Broken Garage Door Spring? Here’s What You Should Do!

Extension spring - a broken garage door spring.

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Garage doors don’t last forever. You will occasionally experience the inconvenience of a malfunctioning one, but knowing the cause and what to do can save you the hassle. In most cases, a broken garage door spring is the primary culprit, but it doesn’t mean the end of the door’s functionality.

In such situations, you have endless questions but limited and unsatisfying answers. What happens when a garage door spring breaks? Can I open a garage door with a broken spring? How can I tell if a garage door is broken?  Whatever your questions, we’ll help you find an answer.

Ready for the deep dive? Let’s get started.

How to Tell if Garage Door Spring is Broken

A broken torsion garage door springs.

Typically, it depend on the type of garage door springs you have on your door, But almost all garage door springs have clear common warning signs, similar to your smartphone’s low battery alert. Recognizing these signs is important because they assist in identifying the problem, taking precautions, and resolving it.

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Whether you are a first-time homeowner or a subsequent one, these are the signs to look out for:

  • Gaps in springs: Torsion springs stretch more when operating, meaning they can break easily, and you can notice gaps in the springs. 
  • The spring looks rusty or excessively stretched out: Other problems are not entirely obvious apart from gaps. But if you notice rust or excess stretching on your springs, call a professional to take a look.
  • Loud noises when operating the door: When the spring continually wears out, slight pressure strains it, resulting in unusual noises. If you notice these noises when opening and closing your garage door, it may indicate a broken spring.
  • Loud snaps: Garage door springs can break even when closed. So, if you hear a loud snap when your garage door closes, it may be a sign of a broken spring.
  • The door opens crookedly: Your garage door has springs running perpendicularly (extension) and other parallels (torsion). If one extension spring breaks, one side will open faster while the other slowly, leading to a crooked opening and closing.
  • The door closes rapidly: Your garage door has an opener system that controls the door’s closing speed. But with a broken spring, you might notice the system cannot lower the door slowly due to the door’s weight.
  • The opener system does not raise the door completely: When the spring of a garage door is broken, the opener system may not be able to raise the door fully to its intended position. This is because the opener is designed to work in tandem with the spring to ensure that the door stops at the right spot when opened.
A broken garage door due to broken garage door springs.

Can You Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring?

While it is possible to open a garage door with a broken spring, it’s not recommended. Doing so could cause further damage to the door and may lead to injury or property damage. If you must open the door manually instead of seeking professional assistance, proceed with caution.

If you decide to open the door manually instead of seeking professional assistance immediately, it’s crucial to proceed cautiously. The following section details why it’s essential to proceed with caution.

The Dangers of Trying to Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring

Injury due to broken garage door springs.

Attempting to open a garage door with broken springs manually can be extremely dangerous due to the following reasons:

  1. Risk of physical injury: The door may be very heavy and difficult to lift, causing strain on your back and arms. It could also unexpectedly fall, causing severe injury or even death.
  2. Property damage: Trying to force the door open without proper tools or training can damage the door, tracks, or other components of the garage door system, which can be expensive to repair.
  3. Electrical hazards: If the garage door opener is still connected to power, manually opening the door can result in electrical shock or other electrical hazards.
  4. Inadequate repairs: Attempting to repair the garage door yourself may not fix the problem entirely or could worsen it, leading to additional repairs and costs.
  5. Lack of expertise: Working with garage door springs requires specialized knowledge and tools. Attempting to repair or replace them without proper training and equipment can lead to mistakes and dangerous situations.

As you can see, it’s crucial to recognize the risks and take precautions when attempting to open or close a door with a broken spring.

How To Manually Open a Garage Door with a Broken Torsion Spring?

If you must open your garage door manually due to a broken spring, follow these steps carefully to avoid injury:

Step 1: Have Someone Help You

Garage doors can weigh up to 500 lbs or more, which means you’ll have a lot on your hands, and extra hands can help to avoid injuries. We recommend having a partner help you. 

Step 2: Ensure Safety and Check the Springs First

Safety should be your number one priority when opening a garage door manually. So, beware of your surroundings and where you step, and devise an escape plan if anything goes wrong. Additionally, inspect the door and the springs before opening it to see whether it’s feasible.

Step 3: Disconnect the Opener

The opener works hand in hand with the spring. So, if the spring is broken, the door’s smoothness is hampered. If you try opening it with the opener, it’s dangerous. Therefore, disconnect the opener first before you attempt to open the door.

Disconnect the opener by following these simple steps:

  1. First, close the door—even though you can disconnect it while open, it’s easier and safer when closed.
  2. Pull the emergency release handle by yanking the red rope hanging to disconnect the opener.
  3. Manually close and open the door as needed.

Step 4: Lift with Both Hands

Lift the door with both hands when the garage door springs are broken.

After disconnecting everything, lift the door slowly with both hands while paying close attention to the needed force. This is necessary because it could lead to more damage if done incorrectly. But as you lift, be cautious of your positioning to avoid getting hurt if the door comes crashing down.

