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A Guide to Garage Door Spring Replacement

Many of us take our garage doors for granted. Day in and day out, we use our garage to park our car, protect it from inclement weather and provide the simple conveniences that make life a little easier. As we pull up to the garage, we expect that with a tap of a button, we’ll be able to pull our car into our home and leave it safe and secure behind a closed door. 

But considering how many moving parts and how much weight is involved in an automatic garage door, it’s inevitable that as the door ages, things will start to malfunction, resulting in reduced safety and reliability. One area that can wear down is the garage door spring system. 

Homeowners are often tempted to consider fixing a faulty spring on their own, but considering the risks of personal injury and property damage, it’s wise to reach out to a professional technician. As the source of the best garage door spring repair Cincinnati has to offer, AE Door & Window can restore function to your automatic garage door system.

In this handy guide to garage door spring replacement, we’ll discuss what garage door springs do, how to spot a spring in need of repair, when and where to get a garage door spring repaired and why you should never try to manage this repair on your own. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for the safety of your family and the value of your home. 

With that said, here’s our guide to garage door spring replacement.

What Exactly Does a Garage Spring Do?

Garage doors are heavy. Whether your garage door is attached to a mechanical lifter or needs to be manually lifted, it would take enormous effort to move if there were no garage springs, making it far less convenient than it’s designed to be. These robust springs counteract the weight of a door, making it easier to lift manually or with an automatic opener system.

If you have a manual garage door or detach it from the lifting mechanism, you may notice that it takes about the same amount of force to lift your door as it does to lower it — this is because the springs are doing the majority of the lifting for you.

There are two main types of garage door springs installed in most garages:

  • Torsion springs: These springs offer optimal stability and tend to last quite long as a durable option. Torsion springs provide a seamless, fluid lift motion. Most newer garage door systems use torsion springs for these reasons. 
  • Extension springs: Many older garage doors use extension springs. These springs are slightly jerky and a bit less durable, although they provide added lift for heavy garage doors. 

If your garage door system uses extension springs, it’s worthwhile to consider upgrading to a torsion spring. Upgrading this part will improve the movement of the door on the rollers, ensuring the door opens and closes smoothly.

When Should I Replace My Garage Door Spring?

Beyond making lifting garage doors more manageable, the springs play a crucial role in reducing the wear and tear on your entire system. The balance and lift assistance provided by springs ensures that the lifting mechanism doesn’t wear out and that the tracks for your garage door don’t get abused by the constant up and down of the door. 

You can run a few tests to determine if it’s time to replace or repair your garage door springs. 

Check if the Door Slips in an Open Position

Move the door into the open position and then pull the lift release cord. This cord is designed to revert your door to manual if you lose power. When you release the lift mechanism from the door, it should not move at all or only slightly. Even without the lift mechanism, the springs should be strong enough to hold the door’s weight in the open position. 

If the door starts to sink back into the vertical tracks, the springs can no longer fully hold the door in the open position. 

Test the Door’s Movement 

When garage door springs reach the end of their lifespans, they become less robust, which puts more strain on other components in the system. When this happens, the heavy garage door becomes unbalanced and harder to move.

Manually pull the door in a half-open position using the release cord. If moving the door manually is a sticky, jerky task or if the door slips during movements, it might be time to replace the garage door springs. 

Check if the Door Drops in a Half-Open Position

Sometimes, a garage door appears stable in an open position, but only because it’s in the horizontal tracks and gravity is not pulling it down. But this won’t be the case when the door is in a half-open position — gravity will become an influential factor. 

Move the garage door into a half-open position to see if the door stays in place. If it does, the springs are still in working condition. But if it drops down, it’s time to contact a professional technician to replace the spring mechanism. 

If you have extension springs, you can also inspect the springs for noticeable damage. If you notice gaps in the coils or the springs seem rusty, it’s worthwhile to consider replacing them even if the door holds well in a half-open position. There are also times when the garage door springs don’t need to be replaced, although they need to be readjusted. 


