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Garage Door Repair Bellflower recommends that any spots of rust should be treated immediately to avoid further damage. The door will need to be cleaned thoroughly and have the rust spot sanded down. Apply an oil based primer and give it time to completely dry before applying the paint. You will probably need to apply several coats of paint, so allow each one to dry before applying the next and be sure to mask off non sanded areas to create a smooth finish.
Not only is this not a good idea, it is also not possible on modern openers, since the safety sensor is an in-built mandatory feature. Garage Door Repair Bellflower explains that safety eyes are designed to prevent injuries or property damage by detecting any obstructions in the path of the garage door. Many opener models will actually cease to function if the safety eyes are tampered with or removed.
There is no hard and fast rule when and how often a garage door and its opener should be checked and serviced. The safest way to go is to do it annually or thereabouts. To keep yourself, your family and your cars safe, you can also perform checks by yourself and call the professionals when you see something that's not quite right.