How to Fix A Recliner Chair Mechanism – Everything you need to know

So, after one hell of a tiring night at the office, you’ve finally reached home. ‘Gosh! Now I can have some “me-time” for a while.’ You get rid of your clothes, put on the pajamas and reach for your favorite recliner.

As you sit on it, you feel like something’s not right. It doesn’t feel that great. You frown your eyebrows, scratch your head for a while. You get up, you sit on it again and the time is making you confused.

Well, guess what GENIUS, your recliner needs some fixing. Maybe the springs are not working, maybe the cables are getting weaker. Or maybe, the pull-handles are getting messed up.

WHATEVER THE CASE, you need to fix your recliner right away. Worried? Say your stresses goodbye, it’s time you get some knowledge on how to fix a recliner. We’re going to show you the simple DIY tips so that you can fix your recliner all by yourself.

How to Fix A Recliner Chair Mechanism

How to Fix a Recliner

Recliners can have many issues you see. Sometimes, it’s just the springs that need to be taken care of. Or let’s say the lever is not working. Sometimes, it’s the cable that needs to be fixed. No matter what it is, we’re going to cover each and every issue here.

With our tips in your brain, you’ll be able to fix all the possible damages within a snap. Let’s have a look at the problems and how you can solve them.

1. How to Fix Recliner Chair Springs

As you sit on the recliner, you experience the relaxing cushion that takes over your body. The spongy feel takes you to the comfort zone you always crave for. Apart from the cushion, the spring gives you the bouncy feel as well.

However, the springs of your recliner can fail as time passes. That’s it, you can say goodbye to your relaxing days.

DON’T PANIC! It’s all fine. All you need to do is fix the springs and it’s not rocket science. You just got to have the know-how and the right tools to fix the springs.  So, how do you do it?

Well, that’s what we’re about to find out.

  • First thing’s first. Turn your recliner over and make it rest upside down. The recliner has four bolts that help the springs to stay in place. If you can’t locate them, you can use a flashlight. Once you find the bolts, it’s time for you to remove them. An adjustable wrench comes pretty handy in this case.

  • Now that you’ve removed the bolts, detaching the spring from your recliner should be easy for you. Place your recliner on the floor in such a way that the spring face upwards.

  • You’ll be able to find the bolts that are holding the footrest to the spring. Remove these bolts as well. Afterward, get your hands on the new set of recliner spring and tighten them to the footrest.

    Make sure the bolts are having a very tight hold. Otherwise, the springs can get detached anytime and this may give you a bummer.

  • Everything set? Voila! You’re all done. Now you can flip it back to its normal position. You can also try sitting on it to test if everything’s working fine.

  • Don’t even think to re-use the old springs for anything. WRONG MOVE! They should go right into the garbage.

2. How to Fix a Recliner Chair Back

Guess what? Recliner backs come in different types as well. You can find them in three categories. There are the ones with locking levers. You’ll also find the recliner that comes with locking catches or tabs. The third type is the ones that are bolted on backs.

Now, we don’t know which type you’re using. So, we’re going to discuss each and every type here.

  • Locking Lever Backs: If you’re using a recliner chair hat has got the locking lever backs, you’ll find the brackets are placed on the sides, fixed in a very well positioned way.

    In this case, you’ll have to flip the chair downwards while you lock it onto the metal posts that come with the seat.

  • Locking Catches or Tabs: When it comes to locking catches or tabs, once you’re done slipping the back on, the tabs or catches will lock into place.

    If you think you need the back to be more firm, you can try removing the bracket fasteners and afterward, you can tighten them up. A flat screwdriver always comes handy to place the tab correctly in its slot.

  • Bolted Back: Dealing with the bolted backs? Well, here’s what you need to do. You see the lower side that comes with the back panel? You’ll need to loosen them up. Under the recliner, you’ll find the bolts. You’ll have to remove them as well.

3. How to Fix a Recliner Cable

If the back of your recliner starts to move up and down without you even touching it, the cables are probably having a fault. You can get rid of this problem within a snap though. All you need to do is loosen the cable-stop at first.

Then, try pulling the cable and afterward, tighten it.  Now, here’s something you got to do before the cable stop is tightened. You have to make sure that you hold the cable stop against the piston bracket.

If somehow, this step fails, you have to flip the chair. As it stays upside down, you have to locate the four bolts that are placed on the footrest. Use a screwdriver so that you can unscrew the bolts.

You’ll also need to unscrew the two bolts which make sure the squab is held to the frame.  Afterward, you’ll have to get the squab removed and next, you have to replace the cable. When you’re done with everything, you can re-install the squab.

