How to Fix a Recliner Footrest - LifeHacks by Jim

How to Fix a Recliner Footrest

After a long day at work, I love relaxing on my recliner as we chat with my wife and kids. My wife also loves the seat, and so I decided to purchase three for our living room.

Like any other household item, the recliner is prone to damage, and so it is imperative to take utmost care of it. From experience, one of the most delicate parts is the footrest. One of the seats had a problem with the footrest; I hired a professional to repair it at the cost of $250.

Three weeks later, the other seat developed the same problem. Being someone who loves solving problems, I decided to research online on how to repair the issue. After several trials, I managed to learn three unique ways of repairing a recliner footrest and prevent the problem from recurring.

Here are three ways on how to fix a recliner footrest without breaking the bank or spending hours at it.

Method 1:

Ideally, the footrest should be able to move up and down smoothly. One of the main reasons why most of them fail is due to friction, wear, and lack of enough lubrication of the moving parts.

Over time, the bolts and screws used to hold the parts together become loose and need to be tightened now and then. My recliner had this problem, and this is how I managed to fix it.

Tools required

  • A sturdy screwdriver (I used the Philips model)
  • Grease or lubricant oil
  • Bolts and screws
  • Towel cloth

How to do the repairs

  1. The first thing that I did is turn the recliner upside down to get a clear view of the footrest mechanism.
  2. I checked for loose, broken, or rusted screws and bolts. In my case, I realized that two of the bolts were loose. I used the screwdriver to tighten them. One of them was weak, and so I replaced it with a new one.
  3. I then proceeded to apply a lubricant on the bushings using the towel cloth. To prevent damaging the floor, I placed a piece of old newspaper at the bottom of the recliner.
  4. For even distribution of the lubricant, I used a spray bottle, and this greatly helped to resolve the movement issue completely.
  5. Finally, I wiped off all the excess lubricant and put the recliner in the right position.

Method 2

The footrest mechanism relies on the functionalism of the internal components such as the spring. It often gets lose after several years or months, depending on the quality of the recliner.

If you realize that the footrest is difficult to move up or down or is stiff, there is a high likelihood that the spring is faulty and needs to be replaced with a new one or adjusted. The second recliner in my living room had this problem, and this is how I fixed it.

Tools required

  • A screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • New recliner springs

How to repair the recliner footrest mechanism

  • The first thing that you need to do is turn the recliner upside down to gain full access to the footrest mechanism
  • The spring is the coil that you see which connects the bushings to the footrest. Excess pressure coupled by aging can result in the spring breaking or becoming loose.
  • If it’s loose, use the screwdriver to tighten the screws or bolts that hold it in position.
  • If the spring is broken or worn out, carefully remove it and replace it with the new one that is recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure that you tighten the screws to ensure stability
  • With the new spring installed, put the recliner in an upright position and check if the problem is resolved. You may want to apply some lubricant when replacing the spring to reduce friction and facilitate a smooth movement of the footrest.

Method 3

The ratchet is another part of the recliner that is prone to damage just like the spring. Note that not all recliners in the market have one. If it’s faulty, the footrest will get stuck, and the only way to resolve the issue is by replacing it with a new one or adjusting the screws and applying a lubricant.

Tools needed

  • A screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • New ratchet (if the need arises)

How to repair a faulty recliner footrest

  1. Like the two repair methods we have discussed above, the first step is to put the entire recliner upside down and disassemble the entire footrest mechanism to access the rachet. I used the screwdriver to untighten the screws and the wrench to open up the area completely.
  2. Check the condition of the ratchet to know if the problem can be resolved by adjusting its position and tightening the bolts/screws. Needless to say, if it’s broken, the only solution is replacing it with a new one.
  3. If you decide to replace it, make sure that you untighten the screws that hold the spring carefully and place them on a box. You will need them after installing the new rachet.
  4. Confirm that all the bolts are tightened then put the recliner in an upright position to test whether the problem is resolved.


Fixing a recliner footrest is not difficult; you need to have the right tools and follow the steps explained in this article. When shopping for this kind of a seat, make sure that you check the durability of the components as well as read reviews from other customers to purchase the right one.

Don’t let the footrest make your life complicated and cost you thousands of dollars, you fix it yourself and in less than 30 minutes. Please share your experience repairing a recliner footrest in the comments section.

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