Garage Door Is Not Opening But Motor Is Running [Solved]

It is like a nightmare for a homeowner if his garage door acts strange. Sometimes we are hurry for work. We dressed appropriately and got your office bag, boss is calling to reach the office early due to an emergency meeting. 

When you reach in front of your garage and press the remote button to open the garage door, you notice the motor is running but the garage door is not opening.

Let’s find the reasons behind this problem in this article. 

Reasons Behind The Garage Door Is Not Opening When The Motor Is Running 

If you hear the turning sound of the motor of your garage door opener but still your garage door is not opening, then the possible reasons for this problem are:

  1. The gear and other parts of your garage door opener motor would be broken.
  2. The garage door would not engage with the opener motor. 
  3. The gear and other parts of the motor are broken or worn. 
  4. Disengaged tension chain with the motor gear. 
  5. A jammed Garage door could also cause this issue. 
  6. The springs of your garage door would be broken.
  7. Loose cables and jammed pulleys.
  8. Tight tension chain of the opener.
  9. Maybe you installed an incompatible opener in your garage door.

The Motor Of The Garage Door Opener Is Running But The Door Doesn’t Open [ A Step-By-Step Guide To Fix It ]

garage door motor
garage door motor

1. Troubleshoot Your Garge Door For Problem

A jammed or broken garage door doesn’t open when the motor is running. This is why check your garage door first if it is jammed or broken. 

To check your garage door do this first. 

Step 1: Disengage The Garage Door With Emergency Release

This is the first step to follow. You can disengage your garage door by pulling the emergency release rope down forcefully. 

Normally it is located just a few inches down from the garage door opener. If you have any difficulty finding it, must check the user manual of your garage door opener. 

Note: Make sure your garage door is completely closed before pulling the emergency release rope of your garage door opener. 

This is very important because if you would disengage your garage door if it is open, it immediately falls down and could harm people standing just below it. 

Also Read: Garage Door Won’t Close With Remote But Will Open [Solved]

Step 2: Try To Manually Open Your Garage Door When It Is Disengage With The Opener

Pulling the emergency release rope of your garage door opener will disengage your garage door from the opener motor. In this case, the motor runs but can not open or close your garage door. 

After pulling down the emergency releasing rope, the next step is to try to open your garage door with your hand.  

If the door is started to move upward, it means the fault is not with your garage door but with the opener. 

Also Read: 3 Working Ways To Trick Garage Door Sensors

Step 3: Broken Garage Door Springs

Garage door springs play a very important role in smoothly closing and opening the door. They provide the required tension to your garage door so that it can open and close easily. 

With time these springs broke down due to too much tension and continuously bearing the weight of the garage door. 

Inspect these springs if they are broken or not. If the springs break, your garage door opener is unable to lift the door, if its motor is running. 

There are two types of springs used for a garage door:

  1. A large spring that is situated just above your garage door. Most modern garage doors come with this large torsion spring.  
  2. Old garage doors have a pair of extension springs located just above the door. 

Broken garage door springs are difficult to replace on your own because the springs carry lots of tension, if you try to lose its screw, then it could be harmful to you. 

This is why taking the help of an expert technician is always best. 

Also Read: How To Open Garage Door Without Remote [Self-Applied Methods]

Step 4: Inspect The Roller Of Your Garage Door

Rollers are located on the corner of both sides of your garage door top assembly. Sometimes they become stuck and don’t move as they should. Lake of greasing is the main cause of this issue.

Step 5: Loose Pulleys And Cables

There are two pulleys and cables that are attached to the roller of your garage door. 

With time the cable becomes loose and sometimes snaps. You can tighten them by attaching the cables with a little notch on the roller.  Now rotate the roller to tighten the cables. 

Note: Don’t keep your garage door cables too tight, keep them a little bit loose so that they can work perfectly. 

Step 6: Loose Screws 

Your garage door has lots of screws. Some are located around the springs, and others are on the rollers. Inspect them and tighten them properly if you found they are loose. 

Step 7: Garage Door Opener Chain Is Too Tight

Check the tension on the chain, by touching it with your fingers. If it swings a little bit, it means the tension on the chain is perfect, but if it doesn’t swing up and down it means the chain is too tight. 

garage door tension chain
garage door tension chain

A tight chain makes it difficult to lift the garage door. A tight chain experience excess tension on it which causes the gear of the motor grind that moves the chain. 

Also Read: Garage Door Sensor No Light: [Problems & Solutions]

2. Troubleshoot The Garage Door Opener Motor

If you are hearing the running sound of your garage door opener motor but The chain, Belt or screw is not moving, it means some parts of the motor are worn out and need replacement. 

Most probably the gear of the motor is worn out. An Old opener (5 years + older) faces a lack of tension force which need to be increased by rotating a nut of the opener. It is a little bit different for different brand openers. You can check out the user manual of the specific brand opener that you own. 


In conclusion, if the motor of your garage door opener is running but the door doesn’t open or close, then check your garage door first. Check its upward springs, pulley, and cables for faults. If you don’t find any problem with them then the fault would in the garage door motor. 

Might be the chain would not engage with the motor gear, and the gear would wear. Worn gear makes it hard to rotate the chain to lift the door. 

And the last reason would be the incompatibility of your garage door opener with your garage door. There is a chance that the opener would not generate enough tension, and is incompatible in respect of the size and weight of your garage door. 


Q.1 I’m Hearing The Sound Of My Garage Motor but It doesn’t pull the chain.

Ans: If the motor makes a sound like it is turning but the door doesn’t open it means the problem would be due to a tight chain, loose or snapped cables, stuck roller, broken springs, and so on. 

Q.2 Should I Need To Change The Tension Force Of My Garage Door Opener If The Motor Is Running But The Door Doesn’t Move?

Ans: Yes, if your garage door opener has been used for the last five or more years. You must preprogram its tension force because, with time due to the continuous use of different parts of your garage door opener, the required tension to open the door is changed. 
This is why you must increase the tension force of your opener when many years have been since its installation. 


About The Author

Harry walter

Harry Walter is here, I'm a passionate writer of home guides, backyard, and garage problems, and have been doing this for a couple of years. I love to share simple solutions for your home and backyard problems.

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