Four Common Garage Door Spring Problems that You Can Troubleshoot Before Calling a Professional

Your garage door uses springs and tension to hold it in place and help it maneuver evenly. Did you know that many manufacturers like Amarr recommend checking your entire entry system monthly? Even with routine care and visual inspections, your springs and other garage door hardware will wear out over time. The more you use your door, the more likely you are to come across at least one of the four scenarios we talk about in this post. We will also help you identify when you have a broken spring.

My door makes a squeaking noise every time it opens or closes

This issue is one of the most typical problems you will find with a garage door. Whether your door is manual or has an automatic opener, the springs are metal parts that need regular oiling. Lubing up your garage door springs is a messy, but necessary part of owning a garage. Angie’s List suggests performing this task every year or calling your garage door installer for routine maintenance. You can do this every six months if you have a noisy component or two. If you go with biannual oiling, we suggest cleaning the door and lubing it after the last freeze and every fall. This way you can remove salt crystals and get your door ready for spring rains, and the fall lube will ensure that your door works well throughout the colder weather months.

The door does not stay up after opening it

Did you know that your garage door springs do nearly all of the lifting when you open and close the door? You can watch for signs that your door is having an issue with the tension by watching it when it opens and shuts to see if it is acting differently. If the door does not stay open, then you have a tension issue that needs addressing. When your door only opens a few inches and stops, then it is likely that your spring is broken instead of being loose.

The door is opening very slowly

A door that creeps open is another sign that your spring tension is not right. This activity might mean that the garage door spring is worn or needs a simple adjustment from your garage door installation company. Whether your door has one or two torsion springs, the material will stretch and become less effective. This problem is usually pretty easy to fix, but you should never attempt to tighten the spring yourself because the metal is under heavy tension, and tightening it too much can cause a catastrophic failure or injury you or anyone in the garage if it should snap.

The door will not open up

Was there a loud noise before your door would not open? Do you see any visible damage to the springs? When your door does not work, then it can cause you to miss work, show up late for an appointment, or keep you from putting your vehicle back in the garage. If your door does not open, then it most likely is a broken spring. Your door will not open back up until you have someone replace the faulty torsion spring.

How to manually test your garage door springs to see if one is broken

If you think that you have a spring problem with your garage door, then there is one way that you can check to see if you are right. Follow these steps to see if your springs may need servicing.

  • Close the door completely to minimize any risk of injury
  • Disconnect the door from the opener by pulling the emergency cord
  • Carefully lift your door in the middle to about waist height and see if it stays – be careful to release the door slowly to make sure it does not crash down
  • If the door stays in the above position, then lift it to shoulder height and check it the same way
  • Anytime the door feels heavy, do not release your grip because you could get hurt – instead, slowly pull the door back down and call your garage door specialist to inspect the door
  • If the door is difficult to keep up, then the spring is probably broken
  • If the door stays open for a little time before falling, then the tension is the most likely culprit


About the Author

Commonwealth Garage Door is a local garage door repair company servicing Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and other local communities.

At Commonwealth Garage Doors, we want you to be safe. We always recommend calling our technicians for an inspection if you think you have an issue with spring tension or a broken spring because these problems require working with moving parts that are under a heavy load. Any incorrect release of this tension can cause parts to go flying and hurt someone. That is why we always suggest that you call us to check out your garage door once a year, and when your door does not pass the manual lift test. We have emergency service techs that can reach you seven days a week at 804-920-9677.