Automatic gates are incredibly convenient because they allow for quick access, allowing for better security and safety. However, like most technology, sliding gate motors are not immune to problems. 

Common gate motor problems present as follows:

  • Gates not closing / opening

  • Gate opens / closes halfway

  • Gate sluggish to open/close

  • Gate not responding to any of the remotes

  • Gate off rail / rack 

These are the 4 obvious culprits causing your gate to malfunction:

1)      1) Battery

 A sluggish gate or a gate that looks like it’s losing power when closing needs a new battery.  The battery may be old and not charging efficiently anymore. It is difficult to predict how often a battery should be replaced – that will depend on how often the gate is opened/ closed and weather conditions. Replacement of the battery and battery backup would be advised. The general rule of thumb is to change your battery every two to three years.

2)      2) Rack & Gear

The rack and gear interface eventually wears down due to regular use.  A grinding sound could mean the mechanism which moves the gates together and apart may have become worn out. It may become necessary to replace the rack and/or gear.  The rack has teeth on the bottom which link into the round gear. A good indicator of the rack-gear wear out is when the gear (pinion) turns and the gate does not move.

3)      3) Gearbox

Problems can happen when the electric gate motor has to work harder than what it is designed for. For example, if the gate is heavier than the allowed weight of the gate motor, or if the wheels are worn. Another reason is sand causing resistance on the rail. Repairing or replacing the gearbox can be expensive. For this reason, it’s best to prevent the problem with regular maintenance and checks to your gate’s wheels.

4)      4) Remote Control

The remote control needs to be kept in good working order to ensure that it will be able to open the electric gate without any problems. However, the batteries can start to lose power, so check if the red light is failing to ‘blink’. Replace the batteries and try again if this is the case. Replace the remote if the problem persists.