Garage Door Won’t Open With Remote Control From Outside





Your garage door won’t open when you use your remote control from your car in the driveway? If your garage door opener is working properly in every other way but NOT receiving the signal from your remote when the garage door is closed, there are a few things you can do. (If your garage door button on the wall of your garage opens your garage door, then we know the door is working and must consider this as a communication issue.)

How To Fix A Garage Door That Won't Open With Remote From Outside

We are going to assume there is a communication problem from using your remote from outside with the garage door shut. There may be something interfering with the signal or possibly something else.

garage door remote not working







First make sure the batteries are in working order in your remote control. If so, go inside your garage with the remote you had in your car, and with the garage closed, test the remote to see if the door opens. If not then your remote is most likely broken and you need to replace it. We will assume this since the button on the garage door wall opened the door. Try another remote you know that works. Test it from inside the garage and then test it from outside the garage.


How to fix a Garage Door Opener – Remote not working

If the remote works from inside the garage but not from the outside, then most likely the antenna wire on the garage door opener itself may be damaged, broken, or not in visible range. Check to be sure the antenna is attached and if it is not hanging down from the unit, move the antenna so it can catch the beam being sent by the remote. Please note that the antenna on some garage door openers is encased inside the unit itself.


Garage Door Opener Antenna Extension

Another issue could be that there is some sort of interference from different wireless devices in use near your area. If this is the case then find the antenna mount point and add a wire to it to make it longer. If this does not work there are other solutions. There are extenders that allow you to send the signal from outside the house and it runs by a wire to the garage opener unit.

There are reliable units called universal garage door opener receivers. These are an optional add on unit if you have issues opening your garage door from the outside. These units are used because they improve the range of your remote. As most garage door remotes work only about 20 feet from the opener, this unit will make it so you can open your garage from up to 100 yards away. This unit is called the Liftmaster 850LM Universal Gate and Garage Door Opener Receiver and is available for right around $40 dollars and WILL solve your garage door opening issues.

Liftmaster Universal Garage Door Opener Receiver







There are now systems that link into your home WIFI wireless that let you open your garage door with your smartphone.


How To Open Your Garage Door With Your iPhone or Android Phone

Do you know of an easier method to allow a remote control to open a garage door with interference problems? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.


More "Do It Yourself" Tips, Tricks, Ideas, Repair:













{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ken August 10, 2017 at 8:48 pm

I have an older model Liftmaster Professional.
When the garage light is on my remotes don’t work.
As soon as the light turns off, the remotes work fine, any ideas?

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DIY Project Help Tips 2 DIY Project Help Tips August 11, 2017 at 12:46 am

Ken,
The lock button on the door control may be activated.
Press the button to turn this feature off.
The light bulb will blink two times.
This feature is designed to prompt you that the lock button is activated.
When the lock button is ON the garage door opener will work from the door control but the remote controls are locked out.

Is this a problem that just started to happen with your Liftmaster Professional garage door opener?
Or has this been an issue since the garage door opener was installed?

Did someone wire up the light switch on the same circuit as the garage door opener?
Was the opener professionally installed?

Did you recently change the light fixture or bulb?
Does the light flash on the garage door opener?
-RR

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3 Ken August 11, 2017 at 1:19 am

Thank you for the quick response, the Liftmaster is nearly 19 years old, I don’t see an on-off switch, I think you may think that I have a more recent model, the wall mount opener is just a button. Thank you.

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4 Sue July 26, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Have a liftmaster garage door opener, remote does not work inside or outside. Batteries are new. wall mount works and getting tired of running over safety sensors to close door after switching to close:)
Tried sinking remote to closer, but recently read may need to open up closer to get to circuit board and the Learn button?
Will restting this affect wall mount? or just frequency related. There is no military base around, but interesting thing occurred a while ago when activated remote a neighbours garage door opened? Cross frequencied?
Thanks
Sue

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5 Mark H July 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Garage door opened in the early morning but would not close! The SUN was shining directly on the Safety Beam Reciever (the one with 2 mini-indicators). When I stood in the driveway, blocking the sunlight, the door closed normally. Discovered this trick after reading the owners manual. {this unit “should be located on the shady side of the door to prevent direct sunlight from shining directly into the receiver’s lens.”}

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6 Robert December 3, 2016 at 1:18 am

I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY LIFTMASTER PROFESSIONAL 1/3 HP GARAGE DOOR UNIT.
The garage door opener will operate from the inside push button. But will not operate from keypad outside or the remote. I have reset the unit and remote and light flashes but still will not open or closed door.
I took remote and used it on my other door and it works.
Seems like something wrong with that one unit as far as keypad and remote.
Other than that the unit and door works good.
What could be the issues.
I clean the antenna and its like it has always been, unit was purchased in 2005.

