Many people don’t want to think about replacing an old gate motor - particularly if it's still getting the job done but, like any security system, a gate motor must be replaced when it begins to cause problems or just isn't providing you with an adequate level of security. Replacing an old gate motor isn't merely something one does for convenience - it's a critical part of any home security system and proper functioning is essential to ensuring the safety of your family and the protection of your property.

Here are 8 signs that it's time to replace your old gate motor:

1.       Your gate malfunctions A LOT

When it comes to mechanical equipment things can and probably will go wrong and you may find yourself calling out a technician every now and then.  A gate motor that is malfunctioning on a regular basis isn't going to cut it. This can be anything from running off the rails to getting "stuck" while opening or closing - if it's giving you problems on a weekly or even monthly basis and no amount of repairs or resets seem to be sorting out the problem, then it's time to have it replaced.  


2.       You've paid multiple repair bills

If you've called out a gate technician more than three times in the last six months and had multiple repair jobs conducted on your electric gate motor, it may be time to accept that it's beyond repair. Most gate repair companies will advise a replacement but many people think this is their way of trying to soak you dry of money and refuse to consider the suggestion. Feel free to get a second opinion or change your gate repair company but if nothing changes, then it's time to have your gate motor replaced.


3.       Your gate is on manual more often than not

As mentioned, getting in and out of your home quickly and safely is the most important part of avoiding a hijacking or home invasion and a properly functioning gate is the key. If your gate is on manual because of power cuts, malfunctions and problems you can't quite put your finger on and you and your family members have to get out of your vehicles to open the gate, then it's certainly time to have your gate motor replaced.


4.       Your gate is slow

A slow gate that takes ages to open and close is just what a robber or hijacker needs to launch an attack. Your gate should open and close very quickly - giving you just enough time to get in or out of your driveway. If you have to wait for longer than a few seconds for it to open or close - you must either have a technician come out and adjust the speed or, in the case of an older motor, have it replaced. Slow gates can also be caused by dirty gate tracks, obstruction and even poor gate and gate motor maintenance. If the motor just can't push the weight at a reasonable speed it’s time to have it replaced.


5.       You can't find spares

This is one of the most telling signs that a gate motor needs to be replaced - if your gate repair company doesn’t stock the spares for your gate motor and cannot source them from the manufacturer, then it's definitely time to have your motor replaced. Although many technicians will be willing to improvise and use secondhand parts or parts from other gate motors, you're setting yourself up for disappointment since replacement is inevitable in such a case. Eventually you'll run out of options and have to replace it anyway - so spare yourself the unnecessary repair bills and get it done - it will work out cheaper in the long run.


6.       Your motor casing is corroded or damaged

Most of the boxes or casings that house gate motors are made from plastic which will succumb to natural degradation and wear and tear - just as the mechanical parts within will. If your casing is severely damaged and no longer provides adequate protection from the elements, theft and rodent or pest infestation then it's quite likely that your gate motor has exceeded its shelf life. Remember, the outside is designed to last just as long as the inside and, if this is more than 10 years, it's probably time to have it replaced.


7.       Your motor doesn’t have battery back-up

Almost all of the new electric gate motors on the market come standard with a battery backup system that will allow your gate to operate during load shedding and power cuts. It is during power cuts that robbers and hijackers take advantage of the situation and attack people getting in and out of their cars to manually open and close their gates. If your electric gate motor does not have an in-built battery backup and cannot be fitted with one, it's time to have it replaced.


8.       Your gate motor lacks crucial safety features

Apart from a lack of battery backup, if your gate motor is old it's probably lacking all the safety and security features of the more modern models and this may have devastating consequences. From code hopping technology that prevents anyone from copying your remote code to intruder and collision detection.  If your gate motor isn't equipped with the latest technology, your home security is likely to be too far behind and it may be just a matter of time before burglars and robbers take advantage if this. 

Your gate is too heavy for the motor. Many people do not check the power of the motor when they buy it. They just ask how much. This can result in an underpowered motor being installed on a gate that is simply too heavy for it. It may last a year or two, but then will start struggling to push the gate. Unfortunately, the only solution is to start again with a more powerful motor. Do not make the mistake of trying to save money, and land up paying twice. 

If you think it's time to have your gate motor replaced then we recommend you consider Centurion's range of swing and sliding gate motors. These motors are durable, reliable and locally manufactured, so you'll never have to worry about whether there'll be spare parts available in the future.