Mastering Garage Door Maintenance: A Guide to Replacing Garage Door Springs

Garage doors are a crucial component of our homes, providing security and convenience. However, when a garage door spring breaks, it can disrupt daily routines and pose safety hazards. Replacing a garage door spring may seem daunting, but with the right tools, knowledge, and precautions, it’s a task that can be accomplished safely and effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of replacing a garage door spring.

A Comprehensive Guide: How to Replace a Garage Door Spring

Step 1: Safety First

Before beginning any work on your garage door, ensure your safety by taking the following precautions:

  • Disconnect the power to the garage door opener to prevent accidental activation.
  • Wear protective gear, including gloves and safety goggles, to shield yourself from potential injuries.
  • Place a sturdy ladder securely under the garage door to provide access to the spring mechanism.

Step 2: Identify the Type of Spring

Garage doors typically use one of two types of springs: torsion springs or extension springs. Torsion springs are mounted above the garage door, while extension springs are located along the sides of the door tracks. Identify which type of spring your garage door has before proceeding with the replacement.

Step 3: Gather the Necessary Tools and Supplies

To replace a garage door spring, you’ll need the following tools and supplies:

  • Replacement spring(s) (make sure to choose the correct size and type for your garage door)
  • Winding bars (for torsion springs)
  • Adjustable wrench or socket wrench set
  • Vice grips or locking pliers
  • Safety cables (for extension springs)
  • Ladder
  • Hammer
  • C-clamps
  • Lubricant (such as silicone spray or garage door lubricant)

Step 4: Release Tension from the Existing Spring

For torsion springs:

  • Use winding bars to unwind the tension from the existing spring. Insert one winding bar into one of the holes on the winding cone and secure it in place.
  • Insert the second winding bar into another hole on the winding cone and use it to slowly unwind the spring, releasing tension.
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the spring until all tension is released.

For extension springs:

Open the garage door fully to relieve tension from the springs.
Clamp locking pliers onto the track just below the bottom roller to prevent the door from moving.

Step 5: Remove the Old Spring

Once the tension is released, you can safely remove the old spring:

  • For torsion springs, loosen the set screws on the winding cone and slide the spring off the shaft.
  • For extension springs, disconnect the safety cables from the track brackets and remove the springs from the pulleys.

Step 6: Install the New Spring

Carefully install the new spring according to the manufacturer’s instructions:

For torsion springs, slide the new spring onto the shaft and secure it in place with the set screws. Wind the spring using the winding bars until the coils are snug against the shaft.
For extension springs, attach the safety cables to the track brackets and thread the springs onto the pulleys.

Step 7: Reattach the Garage Door

With the new spring(s) in place, reattach the garage door to the opener:

For torsion springs, wind the spring(s) to the appropriate tension using the winding bars.
For extension springs, release the locking pliers from the track and carefully lower the door to the closed position.

Step 8: Test the Door

Once the garage door is reattached to the opener, test its operation to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Open and close the door several times to verify smooth movement and proper tension.

Step 9: Lubricate Moving Parts

Finally, apply lubricant to the moving parts of the garage door, including the springs, rollers, hinges, and tracks. This will help reduce friction and prolong the life of your garage door system.


Can I replace a garage door spring myself?

While it’s technically possible to replace a garage door spring yourself, it’s a task that requires technical knowledge, specialized tools, and a strong emphasis on safety. Working with garage door springs can be hazardous due to the high tension involved, and improper installation or handling can lead to serious injury or property damage. It’s often recommended to hire a professional garage door technician to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

What type of garage door spring do I need?

Garage doors typically use one of two types of springs: torsion springs or extension springs. Torsion springs are mounted above the garage door and wind and unwind to provide lifting force, while extension springs are located along the sides of the door tracks and stretch and contract as the door moves. The type of spring you need depends on factors such as the size and weight of your garage door. It’s important to consult with a professional technician to determine the correct type and size of spring for your specific door.

Final Thought

Replacing a garage door spring is a task that requires careful attention to safety and detail. By following these step-by-step instructions and taking the necessary precautions, you can successfully replace a garage door spring and restore your garage door to optimal functionality. However, if you’re uncomfortable with the process or encounter any difficulties, it’s always best to seek assistance from a professional garage door technician. Your safety and the proper functioning of your garage door are paramount, so don’t hesitate to enlist expert help if needed.

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