Garage Door Left Open

by | Apr 10, 2018

Have you got a giant sign in the front of your home inviting thieves to take what they like from your garage?

This is what it feels like coming home to a garage door left open and unsecure. My name is Andrew, and I’d love to go over why this sort of thing happens and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

In this article we will cover: 

Why was your garage door left open?

 What you can do to prevent leaving your garage door open

Let’s dive right in!

Why Was Your Garage Door Left Open

Already know the “why” part of this problem? Jump down to “What you can do to prevent leaving your garage door open”! 

To get the best solution to a garage door left open, we need to establish why it was left open to begin with. Stay with us as we go over the many situations in which this may happen.


Driving away without making sure your garage closes completely would have to be one of the most common cases.


Why would driving away before it closes completely matter, you ask?

Reason one:

You’ve got safety sensors at the bottom of the garage door, well that’s where they’re supposed to be anyhow. Sometimes the door will shake the railing just enough to cause the sensors to be triggered and reverse the door.

I’ve personally seen the door come back up just inches from the bottom for this exact reason. The door would come about 95% of the way down only to bounce right back up.

Now you would come home to an open garage door and you wouldn’t be too happy about it.

Ready for answers? Jump to the solutions section.

Reason two:

This would still fall under driving away without making sure it closed.

The garage door opener has limit switches inside of it. As the garage door travels up and down the limit gear also moves. Once the door is fully closed or open the limit switch makes a connection and tells the motor to stop operating.

What’ll sometimes happen is that the garage door opener gear, whether that be a chain or belt drive, will shift forward.

This shift forward would happen anywhere after 8+ years of usage (normal wear and tear).

When this happens the garage door opener still travels to the same spot. The door hits the ground but the opener still pushes forward becuase its limit switch hadn’t made the connection.

Force limits are exceeded and your garage door bounces back open.

Shockingly enough (not really): 

You come home and realize that you had left the garage door open.

Ready for answers? Jump to the solutions section.


Why else would you have a garage door left open?


Completely forgetting to close the garage door is a big one and probably more likely than some of the reasons above.

With 7 billion people on this planet there are plenty of us who easily forget.

It’s definitely something I’ve done before. (Probably will happen once or twice more too!)

Ready for answers? Jump to the solutions section.


It could also really just be as simple as power failure:


Sounds so easy, but check the power!

You could’ve opened the garage door and your home was lucky enough to lose power at the exact moment you needed to close it.

Ready for answers? Jump to the solutions section.


The final possible reason for a left open garage door:


Someone may have a garage door opener that is either running the same frequency, same dip switch sequence (for units made before 1993), or someone was able to program a remote to your garage door without your knowing.

All three of these occurrences are pretty rare but are still viable possibilities.

That’s all we could possibly think of for garage doors left open.

Ready for answers? Jump to the solutions section.

What You Can Do To Prevent Leaving Your Garage Door Open

Figured out exactly why your garage was left open?

Awesome, solution time! We’ll go in the order of the list we made in the above sections.


Drove away without waiting for the garage to close all the way?

Sensors being triggered:

If your sensors are being triggered on the way down you will want to clean off the sensors and make sure they are as aligned as they can be.

We are looking for solid non flashing lights on BOTH sides (we’re referring to the lights on the sensors themselves).

Push the button and watch the garage door close all the way. If you even get a single moment for a flicker in the light, you’re door will come back up.

Check to make sure you don’t have anything on the door (like leaves or rope) hanging from the door that may trigger the sensors.

Also check the wires to make sure they’re not stapled through or if they’re spliced anywhere. If they are spliced make sure the connection is closed (taped/covered).

You should have this fixed now (Ensure you do a victory dance for succesful solution).

Hitting the ground and coming back up:


Before you try adjusting the limits on your own check to see if your gear is still okay. If it looks anything like the picture here, Replace the gear.

You can buy the part through our parts page, then call someone to replace it or do it on your own. We have a youtube video that shows you how to replace the gear.

Gear doesn’t look so bad?

Adjust the limits on the garage door opener.

Look on the garage door opener motor head itself. Here’s a photo of what this usually looks like. Find the down limit and turn the switch accordingly.

Only do a little at a time. You don’t want to turn it the wrong way unknowingly.

Turn the switch until you get the motor to stop as soon as your door hits the ground and that should take care of your door coming back up due to force.

Completely forgot to close the garage door? 

Driving away from home and completely forgetting to close your garage is an entirely different thing.

Some of us are just that forgetful (myself included).

Here’s the deal:

This doesn’t have to be us. We live in the era of being connected to everyone and everything.

It just so happens to include garage doors now, as well! You can hook up your phone to operate your garage door.

It’ll even tell you when it’s open and closed and for how long!

How can this miracle be achieved? Read this article we have on the Chamberlain smart garage hub.

Alternatively you can visit amazon and order the part direct with this link.

Power went out when the door was open?

Obviously you will want to wait for the power to come back on, but until then manually release the door and bring it down slowly.

Look for a red rope to pull. Yank on it slightly and you should be able to bring it down without a problem.

Someone running same frequency, or programmed to your unit?

If someone has your frequency, switch sequence, or is programmed to your unit, it is recommended you erase everything and reprogram your accessories.

With the dip switches, you just change up the numbers by flicking certain switches “on” and “off”.

This is still a risk, however, as you may be switching to a sequence someone else has. If you still have an opener that is this old you may consider a replacement at this point.

The unit really should have been replaced by now! We have a great write up review of what we think the best garage door opener of 2018 is.

If you do have the learn button it is fairly easy to change erase and reprogram. All you have to do is push and hold the button down for about ten seconds.

The small light will flicker on when you push it and flicker off after everythings been erased.

To reprogram your remotes, keypad, and cars you just need to push the learn button (don’t hold it or else you will erase everything again) and click your remote button.

Repeat the process for the cars and keypad.

That should about do it for this one! I hope I’ve provided enough information for you to solve this issue!

If you have other questions feel free to reach out via the contact page. (:

Thanks for reading! Hope this article was informative / helpful. Leave a comment/share this with your friends if it did make an impact or make you think a bit.

Be sure to follow us on social media by using the buttons in the footer. Have an awesome day!

– Andrew @ Garage Door Guidance


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. By clicking on our affiliate links you help provide the funds required to maintain our website in order to provide you an informative and helpful experience with us. ©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED