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10 Common Problems with automatic gates and gate motors

There are a lot of common problems you can run into when it comes to automatic gates and gate motors. If you need us to help you with your Automatic Gates and gate motor repairs in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Durbanville, Wellington, or Paarl. don’t hesitate to contact us!


Most of the time you spend interacting with your electric or automatic gate should be easy and hassle-free. But as with everything, electric gates can and will experience problems that impact how well they function. These problems can range from super easy to fix to needing to call a professional in to get the necessary repairs completed. If you’re experiencing issues with your gate, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most common problems that we’ve come across and what steps you can take to make sure your gate is functioning at its finest!

Non-Functioning Remote Controls

Has your gate’s remote control ceased to function? You probably just need to replace the batteries. But if that’s not the culprit, it may be time for a new remote control. The company that installed your electric gate will be able to give you all the information you need on getting a replacement remote control.

Gate Power Supply Issues

This may seem like a no-brainer, but is your gate power supply on and/or connected? Are items associated with the gate, like the keypad, functioning or not? If no element of your gate is functioning, then it’s quite possible you’re looking at an issue with power.

First things first, check to make sure your gate’s breaker is turned on. Power surges or power outages can cause your gate’s breaker to turn off. If all seems well, take a look at your gate’s power supply. Your gate may be powered by electrical lines, solar panels, or batteries, each of which can have its own issues. Sometimes these issues may be easy to spot, like disconnected wires or broken solar panels. In other instances, they’ll be invisible to the naked eye.

If you’re an electrician, an electrical engineer, or some other type of electric pro, this is probably a repair you can handle on your own. If, however, you’re not, we highly recommend you call in a professional to take care of the issue at hand.

Obstructed/Damaged Gate Tracks

If you have an electric sliding gate, there may come a time when you notice that it’s not sliding smoothly or that it has difficulties at certain points along the track. Tracks can easily become obstructed by debris like stones, leaves, or twigs. Use a broom to clear out the tracks and this should take care of the problem.

Damage to gate tracks is also a possible culprit. Take a look at the track and the wheels to ensure that everything appears in order. If there is damage to any of these parts, call your local gate expert to get more information about what replacement parts and/or services you might need. Keep in mind, though, that regular maintenance will do wonders for keeping your gate track mechanisms in perfect working shape.

Bugs and Other Pests

These creatures can make their homes in sensors or control boxes, which can temporarily disable gate functions or permanently damage the gate’s components. Check these boxes and sensors regularly to ensure that no unwanted critters have started getting comfortable. In most instances, you should have no problem cleaning these areas out and getting rid of the pests. Please take appropriate, cautious measures if your gate’s control boxes or other areas are now home to potentially dangerous pests like hornets, spiders, etc.

Hold Open Control

Most electric gates have a Hold Open feature that, as the name implies, allows you to set the gate to remain open. Depending on how many people in your household/property know this code, it’s quite common for one individual to activate this feature unbeknownst to anyone. Double-check to ensure that the gate has not been set to Hold Open and if it has, deactivate the feature.

Keypad Malfunctions

There may be times when your keypad does not work as it should. You may notice that codes don’t always work or that some access codes function properly while others do not. If you’re consistently having problems with access codes not working, you may need to reset your codes. Sometimes, this can be easily accomplished by referring to the owner’s manual. But if that provides no help, you’ll need to contact your gate professional. If some access codes work and others don’t, it’s possible that someone else has inadvertently changed some of your settings. This, too, can usually be rectified with some help from the owner’s manual.

If you find that your access codes are not working reliably or that there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when they do/do not work, it’s time to call in a gate expert. There may be wiring issues or other electrical malfunctions that are preventing your keypad from performing properly.

Light Sensors

Light sensors play a pivotal role in many automatic gates. Most times, if you notice they aren’t responding as they should, you’ll just need to clean them off. They can easily get coated with dust or dirt, which prevents the sensors from detecting light.

Key Switch

In some instances, your control panel will have a key switch that allows for manual control of your gate. Check your key switch to make sure it’s in its regular operating position. (If the fire department, for example, has recently tested your gate, they may not have reset it.) You should also examine the key switch to ensure it’s not corroded. If it is corroded, a gate professional will need to replace it for you.

Gate Motors

Gate motors can be damaged by water, pests, and other items. Elements inside the motor, like transmitters and wires, can also malfunction. If you suspect a problem with your gate’s motor, contact your gate professional to have it looked at.

Other Gate Hardware Issues

If you notice that your electric gate is not swinging or sliding smoothly, there may be damage to other elements of your gate’s hardware. Check any gate swing arms, hinges, or chains to make sure they’re not loose, rusty, or dirty. There is potential for serious damage to your gate and your property if these issues aren’t addressed promptly.

Your options for repair depend on how damaged your gate hardware is. We recommend calling in a professional to inspect your gate and ascertain what is and is not salvageable.

Still Having Problems?

If you haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason behind your automatic gate’s problems, and you live in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Durbanville, Wellington, or Paarl, give us a call or fill in the contact form here and we will contact you.


Read our blog about tips for securing your home.

Read our blog about how an automatic gate increases your privacy and security in Stellenbosch


We specialise in all automatic gates and gate motor repairs in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Brackenfell, Wellington and Paarl.

We specialise in automatic gates and gate motor repairs in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Brackenfell, Wellington and Paarl



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