Written by: Garage

How to adjust garage door springs

Garage doors are an essential part of our homes, providing security and convenience. However, over time, the springs that help open and close your garage door can become worn or lose tension, which may lead to improper functioning.

Let’s go over how to adjust garage door springs for optimal performance and safety. Whether you have a torsion or extension spring system, we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step so you can confidently tackle this DIY project.

Key Takeaways


  • Garage doors use two types of springs, torsion and extension, which may require periodic adjustment due to regular wear or changes in temperature.
  • Adjusting garage door spring tension involves gathering appropriate tools, releasing tension from the springs, making necessary adjustments, and re-securing the springs.
  • Always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear and consulting a professional if unsure about adjusting garage door springs. Signs that your garage door springs need adjustment include unusual noise during operation and visible gaps between the spring coils.


Types Of Garage Door Springs

Garage doors generally use two types of springs, torsion and extension springs.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are a common type of garage door spring that provide the necessary force to lift and lower your garage door smoothly. These springs function by using torque or rotational force, which is stored in tightly wound coils when the door is closed.

There are several different sizes and lengths of torsion springs available on the market, making it important for homeowners to choose one that matches their specific garage door’s weight and size.

When properly installed and maintained, torsion springs can last for many years; however, they may require periodic adjustment due to regular wear or changes in temperature.

Extension Springs

Extension springs are another type of garage door spring that can be found in many residential and commercial doors. Unlike torsion springs, extension springs run along the sides of the garage door and stretch out when the door is opened.

To safely adjust extension springs, it’s important to first gather the necessary tools, including safety glasses and a vise grip. Next, release tension from both sides of the spring by unlocking one end and detaching it from the track hanger.

It’s important to note that adjusting extension springs can be dangerous if not done properly as they are under high tension while attached to the garage door. Always proceed with caution and consider hiring a professional if you’re unsure about how to properly adjust your garage door’s extension springs.

Understanding Garage Door Springs

Understanding garage door springs is crucial to properly maintaining and repairing your garage door. By learning how they work and the signs that indicate adjustment is needed, you can keep your garage door functioning smoothly for years to come.

How They Work

Garage door springs are an essential component of any garage door system and work to counterbalance the weight of the door. Torsion springs are located above the garage door opening and use torque to create tension, while extension springs run along both sides of the door and stretch when in use.

As you open or close your garage, the tension from these springs is released or increased respectively, allowing for smooth operation. Over time, normal wear and tear can cause the springs to lose their tension and lead to potential safety hazards.

By adjusting these springs with precision using appropriate tools, you can restore proper balance to your garage doors and help keep your family safe from harm.

Signs That They Need Adjustment

Garage door springs play a crucial role in opening and closing your garage door smoothly. Over time, these springs may wear out, become damaged or lose tension due to regular use.

It is important to keep an eye out for signs that your garage door springs need adjustment, including the door not staying open or closed properly, unusual noise during operation, and visible gaps between the spring coils.

Additionally, if you notice that one side of the garage door appears higher than the other when it’s in a closed position or there’s a delay in its response time after pressing the opener button, chances are high that your garage door springs need adjustment.

How To Safely Adjust Torsion Springs

To safely adjust torsion springs, gather the appropriate tools such as winding bars and ensure that the garage door is closed and resting on the ground before releasing the tension from the springs using an adjusting rod inserted into a collar hole with a set screw loosened while holding it in position.

Gather Appropriate Tools

Before attempting to adjust your garage door springs, it’s important to gather the appropriate tools for the job. For adjusting torsion springs, you’ll need a winding bar that fits into the slot of the spring and a sturdy ladder or step stool to reach it.

It’s also crucial to wear appropriate safety gear such as gloves and eye protection while working on your garage door.

By having these necessary tools on hand and taking proper precautions, you can safely adjust your garage door springs without any mishaps or injuries.

Release Tension From The Springs

Before adjusting the tension on your garage door springs, it’s crucial to release any built-up tension first. Start by opening the garage door completely and securing it with clamps or locking pliers to prevent it from falling unexpectedly.

Next, disconnect the safety cable from the extension spring before loosening its set screw using a winding bar.

For torsion springs, closing the garage door is necessary before releasing any tension. Insert a winding bar into one of the holes in the winding cone and use it to loosen up the set screws while holding onto both bars tightly.

Adjust The Tension

After releasing tension from the garage door springs, it is time to adjust the tension. This step involves adjusting the collar on torsion springs or moving the S-hook on extension springs.

For torsion springs, use an adjustable wrench to turn the collar clockwise to increase tension or counterclockwise to decrease tension.

For extension springs, adjust the S-hooks by moving them up or down one hole at a time until you find the right amount of tension for your garage door.

Properly adjusting garage door spring tension is crucial for smooth operation and overall safety of your residential or commercial property.

Re-secure The Springs

After making the necessary adjustments to your garage door spring tension, it’s important to ensure that the springs are securely fastened in place. To do this, use the same tools you used to release the tension and adjust it.

Tighten up any loose bolts or screws that may have come undone during the adjustment process.

One important safety tip to keep in mind when re-securing your garage door springs is to always double-check that everything is in its intended position before letting go of them completely.

