Why is my gate motor not working?

A malfunctioning gate motor can be a real inconvenience, leaving you stranded inside or outside of your property. But before you call in a technician, there are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can try to get your gate moving again. Here at DM Security Systems, we want to empower you with the knowledge to address minor gate motor issues but we are always a phone call away to resolve any issues that you need help with.

Gate Automation

Step 1: Check the Power Source

  • Is the gate motor plugged in or is the power on? Sounds simple, but a loose cable can cause a major headache. Ensure that you do not have any obvious breaks in your line. It can be more difficult to locate minor shorts. But also check that the breaker or switch for the motor is turned on.
  • Is there load shedding? Like all South Africans, we immediately wonder if there is load shedding. We recommend that you check your circuit breakers first to make sure that nothing has tripped and then if all is ok, make sure that you currently don’t have load shedding in your area.
  • Is the circuit breaker tripped? Locate your circuit breaker panel and see if the breaker controlling the gate motor has tripped. Reset it if necessary, but if it trips repeatedly, consult a qualified electrician.

Step 2: Inspect the Gate Itself

  • Is the gate obstructed? Look for any debris, fallen branches, or objects blocking the gate’s path. A physical obstruction can prevent the motor from functioning properly. This should be done periodically after any rain or windy days. Often debris is blown or washed onto the rails of the gate.
  • Is the gate balanced? A gate that’s unbalanced can put extra strain on the motor. Observe if the gate opens and closes smoothly, without tilting or scraping the ground. Another sign to listen for is any squealing or the sound of metal rubbing against each other.

Step 3: Examine the Remote Control

  • Are the batteries dead? A weak battery can cause the remote to malfunction. Try replacing the batteries with fresh ones and see if the issue persists. This is often an overlooked exercise while an incredibly important one.
  • Is the remote damaged? Check for any visible signs of water damage, cracks, loose or worn buttons. If the remote appears damaged, consider replacing it. The buttons can wear down with constant use over time and can lead to the buttons not making contact with the circuit board.

Step 4: Consult Your Gate Motor Manual

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, refer to your gate motor’s user manual. It might offer specific troubleshooting tips for your particular model. The manual might also have instructions for resetting the motor, which can sometimes resolve minor glitches.

Step 5: Signs of Tampering

Physical Damage: Check the gate and surrounding area for any signs of forced entry or damage. This could include pry marks on the gate itself, scratches near the motor housing, cut wires or items used to block the gate rails or sensors.

Why Call DM Security Systems for Your Gate Motor Needs?

Trying to diagnose and fix a gate motor yourself can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if the issue is complex. Here’s how DM Security Systems can save you time and money:

  • Experience You Can Trust: With over a decade of experience in gate motor repairs and new installations, our team has the expertise to handle any issue quickly and efficiently. We’ve seen it all!
  • Fast and Accurate Diagnosis: Our technicians are highly trained and equipped to identify the root cause of the problem quickly, avoiding unnecessary troubleshooting steps.
  • First-Rate Repairs: We use only the highest quality parts and tools to ensure your gate motor is repaired to the highest standards, minimising the risk of future breakdowns.


  • Safety First: Never attempt to work on the gate motor itself if you’re uncomfortable or unsure about the process. Electrical components can be dangerous.
  • Peace of Mind: When you call DM Security Systems, you can rest assured that your gate motor is in the hands of qualified professionals. We’ll get your gate working smoothly again so you can enjoy the security and convenience of a functional entrance.

Keeping Your Gate Motor Healthy

Preventative maintenance can go a long way in ensuring your gate motor functions smoothly for years to come. Here are some quick tips:

  • Schedule regular inspections with us.
  • Keep the gate and surrounding area free from debris.
  • Lubricate any moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer’s manual.

By following these steps, you can troubleshoot basic gate motor issues and keep your entrance secure and convenient. However, for any complex repairs or concerns, especially if you suspect tampering, don’t hesitate to contact DM Security Systems. We’re your trusted partner for all your home security needs in South Africa.