Garage Door only Closes When Holding Button [6 Simple Fixes ]

Nothing is as annoying as when your garage door only closes when holding button. Particularly, when you have an emergency and intend to get to your garage the quickest way possible, you will be forced to press and hold the button until the door is completely opened or closed, which can be very frustrating.

The problem can arise from improper functioning of the garage door mechanism. This can range from wiring problems to faulty sensors. As a result, you must learn the potential problems and find solutions or diagnoses for the respective issues.

So keep reading as we analyze the potential causes of your garage door only shutting or opening at the hold of a button and the associated solutions.

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Garage Door only Closes When Holding Button

If you can only close your door by holding the opener button, it could be that the sensors are obstructed by an object on the door’s path or, in some cases, covered by dirt and dust. Besides, the sensors may be dysfunctional if their eyes are damaged or dirty, preventing them from seeing each other and subsequently not communicating to influence the closing and opening of the garage door.

Below is a look into detailed issues of why your garage door only closes when holding the button and potential solutions.

  1. Problem with Sensor Eyes

The sensor eyes also called the photo eye, are vital in your garage door system as they allow for communication between the two sensors on either side of your garage door. A garage door has two sensors fitted 6 inches from the ground, the transmitter and receiver sensor on either side.

The sensors have lenses that must be free of dust or dirt to communicate or see each other. In other words, the sensor eyes must be free of blockage to control the opening and closing of the garage door.

If your garage door will not close until you press and hold the opener button, one of the primary culprits is a damaged or dirty sensor eye.

A damaged sensor eye, such as from scratches or cracks, will require replacements as a solution. However, if you have determined that your sensors are covered with dust or dirt, take a clean, soft cloth and wipe the lenses carefully. You must be as gentle as possible when wiping the dust. You do not want to break the lenses or cause cracks that will expose you to purchasing new ones for replacement.

You can then attempt closing the door with a single press of the close button and see whether the problem is resolved. If the door fully closes without holding the button, the problem was with the sensor eyes.

However, attempt other troubleshooting tips if the door does not close by a single press. Before attempting another diagnostic approach, you must inspect the sensor eyes for cracks or any other form of damage and ensure the lenses are free from dirt or dust.

  1. Check Lock Buttons

If the lock button is faulty, your garage door may not fully close at a single press of the buttons. The lock button has the role of turning the lock feature on or off. The lock feature is premeditated to stop the operation of the door from hand-held remote controls. This does not mean your door will not close or open from the Keyless Entry or Push bar.

If the lock button is turned ON, your garage door may not close without holding the button down. Turning on the lock-out button implies it is engaged, which prevents the graceful closing of the door and compromises the whole door control mechanism.

Correcting this problem is pretty straightforward. Check the opener button and press it. Determine whether there is a light on the lock-out button indicating it is ON. You only need to disengage the button by turning it off.

You can consult your garage door manual if you are unfamiliar with the control system.

  1. Misaligned Sensors

Your garage door has sensors on either side, located 6 inches from the ground. The transmitter sensor (sends rays) and the receiver sensor (receives the beams). These sensors must be correctly aligned to see each other and communicate.

Often, if there is an object in the garage door’s path, the door will not close even if the sensors are correctly aligned, as the sensors do not see each other. Objects obstruct the sensor communication as the transmitter’s rays do not reach the receiver. As such, you must also check for any obstructions on the door’s path when your garage door only closes when holding the button.

Nevertheless, a garage door will not close if there is no communication between the transmitter and receiver sensor. This means the two sensors must be correctly aligned with the same height from the ground while also ensuring they are on the same angle.

First, check the positioning of the two sensors on either side to see if they are at the same height. You can use a tape measure to determine this height. If there is variation in the heights, adjust the sensors to 6 inches from the ground on both sides. You can also use a level such as a laser to determine if the sensors are not well-aligned and make the adjustments. This, in most cases, will do the trick.

If you are unsure of adjusting the sensors, you may call a professional to help, especially if it involves the delicate sensor eyes.

  1. Issue with Wiring

Sometimes, wiring problems could be the culprit to your garage door not closing without holding the button. You must often inspect your wires for short circuits or if rodents have damaged them, causing an incomplete circuit. Also, sticking out wires can result in the garage door not closing, usually with the remote.

Twist the wire connectors to reconnect the wires and restore them to their usual positions. If they are completely damaged, you may want to replace them with new ones. However, since wiring involves electrical know-how, reach out to a professional to help you with the reconnection so that you do not cause more harm.

  1. Dead Batteries

This often occurs when your garage door is not closing or opening when using the remote. If the batteries are dead, your garage door will not operate with the remote. You must replace the batteries and try pressing the close button again. If this works perfectly, then it was the primary culprit.

If you have replaced the batteries, but the garage door is still not opening with the remote, consider other troubleshooting tips.

  1. Fault in Garage Door Opener

The garage door openers play an essential role in the opening and closing of the garage door. If the openers malfunction or develop a fault, they hamper the door operation mechanism.

One of the primary faults that can arise from the garage door opener operation is reduced sensitivity. The garage door sensors must properly function for the door to open or close uniformly. As a result, when your door does not close unless you hold the button, you can check the sensitivity settings of the door to fix the issue.