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7 Brenda November 6, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I cannot get any of your remotes to work and the keypad won’t work. It all started about the same time.

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8 Emilia Kowalski October 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm

My garage doors won’t open from my cars remote control system. The doors open from the wall buttons and the regular remote control.

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9 Bonnie October 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

I have a Craftsman garage door opener and purchased a brand new remote. I followed the installation instructions. The door will go up and down by the wall button and the remote as long as I am standing “in” the garage. If I exit the garage, the remote will not work (open or close the door).

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10 Dan August 21, 2016 at 11:25 pm

i have 2 garages. I can’t open one of the garages with the remote. The other one works fine and i am able to program both remotes with it without any problems so i know its not the remote. The one that doesn’t work with the remote has been like this since we moved in. The hard wired buttons work fine though. The issue seems to be with the receiver but i am not 100% sure. Any ideas what it could be ? They are both chamberlain 0.5 HP units nothing fancy. I tried soldering a heavier gauge wire for the antenna but that didn’t do anything..

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11 Jeff August 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm

My Liftmaster openers will only work when in the garage under the actual opener. Both car homelink buttons also stopped working. Wall button works, key pad outside works, but remotes will not work outside of the garage. My neighbors are also having the exact same issues. All were working fine until last Friday and now everyone has the same issues. Any thoughts? Any recommendations to remedy this situation?

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DIY Project Help Tips 12 DIY Project Help Tips August 24, 2016 at 12:28 am

Jeff,
You may have interference from a newly installed tower or similar…
When this happens, it is best to just reset the codes for your garage door opener and reset the remotes to a new frequency.
-RR

Reply

13 Brian December 8, 2016 at 2:04 am

Jeff,
I just started to have the same issue today with both of my remotes (LiftMaster Elite: 3800PLD). I replaced the batteries in the the first remote thinking that was the issue. When that didn’t work, I tried reprogramming. Eventually I got them to work, but ONLY when held inches away from the main unit. Did you ever find the cause/solution?

Reply

14 William June 20, 2016 at 2:55 am

I have just started to have this problem about a month ago. The only changes I have made is I put an LED light bulb in the garage door opener. That’s about the time my opener started acting up. Could the LED bulb be interfering with the signal from the remotes? I have started to replace all of the bulbs in my house with the new LED bulbs which do not have the elements in them like the old bulbs. Have anyone else put LED bulbs in their house or garage door opener and started having problems with it opening with the remotes in your car (Built-in or portable remotes)?

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 15 DIY Project Help Tips June 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm

William,
Yes we have had others with the same issue of LED bulbs interfering with the Garage door remote opening and shutting.
Try putting the older style bulbs back in and see if the problem stops.
-RR

Reply

16 Ken Murawski March 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I am having similar issues after just installing new LED bulbs. They seem to be brighter and I think that is why I can’t close the door after I pull out of my garage. It works when I approach the door if the lights are out so that has to be the reason. I’m going to buy older lower wattage bulbs and try that.

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17 Steve McMillen May 8, 2016 at 6:47 pm

All of a sudden my “built-in remote” on both of our cars will not open garage door. The door will open with inside remote on wall. Any ideas?

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 18 DIY Project Help Tips May 9, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Steve McMillen,
You may have some interference causing the remotes to not work “all of a sudden”.

Are you near any military bases?
Any new purchases of electronics with remotes?
A new baby monitor?
A new computer router?
Cable company doing any installation or service work near your home?
If you have neighbors with garage door openers are they having any problems also?

Have you tried the door opener remote with the car engine turned off?
It is a possibility that there some interference coming from the engine.

Let us know what you can find.

-RR

Reply

19 Khai March 4, 2016 at 8:00 am

My garage door will not open with any 3 remotes I have for it, the door was working fine one day and than just stopped, the next it is, It is a Steel-line garage door, the door will open if i press the button on the box no problems at all. But even when i touch the remote up against the receiving antenna it will not work any suggestions would really be so much appreciated thanks.

