Torsion vs. Extension Springs: How to Repair and Replace Garage Door Springs

Torsion vs. Extension Springs - Turbo Garage Door

Torsion vs. Extension Springs: How to Repair and Replace Garage Door Springs

When it comes to garage door springs, there are two main types: torsion springs and extension springs. Understanding the differences between these two types and knowing how to repair or replace them is essential for the smooth operation and safety of your garage door. In this comprehensive guide, brought to you by Turbo Garage Door, we’ll delve into the world of garage door springs, exploring the distinctions, maintenance, and replacement procedures for both torsion and extension springs.

The Role of Garage Door Springs

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental role that springs play in your garage door system. Springs are responsible for counterbalancing the weight of the door, making it possible to open and close smoothly, whether manually or with the assistance of a garage door opener. Properly functioning springs are essential for the safety and longevity of your garage door.

Torsion Springs: The Powerhouses

Torsion springs are typically mounted horizontally above the garage door opening. They store mechanical energy when twisted or wound up and release it when the door is in motion. Here’s what you need to know about torsion springs:

Signs of Torsion Spring Issues

  • Visible Gaps: Gaps in the spring coils can indicate wear and potential problems.
  • Difficulty in Lifting: If the door feels heavier or you struggle to open it manually, it could be due to torsion spring issues.
  • Unusual Noises: Squeaking, creaking, or popping sounds during operation may indicate spring trouble.

Torsion Spring Repair and Replacement

Repair: Torsion spring repair can be a complex and potentially dangerous task. It’s advisable to seek professional assistance for repairs, as they require specialized tools and expertise.

Replacement: When a torsion spring reaches the end of its lifespan or is damaged beyond repair, replacement is necessary. A trained technician should always do this due to the high tension involved in torsion springs.

Extension Springs: The Stretchers

Extension springs, on the other hand, are installed vertically on either side of the garage door. They stretch and contract to provide the force needed to lift and lower the door. Here’s what you should know about extension springs:

Signs of Extension Spring Issues

  • Visible Damage: Look for signs of wear, such as rust or visible cracks in the spring.
  • Inconsistent Movement: If one side of the door is moving faster than the other, it may indicate a problem with an extension spring.
  • Cable Issues: Check for loose or frayed cables, which can result from extension spring problems.

Extension Spring Repair and Replacement

Repair: Unlike torsion springs, extension springs can be safer to repair on your own, provided you have the necessary tools and experience. Be cautious and follow safety guidelines.

Replacement: When an extension spring is damaged or at the end of its lifespan, it’s essential to replace both springs simultaneously to ensure balanced operation. Seek professional help if you need more confidence in your DIY skills.

DIY Maintenance Tips for Garage Door Springs

While some garage door maintenance should be left to professionals, there are several DIY tips you can follow to keep your springs in good condition:


Regularly lubricate the springs with a high-quality garage door lubricant to minimize friction and prevent premature wear.

Visual Inspections

Perform visual inspections of your springs to identify any signs of damage or wear. Look for rust, gaps, or visible cracks.

Balance Tests

Conduct balance tests by manually opening and closing the door. If it doesn’t stay in place when partially open or feels unusually heavy, it’s a sign of spring issues.

Safety Precautions

Always prioritize safety when working on your garage door. Use safety glasses and gloves, and follow manufacturer guidelines for maintenance and repair.

Professional Help: When to Call the Experts

While homeowners can handle some garage door maintenance tasks, certain situations call for professional assistance:

  • Torsion Spring Repairs and Replacements: Due to the high tension involved, torsion spring work should always be done by trained technicians.
  • Extension Spring Replacements: If you’re unsure about replacing extension springs or lack the necessary tools, it’s safer to enlist professional help.
  • Any Uncertainty: If you need more confidence in your ability to diagnose or repair spring issues, it’s best to call a professional garage door technician to prevent accidents or further damage.

The Lifespan of Garage Door Springs

One crucial aspect of garage door maintenance is understanding the lifespan of your springs. Both torsion and extension springs have finite lifespans, typically measured in cycles (one cycle equals one whole opening and closing of the door). Here’s a general idea of what to expect:

  • Torsion Springs: These typically last for around 10,000 to 20,000 cycles, which translates to roughly 7 to 14 years of regular use. However, the lifespan can vary based on factors like usage frequency and maintenance.
  • Extension Springs: Extension springs tend to have a shorter lifespan of about 5,000 to 10,000 cycles, equivalent to approximately 5 to 10 years of regular use. As with torsion springs, proper maintenance can extend their lifespan.

Replacing Both Springs: A Balancing Act

Whether you have torsion or extension springs, it’s crucial to replace both springs simultaneously, even if only one is damaged. This practice ensures that the door remains balanced, preventing potential safety hazards and uneven wear on the new spring.

Safety First: DIY Considerations

While some homeowners may be comfortable performing DIY maintenance on extension springs, working with torsion springs can be extremely hazardous and is best left to professionals. Torsion springs are under immense tension and can cause severe injuries if mishandled.

If you decide to tackle extension spring repairs yourself, remember to follow all safety guidelines, use appropriate tools, and proceed with caution. However, when in doubt, it’s always safer to consult a professional garage door technician.

Regular Professional Maintenance

To ensure the longevity and safety of your garage door springs, consider scheduling regular professional maintenance checks. An experienced technician can assess the condition of your springs, lubricate moving parts, and make any necessary adjustments to keep your garage door operating smoothly and safely.

Maintaining a Safe and Functional Garage Door in Springs

Understanding the differences between torsion and extension springs, recognizing signs of issues, and knowing when to seek professional help are all critical aspects of maintaining a safe and functional garage door. Regular inspections and appropriate maintenance can extend the life of your springs and ensure the security and convenience of your home.

Turbo Garage Door is here to assist you with all your garage door spring needs, from inspections to repairs and replacements. Don’t compromise on safety and efficiency—trust the experts for a secure and smoothly functioning garage door. Contact Turbo Garage Door for professional assistance and expert advice on your garage door springs.

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