motor. Anything can get jammed in the runners, or they can go off track at any time. The chances are high it went off track, and it may take two people to put everything back in place.

When you try to open the garage door, the humming noise tells you the battery is still in good condition. The motor and the battery working are working together, but you should always check it while you are troubleshooting. Added below are the details of how to assess and fix the problem, along with special tips.

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Assessing the Situation When the Garage Door Fails

The best way to create a checklist is by going through the owner’s manual and studying the parts during installation. As you learn the parts and what they do, you can quickly pinpoint the problems. These are some of the things to look for with the track system.

  • If the garage has not opened or closed in a while, check to ensure there are no dirt gobbler nests. Also, check for other pests that may have made their home in the tracks. It can stop the garage door from operating correctly and throw it off the tracks.
  • Inspect the cables to see if they are damaged or rusty. Over time and constant use, the cables will wear and tear, causing a strain on the rollers or springs.
  • The things to check in the cables are corrosion, water, cuts, or rubbing against the other components.
  • Check the springs to see if they may have slipped out of place. If the springs are not connected properly, it will throw the entire system off. Sometimes the spring will be in place, but it may need adjusting over time.
  • The rollers may have slipped off the track. If this occurs, you will need help because it takes two people to shift the door back into place. Be sure to check each roller because one may be crooked.
  • Check for damages on the garage door itself. Sometimes there may have been something that hit the door, causing it to dent or bend. This problem can also throw the system off track.

Repairing Damages to the Garage Door System (Cables)

Once you have figured out what is causing the garage door to hum, it is time to fix it. It does not matter the project you take on; always begin with safety first. Safety glasses, gloves, and calling up that old buddy to help you out would be the ideal things to do.

When the cables wear out, one side will be off level. This is the best way to let you know something is wrong with the mechanism. It will not be long before it begins humming.

Now that you know the battery and the motor is in good working condition, these are the steps to follow. Either the cables, springs, or rollers will need to be replaced or realigned. We will begin with the cables.

Step 1: Purchase the Cables

You will need to purchase the correct cables for your garage door. They are made for different weights, lengths, and types of doors. Also, get your tools ready, a pair of vise grips, and a flathead screwdriver.

Step 2: Open the Garage Door

The garage door needs to be opened all the way for this step. Clip the cables inside the track to add security to the door.

Step 3: Beginning the Process of Removing the Cables

Use the vise grips to block the door and prevent it from closing. You will need to lock it on the cable’s shaft and turn it counterclockwise to release the tension. Do not loosen the cables too much, or you will not be able to keep them from getting tangled.

Step 4: Remove the Old Cable

Take the flathead screwdriver and remove the cable. When you get to the pulley, unwind it and take out the end piece from the slot.

Step 5: Begin Putting the New Cable In Place

In the same manner of removing the cable, everything will be in reverse to install the new line. Take the straight end of the new cable and bend it to a 90-degree angle. Take the flathead screwdriver and push the end piece into the middle of the pulley.

Step 6: Wind Up the Cable

Wind up the cable and leave about a foot hanging out. Put the loop end over the connector.

Step 7: Tighten the Cable

Once the loop is in place, tighten the shaft with the vise grips. Keep the cable in the groove of the pulley, and turn the vise grips counterclockwise to tighten. Make sure there is no slack in the wire before removing the vise grips.

Step 8: Double-Check Your Work

Always double-check your work and operate the door to ensure it moves correctly before calling it a day.

Checking and Aligning the Springs

Sometimes the springs may be the problem for a garage door not working correctly. Each spring must be a certain way for the door to open and close smoothly. One spring can offset the entire motion and cause the door to hum.

Inspect the springs and look for damages. Most of the time, a spring or two will only need to be aligned. It is a quick and easy fix by turning it to match the others.

Inspecting, Realigning, and Replacing the Rollers

Faulty rollers leave a grinding noise if the door moves or a humming sound if it does not. Over time, the rollers can become worn with excessive use. It is not difficult to replace the rollers yourself, but it takes two people to remove and replace the door.

After inspection, you may find the flawed roller in need of replacement, or you may find the door needs realigning. We will discuss both of these in this section.

Realigning the door takes a person on each side, slightly shifting it side to side and back and forth. Be careful not to shift it too much, or it will throw the other rollers off track. It would be best if you also inspected what caused the roller to get offset and fix it.

There may be one or more rollers that may be corroded and need replacement. You will need a ladder, pliers, flathead screwdriver, a clamp, and someone to help hold the door. These are the steps necessary to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Step 1: Turn the Power Off

Open the garage door all the way and turn off the power source to the door.

Step 2: Pry Open the Track

There will be a seam to pry the track open. You will need the pliers to perform this step.

Step 3: Get Help To Hold the Door

Get your help to stand on one side of the door and take the door off the track. To prevent damage to the power opener, hold both sides in place.

Step 4: Remove Bottom Roller

Using the flathead screwdriver, remove the bottom roller. Continue to hold the door in place as it goes off the track. By holding the door in place, it also reduces the tension in the spring.

Step 5: Put New Bottom Roller

Put the new roller in place. Lift on the door to place it in the bent part of the track.

Step 6: Follow Through with the Other Side

Continue the same process with the remaining rollers. Do the same thing with the other side, leaving the top rollers in place.

Step 7: Support Garage Door with Clamp

Put a clamp at the bottom of the door to hold it in place. Your friend can also help maintain the door for extra support.

Step 8: Replacing the Top Rollers

Remove and replace the top rollers using your screwdriver. Be careful when doing this step because the top part of the door will come down. Twist the track to get the roller in place.

Step 9: Final Steps

Follow Step 8 to do the other side of the door. Once the other roller is in place, your project is completed. It should take an hour to an hour and a half to replace everything.

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Related Questions

How long does a garage door opener last?

The typical lifespan of a garage door opener is around ten to 15 years. Everything that we own lasts longer than expected if we are good on the maintenance.

Will the sensors affect anything removing and replacing the garage door?

Once the power is cut off to the door, the sensors will not affect the door or your do-it-yourself project. They are there for safety purposes only to keep the door from closing on people or objects in the way of the door.

How much is a garage door opener?

The typical cost is from $200 to $500. It depends on the name brand and if you want something simple or fancy. It also depends on the installation cost from the technician and how much they charge.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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