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DIY Project Help Tips 20 DIY Project Help Tips March 4, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Khai,
Can you tell us the brand of garage door opener and the model number? Did someone possibly move the switches on the opener and change the code? Check the opener itself to see if the sensor and or switches are working and in the proper setting.
-RR

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21 Lou January 14, 2016 at 11:34 am

Wanted to offer this as something to think about:
Been having an intermittent problem with my garage door lift master unit. Wall switch always worked, but either remote or keypad only worked occasionally. Interference was mentioned above… When our new energy efficient LED light bulbs (in the room above the garage) are on, they are the source of the problem. When the led lights are on it doesn’t work, if they are off, both remotes and the keypad work every time.

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22 Ron January 17, 2017 at 4:57 am

Lou, Your post has helped me immensely!! I have a Chamberlain power drive garage door opener and it was working flawlessly up until a week ago when I put in new LED bulbs. If you use the remote in your hand (while inside the garage) or use the keypad on the wall, the garage door goes up and down perfect. Step outside the garage or use the remote from inside the car while in the driveway, the door won’t work!
As soon as I removed the LED bulbs from the garage door light sockets and put in regular curly cue bulbs the door works perfectly!! Thank You so Much for your post!

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23 Rod December 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm

My garage door works intermittently when using the car remote. It will not close about every 10th or 12th time when using button on rear view mirror. The door starts down, stops, then opens again. The lights blink 2 times then stops. I need to get out and use the wall button to close the door. Alignment LEDs are on. I’ve unplugged the motor. When I’ve tried the hand remote, it works fine, so far. Any ideas?

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DIY Project Help Tips 24 DIY Project Help Tips January 6, 2016 at 1:10 am

Rod,
If the garage door remote opens the door 10 times out of 12 tries with your remote… Change the battery in your remote… check to be sure you are close enough for the signal to be received… The flashing lights usually mean a safety issue with the led lights not being fully aligned or they were disrupted. Check the alignment of the LED lights… If that does not fix the issue, let us know the model of your garage door opener as the blinking light and how many times it blinks gives you an error that tells you what is wrong with the garage door and or opener. Give us make and model of your garage door opener.
-RR

Reply

25 Ed December 26, 2015 at 12:29 am

I have replaced the batteries, unplugged the unit and tried almost everything I have read to no avail. My remotes (both) will not work if the light bulbs are on. If I remove them the remote will close the door every time for weeks but as soon as I put any bulb in there it is hit or miss, most times miss. It opens fine it just will never close if the lights are ON. If I shut them off with the switch or wait them out it will close – if they are on the remote does nothing? All seems in working order other than that – Craftsman 1/2 hp. I have been suggested that my board might be going out? No other suggestions seem to work for me — HELP

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 26 DIY Project Help Tips December 28, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Ed,
Sounds like there’s a short in the opener itself. Either the board or wiring should be tested. Have you opened the opener up to inspect for loose or a burned part or board?
-RR

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27 HARRY CROWE December 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm

Our garage door opener will open and close from the inside wall button, and from our car remote. The garage door will close with the outside wall unit but not open. We have changed the battery. Please help us with problem.

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DIY Project Help Tips 28 DIY Project Help Tips December 18, 2015 at 7:24 pm

HC,
Is your outside garage door wall unit battery operated? Most of the time they are hard wired. Which batteries did you change? In a remote or is the outside wall mounted garage door opener battery operated? If it is battery operated, it may be bad and needs replaced. You could try resetting the door to be sure.
-RR

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29 nancy December 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Here’s the problem:
Garage door opener will not work if the unit light is on. It works fine if the light is off. I tried changing the light bulb, put in the one made for garage door openers. It worked fine with the light on 3 times in a row and then now it is back to working only if the light is off. Any ideas?

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DIY Project Help Tips 30 DIY Project Help Tips December 14, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Nancy,
As a test to see what may be causing the issue, take the light bulb completely out and see if the garage door opens no matter what. There is most likely a timing issue in the garage door opener. Do you know how long the light on your garage door opener stays on before it turns off? 1 to 4 minutes or so? We do not know what type of garage door opener you have, but you can try resetting it by unplugging it for 5 minutes and plug back in to see if that may reset it. Can you also provide the make and model of your garage door opener and the type of remote you are using? Have you recently replaced your remote?
-RR

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31 nancy December 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm

I took the bulb out and it worked. (opened and closed with the remote). Put the bulb back in and it worked. tried it several times. So I don’t get what the deal is.
Yesterday I changed the bulb to see it that would solve the problem. I put in the rough service 60 watt garage door opener bulb. It worked 3 times in a row so I thought the problem was solved. Later in the day when I tried it it did not work again.
It is a Craftsman 1/2 HP. Light stays on around 4 min. Remote is Craftsman. Remote is not new. Two days ago I tried replacing the batteries. Replaced them in one remote (I have 2). That did not make any difference.
I did not try the unplugging idea, don’t have a ladder to get up there. Should I still try that?

