3-Step Fix Spring Issues - Torsion or Extension

The springs in your garage door are essential for smooth operation. But like any part, they can wear out or break, leading to issues like an unbalanced door, jerky movement, or even complete failure. If you suspect a problem with your garage door springs, here are 3 steps to diagnose and potentially fix it:

Table of Contents

Identify the issue:

Garage door springs are crucial components, but like any part, they can wear out and cause problems. Here’s how to identify two common garage door spring issues:

Torsion Spring

Problem: Uneven wear on the coils. This happens when the spring twists instead of simply compressing or stretching.

Signs: Look for coils that appear flattened on one side and bulging on the other. This uneven wear means the spring is under the stress it wasn’t designed for.


  • Wobbling: The uneven shape can cause the spring to wobble, leading to shaking and instability in your garage door.
  • Binding: In severe cases, the coils can bind together, preventing the spring from working at all.
  • Decreased effectiveness: Even without binding, a twisted spring loses some of its ability to store and release energy, affecting the door’s operation.

Extension Spring

Problem: A significant change in the spring’s length compared to its original size.

Types of extension issues:

  • Lengthened spring: This can happen due to wear and tear. A longer spring might not provide enough force to properly lift or close the door.
  • Shortened spring: This could be caused by overloading the door or exceeding the spring’s limits. A shorter spring is under more stress and at higher risk of breaking.

Consequences: Both a lengthened and shortened spring can lead to malfunctions in the garage door. They may not be able to absorb shock, maintain proper tension, or return to their original position.

For immediate help with your garage door torsion spring repair, contact us here.

Assess the damage:

Garage door springs are the workhorses behind the smooth operation of your door. But like any hardworking component, they can wear out or become damaged. Here’s a breakdown of a two-step assessment process to identify potential problems:

Visual Inspection

Grab a flashlight and get up close to the springs. Look for any cracks, rust spots, or other physical abnormalities on the spring’s surface. These signs are red flags that the spring’s integrity is compromised. Cracks indicate a potential breaking point, while rust weakens the metal, making it more susceptible to failure.

Performance Test

Now, let’s see how the spring performs under load. This step depends on the type of spring you have:

  • Torsion Spring: If you suspect a torsion spring issue (located above the door), observe its movement as the door opens. Look for uneven twisting or jerky movements. A smooth and consistent twist signifies proper operation. Unevenness suggests internal damage, potentially from broken coils within the spring.


  • Extension Spring: These springs run horizontally along the sides of the door. To test them,  find a helper to hold the door halfway open (ensure it’s safe to do so!). Now, focus on the extension spring. Once the helper releases the door, watch how the spring reacts. Does it return smoothly and evenly to its original length? If the spring hesitates, gets stuck, or rebounds erratically, it’s likely damaged and needs replacement.


Remember, garage door springs are under high tension and can be dangerous if they break. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the inspection or uncomfortable performing the tests,  it’s always best to call a qualified garage door repair professional for a proper assessment and safe repairs.

Take action:

This guide tackles common garage door spring issues and offers solutions, but safety is paramount. Let’s explore options for both the handy DIYer and those who prefer a professional touch.

Simple Fixes (DIY):

  • Lubrication: If your spring isn’t broken but feels sluggish, try applying a garage door lubricant. This reduces friction and improves performance.
  • Minor Adjustments (DIY with Caution): Some garage doors allow for slight tension adjustments on the springs for minor extension issues. However, proceed with caution! If you’re unsure about the process or your specific spring type, consult a professional to avoid causing further problems.

Replacement (Professional Recommended):

  • Cracked, Rusted, or Failing Spring: If your spring shows signs of significant damage (cracks, rust) or drastically affect door performance (uneven lifting, slow movement), replacing it’s vital. This ensures safety and optimal functionality. Garage door springs are under high tension and can be dangerous to handle when compromised.

Important Note:

While this guide provides general steps, it’s crucial to prioritize safety.  For repairs or replacements, particularly when dealing with critical applications or unfamiliar spring types,  consult a qualified professional.  They can assess the situation, recommend the best course of action, and ensure the repair is done safely and effectively.

Remember, a professional can not only fix the problem but also prevent future issues by ensuring proper spring selection and installation.

Bonus Tip: Lubricate Regularly for Longer Spring Life

Garage door springs endure constant stress with every opening and closing cycle. Here’s how to add a simple step to your routine that can significantly improve spring lifespan:


  • Regular Lubrication: Every 2-3 months, apply a light coat of silicone spray lubricant specifically designed for garage doors. Focus on the coils and any moving parts connected to the springs. This reduces friction, prevents rust, and keeps your springs operating smoothly for years to come.


Caution:  Avoid using WD-40 or other petroleum-based lubricants. These can attract dirt and grime, actually accelerating wear on the springs. Stick to a silicone-based formula specifically designed for garage door applications.

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