If your garage door is not opening and closing smoothly, or is not level, etc, you may need to adjust your garage door.  The first step is to identify any issues and make adjustments.  (Follow the instructions at your own risk, we do not guarantee anything.)

1. Inspect your door

Are the tracks aligned?  Are they dirty?  If the trackes are not aligned or are warped, you will need to replace them.  (See article on replacing a garage door track). If they are dirty, clean them by sweeping debris away and wiping them down with a damp cloth and/or using a toothbrush to loosen grime.  When they are clean, wipe them with a dry cloth. Test your garage door by opening and closing them and this may have taken care of the problem.

2. Is it the springs?

Is it the springs?  There are two types of springs that garage doors use, and your garage door will use one of these: a side-mounted extension spring or a torsion spring. 

For bigger doors, torsion springs are usually used, positioned at the top of the door and parallel with the upper side of the garage door.  There could be one or two depending on how large the garage door is.  Torsions springs are dangerous to work with if you do anything wrong as they carry the weight of the door while you need to work on them.  We suggest you call a professional if these need adjusting. 

If you have side-mounted extension springs, you can adjust the spring tension as follows:

If the door is not shutting evenly or is not level, adjust the tension of the spring on the side where there’s a gap.  Decrease the tension if the door is not closing all the way or if the door is opening too quickly.  Increase the tension of the door is opening too slowly or is difficult to open.

3. Adjusting the Spring Tension

First, you need to disconnect an automatic door from the opener.  Do this by during the power off, then pulling the cord on the back of the door down and back.  The spring will now be locked open and you will be able to open the door all the way without putting the springs under tension.

Be sure to put on your safety equipment such as gloves, glasses and hard hat.

Place the C-clamp under the roller at the bottom of the door to securely hold the door in place while working on it.

There is a spring hook that you need to remove in order to change the tension.  It is a big hook that is held in place by a nut, attaching the spring to the track hanger.  Make sure there is no tension in the spring.

Remove the nut on the rear of the bracket.  Once you do this, you will be able to move the hook to a different hole on the track hanger, thereby changing the tension.  A lower hole will decrease the spring tension, whereas a higher hold will increase it.

To make the door easier to open or to close more slowly, move the hook up one hole which will increase the tension. If the door is too hard to close, move the hook down one hole which will decrease the tension.

If there is a gap on one side of the door when shut, adjust the spring on that side.

4. Test and Fine Tune the Garage Door

Remove the clamp from the roller. Close the door.  Did it close properly?  If not, repeat #3 above (be sure you re-clamp the door before moving the hook).  Move the hook only one hole at a time between testing and fine tuning the door.  Repeat until the door is operating correctly.

5. Fine Tuning the Tension

If raising or lowering the hook does not provide the perfect amount of spring tension, and you need to fine tune it, the cable that is inside the springs can be adjusted.  This is done by adjusting the clamp or know that attaches the hook to the cable.  Shorten the cable and the tension will increase.  Lengthen the cable and the tension will decrease.  Remove the clamp to test the door.  Repeat until done fine tuning the door.

6. Re-attach the door

Once the garage door is working, make sure all clamps are removed.  Pull on the emergency cord to release the spring and re-attach to the automatic opener.  Switch the power back on.

Your door should now be operating perfectly!  Remember, call a professional if your garage door has torsion springs!  In fact, it is a good idea to have a maintenance program in place with professionals so they can ensure that your garage door is working well and most importantly, safely, at all times.