How To Fix A Recliner

How To Fix A Recliner Like A Pro!

You may have noticed your recliner is not giving you the same comfort as the day you first sat on it or maybe it just seems to be acting a little weird. If you are contemplating on whether you need to get a new one or spend some cash on repair, hold off and read the whole guide on how to fix a recliner first! 

Due to the different mechanisms, it is common for your recliner’s gears to get stuck once in a while. However, that does not mean you need to replace it nor you need someone else to fix it for you. Before you give up on your favorite furniture, make sure to read this article first!

Here, we will go over the common issues of a recliner and how to fix it like an expert. You might realize it is not that difficult after all.

Read on! 

Before attempting to tinker with your recliner, make sure you know exactly what the issue is. Once you are sure, reach out to your manufacturer to see if they cover the repair under their warranty. This will save you a lot of time!

However, if your recliner’s warranty is over or if they do not cover the issue, do not fret. Instead, just make sure you have the right tools with you before fixing your recliner. Having all the right ones will ensure that you will not have to do unnecessary stops while you are trying to fix your precious recliner.

Necessary Tools

As mentioned you need to gather all the right tools before you start the repair. Though the right tools may vary depending on the area of malfunction, here are the tools you need to be prepared with, in general:

  • Screwdrivers: Standard and Phillips
  • Wrenches: Adjustable, Socket, and Allen
  • Lubricant Oil: WD40
  • Other tools: Ratchet, Pliers, Hex Keys, and Torx bits
  • Flashlights
  • Wood glue
  • Patch kits 
fixing a recliner

How to Fix Footrest of a Recliner

If you suspect your recliner’s footrest to be malfunctioning, you should be facing one of these issues: it would not stay up, rise up, or lock. Before assuming and doing the necessary steps to fix the footrest, you need to pull on the lever and observe the recliner a few times. You need to make sure the issue is totally isolated on the footrest itself. Otherwise, you should look at how to repair a recliner’s mechanism which is also discussed in this article. 

Once you are sure, you need to prepare the following items:

  • Screwdriver: Phillips
  • Wrench: Allen
  • Lubricant Oil: WD40
  • Replacement Parts: Ratchet, Spring, and Screw
  • Cloth

How to Jammed Footrest of a Recliner

Step 1: Flip the recliner over and locate the ratchet

Step 2: Reassemble the ratchet and lubricate the joints

Step 3: Flip the recliner back and test the footrest

Footrest Not Latching

Step 1: Flip the recliner and locate the springs 

Step 2: Look for springs that are worn out or damaged, replace them

Step 3: Flip the recliner back and test the footrest

Footrest Stuck In Upright Position

Step 1: Flip the recliner and locate the screws 

Step 2: Loosen the screws attached to the frame

Step 3: Lubricate the joints. Make sure to cover the bottom cushion with cloth

Step 4: Flip the recliner back and test the footrest

How to Fix Pull Handle of a Recliner

If this part is the only one malfunctioning, consider yourself lucky. The pull handle is one of the easiest issues to repair on a recliner. You just need to make sure you have the right tools on hand, then you are ready to go. 

Tools you need:

  • Screwdrivers: Phillips
  • Replacement Parts: Handle
  • Other tools: Ordinary Hex Key and Single Torx Bit

Step 1: Flip the recliner with footrest closed and locate the mechanism screws

Step 2: Remove the screws along with the handle and locate the decorative plate below the handle

Step 3: Install the new decorative plate and replacement handle along with the screws

Step 4: Flip the recliner back and test 

How to Fix a Recliner Chair’s Back

When your recliner’s back is malfunctioning, usually you just need to reinstall it. Do not let that set you off. This is also one of the easiest repairs you can do on your recliner. Plus, it does not require a lot of tools too! 

Required tools:

  • Screwdriver: Standard

Step 1: Flip the recliner over to its side and locate the locking brackets

Step 2: Remove the lever using Standard Screwdriver

Step 3: Flip the recliner back to the upright position and move the back from side to side in an upward motion

Step 4: Flip the recliner again on its side and reinstall the back

Step 5: Put it back in the upright position and align the back with the back brackets 

Step 6: Lower down the back until it sets completely with the rest of the recliner

Step 7: Test if the recliner’s back is fixed

How to Fix a Recliner That Won’t Recline

This is one of the most frustrating issues to have with your recliner. Mainly because it is not doing its job anymore. When faced with this issue, it is either caused by a broken cable, a broken arm, or both. 

Tools you need:

  • Wrench: Adjustable
  • Replacement Part: Lever

We will go over how to fix the cable later but just in case the malfunction is due to the arms, here is what you should do:

Step 1: Remove the arm cushion and locate the lever

Step 2: If it fell off, just put it back on. However, if you find it broken, you will need to replace it. 

Step 3: When placing the lever, make sure that the nut and bolt is snug 

Step 4: Put the arm cushion back and test the recliner

How to replace a cup holder of a Recliner

If your cup holder has buttons, you should hear a click when you press them. If not, then you can say it is not working. On the other hand, if you would just like to replace a cup holder for aesthetic or other purposes like finding a cup holder with cool functions, here are the steps to replace it: 

Required tools:

  • Screwdriver: Phillips
  • Replacement Parts: Cup Holder and Cable Ties
  • Other Tools: Pliers

Step 1: Remove the warning label or the bottom of your cup holder

Step 2: Remove the screws of the base and flip the recliner on its back

Step 3: Cut the cable ties that hold the wires and guide them to the cup holder inside the recliner’s arm

Step 4: Install the new cup holder by putting the wires in first then guide them back to the bottom of the recliner

Step 5: Replace the cable ties and return the recliner to its upright position

Step 6: Screw the base and put back the warning label

How to replace a recliner mechanism release trigger

When replacing a release trigger, the thought of it might make you want to hire a professional instead. You do not have to though. We will guide you through this step by step so you can replace it on your own, without any problems. 

