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Garage Door Opener problem

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Hi, Newbie here.
Well, I guess i'll introduce myself first off.
My name is Mike Steinbach, i'm 20, and I live in Carbondale, IL
I'm taking Electronics Technologies at John A Logan College.
I have been into electronics since I could pick up a soldering iron and like to take stuff apart just to see what makes it tick.

OK, onto the door opener. I have a Raynor opener and a Pulsar Remote. Inside, the chip it uses is MC145026P QQVD9037 and has an 8 switch DIP for setting the code.

A couple years ago I took it apart and added a connection for a small button I made to put in my car under the dash and hid the remote on the inner firewall. ('97 Cougar) I had some problems with that and took it out. I now just keep it in the armrest. Lately, its been giving my trouble. When I press either button, often times nothing happens. It seems that on really hot days, it doesn't work and other days it works when it wants to. Sometimes, the right button will even open the left door! I still have the small plug (connector from a computer, like what the power light would connect to) and if the button fails to work, I use my key to short the pins on the connector on the back and it always works.
OK, even when the doors fail to open, the LED's for each button still light up. The connector is directly connected to the board where the exhisting switch is and works exactly the same. I just dont see how the pushbutton would not work while the little extra connecter I added does work.

Is it time for a new opener or is there hope?
I had thought about making my own with new parts and wiring it into a switch on a custom dash insert I made and put in place of my ashtray (i dont smoke, didn't need it).
Something else I thought would be neat is if I could somehow wire my cigarette lighter to be a push button so that when I press in the lighter, it opens the garage door.

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