To evaluate whether the problem lies with the door or the automatic opener, make sure the door is in the fully closed position, then disengage the opener trolly from the door by pulling the emergency release cord. Try to lift the garage door by hand. If the door opens smoothly by hand, the problem is with the opener. If the garage door still only opens halfway, the problem is with the door.

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Measure the various areas where the door will be installed: door-opening height and width, headroom (from top of opening to ceiling), and back room (length of garage). For the headroom, you should have about 10" to 12" of space, depending on the spring system you're installing. For the back room, you should have the door height, plus another 18" or more of space.

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NEVER use screwdrivers, pin punches or pliers handles to wind or unwind a torsion spring. Trust us: This is the best way to wind up in the hospital. Don't even think about doing this job without a proper set of winding bars. You can buy a set of professional hardened-steel winding bars for about $25 from online suppliers. ( and are two online sources that sell winding bars, springs and other parts.) Professional winding bars work with 1/2-in. and 7/16-in. winding cones. If your winding cones have 1/2-in. openings, you can make your own winding bars by cutting a 36-in. length of 1/2-in.-diameter round bar stock in half (buy round bar stock from any hardware or home center). Just file a smooth bevel on each end so it slides into the winding cone holes easier.
A garage door spring replacement should cost between $175 and $225 for a single tension spring and between $250 and $300 for two tension springs. Most garage door companies carry a wide enough variety of spring sizes to cover most residential doors. As long as the proper amount of turns are put on the spring, there are more than one correct springs to use for any one door.

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10.1 It is now time to wind the new springs, but before doing so, I recommend marking the shaft just beyond the winding cone. This is a final step taken to assure that you have installed the springs on the correct sides of the center bracket. Torsion springs always grow in length when they are wound in the proper direction. If your spring does not get longer as you wind it, you are winding it the wrong direction probably because it is improperly installed. We recurrently get calls about springs coming loose from the cones at about 6 turns. If this happens, switch the springs.