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How to Tell If A Garage Door Spring Is Broken

how to tell if a garage door spring is broken

If you notice your garage door isn’t operating properly, your garage door spring might be broken. There are a few signs that indicate a broken spring.

Identifying a problem with your garage door quickly will ensure the problem doesn’t damage your door or cause personal injury.

If you’re not comfortable with the mechanics of a garage door, considering calling a professional garage door spring repair service for help.

In this article, we’re going to share a few tips so you know how to tell if a garage door spring is broken.

How to Tell If A Garage Door Spring Is Broken

Most people take their garage door for granted. They use it multiple times a day, and some even use it as the main entrance of their home. The problem is, if the door stops opening and closing, you’re stuck. What do you do?

In these cases, it’s likely that a garage door spring has broken or worn out. Here’s how to understand if the spring is broken, and how to get the issue fixed

Here’s how to tell if a garage door spring is broken.

What Is A Garage Door Spring?

If your garage door has stopped moving, the culprit is likely your springs. You’ll need to know what these are and what they do, so you can diagnose the problem for certain. 

The springs on your garage door are what give it the tension it needs to open and close when you push the button. It also holds the door open, as you drive your car inside. They’re incredibly strong, but over time they will start to wear out with use. At some point, they will not have the tension needed to open the door. They can even snap and break, which is dangerous. You should expect around 10,000 door opening cycles before you need to replace the garage door spring. 

There are two main types of garage door spring that your garage door may have. The first is torsion springs. There can be anywhere between one and four torsion springs on your garage door, depending on the size of it. These are installed on the metal shaft directly above the door opening. 

The other type is extension springs. These give the door the tension to open by stretching out, hence the name. There are usually two extension springs on a garage door, located on either side parallel to the track. 

How to Tell If A Spring Is Damaged

If a garage door spring is experiencing issues, then the garage door spring could be to blame. They can cause problems even before they break entirely. It’s usually a good idea to catch the problem as soon as you start experiencing issues, as you can avoid the damage and expense that comes with a broken spring

Squeaking noises: Are you hearing squealing when you use your garage door? Your garage door is always going to make some amount of noise, but by and large, it shouldn’t be squeaking. If you do hear squeaking, then check your garage door springs. 

If you are hearing squeaking, first try lubricating the springs with lithium-based grease. In many cases, that should be enough to solve the problem. If that doesn’t solve it though, you’ll want to look at having the spring replaced

Balance problems: Your garage door can develop several different balance issues, that make it harder for you to use it. For example, when you press the button the door will open several inches, and then shut again. You may see the door opening and closing more slowly than you’re used to. If you’re having any difficulties moving the door, the spring could well be the culprit. 

If you suspect the spring is the problem, then you’ll want to get it replaced. Even if it isn’t the problem though, you’ll need to address the balance problems. These will put extra stress on the springs, wearing them out prematurely. 

How to Tell If A Spring Is Broken

In some cases, the spring may not be just worn out, but broken altogether. If you’re home when the spring breaks, you’ll hear a loud bang coming from your garage. This is dangerous, as that spring has a lot of force behind it and so can break away at high speeds. That can damage your car and other possessions, or even severely injure you. Many garage door springs now use cables through them, which hold the cable in place should they break, to avoid this.

To identify a broken spring, check the spring itself. Sometimes there will be an obvious break in the spring itself. If so, you have your answer and you can get it repaired. If you can’t see a break, but heard the sound or are having issues with the door, you’ll want to look for other signs. 

Your garage door springs may be broken if you’re dealing with the top half of the door seems to be misaligned. If the cables attached to the springs are dangling, that’s another tell-tale sign. You’ll also see the spring is broken if the door is off track. 

Again, these aren’t always the result of a broken garage door spring. It’s always a good idea to do a full inspection before you go ahead and replace the spring. 

How to Replace Your Garage Door Spring

Now you’ve identified the problem, how do you replace your garage door spring? The short answer is, that you don’t. There are several maintenance jobs you can do on your own garage door, such as lubricating the moving parts, but you must never change out the springs yourself. 

As mentioned earlier, these are incredibly dangerous and can cause all kinds of problems for you. If you suspect the springs need to be replaced, you should call a professional garage door repair service to handle it for you. They will be able to help you get the garage door up and running again.

Maintaining Your Garage Door

Once you’ve had the garage door springs replaced, it’s a good idea to keep maintaining your garage door on a regular basis. This will help you spot any issues with it sooner, and correct the problem before it causes damage to the door itself. 

Consider scheduling a regular garage door tuneup to ensure your garage door doesn’t encounter problems.

Regularly checking for any damage, doing balance checks, and lubricating the door will all go a long way towards keeping the garage door in top condition. 


Now that you know how to tell if a garage door spring is broken, you can take steps to resolve the problem before it causes damage to your garage door.

Garage door springs can be dangerous so we always recommend contacting a professional to schedule a visit.

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