Step-by-Step Guide: How to Safely Replace Your Garage Door Springs

Your garage door is one of the hardest working components of your home, yet it’s often taken for granted until something goes awry. Garage door springs replacement, in particular, play a critical role in the door’s function. If you find yourself in need of replacing your garage door springs, it’s crucial to understand the process and the safety steps involved. 

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or new to the home repair game, follow this comprehensive step-by-step guide to ensure the job is done safely and effectively. 

Understand the Basics: What Are Garage Door Springs?

Before you begin the replacement process, it’s essential to know about the two types of garage door springs: torsion and extension. Torsion springs are usually mounted above the garage door, providing lift assistance by winding and unwinding. Extension springs, on the other hand, are parallel to the tracks and expand and contract, aiding in the door’s motion. 

These springs are under extreme tension due to the weight of the garage door, and a sudden release can lead to severe injury or damage. For this reason, it’s often recommended that homeowners seek professional help. If you choose to proceed on your own, do so with the utmost caution.

Gather Your Tools and Materials

To safely replace your garage door springs, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:

  • A sturdy ladder
  • Safety goggles
  • Leather work gloves
  • A couple of winding bars 
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Socket wrench set
  • New garage door springs 
  • A helper

Checking off this list is not only about having the right tools but also ensuring the quality of materials for a successful replacement.

Preparing for the Replacement

Safety is paramount. Start by unplugging the garage door opener from the outlet or ensuring the power to the unit is disconnected. This step prevents the door from accidentally being activated during the replacement.

Next, locate the springs on your garage door. Use the ladder to access them if necessary. Ensure your assistant is with you at this point, as certain steps will require two people for safety reasons.

Removing the Old Springs

Using the winding bars, carefully unwind the tension from the old springs. One person should hold the bar while the other removes the bolts securing the spring to the center bracket. Once tension is released, it’s safe to remove the springs.

With the help of your assistant, gradually unwind the springs further until they are detached from the cable drums. Be sure to maintain control over the winding bar at all times.

Installing the New Springs

Mount the new springs by tightening them onto the center bracket. Use an adjustable wrench or socket wrench set to secure them. 

Proceed with caution as you use the winding bars to re-tension the springs. Ensure they are both wound the same number of turns and checked multiple times to avoid over-tightening.

Testing and Adjustments

With the springs installed and tensioned, re-connect the garage door opener and test the door. The door should lift and lower smoothly, without scraping or jerking.

Make any necessary adjustments to spring tension, usually by adding or removing a quarter-turn at a time until the door operates correctly. 

Wrap-Up and Safety Review

Perform a final test of the garage door and its safety features. Review the manufacturer’s safety guidelines and conduct a visual inspection of all components before considering the job complete.

Lastly, educate all family members on proper garage door safety, including the importance of maintaining a safe distance when the door is in motion.


While the task of replacing your garage door springs may seem manageable, it’s important to remember the potential hazards associated with this job. By taking a methodical, cautious approach, you can successfully complete the replacement and keep your garage and family safe. Always consider consulting a professional if you feel uncertain or uneasy about any step in the process.

A smoothly functioning garage door is not just about convenience; it’s a crucial aspect of your home’s security and safety. Remember, safety first, last, and always.

Lisa Thompson: Lisa is a mechanic with over 20 years of experience. Her blog is filled with practical maintenance tips, DIY tutorials, and advice on keeping your vehicle in top condition.