The objective of running a sensitivity test is to determine whether both sides of your garage door are correctly aligned. In a case where one side is lower or higher than the other, the problem is with the sensitivity of your garage door opener.

You can run a sensitivity test or call a technician or expert to help fix the problem. If you want to attempt running the sensitivity test by yourself, first pull the emergency release lever to disengage the garage door opener. You are activating the garage door and forcing it to close.

Check if the sides of the door are even as you pull it down. If they are uneven, the sensitivity is off. On the other hand, if you manage to close the door evenly, then the sensitivity is not the cause of your garage door’s malfunctioning.

Garage Door Won’t close all the way

Aside from your garage door only closing when holding the button, in some instances, it may fail to close completely or close halfway. This could be a severe problem as it will expose your equipment to theft, especially when it is late in the evening and it is time to close the work with no immediate fix. It could be even worse if you are unfamiliar with the troubleshooting tips for a garage door that won’t close all the way.

Let’s find out some of the associated causes of a garage door that won’t close all the way with the potential solutions.

  1. Sensor Blockage

The main culprit to a garage door that won’t close all the way is sensor blockage. Garage door sensors send an infrared beam from the transmitter to the receiver that can detect an object, car, people, or animal like a pet in the door’s path. In modern homes, safety sensors have become mandatory with garage doors.

If objects such as cardboard, cars, crawling children, or pets are in the door’s path, the sensors will be obstructed, and the door will not close fully. This is essential as the sensors provide safety to the object or your pets from being crashed on by the door. Sensors are positioned 6 inches from the ground and must be aligned to see each other.

However, if you are in a rush and have not checked the door’s path, you may not understand whether there is a blockage. As a result, if your garage door won’t close all the way, check the door’s path for any objects and remove them.

If you are closing the door and the sensors detect an object in its path,  they will reverse the direction of the door.

Here the remedy is simple, remove all the potential obstructions on the garage’s door path.

  1. Misaligned Tracks

The safety of operating your garage door is significantly dependent on door tracks. The tracks keep the door in proper alignment to facilitate the safe operation of the door mechanism. If your tracks are misaligned, you must experience difficulties closing or opening the door, which, apart from being a safety hazard, your door may not close or open all the way.

If your garage door doesn’t open all the way, inspect the track alignment. Misaligned tracks can result when a car or heavy object bumps into the tracks and forces them out of alignment. The door would not reach its final resting place on misaligned tracks.

If misaligned tracks cause your garage not to close all the way, call a professional for assistance since the doors are heavy and can expose you to severe injuries.

  1. Assess the Seal

Along your garage door threshold, there is a strip of material called a seal. The seal can be made from material of different thicknesses or lengths depending on your garage door. The seal is used to close the gap when the door is closed, ensuring that nothing gets into your garage through the gap.

However, in some instances, you may find the seal protruding from the edges of the door, which can prevent your door from moving all the way down. Also, the seal can prevent your door’s progressing down or up if torn or damaged.

As such, examine your seal, determine whether it is torn or damaged, and replace it. Ensure you have determined the needed length and thickness to ensure some parts of the material do not protrude and hinder the opening or closing of your garage door.

  1. Damaged Tracks, Cables, or Springs

The springs, cables, and tracks support your door’s operation mechanism. If your garage door’s springs or cables are broken or damaged, you must find a way to replace them before you can use the door. The springs support high torsion and weight that you must be wary of not falling on you, your car, or any object in your garage.

As such, seek the services of an expert or professional to help with the replacements.

  1. Examine the Trolley

Your garage door is connected to the opener by a mechanism called trolley. The trolley has a hanging rope, making it easy to identify if you are interacting with it for the first time. Depending on the mechanism of operation of your garage door, whether chain-drive, screw-drive, or belt-drive, the rope disengages or engages the door from its operating mechanism.

Once you have disengaged the garage door from the chain-drive mechanism or whatever mechanism of your garage door, attempt closing it by hand and observe its movement. If it moves freely by manual operation, there is a possibility the trolley is in bypass mode.

Do not fret. Locate the rope and pull it towards the door to remove the trolley latch from the bypass mode. Activate the garage door for the trolley to latch back onto the chain and then attempt to operate the garage door.

If the problem was the trolley in the bypass mode, the door would work properly and fully close.

A video showing how to troubleshoot a garage door that will not go down without holding the button

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. How do I know if my garage door is out of alignment?

Garage doors are integrated with safety sensors that prevent them from crashing into objects, people, animals, or cars in their path. These sensors are integrated with exterior LED lights that blink during the garage door operation. A steady green light indicates that the sensors are powered on and working. However, if the garage door sensors are blinking red, they are out of alignment.

Wrap Up

Modern homes today have automated doors operated by remotes. You don’t have to press and hold the button until the door is fully open or closed. Besides the annoyance or frustration of holding the buttons until the garage close, it can be inconvenient during emergencies or in a rush.

As a result, it is paramount that you determine why your garage door is not closing unless you hold the button. The primary problem often lies with the garage door sensors or wiring. Also, your garage door opener or limit switches could be faulty.

Read and attempt the various troubleshooting tips elaborated on in this article. If you are unsure how to execute any elaborated processes, you may contact us or any expert around you for help.

We hope this helps. Thank you!

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