What If I Hit a Garage Door With My Car? How to Fix It?

Learn what steps to take to fix your garage door if you accidentally smashed it with the car.

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We are often in a hurry and tend to leave our homes hectically. But if you are rushing to work, it’s very easy to hit your garage door with the car when driving out! You are lucky if you don’t damage it a lot. But what if you do?

In this case, you need to read this article for sure! It will tell you what to do if you hit the garage door frame of the door itself with the car. We will explain what part of the door might get damaged most likely and how to fix the problem. You will learn what to do in any case, whether the door has a huge dent or hangs off the hinge! 

man holding garage door
By vista.com

 I Ran Into My Garage Door With the Car. How Do I Fix That?

If you have a garage door crash, how you fix it will depend on how much damage was caused. Typically, after you hit your garage door with a car, the severity of damage will depend on how fast the vehicle collided with the surface of the door. Some typical problems include:

  • Dents on panels or broken bottom panels of the door since these sections are the most vulnerable parts of garage doors. You can replace the broken panels or all of them, depending on the severity of the damage.
  • Off-track rollers. More serious garage door damage can bend the vertical track and misalign the rollers. You may need to replace the garage door hinges and rollers and get the door back on track.
  • Damaged track. In this case, it’s best to call a professional since misaligned, and broken garage doors are dangerous to operate. A professional may replace the track or bend it back into place.

The most common type of garage door accident is when the bottom half of the door is damaged. That’s because this part of the door is mainly predisposed to be hit by the vehicle when you back up to drive out of the garage, and the door is not entirely lifted up.

So if you have an electric garage door and you hit it with the car, before you move or open the door, it is essential to assess the situation thoroughly. 

  • First, check the door rollers to ensure they are in their tracks and properly attached.
  • Check whether the lifting cables are still aligned.

At this point, you must be very careful and not touch any of the parts of the lifting system of the garage door! The bracket, lifting cable, and springs are under extremely high tension, which can be equal to the weight of the entire garage door! You must not touch them under any circumstances!

After you check all the mentioned parts of your electric garage door system, you have two ways to go. If the damage does not seem too bad, you can handle the issue yourself.

  • Try to get your car out of the garage.
  • Once your car is far away from the garage at safe distance, check to see if the remote garage door opener is working.
  • Make sure you are standing at least 8 feet or 2.5 meters away from the door, and then test it.
  • Push the button on your remote to see how the garage door responds.
  • If you hear loud noises or crunching sounds, or if you see that certain parts of the door are not working, unplug your garage door opener immediately.
  • Make sure to remove all connections to electrical power, and don’t touch anything.

If you smashed the garage door, you would need help from a professional! In this case, the door might come out of the tracks completely. Unfortunately, if your garage door has been removed from its tracks, there is little that you can do on your own. 

All you can do is not touch anything, call the specialist to come, and just wait until help arrives. It would be ideal if you could contact the specialist who installed your garage door opener, as they will know what to do to fix it best. 

What Types Of Garage Door Damage You Can Encounter

If you hit your garage door with the back of your car, it doesn’t necessarily mean you smash it completely! There might be different types of damage, and it’s good to be aware of each of them. This way, you will know how severe the damage is and how approximately it could be fixed.

Broken Door Cables

Cables are vital parts of your garage door! Thanks to them, the door opens and closes smoothly. These cables work with your garage springs to carry the entire weight of the door. 

While the cables may get weaker out of time due to wear and tear, your car can do it, too, if you hit the door with it. You might have broken cables in your garage door if you have the following issues:

  • The garage door gets stuck halfway
  • Garage door not hanging straight
  • The garage door is off the tracks

Your Garage Door Springs Can Be Broken

This is another common issue a homeowner can encounter with their garage door. The door springs can become faulty either when you hit the door with the car or if the springs just get too old.

If there is a problem with the springs, it will be difficult to operate the garage door. This is the reason why an immediate repair is recommended since it can get dangerous to work on!

Your Garage Door Opener Can Be Malfunctioning 

A garage door opener might not work correctly because of a faulty or damaged locking and lifting mechanism. This can make your garage door not shut or lock properly. If this issue occurs not because you backed into the door, there could be other possible reasons for it:

  • Burnt out motor
  • Electrical short in the syste
  • New batteries in the remote are needed

Faulty, Bent, or Broken Rollers and Tracks Of the Garage Door

Faulty, bent, or broken rollers or tracks can also lead to your garage door opening and closing issues. If there are issues with your garage door’s rollers and tracks, they should be resolved immediately. These parts also get damaged more often because they are more sensitive! The tracks can easily get bent, especially if a heavy car hits them! 

