How To Fix A Recliner Chair Mechanism?

If you are wondering how to fix a recliner chair mechanism on your own like an expert, then you have arrived at the right place. Turns out, repairing your recliner is not that hard if you have some basic knowledge about recliners.

Recliner chairs are associated with luxury because of the comfort and relaxation they offer. This is undoubtedly one of our favorite pieces of furniture to sit on while watching TV shows, read a book, or even falling asleep. However, just like all other working furniture, this chair can also malfunction. The good news is that most of your recliner problems don’t take much time to fix. This blog will give you the answer to how to fix a recliner chair mechanism. So, keep reading to find out!

How To Remove A Recliner Chair Mechanism?

The first topic to discuss while answering how to fix a recliner chair mechanism is how to remove the back of the recliner. Shifting the recliner chair might require you to uninstall its back. Here are the basic steps you need to follow for a office recliner or a rocker recliner of some other brand:

Step1. First, remove the locking tab of the chair (if it has one) and for bolted on back recliners, remove the panel to have the bolts exposed.

Step2. Take the chair to open space. Roll it onto its front, so that removing the back becomes easier.

Step3. The recliner chair comes with Velcro strips. Find the loop and hook from where you need to remove the tape responsible for attaching the fabric.

Step4. Take off the leather/fabric until the recliner mechanism is visible.

Step5. Find the metal tabs and the thumbscrews located at the lowest zone of the recliner chair.

Step6. Now, use a standard/flat slotted screwdriver to remove the screws. Ensure that the threads don’t get damaged while doing so.

Step7. In case the recliner chair comes with metal locking tabs, then hold and press the tabs and pull the bottom of the chair in the upward direction until you have the recliner mechanism out.

How To Re-Install A Recliner Chair Mechanism?

Re-installing the recliner chair back is comparatively easier than taking it out. First, you need to align the brackets at a specific angle. Once it’s done, simply push the recliner mechanism in its place. The process can be finished by adjusting the levers, attaching the screws, and fixing tabs. Although this sounds straightforward, it requires a lot of time and maneuvering. With practice, you’ll become an expert at it. Also, this procedure ensures that the recliner chair mechanism has been locked firmly.

How To Fix A Recliner Chair’s Tension Springs?

The recliner mechanism and the cushions allow you to relax peacefully on the recliner chair. This too has springs alike other items with mechanisms. Needless to say, the tension springs are bound to get damaged over time due to wear and tear. However, you don’t need to panic if such a thing happens because if you have the right tools, you can fix this problem within minutes.

The tools you’ll need are an adjustable wrench, replacement recliner spring, and maybe someone to help you with the process. Here’s how you’ll fix a recliner chair’s springs:

Step1. Turn over your recliner to figure out the problem. Also, make sure that the backrest is upright.

Step2. If the springs still exist, use a pair of pliers to get rid of them. This will help you remove the tension spring from the recliner frame. Please wear safety gear to protect your eyes from any damage.

Step3. Now, you need to pull the spring apart. To do so, place the screwdriver at both sides of your spring. You can also use nickel to separate the springs. Otherwise, a washer will also work.

Step4. Then, attach the spring to the frame with the pliers and get rid of that nickel placed between the coils. Make sure that the spring is attached firmly and has a solid grip.

Step 5. Now, place the recliner in an upright position. The easiest way to do so is to test if the spring on the brackets can tilt backward. If the resistance is not enough, then try another set. However, if the tension created is enough for you, then you can start using the recliner again.

How To Fix A Recliner Pull Handle/Replacement Handle?

A missing or damaged handle can also malfunction a recliner. The pull handle is the accessory that holds your recliner’s footrest in position. Otherwise, the footrest would have been forced to stay closed or upright. The handle can be fixed on your own but you need to have the right tools for the job. The things you’ll need are an ordinary hex key, screwdriver, a torn bit, and a replacement handle.

Given below are the steps you need to follow to fix your recliner’s pull handle. First, check if the footrest is positioned in an upright manner or not. It should remain closed before the chair is flipped upside down.

Then, find the screw or the recliner mechanism that holds the chair in place. It is the screw at the base end of the chair in most models. But, at times, it could also be located inside the recliner near the handle. Now, you need to follow the steps given below to execute the procedure:

Step1. Start removing the screws from the mechanism with the help of a screwdriver

Step2. Unlock the old handle from your recliner chair.

Step3. Once you have unlocked them, place them somewhere safe because you’ll need them after you have replaced the new one.

Step4. Place the new handle and screw it in from the place you removed the old one.

Step5. Tighten the screws using a screwdriver.

Step6. Pull the handle carefully so that the chair’s cloth doesn’t tear.

Step7. Look for the decorative place that is usually located below the handle.

Step8. Now, you’ll be able to get to the bottom of the replacement cable that connects your chair. Make sure everything is fine with it.

Step9. Lastly, invert the recliner headrest and handle to turn them into their normal position.

How To Fix A Recliner Chair Cable System?

If your recliner cable moves up and down on its own or doesn’t recline at all, then you’ll know that the cable is faulty. You can fix this in no time. First, loosen the stop of the cable and then pull and tighten it. Before doing so, make sure that you hold it in place against the piston bracket.

