Oil tempered garage door springs have been around for a long time, pretty much since the day the family car moved from the carriage stable into an actual garage. They’re probably the most common garage door spring. They work pretty well, but their Achilles tendon is they rust, especially during the rainy winters we get in Sacramento. The beauty of oil tempered springs is they tend to keep their tension pretty well. They rarely need to be tightened and are pretty much hassle free.
That’s good because you really shouldn’t tighten your torsion springs at all. Every spring has a limit to how much it can be adjusted, known as its cycle life. Any adjusting you do takes away its cycle life, literally degrading the life of a spring.
Zinc galvanized springs are much sleeker and prettier looking, mostly because they don’t rust. But they also don’t last as long. Zinc springs also tend to be pretty noisy.
What Life-cycle is Best?
You should aim to buy a spring that has at least 20,000 cycles of life predictability in it. What’s important to remember is that as cycle life goes up, so does the wire thickness of the spring. So a super high life cycle also tends to be an expensive spring. There’s just more metal. And considering the cost of metal materials these days, that difference can be significant.
Don’t Forget Other Garage Door Components
Garage door springs aren’t the only parts of your garage door that have a limited lifespan you should be aware of. If you’re buying new springs, you should also invest in new bearings and cables. The bearings and cables tend to have a shorter lifespan, but you might as well kill two birds with one stone. That way your garage will be repaired and in top running condition so you don’t have to worry about it for a while.