Thanks for all the comments. After reading through the replies all of which contained relevant insight into the situation, I decided to do some troubleshooting, instead of thinking the problem was solely a cold weather motor issue (which it still may be).
Quick background, door, rails and spring are less than 6 years old. Opener is around the same age but not sure it does have the mandated safety beams, 1/2 hp Sears.
Did a visual check on the rails and the beam that the mount moves on that is horizontal to the door. All seemed very dry and almost tacky, as if whatever grease may be there turned tacky. I did not want to re-grease as I am fearful of dirt being collected by the grease and causing a separate problem. Next I opened the door and measured how high it lifted.Next I closed the door. I next sprayed JIG-A-LOO (invisible all around lubricant that contains no oil, grease or wax) on the main drive rail. Opened the door and it went up another 2 inches. I then sprayed the moving drive assembly and closed the door.Next I sprayed the rails. Opened the door and it now fully opens.
The problem may have been that the grease turned sour and when it got very cold the soured grease became to sticky for the motor to overcome. I still may have a bad/ tired motor. Will be watching. Wish I was not so lazy as to look for the obvious before trying to "buy" a solution to the symptom and mis the real problem. Time will tell.
2001 Bonneville SSEi, 219,000 miles.
Whats in my driveway:
1998 Chevy S10 4x4 ZR2, 1999 Olds Bravada, 2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi, 2007 Ford F-350 regular cab 2WD, 2008 BMW 335i coupe (Wife'* replacement for her Bonneville). The Bonneville is my favorite of all the cars in the driveway.
Last edited by GunsOfNavarone; 12-20-2009 at 10:35 AM.