Another possible issue you can face is the track’s misalignment. In simple words, the door track may not be square anymore in this case. This is why you need to adjust them to their original position and shape. The best solution to these problems is to contact a professional and either repair the door or replace the door track entirely.

Garage Door Panels Could Be Damaged 

Your garage door panels are most likely to be damaged when you hit the door with the car because they usually face outdoors. Besides, there is always a high risk of them being damaged by weather and different activities. Most professionals recommend replacing the panels altogether if you hit them and damage them (e.g., you leave dents), but you won’t need to replace the entire garage door. 

Cracks and Gaps

Depending on the type of garage door you have, cracks and gaps may appear after some time or because of a collision. Also, the material of the door matters. For example, wooden garage doors are more prone to cracking compared to other materials. You can either repair these cracks and gaps or upgrade to a more durable garage door.

Bent Garage Door Panel

Garage door panels are installed in the exterior of your garage, which means they are exposed to elements that can damage them. Even a tiny dent can affect your garage door’s operation!

One sign of an issue with the garage door panel is that a lag is noticeable when operating the door. Depending on the severity of the damage, you can either have the garage door panel repaired or replaced.

Bent Garage Door Frame 

If you hit your garage door with a car, it can bend the garage door frame. But this does not mean that you need to replace the entire door system or the frame. The good thing about a bent garage door frame is that it’s simpler and easier to fix than problems in the motor, rods, tension springs, and pulley system. Just stop using your garage doors for a while if the frame is bent after the collision, and call for a professional to come and help you with the issue. 

Now that you know what types of damage your garage door may experience and how those can be fixed, you should have no problem with repairing your garage door, even if you damaged it severely after hitting it with the car.

How to Fix Different Types of Damage Caused to Your Garage Door

Now you know that there are different types of garage door damage you can encounter. And since each of them should be fixed differently based on the specifics and severity of the damage, we decided to introduce a few repair solutions to you.

How To Fix A Bent Garage Door

In general, fixing bent garage doors is not a super complicated task. For a handy homeowner, this can be done quite quickly. So if you choose to fix your bent garage door yourself instead of hiring a professional, you will need to get the right tools for that, as well as learn the steps you should take. 

Some of the DIY solutions you can apply to your bent garage door include:

  • If the door is metal, heat it to transform the metal to its previous shape, especially if the frame is made from aluminum. Use aluminum foil to heat the garage door, then straighten the metal to its original shape, and then let it cool off to harden to the new shape.
  • As an option, use a hammer or mallet to straighten the door. However, note that the result of hammering will be rougher compared to using heat! Also, hammering will take more effort and time.

Go For Suction Cups to Fix a Dented Garage Door

To fix the dent in your garage door and get it back to its original shape, try using suction cups. This solution is relatively new, but professionals use it often and with significant effect. Besides, this kind of repair only takes a few minutes to be completed!

The downside to this method is that it will only be helpful for minor dents and may not help with sizable damaged areas. Also, to use suction cups, your garage door must be fully metal for the suction cups to work. 

The procedure is pretty simple: 

  • Place the suction cups tools on the affected area of the garage door that has dents
  • The pressure from these tools will straighten the dent surely.

Now you know more about fixing the garage door that has been hit by the car and distorted. We told you what types of damage you may encounter and how they could be fixed. Now you have several repair solutions to choose from, which means that you can always pick up the most suitable one that will help you repair your bent, dented, or smashed garage door.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Insurance Cover Hitting The Garage Door?

Your home insurance may cover the costs of your garage door damage. If your car was damaged severely, your car insurance might cover those repairs.

Will I Need To Replace The Entire Overhead Doof If I Hit It With My Car?

You may need to replace your entire overhead door depending on the repairs and labor costs. It might be more cost-effective to get a new door than to repair your current door.

How Much Time Does It Take To Install A New Garage Door?

It takes 4–6 hours to replace a garage door, but installing a garage door compatible with the existing structure is generally more straightforward.

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