Can I Open My Garage Door With a Broken Spring?

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When it comes to garage doors, springs are very important as they provide the force needed for the easy opening and closing of your garage door. Without a good spring, you will find it quite difficult to manually open your garage door. There are 2 major types of springs which are torsion springs and extension springs. These springs help to balance the weight of your garage door. 

Like other parts or equipment, your garage door spring can get broken over time. When this happens, you might wonder if it is still possible to open your garage door. 

Although it might be quite difficult, you must know that it is still possible to open your garage door with a broken spring. To open your garage door, you will need to open the door manually. This is because automatic or remote opening of your garage door might not be possible with a broken spring. 

As long as the right steps are taken, you should be able to open your garage door within minutes despite the springs being broken. 

How to Open/Close a Garage Door with a Broken Spring

Although opening your garage door with a broken spring is possible, there are steps you must follow to safely and successfully open your garage door. Here are the steps to open your garage door with a broken spring below.

1. Call a Partner and Check your Environment

An average garage door weighs over 400 pounds, it can be even more if your garage door is made of wood. With such weight, opening your garage door alone can be quite difficult. You need to call a partner to help with the opening of your garage door.

Before you proceed to open your garage door, you need to take your time to check if there are any hazardous things within the surrounding. If there is anything hazardous, ensure they are removed before you open the door. Also, check the garage door to ensure the only problem is a broken spring.

2. Disengage the Door from the Opener

This is the next thing you need to do once you are done calling a partner and checking the garage door for any other possible damage. You must know that you cannot open your garage door remotely, as doing such can cause further damage to your garage door. Your springs must be working perfectly before you can remotely open your garage door.

You must take your time to disengage the opener from the garage door. Once you disengage the opener, you should be able to manually open your garage door. Before you disengage your garage door opener, you must ensure the garage door is touching the floor. This will prevent your garage door from slamming shut when you disengage the opener. To disengage the opener, pull the red cord hanging on your door opener tracks.

3. Place a Crowbar under the Garage Door and Lift the Garage Door

You will need two crowbars if you find the garage door too heavy to lift. The crowbar will serve as a lever that should help you lift the door to some extent.  Once the door is lifted from the ground, you and your partner will have to lift the door further till it gets to the desired height.

You and your partner must lift the garage door from the 2 sides of the garage door. You must not concentrate your effort in one place alone. By lifting the garage door from the 2 sides, the force is evenly shared and the weight of lifting the door becomes lighter. 

4. Clamp the Door and Use a Ladder to Hold the Door Up

This is the last thing you must do if you want to open your garage door with a broken spring. Once you have fully lifted the garage door, clamp the door with heavy-duty vice clamps at each of the doors.

Also, ensure you use ladders to hold or support the door once you are done clamping it at each side. You should get 2 ladders with one for each side to ensure maximum safety. You can then begin to repair your broken spring or drive out once you have used a ladder on each side.

Closing the door is much easier than opening the door. However, you have to exercise caution to prevent any possibility of an accident. Simply remove the ladders and remove the clamps. Ensure you and your partner are firmly holding the garage door. Slowly bring the garage door down till it touches the floor. Then, shut the door using your automatic or manual lock.

How to Tell if a Garage Door Spring Is Broken

No matter how good your maintenance method is, you should know that garage door springs will break over time as long as you consistently use them. With constant expansion and contraction, the springs begin to wear out. Here are tips to let you know if your garage door spring is broken.

1. Balance Issues

If you notice that your garage door is misaligned, it means there is a problem with your garage door spring. More often than not, garage doors often become misaligned once one of the springs is broken.

Spotting a misalignment is pretty easy. There will be a difference in the balance of your garage door when you try to lift it. Once you notice any misaligned in the balance, check your garage door spring.

2. The Garage Door Opens a few Inches and Slams Shut

This is another thing that lets you know that you have a broken spring. If you find it difficult to open your garage door, it means there might be a problem with the springs.

Also, if your garage door is opening by only a few inches and slamming shut immediately, check your springs, as it is a sign that it is broken.

3. Dangling Cables

The moment you notice that the cables attached to your garage door springs are dangling, you have to take your time to check your springs. Dangling cables are pretty common when there is a broken spring.

Apart from these major points, other things let you know you have a broken garage door spring. Here are some of the things below:

  • The door goes up more slowly than usual
  • The door falls rapidly when you try to put it down
  • The door won’t open
  • The door becomes extremely difficult to open

Why Is my Garage Door Spring Broken?

man fixing garage door broken spring

There are different reasons why your garage door spring gets broken. Here are the reasons why your garage door spring gets broken.

1. Bad Maintenance

Garage door springs have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. If your garage door spring gets broken earlier, it can be a result of a lack of proper maintenance. You have to take your time to properly check your garage door spring. Without checking and proper maintenance, your garage door spring can get broken.

2. Wear and Tear

With consistent use, your garage door spring will wear out over time. While wear and tear are inevitable, it can be hastened due to bad maintenance. Also, too much use can make the garage door spring wear out faster. 

3. Rust

Since garage door springs are made of iron, it is impossible for your spring to not be exposed to rust, especially when you dont lubricate it. Once your spring begins to rust, there is a good chance that your spring gets broken.

How to Fix a Broken Garage Door Spring

Fixing/ replacing your garage door spring can be a complicated task. You must observe all the necessary safety precautions and a lot more. Here is a guide on fixing your garage door spring.

1. Remove your Old Spring

This is the first thing you must do if you want to change or fix your garage door springs. You must remove the spring from your garage door. Simply unplug the door open and use a C-clamp to clamp the door on the tracks. Once you have done this, lose the screws holding each spring. 

You must use a winding bar as it helps to reduce the chances of getting into an accident. Go ahead and unwind the springs, then lose the nuts/bolts and slide or move the springs to the end of the bracket. 

Once you have done this, you can gently remove the springs from the bracket. Measure the length of the spring as you need to buy one with the same measurement. You can order for the spring online or get to any garage door store.

2. Install your New Spring

Once you have gotten your new springs, slide them into the torsion tube and insect them into the bracket.  Install the center bearing and thread the cables of your springs. Ensure the springs and properly winded.

Then, stretch the spring to some extent. Once the spring has been firmly fitted to the bar, you can tighten or screw the bar to the necessary place  


Although you can manually open your garage door with a broken spring, you must know you cannot remotely open your garage door. You have to fix your spring before you can remotely control it.

There are different things that let you know when you have a broken spring. We have discussed these things and more in this article.  

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Written by Timothy Amin

Timothy is a seasoned expert when it comes to garage doors. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, John has installed, repaired, and maintained countless garage doors of various types and styles.