How To Fix Garage Door Cable

Garages are among the most vital parts of your home. They give you a place to store your cars and other valuable belongings. Unfortunately, you may encounter some issues with your garage door system over time.

German Garage Doors is a full-service garage cable repair company proudly serving the Houston, Texas, community. Our years of service allow us to offer first-rate installation and repairs for your door system. Our expert technicians are ready for your call to fix it your broken cables. See our garage door cable repair services here.

If your garage door system encounters spring tension or uneven tension, or if your springs break, you must seek help immediately. Below are some of the things you must know to prevent issues with your door and keep it in a relaxed position.

What is the Purpose of Garage Door Cables?

Your garage door contains many parts, all working together to open and close your door. One vital part of your garage door system is the cables. Garage doors have two types of cables – extension cables and torsion cables.

Extension cables attach to the bottom of your garage door and run along the bottom roller brackets to the pulleys. Torsion cables wrap around the torsion tube above the door. Both types of garage cables are vital for the smooth operation of your garage door system.

Your garage door cable helps balance the weight of your garage door as it opens and closes. Without lift cables, your garage door would be much heavier on one side of the door, making it difficult to open and shut. The garage cable also helps to keep the door from swinging open too far, which could damage the door or injure someone nearby.

How Does a Garage Door Cable Break?

Many factors can contribute to a cable breaking. However, understanding the most common causes of snapped cables can help you prevent the problem in the future. These include:

Wear and Tear Effects Smooth Operation 

One of the most common reasons for a snapped garage door cable is usual wear and tear. Over time, the steel cables that support your garage door can weaken, especially if you do not maintain them. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as extreme cold or heat, your door cable may be more susceptible to breaking.

Poor Installation

Another common cause of snapped garage door cables is improper installation. If you do not install your garage door cable correctly, it is more likely to break under the weight of your garage door. It’s best to hire a professional company to install your door, torsion spring cables, and cable bracket.

Recent Repair Work 

If you invest in a new garage door cable installation, such as replacing the springs or tracks, that could also lead to a snapped cable. Any time you disturb your cable drum or hardware, there is a risk that something could go wrong during re-assembly.

Extension Springs Configuration or Wrong Cable Size

Another reason your garage door may have problems is poor configuration of your springs. While you want tension in your door springs, they should not cause too much pressure. Your door will spring up too fast if there is too much tension in your garage door extension springs.

Alternatively, you may have a small diameter cable or winding bars that do not fit your cable drums. Some doors require a thicker cable, while others need a second spring. Our experts can help you pick the appropriate cable diameter for your garage door.

Why Does a Garage Door Cable Come Off?

A broken cable is often the result of corrosion, violent force from a broken spring, or the cable running against another metal part. A weakened cable can only take so much before it breaks. If the springs break while the door is open, the sudden downward motion can also snap the cable.

Damaged Torsion Springs

One of the most vital parts of the cable assembly is the torsion spring, which helps to counterbalance your door’s weight. If your spring breaks, it can cause many garage door problems.

One issue you can encounter is your door becoming heavy and hard to open. Torsion spring cables are responsible for much of the door’s weight. Without them, the door will be near impossible to lift.

Also, your door may start to sag or warp without the support of the torsion spring. This sagging can cause problems with the door tracks. Uneven or bent door tracks can create jerky motion when the door moves, causing the cable to come loose.

Extension Cable Breaks

If you have a broken extension spring, it can cause problems with your garage door. The extension spring is responsible for balancing your door’s weight and helps to counterbalance the tension on the torsion springs.

If the extension spring breaks, it’s likely that the cables break too. The cables typically unwrap or coil themselves around the pulley.


Corrosion can cause problems with your cable loop. If your garage is in a damp or moist environment, you are more likely to experience issues. Corrosion can cause cable drums to weaken and break, leading to critical problems with your garage door.

If you live in an area prone to high humidity or rain, check your garage door cables regularly for signs of corrosion. If you see any water damage, it is best to replace your system cables as soon as possible. Also check for rust, flaky powder that falls from your safety cables’ metal components.

See also: Best ways to insulate your garage door

If your garage door cables slip off their drums, you should call a professional to come and fix it. If you do want to attempt repairs yourself, here’s a guide on how to do so.

How To Fix a Loose Garage Door Cable

A loose cable is one of the most common problems impacting garage doors. The good news is that this problem is fixable. 

  1. Gather a few tools before starting, including a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and pliers. You may also need a ladder, depending on the height of your garage door. 
  2. Once you gather your tools, you must locate the source of the problem. Usually, there will be a gap between the horizontal tracks where the cable has come loose. If you cannot find the impacted area, you may need to remove your garage door panels to access the pathway.
  3. Once you find the gap, you must reconnect the cable to the track. You will first need to loosen the set screws that hold the garage door track in place. 
  4. After loosening the screws, you can slide the track back into place and reconnect the cable. Tighten the set screws securely before moving on.
  5. If your garage door has two springs or more, you must repeat these steps for each one.

Hired experts may approach this differently. Contractors may opt to cut both garage door cables off. Once they reconnect the door cables, you can test your garage door to ensure it works properly.

Is It Safe to Open a Garage Door with a Loose Cable?

If you have a loose spring hanging on your garage door, do not try to open the door. Doing so could cause the door to come off its tracks and cause serious injury. Call a professional to fix the problem.

Another way to resolve uneven weight distribution in your garage doors is to ditch your current system. Instead, you can invest in a garage door with automatic control. 

Manual door systems can cause excessive wear and tear. An automatic system should last longer. 

However, automatic garage door systems can also break down. If your drive chain is loose, do not use your door opener. Doing so can cause your door to remain ajar.

Fix Your Houston, Texas, Garage Door Opener Today

At German Garage Doors, our exceptional garage door experts are fully trained on all garage door makes and models. We only work with the best contractors in Houston, TX, ensuring you get the best service possible. Our garage door repair company also offers 24/7 emergency service for our Houston clients. 

German Garage Doors repair professionals are handy whenever you have issues with your torsion springs or extension springs. Loose cables are dangerous. Our team will use industry tools, like vice grips, to fix your garage door efficiently and safely. 

Sometimes, you may be better off installing a new cable. A new cable installation can resolve your heavy door issues and provides a long-term solution for your garage doors. If you do need new installation, our technicians will carry it out swiftly.

Our cable drums experts can show you how to fix a garage door cable, no matter its complexity. We can also install an automatic garage door opener for our Houston, TX, clients. If your garage cable keeps coming off, call German Garage Doors at (832) 479-1743 to speak to one of our trusted contractors today.

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