Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Replace a Broken Garage Door Cable

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Replace a Broken Garage Door Cable

Your garage door is an essential part of your home. It provides security, convenience, and protection for your vehicles and belongings. garage door cable repair However, like any mechanical system, garage doors can develop issues over time, and one common problem is a broken garage door cable. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry; replacing a broken garage door cable is a manageable DIY project that can save you time and money. This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  1. Safety Gear: Always prioritize safety. Wear safety goggles and work gloves to protect your eyes and hands.
  2. Ladder: A sturdy ladder is essential to safely access the garage door mechanism.
  3. Adjustable Wrench: You’ll need this to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts.
  4. Vise Grips: These will help secure the garage door in place during the repair.
  5. Replacement Cable: Make sure to measure your existing cable so you can purchase the correct replacement.
  6. Winding Bars: You’ll need these to unwind and wind the garage door springs safely.
  7. Cable Clips and Fasteners: These are used to secure the cable in place.
  8. A Friend to Assist: This project is easier and safer with an extra set of hands.

Safety First

Safety should be your top priority when working on any garage door repair. Before starting, make sure to disconnect the power to the garage door opener and lock the door in the down position. This will prevent any accidental operation during the repair process.

Identifying the Problem

  1. Visual Inspection: Examine the broken cable and the surrounding area. Check for any other damaged parts or loose hardware.
  2. Determine Cable Type: Identify whether you have a torsion spring system or an extension spring system. The cable replacement process will vary depending on the type of system.

Releasing Tension in Torsion Spring System

For a torsion spring system, follow these steps:

  1. Mark the Cable: Use a marker to mark the winding cone and the cable to ensure you wind it back to the same position.
  2. Release Tension: Insert a winding bar into one of the holes on the winding cone. Slowly release the tension by turning the bar. Do this for both sides of the door.

Removing the Old Cable

  1. Loosen the Set Screws: Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the set screws on the cable drums at the end of the torsion spring shaft.
  2. Remove the Cable: Carefully unwind the old cable from the cable drum.
  3. Detach the Cable from the Bottom Bracket: Use vise grips to secure the cable in place while you remove it from the bottom bracket.

Installing the New Cable

  1. Feed the New Cable: Feed the new cable through the bottom bracket and then thread it through the cable drum.
  2. Tighten the Set Screws: Tighten the set screws on the cable drum securely.
  3. Wind the Spring: Using your winding bars, wind the spring back to the same number of turns it was before you released the tension.

Securing the Cable

  1. Attach the Cable to the Bottom Bracket: Make sure it is securely attached and properly seated in the groove of the drum.
  2. Cable Clips: Use cable clips or fasteners to secure the cable to the bottom bracket. Ensure it’s tight but not overly tensioned.

Final Steps

  1. Double-Check: Inspect your work to ensure that the cable is properly seated, the springs are correctly tensioned, and all fasteners are secure.
  2. Release the Lock: Carefully release the lock that held the garage door in place.
  3. Test the Door: Operate the door to ensure it opens and closes smoothly without any issues.
  4. Reconnect Power: Reconnect the power to the garage door opener.


Replacing a broken garage door cable is a manageable DIY task, but it requires caution and careful attention to detail. If you’re not comfortable or confident with any step of the process, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your garage door. Remember that safety should be your primary concern throughout the entire process. With the right tools and this step-by-step guide, you can get your garage door back in working order and maintain the security and convenience it provides for your home.