Adjusting Garage Door Springs: Instruction for Do-It-Yourselfers

How do you know your garage door springs need adjustment?

Adjusting the springs means that you either increase or decrease the spring tension on the door. This measure can help to resolve the following issues:

  • the door is difficult to open or close
  • the door opens or closes too fast
  • you cannot seal the door
  • the door closes unevenly or you can see a gap

If your door is stuck, it can be caused by broken springs (in this case, the spring is in two). Broken springs cannot be adjusted, they need to be replaced.

How difficult could it be?

The answer to this question depends on whether your garage door has extension (side-mounted) springs or torsion springs. Extension springs are more amenable to do-it-yourself effort, while working with torsion springs are a much more challenging task. Even professional repairmen sometimes get hurt while replacing or adjusting springs of this type.

Extension springs are typically used for smaller, lighter doors (less than 10′). They run above the horizontal portion of the door track, perpendicular to the door. Torsion springs can be seen right above the door, they run along a metal shaft that is perpendicular to the door track.

Learn how to adjust extension springs and what to do if your door has torsion springs.

How much do you save by fixing it yourself?

Typically, servicemen charge from $75 to $125 for a visit, unless there is no need to replace any parts. However, many techs try and sell you new springs (or even a new door) although your door only needs adjustment. That’s why doing the work on your own sometimes saves you the cost of a new door.

Can something go wrong?

If you adjust the spring improperly, the issue will get worse. For instance, the gap at the bottom of your door may become bigger. However, this problem can be easily solved by just taking two steps back.

Also, you may make your task more difficult if you dismantle the spring. The door won’t work until you assemble everything as it were.