Troubleshooting a Craftsman Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers may be belt, chain, or screw driven. However, most maintenance issues will typically be the same regardless of the drive method. For a malfunctioning opener, begin by inspecting the track. This is the channel in which the doors rollers are located and move along during opening and closing. Remove any debris by hand, with a small brush, or by vacuuming. Apply a small amount of lubricant. A synthetic motor oil such as Mobil One is excellent for this purpose. Do not use grease as this will eventually gum up the track and wheels by collecting dirt and debris in the heavy grease.

Track and Rollers

Cables, Hinges, Springs and Drive

Next, inspect the cables for signs of excessive wear such as breaks, cracks or even frays. Tighten all connections to ensure the cables are taught and there is no slack which may be causing problems. Make sure the hinges on the door itself are free moving and lightly lubricated. Use the same oil for this purpose as with the track. Inspect the springs checking for any breaks or misalignment. Any suspected problems with springs should be referred to a door installation specialist.

Next, inspect and clean the drive. For a chain drive ensure the chain is taught and does not sag or drag against other parts. For both the chain and screw drive apply the Mobil One or other motor oil to lightly. Inspect belt drives for wear and have the replaced if the belt is cut or worn excessively.


In compliance with national standards, garage doors are required to shut down automatically to prevent harm or death to those caught in their way, especially small children. To accomplish this, light beam sensors are installed at the bottom of the door entrance on either or both side depending on the model door opener. If these sensors are blocked the door will not operate. If these sensors become misaligned the door will also fail to operate. Ensure the sensors are clean and properly aligned. Finally, keep in mind that grinding or scraping sounds coming from inside the opener mechanism itself will most likely indicate a problem with gears. This should be referred to a door opener specialist for either repair or replacement.

Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.