Through everyday wear and tear, spring mechanisms can loosen and become misaligned, causing similar symptoms as a broken garage door spring. Changing temperatures can also cause the spring to lose suitable tension levels, which results in a misshaped spring that won’t work well. Whether a spring has fallen out of balance due to drastic temperature changes or general wear and tear, a repair technician can realign or replace it if necessary.

Why Is A Balanced Door So Important Anyway?

Garage door springs in good condition ensure the door is easy to lift. Still, you might wonder why being able to lift a door by hand is such a big deal in the first place. Aside from avoiding a hassle during a power outage, who cares if the door is difficult to lift when the automatic opener is doing the work?

Even if a garage door is somewhat functional, worn springs will cause constant strain on the automatic opener system, wearing down the parts a lot sooner. As a result, you’ll need to replace the entire system later on if you don’t replace the springs when they start showing signs of wear and tear. 

At the same time, if a garage door is not properly balanced due to faulty springs, cosmetic damages on the door panel may start to appear. As the door struggles along the rollers, jerking and shuddering, the panel scrapes against the other components of the system. If you’re beginning to see scrapes on the exterior paint of your garage door, imbalanced springs are likely to blame. 

Finally, a spring that breaks suddenly poses a number of dangers. 

While we’ll discuss the potential damage caused by the sudden release of spring tension later, it’s also worth noting that if a spring fails while the door is in the open position, the resulting crash could have catastrophic consequences to your property and family. While it’s far more likely that you will suffer property damage from the sudden crashing of a door that is no longer being held in position, there will always be a chance that either a beloved pet or a family member is standing under or near the door when it falls.

Of course, the full weight of a door falling on a person can be fatal. However, keep in mind that other injuries can be caused by a cascade of damage that begins with a falling door. Perhaps there are some tools sitting under the door. As the door falls, those tools could be thrust in the air with great force, turning them into dangerous projectiles. 

If you do see your door crashing or you hear the sound of a spring snapping — which is usually extremely loud — do not attempt to stop the door from coming down. Remember, when you lift the door by hand, you’re being aided by the spring. If the door falls because the spring has failed, it will be much more forceful than when you previously lifted it. Additionally, you want to make sure that nothing else is poised to break. For example, if you have a multiple-spring system, you may witness the results of one spring failing. 

However, at that point, the other spring is still in tension and will likely bear far more weight than originally intended. If you do hear a spring break or see your door falling, it’s best that you do not attempt to inspect the damage yourself but instead call a professional who will be able to safely assess the issue and make the necessary repairs. You could go years without noticing the effects of a failing spring system in your garage door. However, all it takes is one snap of the spring to cause dangerous and damaging events. That’s why you want to ensure that your springs are always in peak condition.

Why Not Replace My Own Garage Spring?

Replacement garage door springs are available at many local hardware stores, so it’s tempting to try and save money and do it yourself. How hard could replacing a spring be anyway? Unfortunately, there are very significant risks to taking the DIY approach. Keep in mind that the average garage door is hundreds of pounds. Therefore, the spring must hold enough tension to lift this weight.

As a result, garage door springs are constantly under incredible pressure. When you remove that spring, you release that pressure. By doing so, you’re generating a large amount of kinetic energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. The result usually comes in the form of a spring flying through the garage at incredible speeds. Consider the evidence left behind when a garage door spring breaks on its own when no one is around. Many people have gone into their garage in the morning on their way to work only to find their windshield smashed or their tools strewn across the floor. While a homeowner’s first impulse is to assume they were robbed, upon further inspection, they discover that their garage door spring had snapped in the middle of the night.

If a snapped spring can cause that kind of damage to a car or other property, imagine what it could do to you if it were to snap while you were trying to remove it. Keep in mind that springs are usually installed in tight spaces along the door tracks. To remove them, you must put yourself into that tight space, meaning your body, including your face, will be very close when the tension is released. In fact, according to Garage Door Child Safety, springs caused 313 significant injuries in 2007 alone. The injuries caused by a spring are so extreme that many have proven fatal. Others have reported losing fingers, deep puncture wounds, and other major injuries. 

