LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting: Step by Step Guide

LiftMaster garage door openers are some of the most popular options we have today. And if you own one of those, chances are you’ve experienced an issue with it before, one way or the other.

That is completely normal. Garage door openers have safety features that sometimes affects the regular operation of the garage door. While these features are there to prevent accidents and the LiftMaster opener from damaging, it can be frustrating. So this post is your actionable guide on LiftMaster garage door opener troubleshooting. Let’s get into it.

These are the most common problems you may encounter with your Liftmaster garage door opener.

  • Garage door reverses when opening or closing
  • The garage door opens partially
  • Garage door opener not working

We will discuss these common issues in detail and teach you how to troubleshoot your LiftMaster garage door opener when you encounter them.

There is an additional guide for the “not so common” Liftmaster issues which will be discussed after addressing the three most common problems.

Garage Door Reverses when opening or closing.

If your garage door reverses anytime you open or close it, there could be a problem with your safety sensor, incorrect force settings, or there is an obstruction on the doorway.

Safety sensor issue

To prevent the garage door from injuring someone in the door, or damaging an item in the way of the door, all models of LiftMaster garage door openers come installed with a safety sensor.

For the door to close correctly without reversing, the safety sensors need to be aligned perfectly, and there should be nothing in the way of the light beam.

When the safety sensor is not properly aligned, or something is obstructing the light beam, the garage door will fail to close. The LiftMaster garage door opener lights will flash for ten times.

To troubleshoot your LiftMaster safety sensors

  1. Check if something is blocking the way of the safety sensor. Eliminate any item in between the sensors
  2. Now, check if the safety sensors are misaligned. If the LED lights on the sensors are off or flickering, it means the sensors are not properly aligned
  3. To align the safety sensors, loosen the wing nut and keep adjusting the position of the sensor until the green LED light turns on. Tighten the wing nut to hold the sensor in place.
  4. Now try closing the door again with your remote or door control

The safety sensor troubleshooting steps should solve the issue for most homeowners. However, if it does not fix yours, try the next one.

Open and Close Travel Limits

If your garage door fully closes, touches the floor, and then reverses back up, then you need to decrease the travel limit. Think of a garage door’s travel limit as the distance it needs to travel to close or open entirely.

When the travel limit exceeds the distance the door travels, the LiftMaster garage door opener assumes there is an obstruction in the way of the door, so it reverses.

To troubleshoot this issue

  1. Find a step ladder and place it beneath your LiftMaster garage door opener.
  2. Locate the two Travel Limit dials on either the left or right side of your garage door opener, depending on where you are facing. They are denoted by a garage door with an arrow pointing up or down.
  3. To reduce the travel limit, turn the dial with a flat screwdriver in the direction opposite to the arrow shown beneath the dial. A full turn of the dial means you are reducing the travel limit by 2inches.
  4. Test run your garage door. If the door closes entirely without reversing, the issue has been fixed, else repeat step 3.
  5. After you reduce the travel limit, and the door doesn’t reach the floor when you close, increase the closing travel limit. At this stage, it’s all about fine-tuning till your garage closes properly without reversing.

Repeat the same steps if your garage door opens and reverses. But this time use the Opening travel limits dial (Icon with the arrow pointing up)

The garage door opens partially.

LiftMaster garage door openers are designed to stop if it senses a resistance or an obstruction while opening. This feature prevents the motor inside the garage door opener from damaging.

Check Power Door Lock

The power door lock must be deactivated anytime you open the garage door. If that’s not the case, then the door won’t open fully. So, verify that the power door lock deactivates when you open the door.

Damaged garage door tracks, jamb or rollers

The resistance can be in the form of a damaged garage door tracks, door jambs, or garage door rollers. To fix this issue and get your LiftMaster garage door opener working again, follow these troubleshooting steps.

  1. Close the door, with either the door control or the remote control
  2. Pull the emergency release handle down and back towards the garage door opener. This will disconnect the garage door opener from the door
  3. Slowly open the garage door manually, with your hand, checking to see if there is any resistance or obstruction, making it hard to open the door.
  4. Examine the tracks, jambs and garage door rollers, and pay attention to the areas where the garage door is stopping
  5. If the door is sticking or binding, fix the issue on your own if you consider yourself handy with tools. Else call a garage door technician to fix it.
  6. To reconnect the garage door to your LiftMaster garage door opener, manually close the garage door, pull the emergency release handle down. Now press the remote control. This will cause the trolley to move into position and reconnect to the garage door.
  7. Try opening the garage door with the remote and see what happens

These steps should fix most doors. However, if your door still does not open fully, the next troubleshooting steps should solve the issue.

Force Adjustment Settings

If there were no issues found with the previous troubleshooting steps, great, it’s time to increase the force settings of your LiftMaster garage door opener. Increasing the force setting means giving your garage door opener more energy to open or close your garage door.

