Recliner Cable Replacement: A Complete Guide

Recliners are beloved pieces of furniture that offer comfort and relaxation, but over time, the mechanisms that control their movement can wear out or break. One common issue is a broken or malfunctioning recliner cable, which can prevent the chair from reclining or returning to an upright position. Fortunately, replacing a recliner cable is a relatively simple and cost-effective solution that can restore your chair’s functionality and extend its lifespan. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of recliner cable replacement, covering everything from diagnosing the problem to completing the repair.

Understanding Recliner Cables

Recliner cables are the mechanical components that control the movement of the chair, allowing it to recline and return to an upright position. They are typically made of durable steel wire and are attached to the reclining mechanism and handle of the chair. Over time, these cables can become worn, frayed, or damaged, leading to issues with the reclining function.

Signs of a Broken Recliner Cable

Before replacing the cable, it’s important to confirm that it is indeed the source of the problem. Common signs of a broken or malfunctioning recliner cable include:

Difficulty Reclining: The chair may have difficulty reclining or may only recline partially.

Stuck in Reclined Position: The chair may get stuck in a reclined position and not return to an upright position.

Loose or Wobbly Handle: If the recliner handle feels loose or wobbly, it may indicate a problem with the cable mechanism.

Visible Damage: Inspect the cable for any visible signs of damage, such as fraying or kinks.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s likely that the recliner cable needs to be replaced.

Steps to Replace a Recliner Cable

Replacing a recliner cable is a straightforward process that can typically be completed with basic tools and minimal mechanical knowledge. Follow these steps to replace the cable:

1. Gather Materials and Tools

Replacement recliner cable



Utility knife or wire cutter

2. Locate the Recliner Cable

Begin by locating the recliner cable on the underside of the chair. This is typically attached to the reclining mechanism near the base of the chair and runs up to the handle or lever on the side.

3. Remove the Old Cable

Use a screwdriver to remove any screws or fasteners holding the old cable in place.

Disconnect the cable from the reclining mechanism and handle by releasing any clips or clamps holding it in place.

Carefully pull the old cable out of the chair, taking care not to damage any other components.

4. Install the New Cable

Thread the new cable through the same path as the old cable, ensuring it follows the same route and is properly aligned with the reclining mechanism and handle.

Secure the cable to the reclining mechanism and handle using any clips or clamps provided.

Use pliers to crimp or tighten any connectors to ensure a secure connection.

5. Test the Recliner

Once the new cable is installed, test the recliner to ensure that it moves smoothly and functions correctly.

Recline the chair fully and then return it to an upright position to confirm that the new cable is working properly.

Tips for Recliner Cable Replacement

Measure Twice, Cut Once: Before removing the old cable, measure its length to ensure that the replacement cable is the correct size.

Follow Manufacturer Instructions: If available, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or guidelines for replacing the recliner cable.

Inspect Other Components: While replacing the cable, take the opportunity to inspect other components of the reclining mechanism for signs of wear or damage.

Consider Professional Help: If you’re unsure about replacing the cable yourself or encounter any difficulties during the process, consider seeking assistance from a professional furniture repair technician.

Cost of Recliner Cable Replacement

The cost of replacing a recliner cable can vary depending on several factors, including the type of chair, the quality of the replacement cable, and whether you choose to perform the replacement yourself or hire a professional. On average, a replacement recliner cable can cost anywhere from $10 to $50, with additional costs for labor if you hire a technician to perform the replacement.


Replacing a recliner cable is a relatively simple and cost-effective solution for restoring functionality to a reclining chair that is experiencing issues with its movement. By following the steps outlined in this guide and using the proper tools and materials, you can complete the replacement process quickly and easily. Whether you choose to perform the replacement yourself or seek professional assistance, addressing a broken recliner cable promptly can help prolong the life of your chair and ensure continued comfort and enjoyment for years to come.


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