4. How to Fix Recliner Pull Handle

If you end up breaking the handle of your recliner or let’s say it’s somehow missing, the recliner won’t work like it’s used to. Thanks to the pull handles, the footrest stays firmly on its position. Without the pull handle, the footrest won’t stay in its place. Rather, it will stay closed or upright.

But you can solve this problem all by yourself in no time though. There’s no need for you to hire someone and get it fixed. Just get yourself a new pull handle and the tools you need to install it. Then follow the steps below.

  • Check if the footrest of your recliner is open or not. If it’s open, you’ll have to press it or push it so that it goes to a closed position.

  • Flip the recliner and keep it upside down in such a way that the armrest and the headrest touch the floor.

  • There’s a screw that allows the handle to hold its position; find it. Once you locate it, you’ll have to use a screwdriver to remove it.

  • Now, you should be able to detach the old pull handle of your recliner. Don’t forget to detach the escutcheon though.

  • Attach the new pull handle, put the screw and fasten it.

  • Voila! You’re done. Now you can flip the chair back to the position it was before.

5. How to Fix a Recliner Footrest

Footrests, if they get stuck or don’t stay up or lock properly, can lead to malfunctioning. But who says you got to wait? If you think your footrest needs some fixing, you can follow the steps below.

  • You need to gain access to the underside of the recliner. This is why you need to flip the recliner and keep it upside down. You should be able to locate the screws now.

  • See if the screws are properly tightened or not. If you see they’re loose, you should use a screwdriver to tighten them. However, if you think they’re already rusted and old, you can have them replaced.

  • Having no choice but to change the screws? If that’s the case, you should get yourself on the screws that are a bit larger in size. This is because the shorter ones have a hard time getting into the wood. Besides, they can’t hold the footrest in its place firmly.

    The longer ones, however, are pretty handy in this case.  Use the new screws to tighten the brackets of the footrest. Don’t forget to check if they’re firm.

    Done already? Cool! Now you can flip your recliner back to the normal position.

What if Your Footrest is Stuck on a Specific Position?

  • If the footrest doesn’t move at all, you can try using a lubricant so that it gets back to work.  Turn your recliner upside down and locate the screws on the frame and unscrew them.

    You can use a cover so that the cushion stays protected from getting soiled as you lubricate your recliner.  The process should be done generously and you should lubricate all the joints.

  • If your footrest doesn’t move and it needs some fixing and adjusting, you have to disassemble the bar that’s fixed to the ratchet and the seat front.

    That should fix everything. However, if it’s still not working, most probably the problem lies in the spring. To solve the problem, you should get yourself a new set of springs while you get rid of the old ones.

6. Fixing the Recliner that’s Not Reclining

To activate the reclining mode, you have to depend on two types of mechanisms. There’s the mechanism that uses the cable system. The other one basically gets an arm employed so that it can activate the reclining mode.

However, most of the time, people face problems in the cable system, as in the first type. If you want to get rid of this issue, you can simply follow these made-easy steps.

  • Remove the cushion so that you can have access to the handle.
  • See if the cable is loose or broken.

  • For broken cables, you won’t have any choice but to get yourself a new one and get rid of the old one.

  • However, if the cable is loose, you can simply solve the problem by hooking it back to the lever.

  • See if the lever is okay or not. If you see that it’s loose, that’s where the problem lies. Use a screwdriver or wrench so that you can tighten the nuts and bolts. This will hold the lever firmly in its place.

  • For a stripped lever, there’s no other solution but to get yourself a new one.

7. Fixing the Recliner that Leans to One Side

What could be worse than having a recliner that leans to one specific side? This can give you a hard time getting your comfort zone. Most of the time it happens when one of its parts wears out. Well, you can fix this all by yourself. All you need to do is follow the steps below.

  • Get yourself a pry bar, screwdriver, and wood glue.

  • Flip your recliner and keep it in an upside-down position. This will allow you to have access to its underside.

  • Examine if the springs are fine or not. Take care of the loose ones simply by tightening them using the screwdriver. Get rid of the ones that have worn out.

  • Sometimes screw holes get oversized. If you’re experiencing the same thing, you can solve your problem by using wood glue. Use it as a filler so that the holes get smaller.

  • If the springs of your recliner do not mount on wood, rather they mount on metal instead, you’ll just have to tighten the loose attachments.

  • You’ll have to get yourself a new mounting plate and get rid of the old one if it wears out.

Wrapping Up!

Now that you know how to fix a recliner, you’ll know that you won’t be needing someone else to hire to get your recliner fixed. We’ve covered all the possible ways your recliner can get damaged and we provided the solution as well.

With these easy steps, you’ll be able to save your money and time as well. So when if you’re pulling your hair because you don’t know what to do, you might want to give these simple steps a try. You won’t regret it, that’s for sure.


Writholic, Very passionate Writer, love to travel a lot

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