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To repair a gate motor or get a new one - that is the question

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Gate motors are a common feature on many homes and provide convenience, security, and an additional layer of protection. In the unfortunate event that your gate motor isn't running optimally, or not at all it is time to make some decisions;

Option 1) Leave it and do nothing

Option 2) Repair the old gate motor

Option 3) Purchase a new gate motor

Realistically nobody wants to leave this issue unaddressed so they choose between repairing old equipment or replacing them with a new gate motor. Deciding which choice makes more sense depends on multiple factors including cost-effectiveness and aesthetics among others considerations.

These are some guidelines for consideration when making that decision:

  1. Age of the equipment

  2. Availability of spares for the specific gate motor

  3. Manufacturer

  4. Battery backup in the case of load shedding or power outage

  5. Safety features

  6. Cost

Age of the equipment

In many cases the age of the motor will determine if it is worthwhile to repair or replace. That being said, age can be relative, as the concept of "age" will differ from person to person. Typically with quality brands age only really becomes a consideration after 5 - 10 years of service. Some gate motors like the Centurion D5 have been around for many years and is still being sold with ample spares available. considering the cost for the Centurion D5 though, it might be worth while to upgrade to a Centurion D5 Smart that would be in a similar price bracket for instance. In this case age would maybe not be carrying that much weight in your decision.

Bearing in mind there are also other factors with regard to age to be considered like UV damage, previous repairs done, lack of battery backup etc.

Availability of spares for the specific gate motor

If your gate motor needs repairing and finding spares is a headache , then it is pretty telling that replacement is imminent. Many technicians will improvise with secondhand parts or from other motors, and on that work very few will give you a guarantee and what if something else fails tomorrow. It's best to not waste time or money on such repairs as you are just flogging a lame horse. The wiser choice will be to put that repair money towards a new gate motor and enjoy the care free warranty that comes with it.


In recent years the market has been flooded with different brands of gate motors. Unfortunately that means there is also a lot of inferior products on the market regardless of what manufacturers claim. The best advice for South African homeowners is to stay with well known and reputable brands like Centurion System and ET Nice, both companies have extensive experience in home automation systems both locally and abroad. And no, that does not mean they are expensive compared to other brands. Shop around and do your home work, you will definitely find an installer that has fair pricing and good service.

Battery backup in the case of load shedding or power outage

Gate motors are a very convenient way to operate your driveway gate and maintain access control to your property, but they have one major flaw: when there is no electricity available in an area due to load shedding or other issues, these gates simply will not open, unless you are planning on manually opening and closing it every time this happens (which is both dangerous and inconvenient, especially at night). Most modern gate motors comes standard with battery backup, need we say more, battery backup just makes sense!

Safety features

New technology in gate motors prevents burglars and robbers from taking advantage of gaps in your security measures. New motors comes with code hopping features (prevents criminals from copying your remote code), collision detection, and intruder sensors that the older models lack. With a lack of battery backup being only one disadvantage to an old motor if it does not have any safety features at all, or is out dated, you might be handing the keys of your house over to the criminal element without even knowing it.


This is probably the simplest element of your decision to gauge. If you are potentially looking at thousands on repairs then it would be far more wiser to put that money towards a new gate motor and enjoy the warranty that comes with it. Manufactures typically gives 1 year warranty and some give as much as 2 years, as is the case with Centurion Systems. Also to consider is how much was spent on repairs thus far, if it is a motor that has very rarely given issues and spares is readily available then it is completely viable to have the gate motor repaired.

Old electronics can be expensive to repair. If your gate motor needs repairing and you are having trouble finding spares, it may be time for a replacement. To make the right decision on which new gate motor is best, think about what features are most important to you - safety features like code hopping, intruder sensors, battery backup or all of the above?

It's also good to consider how much have been spent on repairs thus far, how frequent repairs was done and are parts readily available. The cost of a new gate motor should factor into this as well and research about manufacturers who have extensive experience with home automation systems.

If you require more information or need some guidance, Peninsula Garage Doors will be more than happy to assist and give you right advice.

Contact us on:

Cape Town: 078 949 8130

Port Elizabeth / Gqeberha: 063 462 4003


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