Trust me, I know what the problem is

garage_door_openerI am not a scientist. The perfect proof of this fact is the way I just fixed my garage door. When winter cold hits California (less than 45 degrees), our garage door decides to stick. You hit the remote control, it raises 6 inches and then stops. You have to get out of your car, walk up to the door and give it a little push past that 6 inch mark. This is more annoying than having to get off the couch to change the TV channel.

I have been trying to fix this problem for several years… no kidding. I was convinced that the cold was contracting the metal tracks and squeezing the door wheels just enough to stop it. I tried bending the metal tracks out to loosen them up. I sprayed WD40, silicone and Tri-Flow bike chain oil into those tracks. Some of these fixes worked temporarily, but the door always ended up sticking again.

Yesterday was the end of my exasperation. I finally googled “My garage door sticks at 6 inches and I need to fix it before I go insane.” And what do you know, an answer popped up immediately. Some guy in Utah with the exact same problem wrote, “After you try lubricating the tracks with silicone spray, adjust the torque on the motor.”

You can adjust the motor?! I was so convinced the problem was the metal contracting in the cold I didn’t even think to check adjustments on the motor! A true scientist would have checked all moving parts of the mechanism and ruled things out one by one. I never even ruled the motor in! I used a screw driver to twist a tiny plastic knob a quarter turn and voila… the door goes up and down on its own now.

I am not a scientist, or an engineer… or even a decent handyman. In fact, I thought the problem was too small to even pay a handy man $50 to come look at it. I was stubbornly trying to fix my assumption of the real problem.

When is the last time you banged your head all the way through a wall before asking for help?

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2 Comments on “Trust me, I know what the problem is”


  1. LOL This is funny – as it applies to REAL LIFE beyond garages. And ironically this is what causes problems most of the time!

    Most of the life coaching I do covers this topic about not always assuming we have the answers to everything. Sometimes we can do more damage by trying to do our own assessments – and this applies across the board from arguments and conflicts; to gadgets and machines along with family dynamics and relationships. If you assume and start fixing without fact, you’re not getting to the root of where the problem is caused.

    Too often we are blinded by what is on the surface. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper so you can resolve the issue from the root cause. This is why the world is so ‘medicated’ on prescriptions. One pill helps one thing but causes another problem if not a long list of 25 other symptoms and problems. We’ve all heard the commercials! But no one ever gets to the root cause of the ailment to heal the ailment – they always just mask the pain, because our society today is about immediate gratification about fixing issues.

    Glad you got your garage fixed!! 🙂


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