How to adjust garage door springs?

Wanna know how to adjust garage door springs? Then Read on!

It is an important maintenance task that ensures your garage door operates smoothly and safely. Over time, garage door springs can become loose or misaligned, causing the door to open or close unevenly.

This can not only be frustrating but also pose a safety risk. Let me walk you through adjusting garage door springs as well as some safety steps you may also wish to consider if you plan on adjusting the springs by yourself!

How to adjust garage door springs?

How to adjust garage door springs?

1. Smooth Operation: Properly adjusted garage door springs ensure that your door opens and closes smoothly without any jerking or hesitation. This not only improves the overall functionality of the door but also extends its lifespan.

2. Safety: When garage door springs are loose or misaligned, they can cause the door to become unbalanced. An unbalanced door can be dangerous as it may slam shut unexpectedly or fail to close properly. Adjusting the springs ensures that the weight of the door is properly counterbalanced, reducing the risk of accidents.

3. Prevents Damage: Misaligned or loose springs can put unnecessary strain on other components of the garage door system, such as cables and tracks. By adjusting the springs, you can prevent premature wear and tear on these components, saving you from expensive repairs down the line.

Safety Precautions to Take

Adjusting garage door springs can be a dangerous task if not done properly. Here are some safety precautions you should take:

1. Power off the Garage Door Opener: Before adjusting the springs, make sure to turn off the power to the garage door opener. This prevents any accidental activation of the door while you’re working on it.

2. Wear Protective Gear: It is essential to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from any potential accidents or injuries.

3. Use the Right Tools: Make sure to use the recommended tools, such as winding bars and vice grips, to safely adjust the springs. Using improper tools can lead to accidents.

4. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional if you’re unsure about the proper adjustment procedure. Each door may have specific instructions that need to be followed for safe and effective adjustment.

By following these safety precautions and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure your garage door operates smoothly and safely. If you’re unsure about adjusting the springs, it’s always best to consult a professional for assistance.


Types of Garage Door Springs

When it comes to adjusting garage door springs, it’s important to understand the two main types: torsion springs and side-mounted (extension) springs. Each type has its own unique characteristics and adjustment methods. Let’s take a closer look at both:

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs: These are the most common type of garage door springs. They are usually mounted above the garage door on a metal shaft. Torsion springs work by twisting or torquing to provide the necessary force to lift and lower the door. When adjusting torsion springs, it’s crucial to follow proper safety precautions as they are under high tension and can be dangerous if mishandled.

Here are some key points to know about torsion springs:

  • They counterbalance the weight of the garage door and ensure smooth operation.
  • Torsion springs require precise adjustments to maintain proper tension.
  • Adjustments are made by turning the winding cone using winding bars or solid steel rods.
  • The number of turns needed for adjustment depends on the height and weight of the garage door.

Side-Mounted (Extension) Springs

Side-mounted (extension) springs: These springs are attached to each side of the garage door and run parallel to the tracks. They work by extending and contracting to assist in opening and closing the door. Adjusting extension springs involves manipulating the spring hooks and track hangers.

Here are some key points to know about side-mounted (extension) springs:

  • They work by stretching and contracting to provide the necessary force for door operation.
  • Adjustments are made by moving the spring hooks to different holes on the track hangers.
  • Each side of the door should be adjusted equally to maintain balance.
  • It’s important to follow proper safety precautions when adjusting extension springs.

Remember, adjusting garage door springs can be a complex task that requires knowledge and experience. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to seek professional assistance to ensure the job is done safely and effectively. [5]


Adjusting Torsion Springs

Tools Required

Adjusting torsion springs requires specific tools to ensure the task is performed safely and effectively. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Two winding bars, each measuring 16-18 inches long
  • A 3/8-inch box wrench
  • Vice grips

Step-by-Step Guide for Adjusting Torsion Springs

Adjusting torsion springs can be a complex task, but by following these step-by-step instructions, you can do it safely and with ease:

  1. Ensure Safety: Before starting any adjustments, make sure to disconnect the power to the garage door opener and wear safety glasses and gloves for protection.
  2. Prevent Unwinding: Insert one vice grip onto the drum and lean it against the wall to prevent the cable from loosening while you adjust the springs. Place the other vice grip on the door track to prevent sudden movement after adjusting the springs.
  3. Determine Spring Tension: To determine the necessary tension for your springs, lift your garage door about a foot and a half and let it down. If it slams, you need to increase the tension. If the door doesn’t close completely, you need to decrease the tension.
  4. Adjust Spring Tension: Use one winding bar to insert it into the winding cone. Back off the set screws with the 3/8-inch box wrench. Push up once, then insert the other winding bar into the winding cone. Repeat this process two more times, resulting in three turns.
  5. Stretch the Spring: Tap the winding bar gently with a hammer to stretch the spring out from the center by about 1/4 inch.
  6. Tighten Set Screws: After completing the necessary turns, tighten the set screws until they touch the torsion tube.
  7. Remove Vice Grips: Remove the vice grip from the drum and the door track.
  8. Test and Lubricate: Test your garage door to ensure it is balanced and springs correctly adjusted. Finally, lubricate the springs with a silicone-based lubricant for smoother operation.

