Overhead Door Company of Oklahoma CityServing:   Oklahoma City, OK    Edmond, OK    Norman, OK    Yukon, OK     Midwest City, OK


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Troubleshooting Guide: Why Your Garage Door Remote Stopped Working

Is your garage door remote acting up? Don’t fret; there’s usually a straightforward explanation for the issue you’re facing. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through common problems and their solutions, helping you get your garage door remote back in action quickly.

1. Dead Batteries

The Silent Culprit: Your garage door remote relies on a source of power to transmit signals to your garage door opener. In most cases, this power source is a set of batteries. Dead batteries are a common and often overlooked reason for a malfunctioning garage door remote.

Over Time, Loss of Power: Batteries, like any energy source, have a finite lifespan. As they age and are used, they gradually lose their capacity to hold a charge. When your remote’s batteries reach a critical point in their lifespan, they may no longer provide enough power to effectively transmit the signal to your garage door opener. This loss of power can result in your remote becoming less responsive or even failing to work altogether.

Signs of Battery Depletion: One of the first signs of declining battery power is the need to press the remote’s button multiple times before the garage door responds. You might also notice that you need to stand closer to the garage door for the remote to have any effect. These are classic indicators that your batteries are on the verge of dying.

Prevent Inconvenience: To avoid the inconvenience of a non-functioning garage door remote, it’s essential to stay proactive. Regularly changing the batteries before they completely die is a simple yet effective solution. This ensures that your remote always has a reliable power source, keeping your access to the garage hassle-free.

Pro Tip: Consider upgrading to a smart garage door opener that allows you to control your garage door via your smartphone. When the time comes to replace your garage door opener, this feature can be a game-changer.

2. The Lock Is On

A Simple Fix: Occasionally, the problem might not originate from the remote but from the garage door itself. Most garage doors are equipped with a locking mechanism that serves as an added layer of security. This lock is designed to prevent the door from opening when engaged. It’s essential to understand how this lock works and how to address it if it’s causing issues with your garage door remote.

Identifying the Lock: The lock in question typically resembles a knob with two horizontal bars spreading outward. This design is intended to make it easily distinguishable from the rest of the garage door hardware. When the lock is engaged, it essentially puts the door in a locked position, making it impossible for the remote or any other method to open it.

Check and Disengage: If you’re facing difficulties with your garage door remote and suspect that the lock might be the culprit, the solution is straightforward. Inspect your garage door for the presence of this lock. It’s usually located on the inside of the door. Once you’ve located it, check if it’s currently engaged by looking at its position. If the horizontal bars are extended outward, the lock is engaged. In this case, all you need to do is disengage it.

Disengaging the Lock: To disengage the lock, turn the knob or handle in the opposite direction. This action should retract the horizontal bars, signaling that the lock is now off. Once you’ve done this, try operating your garage door remote again. You should find that the remote now works as expected, and your garage door opens and closes smoothly.

Addressing the lock is a quick and simple fix that doesn’t require any special tools or expertise. It’s a basic troubleshooting step that can save you from unnecessary frustration and the potential cost of calling a professional for assistance.

3. Garage Door Trolley Disengaged

Manual Mode: Sometimes, the reason your garage door remote isn’t working isn’t due to a faulty remote or opener but rather the disengagement of the garage door trolley. This component plays a crucial role in the operation of your garage door, and understanding how it works can help you troubleshoot and resolve issues.

The Trolley’s Function: Garage doors typically include a trolley mechanism that connects to the door itself. This trolley is responsible for moving the door along the tracks when the opener is activated. When the trolley is engaged, the door operates automatically with the help of the garage door opener. However, if the trolley becomes disengaged, it switches the door into manual mode, allowing you to open and close it manually.

Identifying a Disengaged Trolley: One of the primary indications that the trolley is disengaged is when the garage door opens effortlessly when you try to lift it manually. In this scenario, the door isn’t relying on the automatic opener but is instead operating as if it were detached from the opener.

Re-Engaging the Trolley: To resolve this issue, you need to re-engage the trolley, allowing your garage door remote to function correctly once again. The process of re-engaging the trolley may vary depending on your specific garage door opener model and manufacturer. Therefore, it’s essential to consult your garage door opener owner’s manual for precise instructions.

