How to Adjust An Out Of Balance Garage Door

If you have difficulty opening or closing your garage door, or if you notice resistance when the garage door is partially open, you may need to make adjustments to restore your garage door to proper working order. Adjusting the springs or tension cable connecting your garage door to the track may help prevent the door from sticking. Because there are relatively few moving parts, most homeowners can adjust an out-of-balance garage door in less than one hour.

Step 1

Test the garage door by opening it from the outside. Open and close the door until you determine where the door sticks. If the door sticks less than 3 feet or more than 4 feet from the garage floor, you may need to adjust the door.

Step 2

Raise the garage door and place a 6-foot stepladder beneath the door to hold it open. Check the springs to make sure there is no tension.

Step 3

Unhook the spring on one side from the door track. Reattach the spring through the next highest hole if the door closes too easily, or through the next lowest hole if it sticks. Remove the ladder and test the door by placing a level even with the bottom of the door to determine whether the door is level. Continue the process on one side at a time until the door is in balance.

Step 4

Open the door and replace the ladder under the door. Unhook the tension cable that connects the door to the track support. Slide the bracket connecting the cable to the S-hook up or down to fine-tune the tension. Test the door, and repeat the process until it opens and closes properly.


Replace the door springs if adjusting the springs does not bring the door into balance. A worn spring on one side may not provide sufficient tension to balance the door.

Things You'll Need

  • Stepladder

  • Carpenter's level


Do not allow anyone to stand under or near the garage door while you are adjusting the springs or tension cable. If the door falls, it can cause injuries, particularly to children.