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How to Fix a Recliner That Won’t Close

Tim Parry


Recliners are one of the most versatile and comfortable seating inventions ever to be made available. They are used in living rooms, cigar lounges, studies, and their comfort is extremely popular in man caves. They can be used for laid-back seating that is perfect for watching a sports game. They can also be used as straight seating for the serious gentleman.

However, even the best inventions are prone to failure. Quite often, it is found that old recliners tend to stick or refuse to recline correctly. Replacing the recliner with a new one may be a drastic alternative that could end up being a waste. Despite the seemingly complex design of recliners, it is more than possible to repair them at home. We will examine how to fix a recliner that won't close in this article. Before we start, having an air compressor for home use really helps.

Regular Recliner Wear

You will have to note that every recliner is different. Some allow headrests to recline, while the most basic ones will only allow footrests to extend. The most common and better-preferred types are the ones that incorporate both.

These mechanisms are more extensive, allowing many problems to creep in. Many malfunctions can take root in recliners, some that may even cause the reclining mechanisms to fail. The problems and solutions discussed here will remain specific to errors that will prevent proper reclining.

Understanding your specific model’s reclining and latch system is vital. To get the correct information, you can either search the internet or consult your user's manual if possible. If you are familiar with the mechanism, it will be easier to determine if parts may require replacement.

Fixing a Recliner That Won’t Close

Often problems occur in the cable, the cord, or the pull handle. If the engaging lever or handle has tension on the spring, it will most likely be a faulty latch mechanism. There are numerous causes, including blockages in the guide frames or possibly a few loose rivets, bolts, or nuts. It could also be the result of a dry mechanism.

The correct lubrication will solve this if that is a problem. If the mechanism is far too worn, replacement may be the only option to regain the comfortable use of your recliner. Other problems that can cause rests from extending or closing can include misalignment or spring tension issues. In electrical recliners, the panel can be the source of the fault.

The problem could also be worn electric wiring or burned components. Misalignment can be fixed by checking the alignment bar to make sure it is level and secure. Spring tension can be adjusted by tightening loose screws or fixing parts in their place. If need be, springs can be replaced, as well.

People have also discovered that the padding of the rests can interfere with the completion of the mechanism’s action. This can be fixed by removing any unnecessary padding. Here is a basic fault tracing guide that will fix common errors.

  • Turn the recliner onto its face to expose the mechanisms clearly
  • Optionally, you can turn it on the side opposite the handle
  • Look for loose screws, nuts, or worn rivets
  • Ensure the entire mechanism is securely fixed to the seat frame
  • Spray moving parts with lubrication
  • Check individual components for functionality
  • Replace any parts if needed

If this does not resolve the problems, consult a reclining repair agent as a last resort. Otherwise, simply use it as the best excuse to buy a new one.

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Tim Parry

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