Garage Door Cable Loose – Here’s How You Fix It

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Garage Doors

Featured image of how to repair a loose garage door cable

In theory, all it takes to fix a loose garage door cable is to rewind and tighten the line, like spooling a spinning reel. Although it sounds like a simple task, it’s not. Garage doors are heavy fixtures that run on a complex system with high tension. Mishandling or ignoring a loose garage door cable is like sitting on a time bomb waiting to go off, and it could lead to severe injuries to people, pets, and property. 

Our Muskegon garage door repair specialists can diagnose and repair your garage door cable loose, saving you time and effort. However, we have a guide if you want to fix it and have the necessary skills and tools. 

Signs of a Loose Garage Door Cable

A loose garage door cable could be caused by simple issues such as misalignment, old or broken springs, or a symptom of a more severe problem, such as a mechanical malfunction. Keep an eye out for these signs that your garage door cables are loose:

  • If the lines on your garage door have come off 
  • A visible gap is at the bottom of the garage door, even when closed
  • The garage door doesn’t open or close smoothly and often shuts too quickly
  • The garage door is uneven or leans to one side

Tools and Gear Needed

When you’re trying to fix loose garage door cables, you’ll need the following tools and gear:

  • Protective gear such as leather gloves and safety goggles
  • Stepladder 
  • Two C-clamps
  • Screwdriver 
  • Pair of pliers
  • Wrench

Steps to Fix a Loose Garage Door Cable

Infographic image of steps to fix a loose garage door cable

As a responsible DIYer, always wear appropriate safety gear before starting any project. You should also disconnect the door opener from the electrical outlet. Once you’re ready, you can get started. 

Step 1: Release the Tension on the Garage Door Spring

Working around a high-tension spring is dangerous, so releasing it before attempting to access the cables is important. To do this, close the garage door, then pull the red emergency release cord at the base of the trolley track. This will detach the garage door from its track, allowing you to lift the door manually and release the tension on the torsion spring. Now that it is open, secure it using C-clamps on both sides just below the rollers, so you can safely work around your garage doors.

Step 2: Loosen the Bracket and Cable Drum

The cable has two ends: one is wrapped in a cable drum in the bottom roller, while the other runs around the frame and is secured by a bracket. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the bottom brackets of the garage door. These brackets secure the cables attached to the frame. You can remove the wires from the frame using a pair of pliers as you loosen the bracket. Turn the shaft to loosen the cable, but don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up with tangled wires. Be sure to loosen the cable drum using a wrench. 

Step 3: Tighten the Cable

Now that the brackets and cable drum are loose, you can begin tightening the cables on both ends. Carefully wind up the loose cable on the drum. Then, return to the wires you removed from the bracket. Pull the loose ends and attach them back to the frame using its hook or clip. Choose the higher hole to adjust and tighten the wires so they are no longer loose. 


In addition, only tighten the slack in the cable, as over-tightening could make it hard to open the door. Once finished, reinstall the bottom bracket and return the cable drum by screwing it back to its original position. 

Step 4: Check the Alignment

Check your work by ensuring that the cables are correctly aligned. Double-check the drums on both sides of the door to ensure no wires have become unwrapped and are still taut. Once you’re satisfied, reconnect the garage door to the opener by pulling the red emergency release cord again toward the door. 

Step 5: Test the Garage Door

You can put the adjustment to the test by opening and closing the garage door. It should run smoothly and close slowly. There should also be no door gaps at the bottom, and the tilting should be fixed now. 

Leave the Garage Door Repair to the Experts at Shepherd Shoreline

When you notice a garage door cable loose, don’t ignore it. Any broken or damaged garage door parts could mean the difference between safety and injury. Also, without proper training, DIY repairs could worsen the problem and put you in danger. Allow our Muskegon garage door repair experts to give you peace of mind while avoiding risk and additional costs. We can also help you with your garage door maintenance checklist. Contact Shepherd Shoreline at (231) 780-2847 to schedule a consultation. 

Contact Us

Address: 950 E. Broadway Ave, Norton Shores, MI 49444

Phone: (231) 780-2847

Business Hours: Mon – Fri, 8AM – 5PM

Message Us