Garage Door Not Opening but Motor Running

If you find your garage door not opening but motor running, what do you do? It can be such a hassle if you already have a busy life and you cannot waste time on a simple garage door.

Let us say you need to go to a meeting or school or any other destination very urgently, and you can hear the garage door running, but it will not work. Now you have to waste your precious time on fixing the door.

So, you need to read the rest of the article to find out what to do in this situation as well as what to do to prevent such a predicament.

Garage Door Not Opening but Motor Running Reasons

Garage Door Not Opening But Motor Running

If you face this problem, there can be two big reasons apart from the other reasons for it.

  1. The first reason could be your garage door’s motor. There could be broken gear or parts in your garage door opener.
  2. The other possibility can be that the door is failing to work with your opener.

Other than these main two reasons, there are other reasons that are explained down below with possible remedies.

Your Door Has a BLocked Photo Eye

A lot of the garage doors have a photo eye. The job of this photo eye is to detect if objects or people are blocking the door from shutting all the way down.

This photo eye is situated about four to six inches off of the ground for most garage doors. The pea-sized photo eye will shoot lasers across the garage area. If it is somehow interrupted, the signal of lowering and raising the door will be cut off.


  • Check the cord that is supposed to be attached to the door’s photo eye
  • Clean any dirt or dust that may be blocking the eye.

Broken Torsion Springs

When you hear a loud noise that might sound like a gunshot or a firecracker in your garage, it is most likely the sound that your garage door torsion spring made by breaking.

These torsion springs have a certain number of cycles. So, they are the first thing to break when it comes to the garage door assembly.

You should not ever open the garage door if you have a broken torsion spring. Most of the time, people call professionals for this issue.


  • Get a professional to fix this issue for you

Disrupted Operator’s Power Source

The ridiculous-sounding reason that happens to the best of us is that sometimes people forget to plug in the power source, to begin with.

Sometimes, there are outlets that do not work properly or have gone out. So, you need to try another power source in that case.


  • Make sure your garage door is plugged into a power source.

Sensitivity Is Out of Adjustment

This may happen to a very old garage door or a newly installed one. You cannot set the sensitivity too high or too low. Otherwise, you will not be able to open your garage door.


  • Read the instructions on the manufacturer’s manual to reset the sensitivity

Adjustments Needed for the Limit Setting

You have to check the limit settings if you find the door opening immediately after closing it. This helps the door mechanism to decide how far it has to move to let the door close properly. The door will close shut before the opener believes that it should if the settings are somehow off.

The door mechanism will assume itself to hit some kind of obstacle if the settings are off. This way, the garage door will automatically back down and close.


  • Check the manufacturer’s manual to adjust your limit settings

Cables Have Popped Off or Snapped

Sometimes your cables can become disengaged somehow. It can be because of the torsion spring breaking as well. Sometimes, it can be so that there is damage to a wall or a vehicle from because of the cable.

Someone could get harmed as well if they are around in that line of fire where the cable has snapped. So, be aware of that.


  • You should get help from a professional to fix this issue

Malfunctioning Remote Control

Your garage door may not open with your remote because of a few reasons. It could be that you are out of range. The antenna could be blocked or damaged. If it is a small switch system, you may need to change the battery. Your remote may need reprogramming.


  • Avoid the above-mentioned reasons for the remote or switch not working

Unseen Obstacles

These doors can automatically open fully, seeing an obstacle coming into contact to avoid any injuries.

If your garage door backtracks while closing for no reason at all, it could be that something is in the way that you cannot see.


  • Check for dirt or debris and keep everything clean so that nothing is in the way

How to Prevent It in the Future

How to Prevent It in the Future

Now that you have fixed the issues that caused the garage door to not open, you have to make sure you prevent such a predicament from happening in the future.

The best possible way to prevent it is to give your garage door opener a regular check to keep everything always in order.

First, make sure everything is in its place. Make sure everything will move when needed, and lubricate the moving parts so that they all work smoothly.

Check to ensure that there is nothing in the way and keep the doorway clean so that everything runs smoothly.

Take a look at the photo eye of your garage door to make sure everything is in order. Nothing can be in the path while the door is opening and closing. The photo eye needs to be clean as well. Otherwise, the door will not open.

You can test your photo eye by placing a block of wood in the doorway and trying to close it. If it does not backtrack, you need to clean the eye.

Over time, there can be scratches and dents on the garage door itself. You need to maintain the door and make sure there are not any dents as it can affect the performance of the door.

Final Words

Do not worry if you find your garage door not opening but motor running. Whatever the reason, the solution might be straightforward. If you cannot troubleshoot on your own, do not shy away from asking for help from a professional. Remember, it is always better to stay on the safer side by taking precautions.

Abdulla Zatar
About Abdulla Zatar

Hi, I’m Abdulla! Your go-to tech troubleshooter! Sharing my knowledge so that you can fix your tech issues with ease. Let’s make fixing things easy and fun!

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