Recliner Upright

How To Fix A Recliner That Won’t Stay Up

With a prolonged time of use, recliners’ parts are exposed to wear and tear that eventually may lead to breakdowns of the recliners. There is no need to throw away the recliner because you can easily fix it yourself.

Of course, this will depend on the extent of damage on the recliner as you’ll also have the option to seek help from a professional. 

5 Best Selling Recliner Repair Kits

Here are a few recliner repair kits that might come in handy.

Esright Grey Fabric Massage Recliner Chair

If the damages are minimal, you can save yourself some good cash by doing the repairs yourself. There are several likely reasons why a recliner could fail to stay up and that dictates that the first logical step to take is to identify the problem. 

Identify the Problem

Before you embark on fixing your recliner, it is essential to first establish where the problem lies. This way, you’ll be able to know the tools that you’ll require and what you’ll need to do to fix the broken part. The most common problems include failed springs, broken handles, and broken cables.

Requirements for Fixing a Recliner That Won’t Stay Up

If you have decided to fix your recliner, the process is much easier if you have all the tools and necessary equipment at your disposal. Some of the essential tools you’ll need to include the following:

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Replacement parts; spring, handle, or cable( this will vary depending on the broken part of the recliner)

How to Replace The Reclining Mechanism On A Reclining Sofa

RelaxZen Longstreet Rocker Recliner with Massage

The following are instructions on how to replace the whole reclining mechanism if need be. This might be necessary if the mechanism is completely broken and the repairs are more costly and unreliable than replacing the whole mechanism.

  • Place the recliner’s backside up
  • Remove the back cover to access the locks holding the backside of the recliner
  • Using a screwdriver, press on the lock release and pull out that side of the back then do the same on the other side to remove the back of the recliner completely
  • Turn the recliner upside down to access the bolts holding the reclining mechanism in place
  • Release the footrest
  • Loosen the bolts holding the mechanism to the rail of the chair
  • Pull the reclining mechanism outwards from the rails
  • Remove the reclining cable 
  • Loosen the bolts holding the mechanism to the frame of the recliner followed by those holding the footrest onto the mechanism
  • Lift the mechanism from the frame
  • Place the new mechanism into place on the frame
  • Bolt the footrest onto the new mechanism
  • Bolt the new mechanism onto the frame and put back the release cable.
  • Lift the recliner mechanism onto the rails and bolt it into position. 

How to Fix Recliner Springs

YOOGU Recliner Sofa Chair Replacement Springs

It is not uncommon to find a recliner with broken or faulty springs after being used for a while. Highlighted below are some steps on how you can fix the faulty springs.

  • Turn the recliner upside down
  • Identify the loose or broken spring
  • Remove the broken spring and compare it with the new one to ensure that it’s the correct one
  • Replace the broken spring with the new one. This might require stretching the new spring to place it to its holders
  • In case the springs had slid off their holders and are not damaged, return them back to their position and hold them into place using a string that may be pinned onto the frame of the recliner in the opposite direction to that which the springs had slid off their holders.

How to Replace a Recliner Cable

Sofa Recliner Cables

A recliner cable may be broken if the recliner does not recline when you pull it by the handle, it feels loose or the cable moves on its own without reclining. The correct installation of the cable is important so as to prevent future breakdowns as a result of the wrong installation. Here is how you can fix it:

  • On the handle, remove the two screws on the bottom and top part of the handle behind the latch
  • Pull the handle with the cable still attached to it from its original position
  • Position the chair upside down to access the cable mechanism at the bottom of the chair
  • Using pliers, remove the plastic clips holding the cable in line with its mechanism to allow you to remove the broken cable. The footrest should be closed.
  •  Release the footrest by pulling on its arm so as to allow access to the release arm where the cable is attached.
  • Lift the release arm to access its end where the cable is fitted
  • Unhook the cable and pull it free from the chair 
  • Replace the cable, passing it along the side of the chair just like the previous one
  • Fit the plastic clip then lift the release arm and fit the cable to the hole the other cable was fitted unless you may want to change the cable’s tension by changing the hole
  • Close the footrest and place the chair back to its upright position
  • Screw the handle to its position and test the recliner

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How to Replace a Recliner Handle

Recliner Handle Lever

In most cases, the handle’s latch breaks off and the handle becomes unusable. It is important to know the recliner’s manufacturer so that you can purchase the correct spare part for your recliner. To replace the handle, follow the instructions below:

  • On the handle, remove the two screws on the bottom and top part of the handle behind the latch using a screwdriver.
  • Pull the handle gently clear of the chair
  • At the rear of the handle, remove a retaining clip if there is any by squeezing it together
  • Unclip the cable neck form the handle then unhook the cable end from the handle while noting its positioning
  • On the new handle, remove any retaining clip from the handle
  • Hook the cable end to the new handle just like it was in the previous one and clip the cable neck into the new handle
  • Place retaining clip back on to the handle to hold the cable into position
  • Put back the handle to its position on the chair 
  • pull the latch to gain access to the screw holes and screw the handle into position using a screwdriver

How to Fix a Footrest On A Recliner

In case the footrest is stuck or won’t stay up, the following instructions are necessary to solving the problem.

  • Turn the recliner upside down to gain access to the underneath of the footrest.
  • Start by lubricating all joints on the footrest while taking care not to drip the lubricant on the cushions.
  • Using the appropriate tool, tighten all the bolts holding the footrest on the reclining mechanism.
  • Place the recliner back to its upright position and test.

Taking Care Of Your Recliner Chair

1. Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

When buying a piece of furniture, it always comes with a booklet or piece of paper that indicates how to take care of it. Different brands and companies have different ways and techniques to keep the recliner chair into great performance. Also, this booklet has provided information regarding warranty issues and even troubleshooting tips for common and simple problems.

2. Keeping It Clean

The longevity of a recliner chair is depending on how you take care of it. Whether it is upholstered or fabric it is most likely to be subjected to dirt, stain, dust, pet fur, sweat, and more. Regularly cleaning it will ensure that your recliner chair will have a good smell and looking for years to come.

3. Applying Conditioner

If you own a leather recliner, you must provide more maintenance so it could last longer. Unlike fabrics, leathers are more likely to fade and crack especially if you often use them. One of the ways to take care of your leather recliner is to apply a leather conditioner and to make sure that it is not directed to sunlight and far away from any heat source. Sunlight can make leather fade and heat can dry out and cause a crack.

4. Taking Care of Reclining Mechanism

One of the best things about the recliner chair is being able to move into many positions and being able to lift your feet up at the end of a tiring day. If you fail to take care of the reclining mechanism, your recliner chair will lose this ability. So you have to make that you regularly lubricate the mechanism, bolts, and steel frame to ensure the smooth movement of your recliner.


With the right tools, it is possible to save both time and money that would be used on employing a repair person. You also need to properly maintain your recliner if you want to continue enjoying its comfort for much longer.

Routine maintenance is necessary if you do not want to be caught unawares by a breakdown. This helps you identify problems and act on them before they can cause major breakdowns which could also translate to more expensive repairs.