How to Fix Office Chair Won't Lean Back (Recline)?
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How to Fix Office Chair Won't Lean Back (Recline)?

|Mar 17, 2022

You may need to lubricate the gas cylinder or tilt the engine of your office chair if it doesn't recline. The user can fix manual recliners' engine knobs and levers, but automatic recliners need servicing. You may well be wondering how your office chair won't lean back, to begin with. The easiest method of checking whether a reclining desk chair will recline is to push the backrest and see if it strains. This sign might stick to the office chair.

This can also mean that the tension in the recliner is too high and needs to be lowered, or the desk chair won't lean back easily. The backrest is also fixed, which is not yet broken but produces a popping sound when it reclines, indicating it will eventually break, and you’d need to pay repair services to fix the reclining office chair. Let’s learn how to fix office chair won't lean back with us!

First, Check What's Wrong

First, Check What's Wrong office chair won't lean back

A recline-mechanism works on a linear spring and a radial spring. These springs control the lever (and backrest) in some office chairs. A similar mechanism includes these components.

  • Linear Springs
  • Radial Springs
  • Levers
  • Stabilizer plates

In response to pulling the lever or reducing the knob tension, the mechanism's gears are disengaged completely. The backrest can now be moved freely forward. The lever returns to its original position as the backrest is pushed back.

This mechanism has variations where the lever or knob remains in place, whether the backrest moves forward or backward. In this case, it is hard to fix an office chair that can't recline since the lever is still there whether it’s broken or working.

Guide to Fix Office Chair Won't Recline

Guide to Fix Office Chair Won't Recline

You can use your best ergonomic chair as normal if you have already tried releasing the tension knob or lever. It happens, however, that the office chair won't recline well or smoothly in some cases. When there is a popping sound, the recline function has not yet completely failed, and spare parts don't need to be ordered. 

It's not the recline engine that is the problem when there's a popping noise on the recline, but the gas cylinder. WD 40 lubricant, a degreaser, and pliers are needed for this fix.

The popping sound persists even after users lubricate the recline engine. The main reason to check the gas cylinder further below, which needs to be lubricated, is for that very reason. Before completely disassembling the chairs, we need to check whether they recline. If you don’t know why won't my office chair lean back or how to fix a chair that keeps sinking, check out these instructions.

Reverse the office chair

In order for the casters to point upward, the office chair must be turned upside down. This position can be achieved by leaning against a wall or placing the device on another chair.

Clip the bottom of the gas cylinder off

Clip the bottom of the gas cylinder off

The gas cylinder is held in place by a small metal clip. Gas cylinders and office chairs have this square-shaped element. Simply pull the pliers to remove them.

Remove the washer

After removing the washer, you need to remove the nut. This can also be accomplished with pliers.

Dispose of the star-shaped casters support

Now that the casters and their support have been removed, you may proceed to remove them completely. You should be able to remove them simply by lifting them.

Remove the bearings and rings

With the bearings and a single ring present on top of the cylinder, you can see the rings and rings directly. Those washers and the screws that hold them in place need to be removed.

Make sure the cylinder is clean

Make sure the cylinder is clean

Cleaning the cylinder with a paper towel will remove excess oil and other buildups. You can also use a degreaser here. Before cleaning the cylinder, apply it first to the paper towel.

Put lubricant

When the cylinder is sparkling clean, a quality lubricant should be applied. It should coat the cylinder completely.

Reinstall the washer, ring, and bearing

Having finished the assembly process, the assembly process can begin. If the washers, bearings, and metal rings are put back together after being cleaned, they may need to be lubricated.

Reattach the caster's base

Reattach the caster's base

This stage needs to have its casters put back in place.

Overlay the washer on the base

After the star-shaped caster bases have been placed back on the cylinder, the washer needs to be slid into place.

Reattach the retainer clip

The retainer clip must be reattached in the last step.

When Should You Buy a New One

When properly maintained, a computer chair recliner can last 10 years on average. When a chair is seldom used, it could last longer, but if it is subjected to the homey chaos of children and pets, its lifespan may be shortened. A well-built recliner is more likely to last longer, so while shopping for one, you should be aware of what to look for.

In addition to comfort, there are other factors to consider. The chair should have a cushion density rating of 1.9 or higher to remain comfortable and hold its shape. So, let’s consider a lumbar support office chair. The footrest on some chairs can be raised by pulling a lever, while the footrest on others is raised by leaning back. Push-back chairs generally have a more durable mechanism than handle-style chairs.

If you choose a mechanism, make sure you test it at least several times to be sure it is easy to use. Leather and synthetic microfiber are the most durable options. Ask how the upholstery has been performed when put through durability tests and choose a fabric that held up well after being rubbed at least 10,000 times. Vinyl is more likely to crack and rip than other materials.

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