Why Did My Garage Door Come Off Its Tracks?

By:   Niki D'Angelo | Published:
Close-up of garage door opener track

There are a number of reasons why a garage door could come off its tracks and hit the ground. By understanding what could cause such an event, will assist you in staying constantly vigilant for any potential problems that could arise.

A garage door that comes off its tracks is extremely dangerous.  There is a definite risk of serious injuries to you or a family member. With this knowledge, you can take the necessary preventive measures to keep you and your loved ones completely safe when using your garage door. Now, let’s look at those situations where we might run into this type of problem.

The main cause: you hit the door with your car

The most common case of a door coming off its tracks is due to homeowners hitting their doors with their cars. Almost all of us have had this happen. Late for work or in too much of a hurry to be home, you pull out of or enter your garage too fast without the door being completely open… and crash! As well, some folks have simply backed into the door, forgetting to open it with the remote. A heck of a way to start the day!

When hit by a vehicle, a garage door most often suffers damage to not only its two lower sections but also the whole door system.  As well, the said vehicle doesn’t have to be moving fast to do real damage. What usually happens is that a couple rollers come off their tracks, leaving the garage door hanging precariously from its lift cables.

If this happens to you, the first and safest thing you should do is turn off your car and get out of the garage. Do not attempt to repair this yourself. Immediately call Banko Overhead Doors.


Doors often fall off their tracks when their springs break or snap. Springs don’t last forever, and they’re not meant to. It’s important to replace them when they wear down before they reach breaking point.

For garage doors with two springs, sometimes only one breaks, causing a door to fall off track on just one side, which is what can make it appear uneven. If a spring breaks, even if it’s only one, it’s wise to replace both of them at the same time. If your springs were installed at the same time and one has worn out, chances are the other one won’t be far behind. Replacing both springs simultaneously will also make it easier to determine when they need to be replaced again in the future.

One or two rollers wear out and break

If one or two of your garage door rollers break prematurely from extreme wear, or they are of lower quality, this could cause additional stress to be put on the other rollers in the hardware system. This stress could cause other rollers to break as well or come off the tracks. And it doesn’t end there: extra weight put on the other rollers can also make the horizontal rails bend, and we all know what happens then. Don’t forget that the heavier your garage door is, the more serious the consequences.

One of the lift cable’s broke

This is a fairly rare occurrence but it could happen, especially if your garage door is older and you have never had it tuned up. The lift cables are located on each side of the door. If, for any reason, the alignment of the door is disturbed, the cable won’t line up correctly, unravel and break without much warning.

When a lift cable breaks, all the weight of the door will transfer to one side. However, only one side cannot hold the full weight of the door. What normally happens in this case is one side closes completely while the other side remains up in the air. With the door in such an unbalanced state, it’s easy to see why the rollers would come off the track system.

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