What’s The Difference Between Oil-Tempered And Zinc-Galvanized Torsion Springs?

The smallest part of a garage door is its most crucial component. Yes, here we are referring to the garage door springs. The torsion springs of a galvanized garage door store mechanical energy in its windings and are solely responsible for opening and closing the garage door. So, the weight of the entire garage door is counterbalanced by these springs. This means you have to be very careful in choosing the right type of springs for your garage door and replace them periodically by calling a good garage door  repair expert.

When you want to replace your torsion springs, you usually consider the size, length, and weight of the spring. In addition to this, you must look at another factor – the type of torsion spring. There are 2 types of torsion springs- oil tempered and zinc-galvanized torsion springs. Let us take a look at both and know the difference.

Oil-tempered torsion springs

Oil tempered springs are so-called because they are subjected to a process of tempering in oil. The spring wire, made of carbon steel,  is heated to a high temperature and then plunged into a vat of oil. After quenching, the wire is reheated again to achieve a high level of tempering. This oil tempering process lends the torsion spring high tensile strength and makes it highly durable. These oil-tempered torsion springs are black due to the tempering process. 

Zinc galvanized springs

Galvanized springs are so-called because they are coated with a protective layer of zinc. Like coil springs, these galvanized springs to are made of carbon steel. They are heated well and then dipped into a vat of molten zinc. Once taken out, they are covered with a layer of zinc oxide which then converts to zinc carbonate. This zinc coating protects the spring from rusting.

Comparing oil tempered springs and zinc carbonized springs


Oil-tempered springs are known for their durability. They easily outlast galvanized springs and can withstand heavy and rugged use. Their increased lifespan is due to the lubricating action of the oil that maintains the coiling action of the spring. 

On the other hand, zinc galvanized springs have to be replaced once in 6 months by calling garage door repair technicians.

Tensile strength

The main purpose of oil tempering or zinc galvanizing is to improve the tensile strength of the torsion spring. When you compare zinc galvanized and oil tempered springs for this tensile strength, you will find that oil springs are better. Zinc springs lose their tensile strength with time and need frequent replacement.


The presence of oil retains the elasticity of the oil-tempered springs for a long time. In contrast, galvanized springs lose their elasticity soon and need to be tuned often by an experienced garage door repair technician.

Frequent adjustments

It is only the zinc-coated springs that need frequent adjustments or tightening. Oil springs need not be touched or adjusted for a long time until they develop some damage due to wear and tear.

Protection against rust

When it comes to rust protection, zinc powder-coated springs are the best. Their galvanizing process makes them rust-resistant and moisture-proof. Oil-tempered springs cannot withstand wetness and rust easily.

Oily residue

The main disadvantage of coil springs is that they retain an oily residue that makes them greasy to touch and handle. Zinc springs do not have this problem as there is no oil involved in their process.

Installation process

Installing or replacing oil tempered springs is a messy job due to the stickiness of the oily residue on them. Installation experts have to wear gloves while handling these oily springs. With galvanized springs, installation is not an issue.

Appealing aesthetics

One look at the blackish oil-tempered wire spring and you will make a face. This is what most homeowners do when they see the black appearance of the oil-tempered springs. Galvanized springs have a silvery appearance to their zinc coating and are hence preferred for aesthetic applications.


Oil-tempered springs are cheaper than galvanized springs and have lower maintenance costs as well. This is because their cost of materials is less and the manufacturing process is much easier than that of zinc springs.

When it comes to garage door springs, it is best to take the opinion of an experienced garage door technician. Aesthetic-minded homeowners might prefer zinc galvanized springs for their look while oil tempered springs are the popular choice for cost-conscious homeowners due to their high life expectancy.

Ultimately, it is best to seek the guidance of Thrifty Garage Door Repair technicians to make this choice for torsion springs based on your type of garage door and its location. Call 604-901-7676 Thrifty Garage Door Repair for help with fixing the garage door issue fast – we offer emergency garage door repair service in Vancouver 



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