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DIY Project Help Tips 32 DIY Project Help Tips December 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Nancy,
It may be an intermittent issue. You can try unplugging it or possibly just turn off the breaker in the breaker box and then you will not need a ladder. The control module in the garage door opener may be on the verge of going bad. The reset should fix it if the opener is still working properly. See what happens after you reset the garage door opener and then let us know your findings.
-RR

33 Hic October 22, 2015 at 10:24 am

I can’t open my garage door using remote. Even when I get close to the opener. But I can close it using remote (from inside or outside). When I push the button of remote to open the garage, light on the opener start blinking.
Only way to open the garage is by using the wall Button. I have Linear garage opener.

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 34 DIY Project Help Tips October 22, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Hic,
You may have an issue with the garage door opener receiving the proper signal to open the door. Either adjust the garage door switches and codes to sync with the remote, buy new battery for remote, or get a new remote.
-RR

Reply

35 Matt October 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

My garage door opener has been slowly dying over the past month. Based on the intensity of the LED in the remote I figured that the remote battery is dying. I’ve replaced the A23 battery with a brand new one – the remote LED indicates that power is being received, but the garage opener won’t respond. I’ve attempted to use the learn button on the opener but it won’t respond to the remote. As a last ditch effort I put in the old battery and it worked again! Since the old battery will be dead soon, what could be the issue with the new battery?

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DIY Project Help Tips 36 DIY Project Help Tips October 6, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Matt,
We would suggest using another remote if you have a second one, getting ANOTHER new battery, or taking it into a home improvement store and buying a replacement remote that will be compatible with your garage door opener. You probably had a bad battery or possibly put it in upside down. Possible?
-RR

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37 Kristen Youngman September 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm

My garage door worked one day then my son played around in there and it stopped working so the door was open and wouldn’t close and so the movers manually closed it and now I can’t open it. I changed the batteries and it still didn’t work. It is a detached garage and there is no other way in. Is there a way I can fix this or do I need to just call someone?

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 38 DIY Project Help Tips September 28, 2015 at 8:51 pm

Kristen,
The only way that may have happened when your son was in the garage is… Either the actual garage door opener switches and or setting were moved or reset. You may need to change the garage door settings and do a complete reset to make the garage door opener work with your remotes. Also, the sensors near the bottom door tracks may have been bumped or moved. If they are not aligned correctly the garage door opener may think there is something in the way and for safety reasons it will not close or open in the manner it is designed too. Have a look at the sensors and be sure they are aligned properly.
-RR

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39 Lyn September 20, 2015 at 4:43 pm

My garage door openers work when I am close to the unit in the garage and when I stand right on the other side of the garage door outside the garage. But they no longer work from any distance beyond 6 inches on the other side of the garage door. I replaced batteries. Issue is the same. Antenna is hanging down about 5-6 inches below the unit but still not working from driveway.

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 40 DIY Project Help Tips September 21, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Lyn,
Be sure antenna is connected and secure. Many times an antenna will become loose and this issue can happen. If the antenna is secure, there may be an issue with the garage door opener itself. How many garage door remotes are you using? Are you having an issue with one remote or multiple remotes? What brand are the remotes and garage door opener?
-RR

Reply

41 Glen January 20, 2016 at 5:34 am

I had the same problem – suddenly my remotes didn’t work unless I was very close to the garage door and sometimes not at all.
I finally saw somewhere that LED bulbs can cause interference. I realized I had recently replaced a burned out bulb on the opener with an LED bulb. I removed it and it worked perfectly again.

Reply

42 Burt February 25, 2016 at 5:19 am

The LED bulb ended up being my problem too! Took it off and my remotes worked from far away again.

