How to Keep Winch Cable from Binding? – [Detailed Guide]

At some point, most winch owners will discover that their winch cable has become trapped or jammed. Although you have the winch set to free spool, no matter how badly you try, the cable will not pull out.

In most circumstances, knowing the strategies we will present in this article will allow you to effortlessly free up cable. Other times, you’ll have a cable tangle that you can’t untangle without removing the winch or cutting the rope.

How To Keep Winch Cable from Binding? – Steps

Lets discuss the easy and detailed steps without wasting time.

Step 1: Unspool the Cable Manually

Unspool the winch until it reaches the cable’s bind point. When the cable doesn’t unspool any farther, you’ll know it’s time to stop. Due to the bind, it will instead reverse and pull the cord back in the opposite direction you turn the drum.

With one hand, you can pick the free end of the cable and at least one from the fairlead as well. Pull straight down using your body weight as leverage. Press the “Out” button on your winch for a brief second while keeping a continuous downward draw on the cable.

The cable should be freed up as a result of this. Furthermore, to free up the cable, you might need to spool the winch in and out several times. Continue to spool in and out a few inches around the binding location while maintaining continuous strain on the cable.

If you have a remote or an individual who can help you generate the winch, this procedure works well. Ascertain that the assist knows how to use a winch. If you do not be aware, your hand may get entangled in the rollers if you push in, leading to your harm.

Step 2: Unspool the Cable While Driving

Without dismantling the winch, this method is also good for you to go. As with procedure 2, the cable must be attached to a stationary object.

You’ll be spooling out the winch while gradually backing up the car to impart strain to the rope, rather than having the winch set to free spool.

Use caution while yanking on the cable at high speeds, since this can damage the gears within your winch. The purpose of a winch is to pull, not to be pulled on.

Step 3: Fix a Winch that has too much Cable in it

If you grease a winch that is filled with cable on one side from winching at an angle before trying the forenamed method, it will be waspler for you to free it up.

You should use a decent lubricating oil that does not have acids and corrosives. Wipe away any excess oil, as oil attracts dirt, causing the winch and cable to wear out prematurely.

Step 4: Set the Winch to Free Spool

Set The Winch To Free Spool, Attach The Rope To A Stationary Object, Then Reverse Your Vehicle-

Park your car in front of any fixed object such as a huge tree, a telephone pole, a  truck, or an ATV’s rear hitch. Make sure the winch is set to free spool.

Ascertain that the spool spins freely. If it doesn’t, the issue is most likely not a jammed cable, but rather a problem with the free spool knob or the internals of the winch.

Connect the cable’s free end to a solid item at ground level. If the free end of the winch wire is too short, use a strap to extend it. Back up the vehicle slowly until the line is under strain with the winch in the free spool. 

Make sure you’re not tugging the cable over a sharp edge, as this could cause it to break. Gradually increase throttle to increase cable stress until it releases. Applying too much tension or too much speed can cause the drum to break.

For further guide you can watch the video.

How Can You Prevent a Stuck Winch Cable? Steps

When it comes to avoiding suck winch cables and winch ropes, planning is crucial. Here are a few pointers to help you avoid future cable meltdowns:

Step 1: Make Sure the Cable or Rope is Wrapped under load

Steel cables and synthetic ropes must be coiled neatly and evenly around the winch drum when it is loaded. If you wind the cable on too loosely, it will move around and cross over on itself.

When you add tension, it will bind up as a result of this. The purpose is to ensure that the lower cable windings are tightly wrapped so that the cable’s free end does not slip down between them when tension is applied.

With synthetic ropes, a tight and smooth wrap is required. As long as the synthetic is properly spooled, it is less likely to jam. A synthetic rope is more likely than a steel cable to become trapped if it is not wrapped properly.

Step 2: After each Usage, properly Respool the Cable or Rope

As you winch, the winch wire may frequently spool back up haphazardly and sloppily. After using it for each time, unspool and re-spool the cable nicely without tangling it while under tension so you can prevent binding for the next time.

It is easy to overlook this crucial part of winching in the heat of the moment. However, it is the most useful technique for avoiding future issues.

Step 3: Install a Spring-loaded Roller Fairlead

People who use their winches for work don’t have time to fiddle with tangled winch cables. Establishing a fairlead with a spring-loaded roller will be a promising idea. When you spool the wire back in, this sort of fairlead ensures that there is always strain on the cable, allowing it to spool back into the drum-tight and neatly.

Step 3: Replace the Kinked Cable

It’s difficult to spool back in a steel cable that’s full of twists and kinks smoothly. If you frequently experience a stuck cable, replacing it with a new, smooth cable may save you time and aggravation.


Here we conclude this article covering everything important related to the winch cable. You have to follow the above-mentioned steps if you wish to keep your winch cable from binding. However, if it still happens, be very careful while unbinding the winch cable as it’s a complicated process and can give you a headache.

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