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How to Tighten a Garage Door Spring

how to tighten a garage door spring

How to Tighten a Garage Door Spring

Have you ever experienced a loud bang in your garage, only to find your garage door refusing to open? 

That could be a broken garage door spring. Tightening your garage door springs is not just about convenience; it’s about safety and ensuring the longevity of your garage door system. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the importance of tightening garage door springs and how to keep your garage door in tip-top shape.

The importance of tightening garage door springs

Properly tightened garage door springs offer several benefits that every homeowner should be aware of:

  • Safety: Loose or worn-out springs can lead to accidents, causing injuries or damage to your vehicle or property. Tightening the springs regularly ensures that the door operates smoothly and safely.
  • Performance: A well-maintained garage door system runs efficiently, reducing wear and tear on its components. Tightening the springs helps to maintain optimal performance and prolong the life of your garage door opener.
  • Noise Reduction: Loose springs can create excessive noise when the garage door operates. Tightening them can reduce the noise and provide a more peaceful environment in and around your garage.
  • Cost Savings: Regular maintenance, including tightening the springs, helps prevent costly repairs or replacements due to premature failure of garage door components.

Keeping your garage door springs tightened is a crucial aspect of proactive maintenance. Addressing potential issues before they escalate will save time, money, and unnecessary stress. Furthermore, well-maintained garage door systems add value to your home and enhance curb appeal.

How to tighten a garage door spring

Tightening a garage door spring can be dangerous due to the high spring tension. It’s essential to exercise caution and use proper safety gear. If you need clarification about the process or feel uncomfortable, it’s best to call a professional. However, if you’re experienced and confident in handling such tasks, here are the steps to tighten a garage door spring:

1. Gather the necessary tools

You’ll need a winding bar, a wrench, and a ladder to reach the torsion springs.

2. Disconnect the garage door opener

Unplug the opener and disengage it from the door to prevent accidental operation.

3. Close the garage door

Ensure the door is entirely closed and secured with a C-clamp or vice grip to prevent it from opening while working on the springs.

4. Locate the torsion spring and winding cone

The torsion spring is mounted horizontally above the garage door. At the end of the spring, you’ll find a winding cone with set screws.

5. Loosen the set screws

Use a wrench to loosen the set screws on the winding cone carefully.

6. Insert the winding bar

Insert the winding bar into one of the winding cone holes, ensuring it’s securely in place.

7. Wind the spring

Holding the winding bar firmly, slowly add tension to the spring by winding it. The winding direction will depend on whether the spring is on the left or right side of the door. Generally, you’ll wind the spring toward the ceiling.

8. Tighten the set screws

Once the desired tension is achieved, tighten the set screws while keeping the winding bar in place.

9. Remove the winding bar

Carefully remove the winding bar and double-check the set screws to ensure they’re tight.

10. Reconnect the garage door opener

Plug in and re-engage the opener.

Do garage door springs need to be tightened?

Garage door springs do not typically need to be tightened traditionally. However, they do require proper tensioning and regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and safety. The tension of garage door springs is crucial in balancing the door’s weight, allowing it to open and close smoothly.

How do I know if my garage door tension springs are loose?

Identifying loose garage door tension springs is essential for maintaining the safety and efficiency of your garage door system. Here are some signs that your garage door springs might be loose or require attention:

  • Difficulty opening or closing: If your garage door feels unusually heavy, difficult to open or close, or does not stay in place when partially opened, it could be due to loose springs.
  • Uneven door movement: A garage door that appears crooked or moves unevenly when opening or closing may have uneven tension or a loose spring on one side.
  • Noticeable gaps: Inspect the springs for visible gaps between the coils, which may indicate insufficient tension.
  • Sagging when open: When the garage door is open halfway, it should remain level. If it sags or droops, it could be a sign that the springs are not providing adequate tension.
  • Excessive noise: Loose springs can cause the garage door to produce unusual sounds, such as creaking, squeaking, or grinding noises.
  • Increased wear and tear: Loose springs can strain other garage door components, such as the opener, cables, and tracks, leading to more rapid wear and tear.
  • Door opens too quickly or slams shut: If your garage door opens too quickly, it could be due to insufficient spring tension.

Is it safe to adjust garage door springs without a professional? 


Tightening a garage door spring without professional assistance can be extremely dangerous due to the high tension stored within the springs. These springs support the entire weight of the garage door, which can weigh several hundred pounds. When adjusting or replacing springs, the high tension can cause them to snap or recoil suddenly, leading to severe personal injuries or even death.

Attempting to tighten garage door springs without the proper knowledge, experience, or tools can result in accidents, such as:

  • Lacerations or puncture wounds: If a spring snaps while tightening, the sharp edges can cause deep cuts or puncture wounds, potentially leading to significant blood loss or damage to underlying tissues.
  • Impact injuries: A sudden release of tension can cause the spring or related components to fly off at high speeds, striking a person with great force. This can lead to bruises, fractures, or even traumatic head injuries.
  • Crush injuries: The garage door can suddenly drop if the spring tension is not managed correctly during tightening. If a person’s hands or other body parts are caught beneath the door, it can result in crushing injuries, broken bones, or amputations.
  • Strain injuries: Those unfamiliar with tightening garage door springs might use improper techniques or body positioning, leading to muscle strains or other stress-related injuries.

The potential for personal injury when tightening a garage door spring without professional help is significant. It’s always recommended to seek the expertise of a trained technician to ensure the safety of both the individual and the garage door system.

How much does it cost to replace two tension springs for a garage door?

The cost of replacing two tension springs for a garage door can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of springs, labor costs, and regional pricing differences. On average, you can expect to pay between $150 to $350 for the springs, with torsion springs generally being more expensive than extension springs.

Labor costs for professional installation can range from $100 to $200, depending on the job’s complexity and local labor rates. Therefore, the total cost for replacing two garage door tension springs, including parts and labor, can range from $250 to $550 or more.

Remember that these are rough estimates, and actual costs may vary. For more information, contact Your Garage Door Guys for a quote.

What is the average life of garage door springs?

The average lifespan of garage door springs largely depends on their type, quality, and usage. Generally, garage door springs are rated by cycles, with one cycle being the process of opening and closing the door once. Here are the average lifespans for the two main types of garage door springs:

  • Torsion springs: These are more durable and typically last between 15,000 to 20,000 cycles. With average use, this translates to about 7 to 12 years. However, heavy-duty torsion springs rated for 25,000 or even 50,000 cycles are available, potentially extending the lifespan to 15 or more years.
  • Extension springs: These springs are usually less durable than torsion springs and have an average lifespan of 10,000 to 15,000 cycles, which equates to around 5 to 8 years with average use.

Several factors can influence the lifespan of garage door springs, such as the springs’ quality, the garage door’s weight, proper installation, and regular maintenance. To maximize the life of your garage door springs, performing routine maintenance, including lubrication and inspection for wear and damage, is essential.

If you suspect your springs are nearing the end of their lifespan or if you notice any signs of wear, it’s crucial to consult with a professional garage door technician to prevent potential damage or injury.


Ensuring that your garage door springs are in optimal condition is crucial for your garage door system’s safety, efficiency, and longevity. 

Regular maintenance, including proper tensioning of springs, not only prevents potential accidents and injuries but also saves you time and money in the long run.

If you suspect that your garage door springs need attention or if you simply want to schedule a 25-point garage door inspection, contact Your Garage Door Guys for professional and reliable service. Our experienced technicians will ensure that your garage door operates smoothly and safely, giving you peace of mind and the convenience you deserve.

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