How to Fix a Couch That Won’t Recline

Are you dealing with a recliner sofa that just won’t stay in its seated position? Nothing can be more infuriating than trying to relax in your favorite lounging spot, only to find out that the couch is stuck. Don’t despair – there are some troubleshooting tips you can try before having to break out the toolbox and start unscrewing things!

How to Fix a Couch That Won't Recline

With a few quick fixes, you could have your reclining chair up and running again in no time. Read on for simple hacks and diagnostic advice on how to fix a couch that won’t recline so you can get back to blissful relaxation right away.

Supplies You Will Need to Fix a Couch That Won’t Recline

  1. Flathead screwdriver
  2. Phillips head screwdriver
  3. Lubricant (such as WD-40)
  4. Replacement springs or cables (if necessary)
  5. Pliers (if necessary)

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Fix a Couch That Won’t Recline

Step 1: Check for Obstructions

The first thing you should do is check for any obstructions that may be preventing your recliner from functioning properly. Often, small objects can fall into the mechanism or get stuck in the joints, causing it to get stuck. Carefully remove any obstructions you find and try reclining again. This simple fix may be all you need!

Step 2: Inspect the Release Lever

Next, take a look at the release lever. This is the mechanism that allows the sofa to recline when pulled out or pushed in. If it appears to be damaged or loose, try adjusting it and see if that helps. If not, you may need to replace the lever altogether. This is a relatively simple fix that you can do yourself with the right tools.

Replace the Lever Altogether

Step 3: Lubricate the Joints

Over time, the joints and mechanisms of your reclining sofa can become stiff and difficult to operate. To remedy this issue, use a lubricant such as WD-40 to loosen up the joints and make them easier to move. Simply spray the lubricant into the affected areas and work it in by repeatedly trying to recline and release the sofa. This may take a few tries, but eventually, the lubricant will work its magic.

Step 4: Check the Springs and Cables

If all else fails, you may need to inspect and potentially replace the springs or cables that control the reclining mechanism. These can become worn over time and may need to be replaced to restore the functionality of your couch.

Use a pliers to carefully remove and replace any damaged springs or cables, following manufacturer instructions if available. If you are unsure how to do this, it is best to consult a professional.

Step 5: Regular Maintenance

To avoid dealing with a faulty reclining mechanism in the future, make sure to regularly maintain your couch. This includes vacuuming and cleaning any debris that may have accumulated in the joints, lubricating the mechanisms on a regular basis, and being mindful of not placing heavy objects on the reclining parts. By keeping up with maintenance, you can prevent future issues from arising.

Regularly Maintain Your Couch

Following these steps and being diligent with maintenance can help you fix a couch that won’t recline and save you from having to spend money on costly repairs or replacements.

Remember, sometimes a simple fix can solve the problem, so don’t give up hope too quickly. With a little troubleshooting, your favorite spot on the sofa will be back in business in no time. Happy relaxing!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Fix a Couch That Won’t Recline

  1. Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual or website for specific instructions on troubleshooting and fixing your couch.
  2. Check the power source – if your couch is electric, make sure it is properly plugged in and that there are no loose wires.
  3. Inspect all components of the reclining mechanism, including springs, joints, and screws, for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  4. Use a flashlight to check for any obstructions or debris that may be preventing the reclining mechanism from functioning properly.
  5. If your couch has buttons or levers to manually operate the recline feature, make sure they are not stuck or jammed. Gently try to move them and see if that helps.
  6. Lubricate the moving parts of the reclining mechanism with a silicone-based lubricant to ensure smooth operation.
  7. If your couch has a remote control, check the batteries and replace them if necessary.
  8. Consider seeking professional help – repairing a recliner can be complicated and it is always best to seek the assistance of a trained technician.
  9. To prevent future issues, make sure to regularly clean and maintain your couch according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  10. If all else fails, contact the manufacturer for further assistance, or consider purchasing a new couch if it is beyond repair.
Repairing a Recliner Can Be Complicated

By following these additional tips and tricks, you can hopefully fix your couch that won’t recline and continue enjoying your comfortable and functional piece of furniture. Remember to always prioritize safety when attempting any repairs, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. So, keep these tips in mind, and happy reclining!

Things You Should Consider to Fix a Count That Won’t Recline

1. Before attempting to fix a couch that won’t recline, it is important to understand the mechanics of your couch. Different types of reclining sofas have different mechanisms such as a lever or handle, push-back mechanism, or power recliner buttons. Knowing how your specific couch works will help you troubleshoot and fix the issue more efficiently.

2. Check for any visible damage on the recliner mechanism such as broken or loose screws, bent parts, damaged springs, or disconnected cables. These issues can be easily fixed by tightening screws, straightening bent parts, and reattaching any disconnected pieces.

3. If you notice that the reclining mechanism is not working smoothly, it could be due to a lack of lubrication. Applying a silicone-based lubricant specifically made for recliners can help improve the movement of the mechanism.

4. In some cases, the issue may be with the tension on the recliner’s footrest or backrest. This can be adjusted using a tension adjustment knob or tool, which is usually located under the couch or behind its back.

5. If you have a power recliner sofa and it is not working, the first thing to check is the power supply. Ensure that the couch is properly plugged in and that there are no tripped circuits or blown fuses. If all seems well with the power supply, then it might be an issue with the motor or control panel which will require professional assistance.

6. Another common cause for a couch not reclining is an obstruction in the mechanism. It could be something as simple as a toy or a piece of food that has fallen into the recliner’s gears, preventing it from functioning properly. In such cases, removing the obstruction and thoroughly cleaning the mechanism can solve the problem.

7. If you have tried all these troubleshooting methods and your couch still won’t recline, then it might be time to call a professional. They will have the expertise and tools to diagnose and fix any complex issues with your recliner.

8. To prevent future problems, make sure to clean and maintain your couch regularly. This includes vacuuming under the cushions, wiping down the mechanism, and tightening any loose screws or bolts.

Following these considerations can help you successfully fix a couch that won’t recline and ensure that it remains in good working condition for years to come. Remember to always prioritize safety when attempting any repairs and seek professional help if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Won’t My Couch Recline?

There are several reasons why your couch may not recline. One of the most common reasons is a broken or malfunctioning cable. This can happen due to normal wear and tear, or it could be caused by excessive force being applied to the lever while trying to recline.

Another possible cause is a broken or damaged reclining mechanism, which may need to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, if your couch has an electrical reclining feature, there could be issues with the power supply or wiring.

Broken or Damaged Reclining Mechanism

Is It Worth Fixing My Couch?

The answer to this question depends on the extent of the issue and the cost of repairs. If it is a simple fix such as replacing a cable, it may be worth fixing rather than purchasing a new couch.

However, if the damage is extensive or the cost of repair is high, it may be more practical to invest in a new couch. Consider factors such as the age and quality of your couch before making a decision.

Can I Fix My Couch’s Recliner Myself?

If you have experience with furniture repairs and feel confident in your abilities, you may be able to fix your couch’s recliner yourself. However, it is important to first determine the cause of the issue and make sure you have the necessary tools and knowledge to properly repair it. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with DIY repairs, it is best to seek the help of a professional furniture technician.


Now you know how to fix a couch that won’t recline. By understanding the common causes and potential solutions, you can determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Whether it’s a simple fix or requires professional assistance, addressing the issue promptly will ensure that you can continue to enjoy your comfortable reclining couch for years to come. Remember to always take proper care of your furniture and address any issues as soon as they arise to avoid larger problems in the future. So, keep these tips in mind, and happy reclining!

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Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of officefixes. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to home and office design. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for Office design and decor,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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