Cables on Garage Door Came Off? Fix It in 4 Easy Steps!

There are cables on garage door came off.

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As a homeowner, a malfunctioning garage door can be a major inconvenience. Have you ever encountered a situation where your garage door won’t open, or worse, cables on garage door came off, causing a loud and alarming noise? 

If so, you’re not alone; we’re here to assist you. In this article, we’ll cover all aspects of the cables on the garage door coming off, including common causes, DIY fixes, and professional intervention when necessary. 

We’ll also provide practical tips to avoid future occurrences. Don’t let a broken garage door cable ruin your day. Keep reading to discover how to handle the situation.

Signs Your Cables on Garage Door Came Off

Here are some of the main signs that confirm that the issue pertains to the garage door cables:

Garage door does not open properly because both cables off
  • The door doesn’t open or close properly. The most obvious sign is that the garage door is not functioning properly, this means it’s either preventing you from coming in or going out.
  • The door creates strange noises upon opening and closing. This means the garage door cables have moved from their original position, and you might also hear the cables scraping or grinding across the surface.
  • The door is slow. If the cables have come off or are loose, the door will open and close slowly.
  • The door looks different. Does your garage door look odd every time it opens or closes? If yes, then the cables are obstructing its way and causing it to look crooked.

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Why Do My Garage Door Cables Keep Coming Off?

While the most obvious reasons are wear & tear, rust, etc., we’ll list some not-so-obvious issues you might notice.

Poor Installation

A garage door loose cable.

Have you recently had your garage door installed or repaired? There are technicians who may lure you with low prices for installation services, promising high-quality work.

However, it is important to note that low-cost installations may lead to future garage door malfunctions. A poor installation usually results in the following issues: 

  1. The cable length is incorrect, which causes malfunctions in the garage door.
  2. The cables are not fastened properly.
  3. The drums that help to hold the garage door are misaligned.

If your garage door has any of these issues, it may malfunction and pose a safety hazard. In worst-case scenarios, the garage door may also fall off track. That is why always hiring a reputable garage door service for installation is important.

Improper Spring Tension

Garage door springs need to be tensioned according to the garage door size. The tension between the springs must be balanced because it will allow the cables to stick to the drum. The garage door may not open or close properly if the spring tension isn’t exact.

Improper spring tension can create a range of problems. The garage door may close too quickly if the springs are too tight, putting you or your family at risk. It may also damage the garage door, costing you repairs to maintain or fix the door. 

The spring’s tension needs to be adjusted according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Leaving it to the professionals is better if you feel this is above your skill level.

Poor Quality Torsion Spring

Torsion springs are high-tensile steel, allowing them to shoulder the garage door’s weight. These springs help balance the garage door upon opening and closing.

The garage door’s functionality will be affected if the springs are worn out. Therefore, it’s important to choose springs that can bear the weight of your door. Also, you should install two torsion springs in your garage door so that when one spring breaks or fails to balance the door’s weight, the other will provide support.

It’s important to note that torsion springs wear out with time (due to wear & tear and excessive use), so they must be replaced periodically. This will ensure that they continue to do their job properly.

While all springs fail at some point, poor-quality springs can wear out well before their lifespan, so always choose high-quality springs. If you’re unsure which spring to buy, consult a professional.

Pro Tip: Always rely on experts to replace your torsion springs, which can be dangerous.

Incorrect Cable Size

The drums and cables help support the garage door’s transitioning and allow it to remain upright. If the drums and cables do not match the size, weight, or length of your garage door, the cables may snap, unable to keep the door from falling down. 

Misaligned Garage Door Track

A garage door track supports the garage door as it goes up and down. A misaligned track will create an uneven load, forcing the door to move unevenly. This further strains the cables, ultimately forcing them to separate from the pulleys. Consequently, if the pulleys incur damage, they may not hold the cables properly in the future.

Furthermore, a misaligned garage door track will create unnecessary friction between the track and the rollers. Increased friction will strain the cables unnecessarily, forcing them to damage the pulleys by coming off.


While most people don’t pay attention when their vehicle collides with their garage door, we have bad news for you. Hitting the garage door with a strong force will directly impact the cables, forcing them to come off. This may impair the functionality of your garage door till the cables are replaced.

While driving recklessly is inappropriate under all circumstances, we advise you to be careful when you park your car near the garage.

Worn Out Parts

rusted garage door cable off track

A garage door with worn-out parts can create unpredictable situations, leading to serious inconveniences. The parts may or may not work at all times. It’s possible that the garage door gets stuck, and you can’t open it. Or it comes down on its own, damaging your vehicle.

This is why replacing worn-out parts by calling in a professional is imperative and cost-effective. Damaged parts may cause impairments to your garage system, which might call for more expensive repairs.

How to Fix Loose Cable on Your Garage Door

If you are used to working with tools and feel confident about repairing loose cables on your garage door, we can aid you by breaking down the process.

This method is applicable only if the garage cables are loose. If they are worn out or severely damaged, replacing them is recommended.

Let us start by listing the tools you will need for this operation.

Tools Required For Reparation

You will conveniently find the tools we mention in a local hardware store. If you don’t have these tools lying in your home already, don’t worry; they don’t cost much.

