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Troubleshooting a Stuck Open Recliner: Solutions and Fixes

 Stuck Open Recliner, Have you ever tried to sit down and relax in your favorite chair, only to discover that it won’t budge? If your power recliner is stuck in the open position, you may want to check the following before calling a repairman:

Power Recliner Stuck in Open Position: Possible Reasons

 Stuck Open Recliner

Is it still plugged in?

Although this sounds obvious, it’s amazing how often people overlook this simple step. If you’ve unplugged the chair and still can’t get it to work, read on.

Is there any power coming out of the wall?

It’s possible that the power cord has been damaged or that something else has gone wrong with the chair’s electrical system. In this case, you’ll need to call an electrician to take a look at it.

Before calling for service, try unplugging the cord, wait a few minutes and then plug it back in. This may reset the energy flow and make it work again.

Do heat and vibrate still work?

If your power recliner still heats up and vibrates when you sit on it, then it’s not truly broken and can be easily repaired by someone with basic knowledge of home repair tools. However, if this isn’t working either, then there’s probably something wrong with the wiring or the motor itself.

If there’s no obvious damage to the power cord itself, check all other parts of the chair that move when you push buttons on its remote control. If any of these parts have been damaged or have broken off, they may need fixing or replacing before you can operate your recliner again.

Why Does My Recliner Get Stuck?

There are several reasons why your recliner gets stuck in the open position:

  •       A broken cable or spring that connects the footrest to the seat frame
  •       The recliner’s motor may have a short or be burnt out
  •       Dead batteries
  •       A broken linkage
  •       The track is dirty or gummed up with oil and other buildups from use over time
  •       Someone in your house was quickly toggling through the settings
  •       Lack of lubrication

The most common cause for this is a dead battery or a loose connection.

The Fix:

Check the batteries first

If your electric recliner does not operate when the remote control is used, inspect the batteries in both the remote and chair. Make sure that they are fresh, then replace them if needed. If you have replaced them and still have no luck, move on to checking the motor.

If your electric recliner does not close when you press the button on your remote, then you may need to check the wiring to see if it is damaged or disconnected. The wires can get damaged easily, so be careful when checking them out.

Flip Up Chair

Try flipping the chair over so that it is upside down. This will allow you to access the screws that hold the seat and back together.

Loosen Wingnut

Once you have flipped up your chair, loosen the wingnut located on the underside of your chair. You should be able to loosen this with your hands, but if not, use a screwdriver or wrench to loosen it further.

The wingnut holds the seat to its base and allows you to adjust how far back it goes when reclining.

This will enable you to adjust the recliner manually.

Once you have done this, tighten down your wingnut again so that the seat does not move when you push on it from side to side or front-to-back.

Locate the Pin

The pin is the small metal hook built into the side of the recliner. The pin will come out with a little effort. If you can’t get it out, don’t force it. You could break something on your chair or even hurt yourself by forcing things too hard.

Once you have located it, grab onto it with your fingers or needle nose pliers and pull down slightly while turning it gently clockwise until it comes free from its housing inside your recliner’s gearbox.

If this doesn’t work, then try using WD-40 or some other lubricant to loosen any rust or corrosion inside the housing where the pin sits.

Check for Obstructions

 Stuck Open Recliner

The recliner may be stuck because something is blocking its path. Move the chair back and forth while looking at the track system. It should move smoothly without any obstructions. If you find any obstructions, remove them and try again.

If your recliner has been stuck in an open position for more than a week, it may be due to a wiring issue or another problem with the motor. In such cases, it is best to call an electrician who will be able to fix the problem for you at a minimal cost.

If the recliner is not too old, you may be able to get a replacement motor from the dealer where you purchased it. On the other hand, if your chair is getting on in years, it may be more cost-effective just to buy a new one.


To fix a recliner stuck in the open position, check the batteries first. If the motor seems to be working (it vibrates), move to the next step.

Take your chair and flip it over so you can see the underside. The first thing you want to do is loosen the wingnut on the side of the recliner. This will allow for easier movement of the chair.

Now, move under the chair and locate a nut that is used to adjust the angle of the footrest (some have a pin on the recliner’s side). You will need to loosen this nut by turning it counterclockwise with a wrench or screwdriver. Once this nut is loose, use your hands to push down on both sides of the footrest until it locks into place. This should work.

If you’re worried about spending money on repairs, consider buying another chair instead. If your chair has been damaged due to age or misuse, then it may make sense to purchase new furniture altogether. You should also consider buying new furniture if your current chair has been poorly maintained over time or has been used improperly in order to extend its life as long as possible.