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How To Program a Garage Door Opener

7 Easy Steps to Programming a HomeLink Garage Door Opener System

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Many people find they need to program the garage door opener on a HomeLink system that came with their car. Maybe you bought the car used and don't have a manual, or you do have a manual but find it hard to follow. In either case, it really is not difficult to program the garage door opener. It should require no more than 5-10 minutes, as long as you follow each step carefully. Having a helper will make the process go even quicker.

If you are having trouble operating your garage door opener, read Troubleshooting the Most Common Garage Door Opener Problems for advice on diagnosing the problem. The receiver, handheld transmitter and in-car transmitter must all be in good operating condition to ensure success when you program the garage door opener.

The HomeLink system is available on a wide range of cars, and it can also be purchased as an aftermarket product. It is compatible with nearly all garage door opening systems, including Liftmaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman, Genie, Overhead Door, Allstar and Wayne Dalton. The primary requirement is that the garage door opener operates on a frequency of 288-433 MHz. You should be able to find the frequency of your unit on the back of the handheld transmitter.

To program the garage door opener, it will be necessary to raise and lower the door. So, to keep the process safe, make sure that children and pets stay away from the garage. Once you are ready to begin, just follow these steps:

  1. Always begin with a new battery in the handheld transmitter. If you're not sure how old the battery is, go ahead and replace it.
  2. Turn the key to the accessory ("ACC") position before you begin programming the garage door opener.
  3. For a first-time programming (or if you think the garage door opener has been previously programmed), press the two outer buttons on the transmitter for about 20 seconds, until the light starts flashing.
  4. On the transmitter, hold the button to be programmed down until it begins flashing slowly (20-30 seconds). Keep holding the button down for the next step.
  5. Grab the handheld transmitter in your other hand and point it toward the flashing light from about 2 inches away. Press the operating button on the handheld unit. Once the light starts flashing faster, the frequency has been entered into the HomeLink transmitter. Release both buttons.
  6. This step is easiest with a helper. You will need a ladder and, quite possibly, a flashlight. On the garage door opener receiver (i.e., the motor, located inside the garage), press the training button (also called a "smart" or "learn" button). The button may not be labeled, but it will have a small light next to it that flashes when the button is pressed. (Note, if the indicator light stays on continuously, the programming is complete and the garage door opener should function.)

    If the indicator light flashes (or if it flashes briefly before becoming continuously lit), you have 30 seconds to perform the following step (which is why this goes quicker with a helper).

  7. In the car, with the key still turned to ACC, press the button you programmed earlier on the in-car transmitter for three seconds. Remove your finger from the button, then press again for another three seconds. If the garage door hasn't moved yet, press the button for another three seconds. Once the door moves, the garage door opener has been programmed.

If your garage door opener does not seem to respond to the programming efforts, unplug the receiver for a minute, then try again. Make sure your new battery in the handheld transmitter is installed correctly. If you still can't properly program the garage door opener, call the HomeLink customer service department (1-800-355-3515).

If problems persist, you may need to buy a new garage door opener. See 5 Reasons to Replace Your Garage Door Opener for advice on whether or not a new unit is advised. I it is, the article Before You Buy a Garage Door Opener can guide your shopping for a replacement.

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