Tools you need:

  • Screwdriver: Philipps
  • Wrench: Socket
  • Other Tools: 11-mm socket with extension
  • Replacement Parts: Cable and nylon lock nut

Step 1: Flip the recliner over its front and locate the mechanism release trigger

Step 2: Release the cable from the trigger and inspect the tension spring, bushing, and bolt. If any of them show signs of wear and tear, replace it. 

Step 3: Put the cable back and screw the nut and bring the recliner back to its upright position

Step 4: Test the release trigger

How to fix the swivel plate mechanism of a Recliner

If you are always using your recliner, you will notice wear and tear especially on the swivel plate. It is natural and as usual, you can fix this on your own. We will guide you through it step by step so you would not run into any problems. 

Tools you need:

  • Screwdriver: Phillips
  • Wrench: Allen
  • Replacement Parts: Nuts and Bolts

Each recliner has a different repair method. Let us go over them one by one.

Model A

Step 1: Flip the recliner on its side and locate the base

Step 2: Remove the swivel base and inspect it for rusts

Step 3: Apply lubricant on the joints of the swivel base

Step 4: Reinstall the swivel and test the recliner

Model B

Step 1: Flip the recliner in a position where you can easily navigate through the base

Step 2: Separate the swivel from the base by unscrewing the nuts 

Step 3: Inspect the swivel for loose nuts and bolts then refasten them

Step 4: Reinstall the swivel and test the recliner

Model C

Step 1: Flip the recliner to reveal the base and remove the swivel

Step 2: Replace the swivel and ensure the components of the columns are intact

Step 3: Align the swivel plate mechanism to the holes of the base and tighten them with the bolts and nuts

Step 4: Flip the recliner to its upright position then test

How to Fix Power Lift Recliner Motor of a Recliner

While power recliners offer both comfort and convenience, you cannot escape the fact that you will need to repair them too. Due to multiple electric parts, it is a little difficult to find out what exactly caused your recliner to stop working properly. Whatever the reason is, you should learn how to fix its motor. 

Tools you need:

  • Screwdriver: Torx
  • Wrench: Torx

Step 1: Disassemble the unit and do an inspection. Keep an eye on disconnected wires and pieces.

Step 2: Locate the motor drive linkages and remove the nuts and bolts

Step 3: Secure the motor on the bottom rail while removing the Torx bolts

Step 4: Locate the rail at the rear and remove the Torx screws. This will remove the motor itself

Step 5: Remove the drive linkage from the motor by removing the Torx head screws and re-install the right and left drive arms 

Step 6: Plug the hand wand into the recliner motor and align the arms into the drive tube

Step 7: Connect the power cable to the motor pigtail

Step 8: Plug recliner and run a complete test cycle

Replacing Cushion

After using your recliner for some time, you will notice that its cushion starts to feel different. The cushion plays a big part in your recliner and your level of comfort. The more you let it sag and dent, the less you are getting out of your recliner. When that day comes, you may want to try replacing the cushion yourself for the sake of learning and experience. We understand and we will guide you through it. You will be surprised that it is simple.  

Tools you need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife or seam ripper
  • Replacement foam
  • Needle and thread

You can also read the complete guide how to clean it.

Cushioned Recliners

Step 1: Remove the seat cushion and measure front to back at its thickest point and side to side at its widest point

Step 2: Inspect the seat cushion to see if it has a zipper. If there is none, slit the bottom seam. 

Step 3: Once opened, pull the old foam out and replace it with the new foam. 

Upholstered Recliners

Step 1: Examine the recliner and check if you can disassemble the arms

Step 2: Slit the upholstery between the seat and the arm then remove the foam

Step 3: Measure the foam front to back at its thickest point and side to side at its widest point

Step 4: Insert the replacement foam carefully from the opening then stitch the slit

How to Fix the Cable of a Recliner

As mentioned, if your recliner refuses to recline, this is one of the causes apart from a broken arm. If you have ruled out the broken arm and believe the cable is causing the issue, here is what you can do:

Tools you need:

  • Screwdriver: Phillips
  • Other tools: Pliers
  • Replacement Parts: Cable

Step 1: Flip your recliner over to its front and release the cable stop by pulling the cable tight

Step 2: Go over the footrest and unscrew the bolts that connect the squab and the chair’s frame

Step 3: Replace the cable and mount the squab back in

Step 4: Bring the recliner back to its upright position and run the tests

What if all fails

If you still find yourself with a broken recliner even after following this guide, do not worry. It does happen. Maybe your recliner needs more fixing than a DIY home repair. While these steps are meant to fix your recliners, the knowledge and expertise of seasoned repairmen remain unmatched.

Do not hesitate to call them up and learn by seeing them do it or reach out. It pays to ring your manufacturer too to see if the issue is part of their warranty. They might even send you free replacement parts!

Or, in case you don’t want to take the hassle and are interested to buy a new one check out our review article on best recliners for back pain!

Final Words

Trying to fix a recliner is a fun and educational process especially if you are into learning and you love doing something new. For the most part, they are relatively easy to do as long as you have the right tools and parts with you. However, if you get confused, it is good to ask for help from a professional. They know what to do best and they can teach you too! Anyhow, we hope you find a solution from the guide above so you can start relaxing on your recliner again!

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