How To Fix A Recliner That Won’t Close? Easy-to-do Guide!

Learn how to fix a recliner that won’t close with this step-by-step guide. First, check the recliner’s latch mechanism to make sure it’s not damaged or misaligned.

If the latch is working correctly, the problem may be with the recliner’s cables.

If the cables are damaged or frayed, they will need to be replaced. 

In some cases, the recliner’s motor may also need to be replaced. With a little bit of DIY know-how, you can fix a recliner that won’t close and get back to relaxing in comfort.

Common Causes of a Recliner Not Closing

1. Broken Latch

One of the common causes of a recliner not closing is a broken latch.

The latch is responsible for holding the recliner in place when it’s in the closed position.

Over time, the latch may become damaged or worn out, preventing the recliner from closing securely.

If you suspect a broken latch, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to restore functionality to your recliner.

2. Stuck Cable 

Another culprit for a recliner not closing is a stuck cable.

The cable is responsible for controlling the reclining mechanism, allowing you to adjust the position of the chair.

check the stuck cable

If the cable gets stuck or tangled, it can hinder the recliner’s ability to close smoothly.

Identifying and resolving any issues with the cable is crucial to ensure the proper functioning of your recliner.

3. Worn Mechanism

The mechanism of a recliner can wear out over time due to regular use, causing difficulties in closing the chair.

The internal components responsible for the reclining action may become worn, loose, or misaligned.

A worn mechanism can make it challenging for the recliner to close completely or lead to it getting stuck in a partially reclined position.

Understanding how to address a worn mechanism is vital for resolving issues with your recliner.

How to Troubleshoot a Recliner That Won’t Close

1. Check the Latch

When facing issues with a recliner that won’t close, start by inspecting the latch. Look for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or breakage.

If the latch appears faulty, it may need to be replaced.

However, before considering a replacement, try cleaning and lubricating the latch to see if that resolves the issue.

check the latch

Sometimes, debris or lack of lubrication can cause the latch to malfunction.

2. Check the Cable

Next, examine the cable that controls the reclining mechanism.

Ensure that the cable is properly connected and not tangled or kinked. If you notice any issues with the cable, such as fraying or detachment, it may require repair or replacement.

In some cases, a simple adjustment or lubrication of the cable can solve the problem.

3. Check the Mechanism

Inspect the reclining mechanism itself to identify any visible signs of wear or misalignment.

Examine the internal components, such as springs, gears, and levers, for any damage or loose connections.

If you notice any abnormalities, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance or refer to the manufacturer’s manual for guidance on troubleshooting and repairing the mechanism.

How to Fix a Recliner with a Broken Latch

If your recliner has a broken latch, it’s necessary to replace it to restore the functionality of the chair. Here’s a step-by-step process to fix a recliner with a broken latch:

  • Identify The Type Of Latches: Different recliner models may have different latches, such as release handle latches or lever-style latches. Understanding the specific latch type will help in procuring the correct replacement part.
  • Purchase A Replacement Latch: Visit a furniture store or contact the recliner manufacturer to obtain the appropriate replacement latch.
  • Remove The Old Latch: Depending on the recliner model, you may need to unscrew or detach the broken latch from the recliner frame carefully.
  • Install The New Latch: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the new latch securely. Ensure that it aligns correctly and functions smoothly.
  • Test The Recliner: Once the new latch is installed, test the recliner to ensure that it closes and locks securely. Make any necessary adjustments if the closure is not smooth.

How to Fix a Recliner with a Stuck Cable

If your recliner has a stuck cable, follow these steps to resolve the issue:

  • Locate The Cable: Identify the cable that controls the reclining mechanism. It’s usually located under the recliner or within the frame.
  • Inspect For Obstructions: Check if the cable is tangled, kinked, or obstructed by any objects. Carefully remove any debris or untangle the cable.
  • Lubricate The Cable: Apply a small amount of silicone-based lubricant to the cable. Move the cable back and forth to distribute the lubricant evenly.
  • Test The Recliner: Check if the cable is now functioning smoothly by testing the reclining action. Ensure that the recliner can close and open without any issues.

How to Fix a Recliner with a Worn Mechanism

If your recliner has a worn mechanism, it may be necessary to replace specific components to restore its functionality. Here’s how to fix a recliner with a worn mechanism:

  • Identify The Worn Parts: Inspect the reclining mechanism to determine which components are worn or damaged. This may include springs, gears, or levers.
  • Order Replacement Parts: Contact the recliner manufacturer or a reputable furniture parts supplier to order the necessary replacement components.
  • Disassemble The Recliner: Carefully disassemble the recliner, following the manufacturer’s instructions or guidance specific to your recliner model.
  • Replace The Worn Components: Remove the worn parts and replace them with new ones. Ensure that all connections are secure and aligned correctly.
  • Reassemble And Test The Recliner: Put the recliner back together, following the reverse order of disassembly. Test the recliner to ensure that it functions smoothly and closes correctly.

How to Prevent a Recliner from Not Closing

To prevent your recliner from encountering closing issues in the future, consider the following preventive measures:

Operate ProperlyFollow manufacturer’s instructions, avoid sudden movements or force.
Regular MaintenanceSchedule check-ups, clean, and lubricate for longevity.
Manufacturer’s GuidelinesAdhere to safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
Avoid Excessive ForceBe gentle; don’t strain the mechanism with excessive force.
Scheduled InspectionsRegular professional checks to catch issues early.
Keep It CleanEstablish cleaning routine to prevent dust and debris buildup.
Proper LubricationUse recommended lubricants for smooth functioning.
Address Issues PromptlyFix problems during maintenance to prevent escalation.
Ensure LongevityBy following these tips, extend the recliner’s lifespan and performance.


Encountering a recliner that won’t close can be frustrating, but with the right knowledge and troubleshooting steps, you can restore its functionality.

By understanding the common causes behind a recliner not closing, such as a broken latch, stuck cable, or worn mechanism, you can effectively address the problem.

Additionally, practicing preventive measures, such as using the recliner properly and regular maintenance, can prolong its lifespan and minimize the chances of future closing issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make My Recliner Easier To Close?

Loosen the tension on the recliner’s mechanism. You can do this by adjusting the screws or bolts that hold the mechanism in place.

How Do You Close A Recliner Chair?

There are two ways to close a recliner chair: manually and with remote control. To close it manually, pull the recliner’s lever or push the button. To close it with a remote control, press the button on the remote control.

How Do You Release Tension On A Recliner?

To release tension on a recliner, you need to loosen the screws or bolts that hold the mechanism in place. This will allow the machine to move more freely, making it easier to recline and close the chair.

How Do You Fix The Spring On A Recliner?

If the spring on your recliner is broken, you will need to replace it. To do this, you will need to remove the old spring and install a new one. You can find replacement springs at most hardware stores.

Arshad Afridi
Hi, I'm Arshad Afridi, a furniture enthusiast with 3 years of experience in the recliner, chair, and sofa industry. I have a passion for creating comfortable and functional furniture pieces that enhance the beauty of any space. Join me on my blog as I share my expertise and insights on the latest furniture trends and design inspirations.