Some of us might be wondering whether we can open the garage door if the spring is broken.

It will sound good that yes we can open the garage door with a broken springBut the only problem here arises that it is not that easy to perform this task.

We will discuss it briefly in further sections and now, let’s have a glance at why the garage door spring breaks.

Why do Garage Door Spring Breaks?

A garage door consists of several parts. Some of them can last longer while others have a short lifespan. Well, the spring is also a part of the garage door and has a shorter lifespan. Now, let’s come to the point of why the spring breaks after a shorter period.

  • While opening and closing the garage door, a lot of pressure applied at the torsion springs.
  • These springs are responsible to hold the entire process of the functioning of the garage door. It depends on the type of spring you are using.
  • If you are using a cheap quality spring (rated for 10,000 cycles) then it will break soon while if we use an expensive spring (rated almost for the double of the output) it will last long with more pressure.
  • We ignore these cycles in our daily life as we forgot how many times we lifted our garage door.

But at the same time if we keep a record of how much wear and tear the spring has to face then if we observe that these springs do a lot more as compared to their potential. Other reasons for the garage door with broken spring are as follows,

  • Rust can eat up the springs and results in a reduced lifespan.
  • Some of the garage door installers use the cost-effective method by installing one long spring instead of installing two shorter springs.
  • Off balancing of the garage door. This can occur when the springs are very old and also due to the change in temperature. Hence, we must take the help of a professional garage door installer.

These are the reasons why the garage door spring breaks. Let’s move towards the next section.

Is it Safe to Open the Garage Door with Broken Spring?

Professionals recommend that we must not open the garage door with a broken spring by ourselves. The reason is very straight forward; the garage door consists of two types of springs,

  • Extension springs
  • Torsion springs

When any of these springs break and we open the garage door, all its weight is there on our shoulders. And we all know that a garage door made up of metal or wood weighs around 500 pounds. So, we will not be able to uplift this much weight by ourselves. Hence, we must not try it ourselves. Take the help of professionals.

How to Open a Garage Door with Broken Spring from Outside?

Well, it is recommended that we must not try opening the garage door with a broken spring. But if we have an emergency and our car is stuck inside, then we somehow need to open the garage door. So, let’s have a look at the steps that will lead us to open the garage door with a broken spring from outside. But do remember to follow these steps only in case of emergency.

The following steps need to perform with the utmost care.

● Position the Ladder on Each Side of the Door

For this step, we need help from our friend, neighbor, or any family member who can lift a certain weight. Position the two ladders of 6-foot step on each side of the garage door. Ask your friend to stand by one side and you on the other of the garage door.

● Grab the Door Using a Pry Bar

Now, we have to insert the pry bar under the corner of the door and in between the floor and door. Pull the pry bar in the upward direction and ask your friend to grab the door with you.

● Lift the Door Upwards

After grabbing the door, slowly lift the garage door. Make sure to maintain the balance from each side and lift until the door is fully open. Now, under each side on the track, clamp a pair of vice grips below the bottom roller.

● Lower Down the Garage Door

Here, we have to position the ladder under the garage door at each end. Grab the door and gently remove the vice grips. Now, gradually lower the garage door and let it rest on the ladder. For the more secure procedure, place the vice grips under the bottom rollers.

How to Temporary Repair the Broken Garage Door Spring?

Broken garage door springs can be fixed temporarily by using the spring repair blocks. The spring must be in good shape to accept the repair block and to function properly. If there is any doubt on the condition of the spring that it will accept the block or not, immediately replace the spring. Do not ever try to fix the spring that is not able to hold the spring repair block as this can be very risky for our lives.

Spring repair blocks come in different sizes according to the different wire sizes. These are color-coded as their color represents their sizes.

Steps to Temporarily Fix the Broken Garage Door Spring

  • Separate the end coil of one of the broken springs using the spring separator tool. The wire should be completely inside the block ensuring the minimal wire to be sticking out. If too much wire is sticking out it will shorten the spring.
  • Tighten the set screw for that side of the repair block.
  • Use the spring separator tool to repeat the process on the other side of the broken spring.
  • Now, the repair block is ready and both set screws are checked. You can rewind the spring to make the door operational again.

Always remember, your safety comes first and use this technique in emergency case only.

Do We Need to Replace Both Garage Door Springs?

When a spring of the garage door breaks, it becomes difficult to open the door by a single person as they are so heavy. A single person cannot lift the door and hence, it becomes a very frustrating situation especially when the vehicle is stuck inside.  Usually, the single garage doors consist of a single spring and the double garage doors consist of two springs. And as we have discussed earlier, the standard life cycle for spring is 10,000 cycles.

  • If any of the spring breaks, a question strikes our mind that do we need to replace both the springs present in the garage door?
  • The answer to this question is absolutely no. We can hire a professional garage door installer and he can tell us about the condition of the second spring. If the second spring is in good condition, then we don’t need to replace both the springs.
  • Many companies offer a deal of buying both the springs at a better price. Some people ignore these offers while some people purchase them in order to avoid the future replacing the other spring. It is a better financial move. But it is not necessary to replace both the springs at the same time.
  • Some companies offer a ‘Lifetime Warranty’. It sounds great but beware of them as the annual required cost seems to be very expensive.

Can a Garage Door Work with One Spring?

Garage door in Vancouver, Canada.; Shutterstock ID 587478782; Customer_ID: TI UNIVER031

As we have discussed earlier that we need to open the garage door manually if one spring is broken. But it requires a lot of effort to do so. Also, it is very risky so try not to perform.

But when we are talking about if the garage door with a broken spring can operate on only one spring then the answer is yes. If our garage consists of a single door, one long spring can take the load of the door but it will not work in the long term. Therefore, we must use two short springs on each side of the door. This will be last longer and there will be no risk.

How much does it Cost for a Broken Spring Replacement?

On an average basis, the replacement cost lies between $120 – $350 depending on the type.

  • Torsion Spring Replacement Cost: $140-$350
  • Extension Spring Replacement Cost: $120-$200
  • Only Spring Parts: $20-$70
  • Labor Costs: $100-$200

This is the complete replacement structure when it comes to the garage door with a broken spring.


  • We must not try to open the door if we don’t have any helper with us. This can be very risky and we might harm ourselves.
  • Take the help of professional garage door installers; they will help you out to fix everything perfectly.

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