Repair Your Garage Door Cables Without Putting Your Life at Risk

Have you noticed your garage door is starting to move differently and making a weird noise at the same time?

The noise is really not something you want to hear first thing in the morning when you are off to work, but nonetheless, it is always there. You consider the noise might be coming from the motor or the springs but to your surprise, they are working just as they always are. You can’t put your finger on what else could possibly be the problem.

In case you didn’t know, a garage door system consists of many different parts of hardware that all play a crucial role in the overall health of the garage door. If one part is not functioning as it should, it throws the whole system off.

To understand how a garage door system works, you have to understand how each part works. This will help you identify what is wrong and how you can fix it. Continue reading to be able to identify what part of your garage door system is broken and how you can get it repaired.

A garage door system with all the working parts.

Have you taken the time to look at the mechanisms of a garage door when it moves? Probably not. Knowing the various parts of your garage door system can help you detect when one of them is damaged.

Learn More About the Principal Garage Door Hardware Systems

Garage door’s Torsion springs (on the left) and Garage door’s Extension springs (on the right)

Torsion (on the left) and extension springs (on the right) appear similar but operate differently.

Learn more about the 2 types of springs

A garage door uses either torsion springs and extension springs. The springs are the main reason why a garage door can open in the first place. Once you understand exactly how these springs work, you will have a greater understanding of the overall function of a garage door.

Extension springs

While torsion springs are used for larger and heavier doors, extension springs are used for smaller doors, especially ones that don’t offer a lot of space on the garage door wall. Due to this lack of space, the extension springs live on the horizontal tracks that the door moves on.

Cables connect to the springs, on each side of the door, which are also connected to the base of the garage door. The cables run through pulleys before they are connected to the springs.

It is crucial to install safety cables when you are installing extension springs. The safety cables will protect you and your belongings when/if the spring breaks. When a spring breaks, it releases a dangerous amount of energy that can harm anything or anyone it comes into contact with.

Torsion springs

You will find torsion spring attached to a metal rod above the opening of the garage door, on the garage wall. There may be one torsion spring or two, depending on the size and how heavy the door is. The larger and heavier the door, the more springs are needed. Compared to extension springs, torsion springs offer a quieter and safer experience.

Back to the metal rod we mentioned. A drum is attached to both ends of the metal rod. The lift cables are connected to this drum and to the base of the garage door. The cables wrap around the drums creating tension in the springs.

The built-up tension in the springs is released when the door needs to open causing the drums to spin and release the cables to lift the door. The opposite happens when the door closes.


Located on both sides of the garage door, the cables work together with the springs to counterbalance the weight of the door, allowing the door to smoothly raise and lower. This is why cables are also called lift cables.

No matter what you do, it is really important you do NOT confuse lift and safety cables!

Lift cables and safety cables are different. As we mentioned earlier, safety cables are installed when you are using extension springs. They protect you from damage if the spring was ever to break.

Now that you may have figured out which part of your garage door system needs to be replaced, we highly recommend buying your replacement parts from a garage door specialist. This will ensure that you receive high-quality and durable components.

How Can You Tell When Your Cables Need to Be Replaced?

Knowing when to replace your cables can be a difficult thing to determine. However, keep in mind that every time you use your garage door, your cables are being worn down. Keeping this in the back of your mind will encourage you to frequently check on your cables. Frequent inspection will prevent them from breaking which can cause serious damage.

As we talked about earlier, if one part of your garage door system is not functioning, it can throw the rest off. When your door is not sitting on your tracks properly, friction can be created in specific areas of the cables, causing that part of the cable to break down more quickly, leading to ultimate destruction.

Apart from that, moisture is another way that increases the rate at which your garage door system breaks down. Garages that are not well insulated attract moisture into your garage door that increases the rate of corrosion and rust.

This garage door is a Cambridge CS Design, 10' x 7', Ice White door and overlays, Clear Panoramic windows.

This garage door is a Cambridge CS Design in 10' x 7' size, Ice White door and overlays, and with Clear Panoramic windows.

Preventive maintenance

Scheduling a garage door professional to visit frequently will help you to avoid these problems. The number of cycles per year will let you know how often you need to schedule preventive maintenance.

During an annual appointment, a garage door professional will examine each part of your garage door system and the overall function of it. They focus on each part to ensure it is working correctly so the rest of the system can also work smoothly.

Although you may not notice any signs of damage, that doesn’t mean that a garage door professional will not. It is better to book an appointment before you notice something seriously wrong- just the same as going to the dentist!

While annual check-ups are effective, it is also best to take some responsibility yourself and inspect your garage door system once a month. We have prepared a checklist for you to make this task less daunting:

● Follow the manual guide

● Inspect all the parts every month

● Balance your garage door

● Lubricate your hardware

● Clean the tracks

Why should you get help from a specialist to repair garage door instead of doing it yourself?

Working with a garage door system when you don’t know what you are doing is very dangerous. The springs have a tendency to break without warning which can potentially harm you or something around you. Instead of trying to fix your garage door yourself, you should let a professional do it for you.

Besides, it is better to pay for the initial costs of a scheduled maintenance check instead of extra damages that can incur when you try to fix the garage door yourself.

Important hazards going with DIY garage door repairs

Bodily injuries

Did you know that a garage door can weigh 150 pounds (68 kg) on average for a single width door? Cables and springs are under constant tension, as are the parts they connect to. If not handled properly, any number of components could become a destructive force

Property damages

If your car or other belongings are under your garage door when a cable breaks, the damage could be costly. Not only will you need to repair the faulty garage door but also your newly crushed possession.


A garage door that is not functioning properly can be easy access for intruders and put you or your loved ones in danger. Your home may be unprotected from people with bad intentions.

Professional garage doors technicians possess the skills, experience, and expertise to do the job correctly and safely.

This garage door is a North Hatley LP Design, 9' x 8', Moka Brown, Clear windows.

This garage door is the North Hatley LP Design in Moka Brown. Available in single or double sizes, with or without windows.

Trust your garage door experts near you since 1997

With our garage door services, including maintenance and repair, you can save yourself time and money in the long run. With our company, you can choose to be a part of our annual maintenance program or you can pay by the hour.

You can put your trust in our garage door experts to complete the task at hand. Our experts are trained and certified to replace any garage door, as well as inspecting, adjusting, and testing your garage door system to ensure optimal function.

Have peace of mind knowing that your garage door is operating safely and smoothly all year round with Seacoast Overhead Door Inc.!

For any garage door service, contact us now at 1-888-754-0357!

We also have other key garage door services starting with providing information. A garage door adds personality to your house, and it’s also very convenient for your everyday use. When properly maintained, it can last for decades so take the time to make the right choices when it comes to quality and style.

If you’re thinking about replacing your garage door, our more than 35 garage door designs are split between the 3 most popular home's exterior styles to help you find the perfect garage door to enhance your property.

Contact us today or get a free quote by email!

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