11:51AM | 02/09/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
2 lifetime posts
When my SUV’s hatchback door is fully open in the garage, it extends into the path of my garage door, which is powered by a garage door opener (GDO). I recently forgot to close the SUV’s hatch and pushed the button switch for the GDO as I walked into the house. The garage door began to move down and scraped the back of the hatch causing about $500 in paint damage. I tested all the safety sensors on the GDO and they seem to work fine, but the GDO did not stop or reverse when it hit the hatchback. Some of my friends and coworkers have had the same problem with their minivan or SUV hatchbacks.

Does anyone have any idea(s) how to stop the GDO from moving when the door’s path is blocked?


Jim D

10:39PM | 02/10/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
CT-LAND - hi, most newer GDOs have this protection built in. However, in a situation as you had, the door needs to encounter a fair amount of resistance before the circuitry reverses. If the SUV's hatch didn't provide enough resistance (if it actually gave way and started closing while the door was scratching up the paint), then the door won't stop.

The normal testing for this is to place a piece of wood on the floor so the door will try to close on it. The door should reverse after a second or two if the circuitry is working. I've also seen in the instruction manuals where you can stand and attempt to "catch" the door with your hands as it's closing. Again, the circuitry should sense the required amount of resistance and reverse the door - it'll feel like several pounds of force as you catch the door.

Does your system also use the LED or IR sensors mounted down near the floor? If so, and your SUV's tires weren't blocking the sensors, then the GDO will move. You may want to consider moving the LED/IR sensors up off the floor a bit higher so they "see" the SUV when it's parked the way you had it parked for your situation. I wouldn't think you'd have to move them higher than maybe 12" - 18" higher than they are now - still low enough to "see" other things that could be blocking the door.

I hope this helps some - regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA


04:01AM | 02/11/04
Member Since: 05/19/03
457 lifetime posts
Our GDO has is able to set how much pressure it takes for it to open when it hits something.


06:11AM | 02/14/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!

Jim D., I tried your ideas. According to the GDO manufacturer, to test the down force safety feature it suggests putting a 1” block between the door and the floor and closing the door on it. If the safety feature is working, the GDO should kick back to open (my GDO passed this test). I agree with you that even with the safety feature working, there still is a lot of force from the GDO that could to do damage to the hatchback door before any of the down force or pressure sensing circuits could detect it. Also, I noticed, that the safety feature seems to only work when the door is traveling "down". I have a friend who also experienced similar damage to his SUV’s hatchback when it was open, but someone was entering from the outside of the garage with a remote entry keypad. So the current GDO safety feature circuitry would not work in this scenario.

I’ve also considered your suggestion on moving the IR sensor, but if the beam is blocked, how is the door ever going to close? I also noticed that this feature only works when the door is traveling "down".

It seems this is common problem with a lot of people I talk with. I wish the GDO manufacturers would address this issue with better sensing circuits or come up with some ancillary device to prevent this from happening.

Thanks again to everyone for your input!

Jim D

10:58PM | 02/16/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
CT-LAND - hi again! Moving the IR beam is intended merely to stop the garage door from closing when you have the SUV parked in the doorway. If you have the SUV pulled all the way inside the garage, and the hatch is closed, then nothing will interrupt the IR beam and the door will close properly.

If you're unable to pull the SUV in any ****her, then you may be out of luck if you're unable to adjust the down force safety feature settings. Of course, if it's set too "light" then it could end up opening if it hits the garage floor a little bit hard.

You're right, the down force safety feature only works when the door is closing. Since the door was open and didn't hit anything on its way up, the GDO is only "looking" for something in the path while it's closing. It's like the "pinch detector" circuit in power windows - if it senses a certain amount of resistance while the window is closing, the motor reverses itself.

So, the only solution may be to modify your current practice of unloading the SUV when it's in the garage by parking the SUV in the doorway so the IR beam is interrupted. Good luck! Jim D/Heathsville, VA



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