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6 temporary fixes when your garage door is broken

Damage or faults with your garage door might seem like something you can leave until later, but if left for too long, you could find that a minor issue has developed into something bigger. A damaged garage door doesn’t just make it more difficult to operate – it can also make you more vulnerable to theft and break-ins.

Repairing a Garage Door

While it’s recommended that you contact a professional to fix your garage door, there are some temporary fixes you can rely on in the meantime. Here are six issues that can occur with a garage door and how you can fix it temporarily to be able to continue using your garage until you can book in an engineer to repair it for you.

Opening the garage door without the opener

If the opener to the door is broken, it’s first recommended that you get someone to help you as the door will be extremely heavy. Being careful not to let the door fall on your feet, you’ll need to open the door manually. Disengage the door from the opener by looking for a handle on a rope which will be hanging from the J-arm of the opener and pull on it until the mechanism unlatches. You can then lift the door until it slots into place on the horizontal rails.

Sagging door

A sagging door can be difficult to operate and it puts your belongings and vehicles at risk of theft. You may have noticed that the door to your garage is sagging on one side, but you might not be in a financial position to replace it straight away. In the meantime, the door can be levelled using tension rods. Position the rods diagonally, top to bottom, on the back of the door and then straighten them which, in turn, will straighten the door.

The door won’t lock

Securing your belongings is one of the prime functions of a garage door, so when you find that it won’t lock, it can be worrying, especially if your vehicle is locked inside. The good news is that you can temporarily secure the door until you can contact a professional to come and repair it properly. Unscrew the guide brackets on the edge of the door so they become loose, then reposition them so you can move the locking bars inside the locking slots. You might need to apply oil into the lock mechanism if it’s a bit stiff. You can then screw it back into place to lock the door.

The door won’t close all the way

There are several reasons why a door might not shut all the way. With an automatic door, for example, it might be because of the limit switch which will require professional attention to be fixed. Obstructions might also be the cause, as they can block the sensor and cause the door to reverse back up before it reaches the ground. However, with a manual door, it might be a case of a bent track or a broken cable. You can gently straighten out a bent track to see if this helps the door open and close more smoothly, while waiting for a professional to repair the door.

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A sticking door

A garage door that’s been properly installed should move easily along the tracks, but you might find that the door is sticking or has become completely stuck. This issue often stems from a broken moving part or a bent track. Inspect the mechanisms to make sure they’re working properly and that there aren’t any obstructions in the way that are preventing the door from moving smoothly. Sticking can often be due to something as simple as a lack of lubrication on the tracks. Try lubricating all of the moving parts to see if this helps the door operate with less sticking or difficulty.

Scraping when the door is being used

Scraping can be caused by several problems, from a torsion spring cable to misalignment. But there are DIY fixes you can use temporarily to resolve the issue for long enough until it can be fixed properly. If the issue is a frayed torsion spring cable or worn out spring cable pulleys, these can be repaired by purchasing a replacement and installing them. Likewise, if a misaligned strut is causing the issue, this can be repaired by evening out the spacing. However, if it’s a tilted end bearing plate then this will need to be reinforced, straightened or replaced, something that’s best left to a professional.


While there are temporary fixes for most garage door problems to ensure you can use it in the moment, it’s worth having the door repaired properly by a professional who can identify the issue and resolve it. Beyond posing a security risk, a damaged garage door could be a hazard if the door closes on someone.

At Wessex Garage Doors, our team of professionals are always on hand to provide advice and guidance if you’re dealing with an issue with your door. We offer maintenance and repair services for all types of garage door, so contact us on 0800 161 3733 to find out more or book in a repair.

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