Easy Guide to Do the Maintenance of Your Garage Door Opener in 10 Steps

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, or you and your significant other are looking into doing some maintenance, you should make sure to check over your electric garage door.

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

What a great 2-door garage! If you’re thinking of replacing your garage doors and like the timeless beauty of the Traditional look, these garage doors are Classic CC design, in 1-car size, Ice White color, and with 4 lite Orion windows.

Whatever you’re reasoning for paying attention to your garage, there are some important things to keep in mind and look out for.

(Accessing your automatic garage door opener, remote controls, and keypad will go much easier after binge-watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and using the KonMari Method to clean your garage.)

Once your garage is clean and able to park both of your cars, it’s time to think about maintenance.

STOP RIGHT THERE!

Picture of warning sign

Before jumping immediately into maintenance, there are a few things you should check. If your electric garage door opener is at least a few years old, you should check over the following information.

It could literally save your life.

Step 1 > What year was your door opener manufactured?

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

Here are the main models of LiftMaster garage door openers with their sticker locations and the information you can find on it.

Check over your garage door opener. Somewhere on the device, you should be able to find a sticker—it will have lots of important info on it.

Check the information—specifically for the model and serial numbers—and keep them handy if you decide to talk to a garage door specialist. (Highly recommended.)

If you have the manufacturing date (MFG Date), you’ll then know what year your garage door opener was made.

NOTE: If the model of your garage door opener is a Chamberlain, rather than a LiftMaster model, check out this FAQ.

Was Your Opener Manufactured Before 1993?

If the answer to this is, “Yes”, stop everything and throw your garage door opener in the trash. It’s time for a replacement because you and your family are not safe.

What’s important about 1993?

Back in 1993, the regulations for all garage door openers manufactured in the US and Canada changed. Since that time, it became a requirement that the door openers include two reversal systems—this change was implemented as additional protection.

Reversal System #1: this system is mechanical, and it forces the garage door to open if it comes in contact with an object. Basically, if the door touches anything, the motor will reverse direction and re-open the garage.

Reversal System #2: this one is photoelectric. Two units are installed on either side of the garage door; one emits an infrared beam and the other receives it. If the door is closing and something crosses the infrared beam, the motor stops and forces the garage door open again.

If this information hasn’t convinced you to upgrade your garage door yet, how about this? Learn about photocell safety beams and which urban legend about planes opening garage doors has been proven to be true—after that, you’ll be chomping at the bit to get an upgrade.

Was your garage door made before 1993 but before 2012?

In 2012, Chamberlain garage door openers changed up their model and introduced Security+2.0. This uses a rolling code technology.

Both Chamberlain and LiftMaster found that strangers were able to open random garage doors with any old remote; the codes that went from the remote to the garage were the same, no matter the house.

This led to a lot of burglaries and theft. Thus, both companies changed their models.

The new rolling code technology makes a new code between the remote and the garage door opener each time you press the button.

The Security+2.0 label

To check if your opener has this technology, look for the Security+2.0 label (Chamberlain, LiftMaster, or Craftsman models).

With the Security+2.0 technology, an algorithm chooses one of more than 100 billion codes to use between the remote and the opener.

Once a new code is created, the old one is discarded. This means that the same code only works once. This prevents intruders from using stolen codes.

Congratulations—you’re not protected from injuries and theft. On to actual maintenance.

Step 2 > Safety Reverse System Test

● Get a 2x4 board.

● Lay it flat on the garage door’s threshold.

● Use the garage door opener remote to close the garage door.

● Once the garage door closed on the board, it should reopen immediately.

Step 3 > Photoelectric Safety Reverse System Test

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

What to look for on your garage door when you want to check your photocell reverse system? 2 photo eyes installed on each side of your door no more than 6 inches from the floor.

Follow these steps to check!

● The Goal: You’re checking to see if your garage door will automatically open when something crosses the infrared beam while it’s closing.

● For this test, grab an inanimate object, just in case the garage test fails and crushes the item. Place it right in between the infrared beam.

● Try closing the door with the inanimate object blocking the beam. The door shouldn’t move—if it does, you have a problem.

Step 4 > Check the Control Panel

A picture of garage door opener wall control panel

Where is your wall control panel? On the wall, often by the access door leading to the house or beside the garage door itself, at least 5’from the floor.

● Check the opening and closing buttons.

● Check the LIGHT button.

● Make sure they all work.

Step 5 > Check Remote and Keypad

● How long has it been since you’ve changed the batteries in your remote or keypad?

Test: Most devices will light up when you press a button. If no light comes on or the door doesn’t active, your batteries may have to be replaced.

● If the batteries are new but the garage door still doesn’t work, you’ll need to reprogram the device. Follow these steps to learn how to program many LiftMaster accessories.

● You’ve gotten new batteries. You’ve reprogrammed the remote. Or maybe you’re hoping to get a second remote. Learn more about remote controls, 3-button mini remotes, and universal remote compatibility.

What about the antenna? There should be an antenna wire at the bottom of your garage door opener. Confirm it’s intact—if it’s not, your remote might not work.

Step 6 > Check the Emergency Release Rope & Handle

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

Most modern garage doors will have a rope hanging from the opener rail.

If your garage door is open, this manual release handle and rope will not be near the garage door.

Check it:

Pull the Emergency Release Cord

When you pull this cord, you’re removing the garage door from electrical power. This allows you to open and close it manually.

Find the lifting handle and lift it

Open the garage door by using the manual lifting handle. It should be easy to lift the door without much effort —if it opens easily, this means your garage springs are well-balanced.

If the door seems heavy and hard to lift, STOP IMMEDIATELY.

Close the door. Stay out of the garage. Get the door repaired immediately and/or undergo maintenance.

If you have trouble lifting the garage manually after following these steps, it may be that one or all the springs are almost broken or malfunctioning. In this case, you’re at risk of serious injury.

It is the springs—not the garage door opener—that lifts the door.

Step 7 > Maintenance

If you’ve made it this far and your garage door hasn’t collapsed/you’ve not managed to get hurt, it’s time to talk about maintenance.

Maintenance Time!

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

● The garage door trolley should slide easily along the rail

● Remove dust and debris from the opener rail with a cloth

● Oil the rail with a petroleum-based lubricant

A+ Tip: Clean and lubricate the tracks, springs, and hinges

With this, you’ve checked your automatic garage door opener! Make sure to do this twice a year to ensure your garage door opener is not a safety hazard.

Would You Rather Talk to A Garage Door Opener Professional Specialist Than Risk Making A Mistake?

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.

Contact us!

Norwood: 781-769-8988

Walpole: 508-668-9393

When it comes to the maintenance, repair or installation of your garage door and/or opener, we have many specialists who are passionate and extremely experienced with their repairs.

Is it time for a new garage door opener or a new garage door?

We’re here to help you out at Norwood Door Systems. By asking a few questions, we’ll be able to understand your expectations and your budget. We’ll be able to recommend products and procedures that work for you.

Already have the perfect opener or door?

We can give you a quotation by email.

Want to shop around and find some inspo?

Look no further than our residential photo gallery. Then, after you’ve found the colors and designs you want, use your smartphone—along with our Design Centre app—to model your choice on your own doors.

Build your perfect door and check it on your house before you buy.

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