Garage Door Closed On Wife's Car

We talked about this in another thread. Perhaps add a secondary pair of sensors at tail light height.


I am a big fan of automation and enjoy the hobby. I like perusing the threads just to get new ideas of what can be done. However, just like in my profession involving patients, “just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done”. Was the convenience of not having to push a close button worth the hassle of repainting the spoiler, fixing a derailed garage panel (not to mention the possible heart attack when this happened, lol?). Just saying, but to each their own!

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This was my biggest reason for adding the garage door control system. I have NO automations of the door setup. I have a notification that goes off if door is open for 10 minutes and then every 30 minutes after that if not closed. Sends to devices and speaks it on Alexa. Only time we keep it open for a long time is doing yard work, have thought about adding a button to disable the alert for a few hours but have not done it yet.


@jtp10181 , I have the same thing on for my garage door (status announcements and repeated reminders when the door is left open for more then 5 minutes). As a condition for the rule to run, I have a virtual switch that can be controlled via Alexa, so that if I am anticipating leaving the garage door open for an extended period of time, or if any family member does and I become annoyed with repeated announcements that “the garage door has been left open for more than 5 minutes, please close it when you are done”, I can just tell Alexa to “cancel garage door announcements” (or another Alexa Routine to “resume garage door announcements”). It’s nice to be able to do this from any Alexa within voice range without having to use a dashboard. To make it easier (that is more conversational) for my family members to elicit this command, I take advantage that Alexa will allow up to 7 different phrases to trigger the same Alexa Routine. I try to anticipate all the convoluted ways my wife will talk to Alexa.
There is a great SNL skit about this (how people mangle their voice commands):


I'm always being asked, "why won't she answer me? She always answers you!" (she = alexa)

The other day I asked Alexa for something and my wife said, "why are you talking to her all sexy like? Is that why she always answers you?" Ha!


Alexa silver is one of the best commercial/product parodies in snl history.


True...a surprisingly funny (over and over again) bit from the more recent years.

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I don't think they will. There is more going on here than just a simple sensor on/off voltage from what I have researched. If I get some free time, and I think of it, I should throw the oscilloscope on these.

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I did do a redundant sensor at bumper height, but I use mine for a different automation than the door. In my case I wanted a red/green indicator light when the beam was blocked, so you know that you are in the garage far enough. I have two bigger vehicles, and want to maximize what little room I have in the front of the garage. I think I will do a writeup about what I did in a separate post.


Trying to get my post count up!


For me, the convenience is worth the risk and the post-incident risk mitigation process has been educational and enjoyable.

My seven year old came home from school the other day and told me, "Mistakes are marvelous because we learn from them!"

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Kinda depends on the mistake though.


Yay, growth mindset!

Personally, I do find the convenience worth the effort. When I first implemented the garage door automation, it was the peace of mind that if I forgot to close it, there was a failsafe. Then my Homelink range was finicky, and it was the convenience of just driving away and knowing it would close. Then it was the convenience of having it open when I arrive, because that's one less thing to think about as I'm pulling in the driveway.

I respect your opinion on this as it is yours to have and your decision to make. I just made a different personal value judgment. No right or wrong answer. Just stay safe!

When my son was 7 he also came home and pre-emptively said the same to me (then he showed me the results of his most recent math test, lol)!

My issue is that at times, the roll up door will reverse, particularly in very cold temps if it sees a small jump in drop speed, or there is ice under the door. So I'll close it, watch it close (but not wait that last second to ensure it stops and stays closed) and come back 3 hours later at -10 C to see it open.

This works for me, with thanks to @jrfarrar for the code ideas. I have a motion sensor in the garage which will cancel the countdown timer if status changes. The Ecolink motion sensor has a default 4 minute motion active time so every time it senses motion, the 10 minute (in total) countdown will begin again...assuming no motion is detected in that 10 minutes. I also turn on an overhead rotating disco light in the shop 1 minute before it closes. I'm using a Zen17 relay to control the door, and have used their device code and app to create the virtual garage door. The door has an old smarthings multi-sensor mounted to signal the door closed.


The roll up door sensor dying in very cold temps (as in 1-2 months life) was a problem previously (the code is useless unless the the door position is known) so I removed the small lithium cell and replaced it with 2 AA rechargeables and a 5 volt solar panel on the door trim (outside) to charge them. It's been 3 years now with winter temps as low as -35 C. Zero issues :slight_smile:

The Zen 17 and the door sensor setup is rock solid...which is very important if you're managing a garage door!! I had used an LFM20 relay previously which would randomly open and close the door due to super buggy zwave/device performance. The Ecolink PERZWAVE2-ECO motion sensor is also rock solid with great battery life.

This is the man door, but same idea to achieve a wireless sensor with a somewhat perpetual power supply :slight_smile:

I would 100% also confirm operation of the safety sensor which should be reversing the door if the beam is tripped.


Nice write-up.

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I made a little change that seems to work for me.
I have motion sensors in my garage that turn on lights all the time, since it's kind of dark in there. They stay on for 5 minutes.
I wrote a rule that closes a garage door when the garage light turns off following the associated car's arrival, as per the SmartThings arrival sensor.

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Well, here's another wrinkle.
Experimenting with zigbee, I disabled the radio.
Similar to a power outage, with the hub on battery backup, the zigbee mesh went down.
The hub was still running.
The hub, via the SmartThings arrival sensor, (zigbee), thought a car left.
When zigbee radio was re-enabled, the hub thought a car arrived, because the mesh was up.
The hub then opened the garage door.
The motion of the garage door did not set off the motion detector, so the garage door remained open.
This behavior mimics what I have experienced in past power outages.
It was the reason I originally did that 5 minute close after arrival rule, without the motion component, that landed the door on my car.

Anyway, I have to re-jigger the rule, somehow, so that it will close in 5 minutes again after an unintended opening, and maybe with a little safety built in as well.

I think I must have the same problem BUT I haven't had it happen. I will open the GDO on an arrival between two times. When I imagine how I'd resolve this, I think: Cars don't arrive out of thin air :smiley:

You probably want to detect the Car Gone --> Car Arrived change.

You're detecting car arrive without there having been a car left prior.

I will open my GDO on an arrival during the day, but I don't have any shut logic. I've had one "false" open when my kids wanted to see the neighborhood christmas lights and my phone barely made it outside the Presence circle and back in. Fortunately I have an alert on the GDO opening or remaining open 12 min and was able to silently curse and close it.

Yeah, nothing's easy, but I think I have a simple solution.

I took the 2 Hue motion sensors, which have a magnet mount, and stuck one on each door.
It seems to work!
Of course, now when I open the enclosed breezeway door to the garage, the light doesn't come on as soon as I'd like.
Maybe I'll tie the garage light into the breezeway motion, or put another motion in the garage.
In any event, it looks like a simple fix.

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