WD-40 use it to put back garage door loose cable
  1. Lubricant: You might need a WD-40 to remove any dust or debris on the cables or springs. Rust and debris are common problems, and they prevent you from doing the job properly.
  2. New cables: If the cables are worn out, old, too rusty, or in short – beyond fixing, buy new cables that match the size, weight, and length of your garage door.
  3. Cable cutters: You will need cable cutters to cut the cables to replace them.
  4. Ladder: A stable ladder will aid you in reaching the top of the door, locating the issue, and changing/repairing the necessary parts conveniently.
  5. Pliers: A pair of pliers will come in handy when you want to remove screws, bolts, or any other components holding the cables to the door.
  6. Wrench: Grab a wrench to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts on the cables.
  7. Winding Bars: Winding bars aid in increasing or lowering the tension on the springs of your garage door with ease and safety.
  8. Protective Gear: We want you to come out safe and sound after the procedure, so this calls for protective gear to remain safe during the procedure. You will need to purchase a pair of protective shoes so you don’t get electrocuted, thick work gloves since we’re dealing with sharp and dangerous materials, and safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Tips Before Starting

Fixing your garage door cables calls for additional safety. So why not stock up on some tips before you start the procedure?

  • Wear protective gear. Don’t compromise your safety by letting go of your safety gear(protective gloves, safety goggles, shoes) to ensure you make it through in one piece.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s advice. You might have a manual or a booklet that tells what you should do in case your garage door cables are impaired. Read through the instructions before you begin.
  • Check the parts thoroughly to understand the issue in depth. This will help you fix only what needs help without messing with parts that need not be bothered. 

DIY Warning

As with any DIY project, this repairing process has its fair share of warnings. First, electrical wires always pose a risk of electrocuting you. Secondly, the cables are extremely sharp and might cause injuries if you’re not wearing the right gear. Thirdly, you might make the problem worse by breaking functional parts. Thereby impairing the garage door permanently.

One of the most difficult tasks is to balance the spring tension. If it’s too strong, the garage door’s system will be under excessive stress, and this can break the parts or lead to accidents. On the other hand, the door won’t open or close properly if the tension is too weak.

Balancing spring tension is dangerous, especially if you don’t have the relevant experience. That is why hiring a professional garage door technician for such technical issues is always best.

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Step-by-Step Guide To Fix Loose Cable On Garage Door

Follow the steps below to fix your loose garage door cables:

Step 1: Secure the door

Before working on the cable, ensure the garage door is secure using C-clamps to hold the door in place. Simply place the clamp on the track above the roller and tighten it until the door is secure.

Step 2: Release tension from springs

Take your tension tool or winding bar to release any tension on the springs of your garage door. This will help to prevent injuries while you are working.

Step 3: Remove the old cables

Remove the cables from the drum and pulley if they have snapped or frayed. Use the cable cutter to cut the cables to replace them with new ones.

Step 4: Install new cables

Secure the new cable to the pulley and drum after attaching it properly. Then, use a wrench to tighten the set screws on the drum to secure and hold the cable in place(read the manufacturer’s instructions for precise guidelines).

Step 5: Reapply tension to springs

The last step asks you to use the tension tool to reapply tension to the garage door spring. Tighten the spring properly (don’t under or over-tighten it). 

Step 6: Test the garage door

After you finish the repairs, it’s time to check the validity of your work. Open and close the garage door a few times to see whether the cables are doing their job and if the door moves smoothly and without any jerking or slipping. If you hear strange noises or the door is opening and closing unevenly, you may need to adjust the tension on the springs or call a professional for help.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Cables On a Garage Door?

It should cost somewhere between $150-350 to replace the cables on your garage door. However, this figure is subject to your locality and your garage door. If your garage door’s springs or drums are worn out, it will add to the overall cost of repair.

Quoting an exact price point is difficult since the parts in your area might have different costs, the garage door’s material and size will be different for everyone (wood, fiberglass, metal, etc.), and lastly, the amount of repair it needs might differ from person to person.

However, to give you an idea, here’s a breakdown of the estimated budget to fix your garage door’s cables:

  • Tension tool: Generally inexpensive, a tension tool ranges from $10-100, depending on the brand and the quality you want to buy.
  • Lubricant: A can of WD-40 will vary between $4-6.
  • Cables: A single garage door cable costs $10-30. For two cables, just double the cost.
  • Ladder: If you don’t have a stable ladder, a basic one will cost you $20-50.
  • Pliers: A pair of pliers range between $5-20.
  • Protective Gear: Safety gloves cost between $10-20, safety glasses cost $5-20, and safety shoes are available for $50-200. 

If you want to save yourself the trouble of running to the hardware store or buying the wrong items, you can talk to a professional garage door repair service to do everything for you. On average, their service charges will range from $150 to $400. However, you might need to pay more if your issue is severe.

Final Thoughts

To ensure the steps are cemented in your head, we’ll run them through you quickly. 

First, release the tension from the springs using a tension tool. Next, remove the old, damaged cables. Then install new cables and secure them properly. Lastly, reapply the tension and tighten the cables to finish the process.

Before starting, just see whether the tools you plan to use are right, the garage door is secure, and the opener is disconnected.

Still, there’s nothing wrong if you stop before or during the repairing process because you feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the tasks. You can call for professional reparation services to fix the cables for you.

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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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