Office Chair won’t Recline- How to Fix It Yourself

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Are you tired of your office chair that won’t recline? If yes, then there is no need to worry as we will provide you with a complete guideline about fixing it yourself. You often recline your chair when you want to relax.

The older your office chair gets, the more you realize that it’s not properly functioning anymore. Eventually,  you cannot find your chair comfortable if it’s not reclining.

Whenever you are tired of working you need some relaxation. But due to the reclining issue, you can’t feel comfortable anymore. It is the reason why you have to fix your office chair.

Some of the office chairs that have monetized reclining system can be set with the help of a professional. Moreover, there are special motors that are used in it. Therefore, you can not repair it by yourself, so it’s better to take help from professionals.

In contrast, the chairs that have a manual system, you can repair it quickly at home. You need some kind of tools and a little attention to work. Before opening the whole apparatus, it is crucial to detect the problem in your office chair.

So, let’s start fixing your office chair!

How Do You Get to Know that Your Office Chair won’t Recline?

When your chair shears while pushing the backrest, it means your chair won’t recline. The reason might be due to the high tension between the parts of your office chair. Moreover, your office chair won’t recline because it needs lubrication, or maybe its tilt engine is stuck.

Therefore, we will give you a complete guide about recline working and how you can fix it whether it is broken or not working anymore.

Is the Recline Broken?

Before opening the entire apparatus, make sure to check the recline. You must know if the recline is broken or not. Before that, make sure to check out the tension of the recliner too.

Tension Adjustment Knob

At first, you should find the tension adjusting knob. You can find it right below the seat. Most of the reclining chairs have this knob at the same place. If the tension adjustment knob is high, it will increase the tension to its extent, which will become the reason due to which you can’t push your chair back.

Substitutes of Adjustment Levels

Some of the office chairs do not have the tension adjustment knob. In this case, you have to find out a lever. You can find the cranks and knobs at the side of the chair to adjust the tension.

Minimize the Tension

You would see signs of plus and minus adjustments there. These are the options to increase or decrease the tension. You should use this to increase or decrease the pressure and check out if your problem is solved or not.

How Can You Fix a Stuck Tension Knob?

It is usual for the office chairs to stuck, especially the old ones. Because the parts of the old chairs get dirty or need a lubricant with a short interval of times, you can minimize the tension by pressing the minus button. If you cannot do it by your hands, try any tool to release the tension. If this knob was the problem, then it should be fixed.

Essential Components of Reclining Apparatus

A recline apparatus basically consists of a radial spring and a linear spring. Following are the essential components of the reclining device:

  • A lever
  • A linear spring
  • A radial spring
  • A stabilizer plate

When you pull the lever or minimize the tension, the gears of the apparatus are detached. Due to this, the backrest can move quickly. When you pull the backrest more backward, the lever came back to its place.

Moreover, Lever and knobs in some recliners do not move by moving the backrest. It is difficult to fix the reclining issue in such office chairs as the lever and knob remain at their place, whether broken or stuck.

How to Fix your Office Chair Reclining Problem?

If you have reduced the tension knob and lever and now it is working correctly, then you can use it. Sometimes, the office chair does not recline properly. In that case, you can experience some kind of noisy sound from your chair. It might be possible that it is a sign of a broken recline.

It is essential to pay attention to your chair, even when you notice a slight sound from it. If you face a popping sound from your chair, then the problem is the gas cylinder. Most people lubricate the recline engine rather than the cylinder, due to which they experience the noisy sound from their chairs.

Here we will guide you about how to fix it by yourself:

Requirements For Fixing Office Chair

If you want to fix your office chair by yourself, then it’s a good decision. It is easy to repair your office chair that won’t recline, but you need some essential tools for it that are necessary to perform this function. These tools include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Replacement parts that might include the handle or cable. It depends upon the broken part of a chair.

Process of Fixing a Office Chair that Won’t Recline

1) Turn Over The Chair

Upside down your office chair in such a way that its casters point towards the ceiling. You can place it with a wall, a table, or a chair to create this position.

2) Take Out The Bottom Gas Cylinder

You will notice a metal clip over the gas cylinder. It looks like a square shape and is present in all office chairs. You can take it out with a slight pull.

3) Remove the Washer

The next step is to remove a washer. You can remove a washer with the help of pairs of pliers.

4) Pull out Star-Shaped Caster Support

Now, you have to remove the star-shaped caster support. You can pull it out through a lift.

5) Remove the Bearings and Rings

You can notice single or multiple rings over the cylinder with the bearings. You have to remove them carefully. If you see any broken bearing, you can still use it after cleaning it properly.

6) Wipe the Cylinder

You must need a cloth or a paper towel to wipe the cylinder. Make sure to clean the cylinder by removing extra stuff and excess oil from it. You can also use a degreaser for this purpose.  Pour a tiny amount of degreaser on a cloth, and then clean your cylinder.

7) Pour the Lubricant

Now, when you have cleaned your cylinder, it’s time to add a lubricant over it. Use a quality lubricant over your cylinder. Make sure to add lubricant all around the cylinder.

8) Putting Back the Ring and Bearing

Now you have to put back all the parts. It will be a good step if you use a small amount of lubricant on rings and bearings.

9) Placing Back the Caster

At first, you have to place the star-shaped caster support in its position. Now put the washer over it in a sliding position.

10) Place Back the Washer

Now place the washer back to its position. You can use a tiny amount of lubricant on the washer too.

11) Putting Back the Retainer Clip

In the end, you can place the retainer clip to its exact position.

By following all these steps, you can maintain your office chair to enjoy its comfort for a long time. Routine care is necessary to prevent any breakdown in your office chair. It will help you to understand the fundamental problems related to your office chair.

12) Helpful Tips

  • It will help if you use some gloves to avoid the grease on your hands.
  • Use a cloth, paper towel, or tissue paper for cleaning.
  • Wipe all the components of the apparatus properly.
  • Put back each of the parts in proper order.
  • Take out quality time for the cleaning of your office chair.

Related Article: Ergonomic Recliner for Degenerative Disc


Summing up, the office chair plays a crucial role when you need relaxation and comfort. When your chair does not recline due to some issues, you would have to fix it. And the good thing is now you can fix it by yourself.

Above, we have discussed step-by-step fixing of your office chair that won’t recline anymore. There is no need to ask for help from any professional as you can do these steps by yourself at home.

This article discussed how to detect a problem in a reclining apparatus and how to tackle it if it is stuck. We have also discussed ways to avoid the unusual sound coming from it.

Mostly, all the office chairs have the same apparatus so that you can use this process in most of the chairs. But if you have a warranty on your office chair, it would be a better option to contact the company for repairs.

Don’t try to open the apparatus as the professionals can work on it according to the problem. However, these problems usually occur after a long time when the warranty has ended. We hope this article will be informative and helpful for you.

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