When Should You Replace Your Garage Door Opener?

Your garage opener is one of those things you probably don’t give much thought about until you need it. Unfortunately, just like any other appliance, your garage door opener can break or stop working. There are usually few warning signs for when it completely stops, but there’s a couple things to check if you are curious how much length you have left on yours. 

It’s Loud and Annoying to Use

Biggest, and easiest warning sign to notice. If your garage opener is very loud, or even rattling and shaky, something is probably on the way out. This can range from the springs to the opener chains, to a wide number of other parts. Best practice says to try opening the door manually, slowly, and keep an eye on all the moving parts to see if anything seems off. This can be quite hard to deduce on your own, so a service call might be in order. Sooner rather than later, lest it cause other parts to fail. 

The Garage Door Opener is Vibrating

A garage door opener that vibrates slightly may seem harmless, but you should keep a close eye on it. Chances are it will get worse. In fact, a vibrating opener can even break free from its mounting and crash to the ground (or worse — on top of your car). When crucial parts start to fail, it’s likely time for a new garage door opener.

Your Garage Door Suddenly Reverses

Most of the time a garage door that randomly reverses tells you have a problem with your photo eyes. They might have become dirty, misaligned, or have fallen off. You might also have something obstructing the door or at least blocking the sensors. We suggest sweeping the floor to be sure the bottom of the door is free from debris. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may be having problems with the opener itself. It may be time for a new installation.

Your Door is Already Broken

If your garage door is already broken or not working properly, it might be time to upgrade the opener as well. If the door is fully getting replaced, such as if it’s bent or sagging, then you’ll be getting a new opener as well so this is a non-issue. However, if there are parts needing to be repaired that you know of… there’s a non-negligible chance the whole opener is on its way out and should be replaced whole cloth.

It’s Over 15 Years Old

If your garage door opener is over 15 years old, you should probably replace it. That’s the upper limit of most systems, and you’re rolling the dice basically every day from there on. The parts inside are going to wear down, and you will probably have already started to notice issues with sound—even if you may have gotten used to it. It’s also safer to replace an old opener than to have it break while you are using it. Any older opener can also be a security risk. That’s because most use DIP switches set in either a +, 0, or – position. Anyone with an internet connection can figure this out. 

Modern openers feature rolling codes. This means that they can up to 1 billion codes to make them a much safer choice.

What to Look for in a New Opener

First and foremost, make sure it is compatible with your current garage door. Depending on the age of the door and certain sizing issues you need to be very sure everything is compatible, especially when installing it yourself. Otherwise, if you’re interested in installing a smart opener that you can schedule and control via your phone, now’s the time. Local garage door specialists are your best bet when making these sorts of decisions, even if you want to embark on a DIY installation.

Things to Avoid When Buying a New Opener

The main thing to consider is that cheap openers don’t tend to last very long. It might end up costing quite a bit less in the long run to spend a little extra on a better opener. Ordering from the internet can be a bit dicey as well, make sure to crawl through reviews and find common issues and see how often people seem to own them. 

Openers are fairly complicated, and heavy-duty, pieces of equipment. If installed incorrectly they can fail quite badly, potentially damaging equipment in the garage, such as cars, or anyone unlucky enough to be underneath it. It often can be a good idea to schedule an appointment with garage service pros if you have any question about what you’re doing.

Scroll to Top