How to Fix a Leaning Recliner - 8 Easy Steps by Jim

How to Fix a Leaning Recliner

A recliner seat is one of the living room seats that can add value to your home and exhume your style and personality to everyone who walks into the room. Like other items, it is prone to damage and needs to be properly maintained.

One of the problems associated with recliners is that they tend to lean on one side over time. I purchased several recliners two years ago and was shocked when I noticed that two had started to lean on the side.

As a person who pays close attention to detail and strives for perfection, I hired a professional recliner repair service provider to do the repairs. Luckily, he came over the weekend, and I got an opportunity to watch him disassemble and repair it.

I soon realized that it is possible to fix the problem using readily available tools in my garage. To cut a long story short, I paid one recliner repair service and decided to work on the second one myself. Well, the process wasn’t easy, but I managed to fix it.

Here is a simple guide from my experience on how to fix a leaning recliner today.

Tools Required

  • 2-3 different screwdrivers to help unlock the panels and joints
  • Lubricant oil for the moving pars
  • Old newspaper to protect your flooring from damage
  • Plastic wood putty or wooden glue
  • Pry bar or any other thick metal rod you can find

How to Fix a Leaning Recliner

Step 1:

The first thing you need to do is to identify the affected area and unlock the wooden panel using the screwdriver. You will also need to disassemble the footrest to get clear access to all the components that may be faulty.

Make sure that you place the screws in a box as you will need to use them later.

Step 2:

With the upholstery covering the panels out of the way, you now start looking at the entire recliner frame for flaws such as broken parts.

Step 3:

In my case, I realized that the reason my recliner was leaning on one side is that the springs and joints were creaky. I lubricated the joints using the oil, wiped off the excess oil using a towel, and tested it to see if the problem was resolved. Squeak sounds as you move the part is a sign that you need to lubricate and replace the screws and springs.

Step 4:

Check if the joints are in good condition – if not, use the screwdriver to fasten them. When fastening around the springs, apply gentle force to avoid releasing tension from the coils.

Step 5:

Most recliner seats are quite expensive and rare, especially if you have the old vintage models. Nonetheless, any part that has cracks or is too rusted needs to be replaced with a new one. This investment will help cushion other functional parts from damage.

Step 6:

When replacing any broken parts, make sure that you use the screwdriver instead of using the bar rod or your bare hands to prevent additional damage. If lost on how to do it, refer to the user’s manual provided by the manufacturer.

More importantly, you should ensure that the area you intend to install the new part on is clean to get the best results.

Step 7:

I also noticed some of the wooden panels that offer support and stability to the seat were broken. I quickly fixed this problem by using the wooden grow. This fix might not work if the damage it too much, so check the magnitude to know if you should apply the glue or replace the entire panel.

Step 8:

Confirm that all the faulty parts are fixed correctly, then reassemble the recliner. You may want to replace the upholstery if it looks old to give the recliner a new look of elegance and class.

Summary of How to Fix a Leaning Recliner

  • Flip the recliner to access the underside components and mechanism. If the springs are old and faulty, replace them with a new one. Ideally, the springs should have enough tension on the coils and elastic
  • Different springs have varying tension and elasticity – make sure that the new springs are compatible with your recliner.
  • If the springs are attached to the wood, check the holds’ size as this could be why the spring is not in the right position. If the screw holes are bigger, fill the additional space with wood. A toothpick or matchstick can also do the trick.
  • Most of the recliners have strong springs that are attached to the metal. Over time, the mounting plate becomes weak and worn out. If that is the case, replace them with new ones and make sure that you tighten all the spring screws to avoid unnecessary movement.
  • To confirm the condition of the springs, use the pry bar to stretch. If the coils are weak, they will break under pressure. Concisely, the bar will help you to know if the springs have enough life in them to keep your recliner in an upright position
  • After using the recliner for several years, the wooden frame leans can start to produce squeaking noises whenever you sit on it. This signifies that the frame is loose and should either be tightened or replaced with a new one.


Just because the recliner is leaning on one side is not enough reason to purchase a new one (well, unless you want to change them). The above steps can help you resolve this problem and save hundreds of dollars you would have spent on a new recliner or hiring an expert to do the repairs for you.

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