In general, the steps to re-engage the trolley involve locating the release mechanism or handle that disengaged it in the first place. Typically, this is found on the trolley itself or near the opener unit. By following the instructions provided in your owner’s manual, you can safely and effectively re-engage the trolley.

4. Garage Door Opener Unplugged

Check the Power: In the realm of modern technology, electronic devices play a crucial role in our daily lives. Your automatic garage door opener is no exception. It relies on a consistent power source to operate effectively. However, sometimes, the solution to a malfunctioning garage door remote can be as simple as checking the power supply.

The Importance of a Secure Connection: Your automatic garage door opener is connected to an electrical outlet, much like any other electronic device in your home. If, for any reason, the opener becomes unplugged from the outlet, it can result in the garage door remote ceasing to function. This situation can occur intentionally, such as when someone needs to free up an outlet, or it can be accidental, caused by jostling or moving items around in the garage.

Troubleshooting Unplugged Openers: To address this issue, it’s essential to verify the power connection of your garage door opener. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Locate the Outlet: First, identify the electrical outlet to which your garage door opener is connected. It’s typically positioned near the opener unit itself.
  2. Inspect the Connection: Carefully check if the plug is securely inserted into the outlet. Over time, vibrations or accidental contact can cause the plug to come loose. Ensure that it’s firmly connected.
  3. Test the Remote: After confirming a secure connection, test your garage door remote. Press the button, and see if the door responds as expected. If the opener was indeed unplugged, you should find that the remote now operates the garage door smoothly.
  4. Consider Preventive Measures: To prevent future unplugging incidents, you might want to secure the plug or use a nearby power strip with surge protection to safeguard the connection.

By following these simple steps and ensuring that your garage door opener is plugged in securely, you can quickly resolve a non-functional remote. This eliminates the need for more complex troubleshooting or professional assistance, saving you time and potential repair costs.

5. Your Photoelectric Eye Needs Cleaning

Clear the Path: Automatic garage doors are equipped with a pair of photoelectric eyes, usually located on either side of the opening near the bottom. These eyes emit an invisible laser beam between them. When something obstructs this laser, the door won’t close. If your garage door is stuck open and the remote doesn’t work, try cleaning the photoelectric eyes with a soft, microfiber cloth. Additionally, ensure there are no obstructions in the path of the garage door’s movement.

Know When to Repair or Replace Your Garage Door Remote

Is your garage door remote still not working after troubleshooting these issues? It might be time to consider repairs or replacement. Contact the experts at Overhead Door Company of Oklahoma City for professional assistance.


How often should I replace the batteries in my garage door remote?

It’s recommended to replace the batteries in your garage door remote every 6-12 months, depending on usage.

Can I use my smartphone to control my garage door?

Yes, if you have a smart garage door opener, you can control your garage door using a smartphone app.

What should I do if my garage door opener is making strange noises?

Unusual noises may indicate a problem with the garage door mechanism. It’s best to consult a professional for inspection and repairs.

Is it possible to disable the lock on my garage door?

Yes, the lock on your garage door can be disengaged manually to allow for normal operation.

How do I clean the photoelectric eyes on my garage door?

Use a soft, microfiber cloth to gently clean the photoelectric eyes, ensuring there are no obstructions in their path.

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Kristen Mangum
Kristen Mangum
Friendly customer service. Bought a hard to find remote for an old garage door opener. Opener has 3 buttons so I can program both doors to it. Easy to find location right off 29th St.
Robert Ballinger
Robert Ballinger
Great people
Betsy Chronister
Betsy Chronister
I was given a very fair quote. A week later a tech came and installed. Then came back to install lock. Tech was very professional and polite. Spen time with me making adjustments to my liking. I totally recommend Overhead door to my fellow Okies.
Hendrix Morrow
Hendrix Morrow
Overhead Door did a great job. They got me on the schedule the next day and fixed my spring in 30 minutes or less. Joe was great, professional, and courteous. Awesome service, and he didn't tell me I needed extra materials like the previous garage door people that quoted me $575. Overhead Door told me a price over the phone and it didn't change. I'd recommend them every time.
Sandy Molleda Molleda
Sandy Molleda Molleda
A very good place for a new garage door and a new remote.
John Ehrhardt
John Ehrhardt
Pleased with their services. Coil spring broke and door stopped working. Spoke to Ron, and less than 24 hrs later the technician had us up n running again. These guys did exactly what they promised to do, with no nonsense. I like that.

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