Step 5: Secure the Door

Apart from having a partner, slip in a crowbar under the door’s seal to give you more leverage. This way, you’ll control the situation more and safeguard yourself and your partner from unexpected outcomes.

Step 6: Do Not Keep it Open

After parking your car or pulling it out, close the door. Never leave your garage door open because doing so puts you, your loved ones, and your property in harm’s way.

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How To Manually Open a Garage Door with a Broken Extension Spring?

An extension spring counterbalances a door’s weight and pulls it open smoothly. This means if it’s broken, the door’s operation is affected. And if you need to open it, you must be careful to avoid injury episodes or property damage.

Hence, these are the must-follow steps when manually opening a garage door with a broken extension spring.

Step 1. Have Someone Help You

As professionals, we do not recommend opening a garage door with a broken extension spring due to its potential dangers. But if you must, always have someone available to help you. 

Step 2. Ensure Safety and Check the Springs First

Next, check the springs’ condition and the extent of the damage first before opening the door. This will give you a glimpse of what you’re up against and whether the entire attempt would be possible.

Step 3. Disconnect the Opener

Using an opener with the spring broken increases the likelihood of more damage to the door and its system. We recommend you disconnect the opener system, even though you will realize the door will feel heavier.

To disconnect the opener:

  1. Close the door as it is easier to disengage the opener when closed than open.
  2. Pull or yank the hanging red rope from the opener. No need to worry as it won’t break.
  3. Open and close your garage door as needed.

Step 4. Lift with Both Hands

Never attempt to open the door with one hand, as it can easily overpower you and cause injuries and property damage.

Step 5. Use Heavy Duty Clamps

Once lifted, place heavy-duty clamps below the lowest roller on your door. This way, you will secure the door and stop it from coming down.

Step 6. Place a Ladder Under the Garage Door to Keep it Open 

Using ladder to keep garage door open when the garage door springs are broken.

Even though the clamps keep the door open, additional support is necessary. So, place ladders on both ends to prop the door, and extra support, until you finish every activity.

How to Close a Garage Door With a Broken Spring

Closing a garage door with a broken spring can also be hazardous, requiring caution. Therefore, knowing the proper way to close the door is essential. Here are some steps to follow when closing a garage door with a broken spring:

  1. Carefully pull the door from its resting place. If you have placed ladders for support, remove them.
  2. Guide the door along the tracks until it reaches the bottom.
  3. Re-engage the opener 

Remember never to let the door fall freely or attempt to close the door alone. If you do, it may overpower you and cause injuries, while if it crashes, it may damage the door and your property further.

When Should You Call a Professional?

Before attempting to fix your garage door, remember calling a professional is the best option. Furthermore, even if you are a DIY enthusiast, garage doors need extra caution when handling them. 

And even though you can call a professional anytime you realize a problem, the following are signs you need to call a professional.

  • You need help repairing or replacing the broken garage door spring.
  • The door won’t stay open or close correctly.

Additionally, calling a professional comes with many benefits, such as:

Professionals Save You Time and Money

Repairing a broken garage door spring may take time if you decide to take the DIY way. And if you have limited expertise, you may buy the wrong tools and spares, losing time and money. However, professionals know all requirements and will repair your door faster. 

Keep You Safe from Injuries

Replacing and repairing a broken garage door spring is dangerous, and only a qualified individual can do it safely. Statistics show over 30,000 garage-related injuries happen annually. So, to keep yourself safe, have a professional fix your broken garage door spring or any garage door issues.


Many expert door garage repairs offer a guarantee when they repair your broken door spring. This means there is value for money in case the garage door develops problems in the future.

Cost of replacing a Broken Garage Door Spring

Replacing a broken garage door spring ranges from $150 to $350 per door. But as you may know, this cost may rise or lower depending on several factors, such as:

  • Size and type of garage door: The cost of replacing a broken garage door spring depends on the size and type of the door. The bigger it is, the costlier it will be, and vice versa. 
  • Type of spring: An extension spring starts at $65, while its labor ranges between $50 to $100. Torsion springs are more expensive, and the cost starts at $100 each. Its replacement cost is also higher, costing between $130 and $300 for a pair.
  • Your location: The farther you are from a professional, the costlier it will be to replace the spring. This is because these professionals charge per distance traveled. To save on this cost, consider contacting the nearest technician.

Final Thoughts

Broken garage door springs are common and should not worry you much. You can still operate them manually, but you must be extremely careful as they are dangerous. If you decide to open such a door manually, always have someone helping you and maintaining the highest safety standards.

However, you should only do this for a short time. Otherwise, the best solution is to call a professional to have the spring checked and replaced as soon as possible!

If you need assistance with a broken garage door spring or any garage door issues, contact us; we’ll be happy to help.

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Daniel Walter

Daniel Walter is a garage door expert with 15+ years hands-on experience and a degree in mechanical engineering. He's on a mission to empower homeowners with all the knowledge they need to tackle any garage-related issue with ease. When he's not sharing his expertise, you can find him scaling mountains and basking in the beauty of the great outdoors.

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