You don’t want any loose parts flying around or causing damage or injury during operation. If you’re unsure about any aspect of adjusting your garage door springs, be sure to consult with a professional for assistance.

How To Safely Adjust Extension Springs

To safely adjust extension springs, gather the necessary tools and release tension before making any adjustments.

Gather Appropriate Tools

Before starting the process of adjusting garage door springs, it is essential to have the appropriate tools. For adjusting torsion springs, you will need a sturdy ladder, winding bars, adjustable wrenches or locking pliers, gloves and safety glasses.

For adjusting extension springs, you may require a stepladder or stool for accessing the tension adjustment clips at the end of each spring.

Having all necessary tools on hand before beginning adjustments can save time and ensure that you complete the task safely.

Release Tension From The Springs

Before adjusting the tension of your garage door springs, it is crucial to release all the existing tension first. This ensures maximum safety during the entire process. To release tension from torsion springs, use a winding bar inserted into one of the holes on the spring cone while holding onto it tightly and carefully loosen the set screw, which secures it in place.

Any sudden or careless movements can lead to serious injury due to the potential energy stored in these high-tension springs. For extension springs, detach them from their hooks and slowly unwind them until there is no more tension left before making any adjustments.

Adjust The Tension

Adjusting the tension of garage door springs is an essential step in maintaining the functionality of your garage door. To do this, you’ll need to open the garage door completely and secure it with a C-clamp before detaching the spring hook.

When tightening torsion springs, you may also need to adjust cables by moving them further down on the drum. If your garage door closes unevenly, then attaching the spring to a higher hole on the track while adjusting cable tension can help correct this issue.

Safety should always be at top priority when working with garage door springs as they are under extreme compression and could cause injury if not handled properly.

Re-secure The Springs

Once the necessary adjustments have been made to either torsion or extension springs, it is vital that they are re-secured in place. This involves tightening set screws on a torsion spring and reconnecting cables on an extension spring.

It is crucial to ensure that everything is secure before testing the door. A loose connection can cause serious damage or even injury if the garage door falls while opening or closing.

It is also essential not to over-tighten any components during re-securing as this can lead to premature wear and tear of parts, which could result in a more extensive repair later on down the line.

Precautions And Tips

Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves and eye protection, when adjusting garage door springs. If you are unsure about how to safely adjust the springs, it is always best to consult a professional rather than attempting DIY repairs.

Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

Garage door spring adjustment requires caution and attention to safety, as the springs are under tension and can cause injury if mishandled. It is crucial to wear appropriate safety gear to protect yourself from possible harm while performing this task.

Wear long sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and a hard hat when working on your garage door. This will decrease the risk of cuts or bruises from flying debris in case of accidents.

As mentioned , adjusting torsion springs involves the use of an adjusting rod inserted into a hole in the collar with set screws loosened while holding the rod in position.

Before doing this component check or repair, you should make sure that you have all necessary tools before commencing work; else consult professionals.

When To Consult A Professional

It’s important to know when it’s time to call in a professional for help with adjusting your garage door springs. If you’re not comfortable working around the high tension of the springs, or if you’ve attempted adjustments in the past without success, it may be best to leave it to a professional.

Additionally, if you notice any signs of wear and tear on your garage door hardware such as rusted components or damaged cables, it’s important to have them inspected by an expert.

When consulting a professional for garage door spring adjustment, be sure to choose someone who has experience and proper training with handling these types of repairs. While DIY may seem like an attractive option for some homeowners looking to save money, attempting complex repairs without sufficient knowledge and expertise can ultimately cost more in damages and injuries.

Do Not Attempt To Adjust Damaged Or Broken Springs

It is crucial to ensure that the garage door springs are in good condition before attempting any adjustments. Damaged or broken springs can cause serious harm and even death if mishandled.

It’s best to consult a professional in these situations because they have the necessary equipment, knowledge, and experience to safely replace and adjust the damaged or broken springs.

Attempting to do so on your own is not only dangerous but could also jeopardize the functionality of your garage door system, resulting in further expense down the line.


Adjusting garage door springs may seem daunting, but with the proper tools and precautions, it can be done safely. Torsion and extension springs work differently, so it is important to understand which type your garage door has before attempting any adjustments.

Always wear appropriate safety gear and double-check that the adjusting rod is securely in place before making any changes to spring tension. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with adjusting your garage door springs, consult a professional for assistance.



1. What are the risks of adjusting garage door springs on my own?

Adjusting garage door springs can be dangerous and should not be attempted by individuals without proper training or experience. This is because improperly adjusted springs can lead to serious injuries or damage to your property.

2. How do I know if my garage door springs need adjustment?

Signs of worn-out or damaged garage door springs include difficulty opening and closing, uneven movement, and excessive noise during operation.

3. Can I adjust only one spring on a double-spring system?

While it may seem easier to only adjust one spring instead of both, it is best practice to replace both at the same time as they typically wear out at similar rates.

4. When should I call a professional for help with adjusting my garage door springs?

It is recommended that you seek professional assistance for any issues related to adjusting your garage door springs. However, specifically reach out to an expert if the spring is broken or if there are significant changes in height when comparing sides with the use of a level before attempting adjustments yourself.

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Last modified: August 18, 2023