When you pull on your recliner's handle only to discover that it no longer reclines, chances are that you have a broken cable mechanism or a broken spring. To replace the cable, it is best to buy an entirely new one with an attached lever, which typically costs under $15. While these cables are mostly universal, ensure that the lever shape and cable length match your recliner. Once you have the right parts, replacing the cable is a quick and straightforward task. Here's how to repair a recliner.
How to Replace a Recliner Cable
1. Remove the Old Handle
Use a Philips screwdriver to remove the handle from your recliner. Set the screws aside for later and then pull out the lever with your fingers, leaving it to hang loose.
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2. Disconnect the Cable
Flip over the recliner. Find where the cable sits under your chair and then trace its path to find where it attaches to the metal mechanism. Remove the S-shaped end of the cable, making a mental note of where you removed it.
3. Remove the Cable Clip
Use pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove the plastic clip holding the cable in place. If it breaks, that is fine because the new cable comes with a plastic clip. Just make sure you dislodge the entire clip.
4. Remove the Old Cable
Gently pull on the handle until the broken cable is entirely out of the chair.
5. Insert the New Cable
Thread the new cable through the handle's hole and then reach through the bottom of the chair to pull it out. To access this space, you may need to cut a small slit in the fabric on the dust cover under the chair or remove a few staples fastening the material. Ensure that the handle sits flush in the hole.
6. Clip in the Cable
Insert the new clip in the slot where the original one was secured, rocking the clip back and forth until you hear a clicking sound and can no longer pull it out.
7. Reconnect the Cable
Put the clip's S-hook in the metal chair mechanism where the original clip was secured.
8. Reattach the Handle
Flip over the recliner again and then test the handle to make sure the recliner is working. If everything is operating correctly, use the screws you set aside to secure the new handle in place.