Before you adjust the force setting of your garage door opener, ensure your garage door tracks, jambs, and rollers are in good condition. You might damage the motor of your garage door opener if there is a lot of resistance from the door tracks.

  1. Locate the Manual Force Adjustment dials at the back of the LiftMaster garage door opener. They are usually blue in color
  2. Increase the Opening Force setting slightly
  3. Now try opening the garage door once again with the remote control. Repeat step 2 if the garage door still does not open fully
  4. If the door opens at least 5ft, you may need to increase the opening travel limit

Garage Door Opener Not Working

If you tried operating your Liftmaster garage door opener with the remote control or door control and it didn’t work. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

1. Check Power Supply to Garage Door Opener

When your garage door opener is not responding to any command from the remote or the door control, you need to check if the opener has electricity. A simple way to do this is to unplug the garage door opener and then plug in another device, say your phone or a light bulb, to see if it lights up.

Another place to check is the fuse or the circuit breaker of the garage. Verify that there is no break in the circuit.

2. Check the Door Locks

Perhaps you have an automatic garage door locks installed for the door. If that fails to unlock, the garage door opener won’t work. That’s because there’s no way it can lift a locked door. So, verify that the door locks are disabled

3. Check if the Garage Door is Frozen

During the winter, it comes as no surprise when the garage door gets frozen to the ground. The garage door seal always sits on the floor when the door is fully closed. This can easily get frozen and prevent your Liftmaster opener from working. If it is frozen, you need to melt the ice before you attempt to open it again. It might be a little time consuming, but that’s the only way forward.

4. Check if Garage Door Spring is Broken

The weight of the garage door is too heavy for a garage door opener to lift. The garage door spring does most of the heavy lifting, and then the opener simply pushes or pulls the garage door. So when the spring is broken, the opener won’t work. So, verify if the spring is broken.

If it is broken, we have a complete guide on how to replace the garage door spring. If you are someone who loves to DIY, then you can check it out. See here. But for most people, I recommend you call a garage door technician to replace it for you.

Additional Troubleshooting Guide

Besides the three most common problems with Liftmaster garage door openers that we have discussed, there are still a ton of issues that can happen to your opener. And certainly, we haven’t covered it yet. So in this section, I’m going to mention the problem in a heading, and then give you the step by step process of fixing them. Let’s get into it.

Remote Control Does Not Activate the Opener

This is a regular issue. It doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes it just occurs. Here are some troubleshooting tips. For best results, follow the steps as it is written

  • Activate the opener with the door control: The first thing to do is to try operating the garage door opener with the door control unit. If it works, then it means the problem is not with the opener.
  • Check if the door lock feature is activated: This is a feature that disables the ability to use remote controls to operate the garage door opener. So, the garage door opener will not respond to any command from the remote if it is activated. If the Pushbar LED indicator on the door control unit is blinking, then the door lock feature is activated. To deactivate it, hold the lock button for about 3 seconds. The LED should stop flashing.
  • Reprogram the remote control: We have a dedicated guide on how to program all Liftmaster remotes to the garage door opener. I recommend you read it here.
  • Check the remote battery: If your attempt to program the remote didn’t work, the chances are that the remote battery is dead, and you need to have it replaced. Replacement batteries for garage door remotes are dirt cheap, and you can pick some up for 15 bucks or less. The Duracell CR2032 3V Coin Battery (on Amazon) is an excellent choice for garage door remotes, and you’ll get extra batteries for future use.

Garage Door Opens and Closes Automatically by Itself

This is not a common problem at all, but it could happen. When your Liftmaster garage door opener opens and closes by itself, here are the troubleshooting tips you need to follow.

  • Disconnect the control station: Remove the bell wire from the single button control station’s terminals, and operate the garage door opener from the remotes. If this solves the problem, then the control station is faulty, or there is a short circuit in the wire. It would be best if you had them replaced. The Liftmaster Multi-Function Control Panel (on Amazon) is an upgrade to the single button control station. They give you much more functionality, like the ability to turn on or off the opener lights, and a vacation mode lock button. They are compatible with all Liftmaster models
  • Erase and reprogram remotes: Sometimes, your remote controls may be sending signals that you may not be aware of. Erase all remotes from the garage door opener’s memory and reprogram them, one at a time. Learn how to do that here.

The Garage Door Opens But Won’t Close.

As a homeowner, you may encounter this issue at least once in your life with garage doors. But here is how to fix it.

  • If you own a Wall Mount garage door opener, like the Liftmaster 8500, for example, the first thing to check is the cable tension monitor. Make sure it’s properly installed. This might not be the issue if a professional installed it, and it was working fine.
  • Check if the safety sensor is connected to the opener, properly aligned, and there is nothing in the way of the door. If the light blinks when you attempt to close, then it is definitely a safety sensor issue.

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