Even if the injury from a door spring is minor, keep in mind that springs are old and may be rusty, meaning that you run the risk of tetanus or other infections if you’re cut. While a tetanus shot is preferable to much more serious reconstructive surgery, it still isn’t worth the money saved by trying to replace a spring on your own. In fact, replacing springs is not that expensive. Considering the risk, a replacement spring is far cheaper than hospital bills. And, of course, no price can be set for the cost of replacing a loved one.

Simply trying to readjust your springs on your own is dangerous, too. Even if you know that you do not need to replace your springs but instead simply need to readjust the tension, it’s still imperative that you trust a professional to do the job. While there are many ways to save money around your home by taking a DIY approach, when it comes to replacing and repairing garage door springs, this job should ALWAYS be left to a professional.

What Is the Average Garage Door Spring Repair Cost?

While we’re on the subject of garage door spring repair cost, what should you expect to pay if you need a repair or replacement? According to Angie’s List, the average garage door spring replacement costs around $200. While the spring itself isn’t very expensive, there are some associated labor costs, especially if your particular garage door model places the springs in a hard-to-reach place.

If you have a dual spring system, in all likelihood, only one spring will need to be replaced immediately. However, because balance and even wear are important concerns when dealing with garage door springs, it’s strongly recommended that you always replace springs in pairs. So, you can be more confident in their balance and you won’t need to pay the labor costs of a replacement job in a few months, as the older spring is likely near the end of its life. If you aren’t replacing your garage door spring, the price will be cheaper, as you only pay for labor. However, the money saved by trying to make adjustments at home does not outweigh the risks of doing it yourself. Furthermore, the precision that is possible with a professional adjustment will save you money in the long run, as it will extend the life and value of the rest of your garage door system.

Where to Get Garage Door Spring Repaired?

If you live in the greater Cincinnati area or Northern Kentucky, there is one place that has the experience, professionalism, and personal touch to make sure that you get your garage spring replaced or repaired the right way. Here at AE Door & Window, we have over 35 years of experience serving the Cincinnati community with garage door spring replacement. 

Over this time, we have become experts on replacing and changing garage door springs. There isn’t an issue we haven’t seen, and we’ll do whatever is necessary to get your door up and running again. In fact, we pride ourselves in our quick response times and efficient work on site. We know that a malfunctioning garage door is a huge inconvenience. Maybe you discovered the issue when you were trying to leave for work or had the kids packed into the van on the way to a soccer game. As a family business, we know how important these things are for other hard-working families in the area. That’s why we will do everything in our power to get your door functioning quickly so that you can go back to your day.

But just because we get it done quickly doesn’t mean we don’t do our garage door repairs and installations with the utmost care. We treat every garage door as if it were our own and every family we work with as if they were our family. So, while you may be able to find someone promising a quick fix, know that our fixes are also the best fixes, meaning that you can enjoy your perfectly functioning garage door for years to come. 

Plus, as a full-service garage door repair and installation service, if we discover that your issues are bigger than just a broken garage spring, we have the means and the know-how to finish the job. If you need a new lift in addition to a new spring, we can help you find the lift that works best for your door. If we discover that your door has been severely damaged by the fall from a broken spring, we can help you find a replacement that is as durable as it’s beautiful and consult with you on a design that will perfectly match the look and feel of your home.


Need Garage Door Spring Repair? Contact AE Door & Window Today

Whether you’re interested in having your garage door springs inspected, need new garage springs installed, or are simply in the market for a whole new garage door system, we eagerly await the opportunity to talk with you about your specific garage door needs. 

Contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff today and receive a free estimate or schedule service right away. Either way, you deserve a beautiful and highly functional garage door. AE Door & Window are the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky garage door experts who can get you what you deserve. Subscribe to our newsletter for more useful tips and company updates!     

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