Reply

43 Greg August 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Door will not open with remotes. It first would not work with one then not the other. I replaced the batteries and still nothing. I went inside the garage and hit the button to the remote and the red light on the receiver blinked. the door will go up with the wall mount button.

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 44 DIY Project Help Tips August 28, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Greg,
It sounds as if the code for the remote was somehow reset. Refer to your garage door opener manual and see how to reset the codes for the remotes. There may be switches on the side of your garage door opener that allow you to change things.
-RR

Reply

45 diane frawley August 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm

Thank you. We don’t have a manual and we don’t even have the cover of the opener !!!!! As a matter of fact we aren’t even sure how old it is!!! It came with the house “as is’ when we bought it. We tried everything we could think of (TG for you tube) and tried your suggestions. I think we will just suck it up and get a new one, its at least 8 years old and I really think closer to over 15! I do appreciate your suggestions! Thank you

Reply

46 diane frawley August 21, 2015 at 8:36 pm

The green lights on each sensor is on, it appears the signal is being received. The door still won’t work if the opener light it on.

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DIY Project Help Tips 47 DIY Project Help Tips August 24, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Diane,
There is an issue with the garage door opener on the garage ceiling. May have a safety timer or timing issue. Troubleshoot using your manual or a YouTube video. May need a part replaced or possibly new garage door opener.
-RR

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48 DIANE FRAWLEY August 21, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Thank you for your speedy reply. How do you check the alignment???

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DIY Project Help Tips 49 DIY Project Help Tips August 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Diane,
There are 2 sensors at the bottom of the garage door. One mounted near each track. They point to each other creating an invisible safety line. If they are a little off the problem of the door not shutting when light is still on can occur. Here is a video on How to Check Alignment of Garage Door Sensors.
-RR

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50 DIANE FRAWLEY August 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm

My garage door FOB will not work when the garage door opener light is on. If the light is off the key FOB works. When the light is on, ie after opening the door, we are unable to close it using the FOB. If we leave the car, go into the garage and turn off the opener light from the wall mounted remote the key FOB then works. This is a new situation.

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 51 DIY Project Help Tips August 21, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Diane,
Next time it won’t close when the light is on, HOLD the wall button depressed. If that closes the door, it is the safety system causing it. Hold the wall button down and this will override the safety system. The safety system thinks it should not close because of misaligned safety sensors. They are easily bumped out of alignment. Make sure they are aligned and try to shut the garage door when the light is still on. If that does not work, turn the dial on the side of your garage opener (attached to ceiling of garage) in the direction indicated to increase the closing force of the door. That should fix it. If not then let us know and we can give more suggestions.
-RR

Reply

52 Nichole April 4, 2015 at 4:20 am

My remote won’t open my chamberlain garage door opener. Here’s my situation. I have 2 chamberlain units for 2 separate doors. One works fine. The other will only open using either the wall button or the outside key pad. We cannot get a remote to program. We have tried the 3 button remote we have for the other door, which we know works since it will open the other door, but it won’t program. I have bought a new remote, which won’t program. I have replaced the battery in an older remote, which did not work. And my car ‘home’ button won’t program either. I keep reading about interferences with led lights and other electronics, but I know the unit can be programmed using the learn button because the keypad outside is programmed and the other unit works just fine. We have lived in our house for 9 months now and the unit worked up to about 4 months ago and just stopped. What in the works is going on?

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DIY Project Help Tips 53 DIY Project Help Tips April 6, 2015 at 5:49 am

Nicole,
If none of the remotes you have program. You should be able to change some settings on the garage door opener assembly (hanging from your garage ceiling) to renew the codes. There are switches and or lights on the garage door motor assembly that should let you change the settings and all should work after that once you reprogram your remotes. So, if all your remotes do not work, then more than likely the settings on the garage door opener motor assembly has been possibly changed or mistakenly altered and needs to be reset and or changed. Reset or change the settings on the garage door motor assembly, then reprogram your handheld remotes and everything SHOULD work.
-RR

Reply

54 kurt December 15, 2015 at 6:12 am

My neighbor and I are having the exact same problem as Nancy. Where the door does not work if the lights are on. Reset of the garage door opener did not help.

Reply

DIY Project Help Tips 55 DIY Project Help Tips December 15, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Kurt,
Please supply us with the make and model of your garage door opener. Have you tried to adjust your garage door opener on the opener itself? There should be a number of switches. Consult your owners manual since we do not know what make your garage door opener is.
-RR

Reply

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