In case, this method does not work, then, you need to turn your chair upside down. Then, unscrew the bolts located on your chair’s footrest and the squab of the frame. Take off the squab and replace the cable system. Then, place the squab in its position to finish the process.

How To Fix A Recliner Chair Back?

If lately, you have noticed that your recliner doesn’t lean comfortably on either side, then chances are that its back has been broken. Some of the causes for the same could be uneven padding, uneven floor, leaning frame, rough usage, etc. Don’t worry because, with a little bit of knowledge and a couple of tools, you can easily fix the recliner back in no time.

First of all, a recliner chair mechanism can have three types of backs: Bolted on, locking lever, and locking tabs.

  • Bolted on backs: Here, the back is located underneath the panel of the recliner chair. Now, this could have certain variations based on the model you use. You can either use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screws. This way, it becomes easier to separate the back of the chair from the base. If the back is loose after you have slid it on, then you can tighten the bracket fasteners.
  • Locking-Lever backs: Here, the brackets remain attached to the chair’s back and you need to check if they are fixed properly towards the sides. You need to flip them downwards to lock them onto the dedicated metal slots of the recliner seat.
  • Locking Tabs: In this case, the back remains securely locked in its place. When you slip the back on, the locking tabs or catches will lock into place. These can be removed using bracket fasteners and tightened for a firm grip. To do the job well, you should use a flat screwdriver to make sure that the back is well-positioned in the slot.

With recliner backs, you need to ensure if you have re-installed them properly. One way to check this is by moving it sideways. If the brackets slide out of position, then you need to work more on fixing the back.

How To Fix A Recliner Chair Footrest?

A recliner footrest malfunctioning is a common issue but the good news is that you can fix it in no time. It can malfunction when you slam the recliner footrest time and again which destroys it permanently. It can also get damaged if it gets caught in a weird position, refuses to stay locked in place, or won’t stay up. If you can relate to any of these problems, then follow the given steps to fix the footrest of your recliner.

You will need a screwdriver, lubricating oil, bolts, and screws. This method will work for a lazy boy power recliner footrest or a chair footrest of any other brand as well.

Step1. Flip your recliner chair over to locate the screws placed in the underside of the chair.

Step2. The second step is to locate the screws and then tighten them. You might want to replace them as well if the need arises. If you do want to replace them, then use screws that are longer than the old ones. Longer screws will penetrate the wood and hold the footrest better.

Step3. You should also try tightening the footrest bracket with the new screws. This will ensure that they are secured firmly. Once done, flip your recliner back to its normal position.

Now, if your problem is that the footrest is stuck and won’t move from a certain position, then use lubricating oil. Flip the recliner and loosen all the screws attached to the recliner frame. It is recommended to use a cover so that the cushion does not get soiled from the lubricant. Make sure that you apply generous amounts of the oil at all joints of the footrest. This should be enough to release the footrest.

If the footrest requires some adjustment, then, loosen the bar attached to the recliner’s seat front and the ratchet too. Try moving the footrest to check if it is responding or not. If it is still stuck, then the problem could lie with the recliner springs. In such a case, you need to replace your old recliner spring with a new one.

How To Fix A Recliner Chair That Doesn’t Recline?

You could get yourself a recliner chair or a recliner sofa, but the entire purpose of buying it will be defeated if it doesn’t recline. The reclining mode of the chair is made possible via two modes: there’s one that uses a cable mechanism and the other uses an arm that employs the reclining mode. If the former recliner has malfunctioned, then the problem lies with a broken or loose cable. Follow the steps given below to fix this recliner mechanism:

  • Go to the lever or handle of the chair by removing the cushion.
  • Check if the cable got broken or has become loose
  • If it has broken down, then replace it with a new cable. Otherwise, a loose one can be hooked back to the lever.
  • Also, take a look at the state of the lever. If it is loose, then tighten the nuts and bolts that hold it in position.
  • If the lever has been stripped, you need to replace it with a new lever.
  • Search for bent parts or the ones that are in a weird position. Bending them back into their normal positions will set things right.


Why has my reclining chair stopped working?

There could be a lot of reasons as to why your reclining chair is not working. Some of them include the cable becoming loose or getting damaged, or the bolt that secures the arm in place has loosened, etc. In addition to that, there could be several other reasons that can cause your reclining chair to not recline or recline just partially.

How does a reclining chair mechanism work?

A reclining chair could have either of the two reclining mechanisms. The first one uses a cable system that operates the reclining more. The latter reclining mechanism works via an arm located outside the chair.

How much does it cost to fix a power recliner?

You should keep a budget in the range of $200 to $350 to repair your recliners. This includes the cost for repairing problems like fixing back-reclination issues, replacing broken springs, padding, etc. The same standard prices are applicable for sofa recliners as well.

Bottom Line

Recliners have been designed to offer optimum comfort and luxury. So, it surely can break your heart when it gets damaged. However, worry not because as long as you know about the basic mechanics of a recliner, the repair process takes only a few minutes.

Moreover, even if you have never done it hands-on, still you can easily repair your recliner. In this blog, we have answered how to fix the most common recliner issues. We hope it solved your queries and helped you fix your recliner chair.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top