Remember, adjusting torsion springs can be dangerous, so if you are uncertain or uncomfortable performing the task, it’s best to call a professional for assistance. Safety should always be a top priority when working with garage door springs.


Adjusting Side-Mounted Springs

Tools Required

Before you start adjusting your side-mounted garage door springs, make sure you have the following tools on hand:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Vice grips
  • Stepladder

Step-by-Step Guide for Adjusting Side-Mounted Springs

Adjusting side-mounted garage door springs requires more complicated adjustments compared to torsion springs. Follow these steps to adjust your side-mounted springs safely and effectively:

  1. Disconnect the power: As with any garage door adjustment, it’s important to disconnect the power to the garage door opener to avoid accidents.
  2. Identify the spring assembly: Locate the side-mounted springs on each side of the door. Side-mounted springs consist of two separate pieces of metal that are mounted to the sides of the door.
  3. Determine the type of adjustment: Side-mounted springs can be adjusted by moving the hook to a different hole on the track hanger. To increase tension, move the hook to a higher hole. To decrease tension, move the hook to a lower hole.
  4. Use the adjustable wrench: Use the adjustable wrench to remove the nut on the larger hook securing the spring assembly to the track hanger. This will allow you to move the hook to the desired hole.
  5. Adjust the tension: Choose the appropriate hole to increase or decrease the tension on the side-mounted springs. This adjustment will affect the force needed to open and close the garage door.
  6. Secure the spring assembly: After making the adjustment, tighten the nut on the larger hook to secure the spring assembly in place.


Common Signs of Unbalanced Garage Door Springs

Garage door springs play a crucial role in the proper functioning of your garage door. Over time, these springs can become unbalanced, which can lead to various issues. It’s important to recognize the signs of unbalanced garage door springs so that you can address the problem before it worsens. Here are some common signs to look out for:

Difficulty Opening or Closing the Door

If you notice that your garage door is becoming increasingly difficult to open or close, it could be a sign of unbalanced springs. Unbalanced springs can cause the door to become heavy and put strain on the motor and other components, resulting in difficulty in operating the door.

Uneven Movement

When the garage door is unbalanced, it may exhibit uneven movement. You may notice that one side of the door is higher or lower than the other when fully closed or open. This can lead to further issues with the door, such as misalignment or even damage to the tracks.

It’s important to address these signs of unbalanced garage door springs promptly to prevent any further damage to the door or its components. Adjusting garage door springs can be a complex task that requires specialized knowledge and tools.


In conclusion, adjusting garage door springs is an essential part of maintaining a properly functioning garage door. It ensures smooth operation and prevents issues such as uneven movement or difficulty in opening and closing the door. Regular maintenance and inspection of the springs are crucial for the longevity and reliability of the garage door.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection Tips

To keep your garage door springs in optimal condition, here are some maintenance tips to follow:

  1. Regularly inspect the springs for any signs of wear and tear, such as rust, corrosion, or fraying.
  2. Lubricate the springs at least once a year to reduce friction and ensure smooth movement.
  3. Test the balance of the door by disconnecting the opener and manually opening and closing the door. It should move smoothly and stay in place when opened halfway.
  4. Keep the tracks clean and free from debris to prevent any obstruction in the movement of the door.
  5. Avoid attempting to adjust the springs yourself if you’re not experienced or knowledgeable in garage door repairs. It’s best to leave it to professionals to ensure safety and proper adjustment.

Importance of Balanced Garage Door Springs for Smooth Operation

Having balanced garage door springs is crucial for the smooth operation of the door. Here are some reasons why:

  • Balanced springs help in the even distribution of weight, preventing one side of the door from being heavier than the other.
  • Balanced springs reduce the strain on other components of the garage door system, such as cables and openers, prolonging their lifespan.
  • Properly adjusted springs ensure that the door opens and closes smoothly without any jerking or hesitation.
  • Balanced springs enhance the safety of the garage door by preventing it from slamming shut unexpectedly or causing damage to the property or individuals.

In summary, regular maintenance, inspection, and proper adjustment of garage door springs are vital for the smooth and safe operation of your garage door.

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