Skip to Content

Why Does My Garage Door Only Open a Few Inches? (Explained)

Garage doors, also known as overhead doors, can be manual or motorized. Nowadays, most garage doors are automatic since they are easier to use than manual ones. 

Therefore, with the help of a switch, you can effortlessly close or open your garage door or even control it with a remote.

Why does my garage door only open a few inches?

The garage door opening only a few inches may happen because of errors in the spring assembly. Since the springs are the most crucial part of an automated garage door, incompatible springs may prevent the garage door from opening all the way. The springs will have more load than they can lift.

Nowadays, most homes come with motorized garage doors. Different manufacturers such as LiftMaster, Chamberlain, and Genie manufacture automated garage doors. 

Additionally, garage door openers such as Roller and Craftsman are also available which, are reliable and provide excellent performance.

Although automated garage doors are easier to use than manual ones, motorized garage doors can often malfunction. The garage door may open just a few inches. Even though it may be a result of incompatible springs, some other common reasons are listed below:

Faulty springs:

Springs are the most crucial part of a motorized garage door. If the springs are broken, the garage door will not open properly. If you can manually open your garage door all the way, the springs may be defective. In the winter, springs become brittle. 

As a result, the springs fail to pull up the door. Since the spring fails, the garage door malfunctions.

Misaligned tracks:

The presence of gaps or bends in the rails can cause your garage door to become misaligned while opening or closing. If you notice that your garage door is misaligned or out of the track, the garage door will not open or close properly. 

You will have to call a mechanic to get it repaired.

Defective logic control board:

All automated garage door openers have a logic control board. This board processes the signals coming from the remote control and performs the intended function. 

If the logic control board is malfunctioning, the garage door will malfunction altogether. You can try restarting it to help fix the issue.

Low temperatures:

Garage doors can malfunction in low temperatures especially, during the winter season. During cold days, the sensors or motors may not function like they do in warmer temperatures. Moreover, the low temperature will shrink the materials. 

These changes will cause the garage door to open slower than usual. It may also not open fully and get stuck halfway. To fix this, you can lubricate the garage door rails and motor.

Problems with sensors:

Most garage doors come with safety precautions. They come equipped with sensors that check if something is under the garage door. If they detect the presence of any object, the garage door will not close to avoid injury. 

However, if the sensors are dirty, they will send false information to the logic control board. Therefore, you should regularly clean the sensors to avoid such a situation.

Depleted batteries:

Sometimes, a simple problem can lead to a bigger problem. If your remote control runs out of batteries, it will not be able to send a signal to the garage door to close or open. As a result, the garage door will not know what to do. 

So, check that your remote control is working as usual and check the battery.

Regardless of what may be causing the problem, you should hire a professional to get your garage door repaired for you. If you are not experienced with works of this kind, you should not try to do it yourself.

Why does my automatic garage door only open 2, 3 & 6 inches?

There are numerous reasons why your garage door only opens about 2, 3, and 6 inches. Depending on the distance it opens, it may be possible to point out the reason.

If your garage door opens about 6 inches, it may indicate that your garage door springs are faulty. In the winter, the springs become brittle and do not function as intended. As a result, the garage door does not open up.

However, if your garage door opens about 2 to 3 inches, the garage door may be misaligned with the rails. An unaligned garage door can result in the garage door getting stuck halfway or opening very little. 

If you notice that your garage door is not aligned with the track, you should hire a professional to get it repaired.

Another reason can be the problem with rails. If the tracks are not lubricated enough, the garage door may get stuck in places and will not open all the way. You may try lubricating the tracks regularly to prevent this.

How do you fix a garage door that won’t open all the way?

Identifying the problem causing your garage door to malfunction can help resolve the issue at hand. Below are some straightforward ways to fix your garage door that is not opening fully.


The first thing you should check is your sensors. If the garage door sensors are dirty, you should remove the obstruction or clean the sensor. Regularly cleaning the sensor can help you avoid this problem.


All garage door openers are connected to electrical outlets. So, if the outlet is faulty or turned off, the garage door opener will not get any power to close or open the garage door. Make sure that the circuit breaker or the GFCI is not tripped.


Sometimes, problems in wiring can cause garage door openers to malfunction. If wires are burnt or torn, the garage door opener will not receive power. As a result, it will not work. Therefore, check if the outlet is working correctly.

Remote control:

The remote control controls the garage door. So, if the battery expires, it will no longer function properly. Hence, it will not signal the garage door to open or close. Check if your remote control is working correctly and check the battery status.

Limit settings:

Garage doors are limited on how much to open and close. If your limits are incorrect, you will see that your garage door is not opening or closing fully. So, you can input the correct limits by following the manual.


Misaligned tracks can cause the garage door to be stuck while opening. If you face a problem opening your garage door, you should check the rails after checking the sensors. 

If the rails are not aligned correctly, you can call for a professional to get them aligned perfectly.

These are some ways you can fix your garage door not opening. If the problem appears too complicated, you can call for a professional.

How do I know if my garage door spring is broken?

If your garage door spring is broken, you will see that your garage door jerks as it opens or closes. Broken springs will fail to pull the garage door up and cause jerking movements.

The most obvious sign of a broken spring is the rapid fall of the garage door while it is closing. While closing, if the garage door falls to the ground promptly, you will know that the springs have broken and need replacement.

Furthermore, you will also notice that the garage door moves slower than usual. While it is being opened, the garage door will go up slowly. This slow movement will indicate that the springs cannot pull the door up.

If you figured out that your springs have broken, you should immediately get those replaced. Broken springs can result in accidents and injury.

Why does my garage door only open sometimes?

If your garage door only opens sometimes, it may be a problem related to the remote-control unit. The problem can be caused by radio frequency interference.

If you see that your remote control only works when it is within a few feet from the logic board, some devices may be causing interference. Remove those nearby devices, and it will hopefully fix the problem.

Final Thoughts

Garage doors rely on springs and rails to function correctly. As a result, if the springs or tracks fail, the garage door malfunctions. Although problems related to garage door springs are the most common reason for garage doors not opening fully, other causes may also account for the problem.