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How to Replace a Lost or Broken Garage Door Remote

April 01, 2019
How to Replace a Lost or Broken Garage Door Remote

Need to replace a lost or broken garage door remote? Or are you looking for an extra remote? Either way, Secure Your World is here to help you. Use these handy tips in the search for your replacement garage remote.

Garage door remote brand

With an existing genuine remote, the process of finding its brand is simple. Most manufacturers like to proudly display their brand on the front or back of the remote.

Can't find your remote's brand? It's likely that a previous owner has replaced it with an aftermarket alternative. Unfortunately, with any aftermarket product, these will not be branded. Instead, your next option will be to look at the garage door receiver to locate the brand.

Genuine and aftermarket compatible garage door remotes

Like with all technology, manufacturers stop making certain versions for some of their products, and garage door remotes are no exception. This would pose a problem, but now you can replace them with a compatible aftermarket remote. These remotes will work just as well as their genuine counterparts.

As with any aftermarket compatible products, always check the compatibility list to ensure your garage door receiver will work with it.

Garage door receiver model

Finding your garage door motor or receiver's model can drastically reduce the time it takes you to buy a new remote. As an example, here is a Superlift SDO-3 Garage Door Opener.

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This can be matched to the Genuine Superlift SDO-3 4 Button Garage Door Remote just by using the model number as the reference.

Here is an example of a Genuine Automatic Technology GDO-9 Enduro Garage Door Opener

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Noticed the Gen 2 under the model number? This is an important detail to keep in mind. Many manufacturers will create Versions or Generations as part of their model numbers. Basically, newer garage remotes will not work with previous generations, even if they look identical.

Using this model number we can check the remote's compatibility list. Within the product description, this garage door opener can be matched to either:

Remote type

The technology behind your garage door remote can help you determine which is the correct one to buy.

Dip Switch Remotes

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From the Mid 80's to the Early 90's, almost all automatic garage door openers used this style of remotes. They're identifiable from the bank of 8, 10 or 12 small switches in the remote. These are set to a code that matches the same switches in the garage door opener or receiver.

Fixed Code Remotes
Released in the Mid 90's as a direct replacement for the ageing and unsecure Dip Switch Remotes. Instead of using switches, they transmitted one fixed code. This code is selected from a pool of more than 3 billion possible combinations. Each garage opener matches this specific predetermined code. The user has the ability to change this fixed code at any time.

Rolling Code or "Hopping Code" Remotes
This technology has many names depending on the manufacturer (CodeDodger, Intellicode, Security+, Security+2.0, etc). Yet are all variations on Rolling Code technology. The remote essentially will choose a new random code every time a button is pushed. This code comes from a pool of around 100 Billion different combinations. A unique data key will help the garage door receiver to decrypt the code and open the garage door. Garage door remotes with a rolling code will always send out a different, generated code from the one before.

Buttons and colours

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Not all remotes are created equal. No matter how similar they look many genuine remotes that are the same brand and the same shape will not be the correct remote for your receiver. In some cases, the button colours, remote shell colours and even the internal light can change to denote a different generation of a remote. Again, check the remote description carefully before purchasing.

Is remote frequency important?

Yes, it is. The remote frequency is the "channel" the remote can communicate through to the receiver. If you have lost your only remote, you can find the frequency in the garage door opener's instructions or installation manual. At other times, it's printed on the garage opener itself.

If the manual has also been lost along the way, you can easily find it on most manufacturers' websites, ready for you to download. As a bonus, the remote programming and remote erasing instructions are almost always in these manuals, so it is well worth finding and holding onto.

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Example of an SDO-3 Technical Specification List found in the instruction manual listing the remote frequency as 433.92MHz

But I also have a wall mounted remote control keypad?

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Not a problem. Many manufacturers including Merlin and Automatic Technology, have a wall mounted keypad alternative to their remote controls. These work in an identical way as their keyring style remote counterparts. They can be programmed to the receiver in much the same way as the remote.

Programming your new garage door remote

As we mentioned in "Remote Type" the Dip Switch style of remote is easy to program to a receiver. Copy the On / Off switch combination for the receiver or an existing remote so they match. It is a good idea to change the code sequence should you lose your garage door remote. It will prevent someone else from using your remote if found.

Fixed and Rolling code remote programming is slightly more involved. It involves pushing or holding down the "Learn", "Set" or "Code" button on the garage receiver and then pressing another button on the new remote to program.

In rare cases, some remotes (Such as Grifco) may require the removal of a small Write Protect Jumper. This is a small chip located on the garage receiver circuit board to program a new remote or erase old remotes. Another brand, Marantec utilises a small cloning adapter clip or cable. These pieces are used to transfer coding information from your existing remote to a new one.

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Easy to follow remote programming instructions should be included with most genuine and aftermarket compatible remotes. Need a hand? Contact our garage remote sellers. They'll provide you with programming information and help with garage remote compatibility.

Safety around garage doors

The garage door is the largest and heaviest moving object in your home. Whether it's adding a new remote, clearing an old one, or changing any settings, always use caution. Contact the manufacturer if you have any safety concerns. Never change tension settings or tolerances when programming a new door remote.

  • ALWAYS keep remote controls out of reach of children. NEVER permit children to operate, or play with remote controls.
  • Activate gate or door only when it can be seen clearly, is properly adjusted, and there are no obstructions to door travel.
  • ALWAYS keep gate or garage door in sight until completely closed. NEVER permit anyone to cross the path of a moving automated gate or garage door.