How To Fix a Driver Seat Recliner?

If you’re looking for solutions on how to fix a driver seat recliner, then you’ve landed on the right page. Ending up with a broken seat or it is falling back while driving sure is annoying. And at times, it can expose you to injuries or put you at high risk of danger too.

In this article, we’ll guide you on how to fix a driver’s seat recliner. If anyone is facing this issue, be rest assured we are here to help you out. We have listed some quick and easy steps so that you can quickly fix your recliner at home.

How to fix a driver seat recliner

If your driver’s seat is behaving abnormally, pretty sure some underlying issues need to be fixed. So, before you jump right ahead dissecting its parts, try some of these valuable tips.

All you have to do is follow these quick, easy steps, and maybe you can find the solution to your rear seat and other problem.

Here’s how you can fix it

Remove the screws on the back: First, focus on the back before removing the driver seat. Using a screw remove the nuts from behind, there you’ll find two small nuts. Don’t forget about the seat cushion.

It would be best to start with the bolt on the right, as it will allow you to take control of the bar attached to the shaft. It’s because if you go for the left first, it will remove the shaft entirely, and it can be troublesome to fix it later.

Use glue on the spline shaft: For this, you can go for the industrial adhesives. Or maybe if you’re not experienced, you can also ask for professional help. With glue, you can attach the spline shaft and keep it still. You’ll have to do it step by step so that it gets appropriately attached.

  1. Push the nips: Again, with the help of a screw, push the nips that protrude from the back. Try to press it further but do it gently so that the force doesn’t cause the seat to drop back.
  2. Fix the new shaft: You’ll install the new shaft to your driver seat in this step. However, ensure that the new one is slightly longer than the previous one as it has to be shaped on the sides. Or else, the same problem will occur again.
  3. Give it a try: This is the final step. For this, go to the front seat and try to push it back. If the seat moves backward and forwards smoothly, the problem is solved. Rest assured, you can fix up the parts. However, if you hear a squeak or the clank of the metals, you should immediately get up and call a professional for help.

However, check out my other article about how to fix passenger seat

Of course, the steps mentioned above should work for some people, but they might not work the same for all. In that case, even if it doesn’t work out as expected, don’t fret as there are also some other steps you can give a try.

Helpful tips and tricks

Here are some other tips which you might find helpful:

  • Try to adjust the bolts: Behind the bar, rotate the bolts to see if they work well. However, don’t pressure the bolts to move as their movement is supposed to be automatic. By doing this, it will position the brackets to their corresponding place.
  • Try applying grease on the shaft: Using a lubricant or oil on the shaft can help it to fit into the bar. But ensure that you’re greasing only at the edges as excess oils can turn out to be messy. In doing this, the shaft should fit properly. But if it doesn’t, try repeating it multiple times. I hope that this has helped you to fix recliner mechanism.
  • Call the manufacturer: If all else fails, then maybe it’s time you call the manufacturer to address the issue. The official power seat recliner manufacturer information can assist you with a solution, or you can also request a replacement.

What To Do If a Driver Recliner Seat Is Not Working?

In this case, most probably, the seat is stuck and wouldn’t budge. To get help with this, try to pull the lever of the seat and position the back in a fully reclined position. In doing this, the backrest should be able to move correctly.

If pulling or pushing the recliner doesn’t prove to be helpful, here’s another way to fix your recliner seat. But you might need someone to assist you while working on it.

Firstly, slide the seat back and, with the help of your partner, allow him to hold the lever while you try to move it back and forth. Then try sitting and leaning back on the seat and putting force on the back while your partner simultaneously wiggles the lever. By doing this, it will release, and your seat should be able to recline fully.

You might hear a crack indicating that the seat is fixed. You can also check under the seat to see if anything is stuck or causing the issue.

Why Does the Driver Seat Recliner Gets Jammed?

There can be a lot of reasons for this, and sometimes moisture can block the shaft, or a broken plastic on the back can also be the cause. But mainly, this problem arises when the car is old, resulting in the car parts rusting. As such, the mechanism that supports the seat recliner can be exhausted with time.

To keep your car seat running smoothly for a more extended period, you should apply grease occasionally. And if daily maintenance or repairing is troublesome, then maybe it would be best to invest in a new car seat.

How To Locate the Bolts on The Back of the Seat?

Since the bolts are located on the bottom of the back on the front seat and are not noticeable, it can be challenging to find them. Most people do spend a lot of time looking for the screws to fix a seat recliner.

Also, bolts on small cars will be much smaller, and the number of screws attached depends on the manufacturer. It can be more or less. To locate the screws, slide your hand through the pocket at the back of the front seat, and you’ll be able to feel the screws.

Using a screwdriver, carefully loosen the bolt as you want to prevent scratches. For this, you might require a short-handled driver to avoid any unnecessary scratches. This process can be challenging as the bolts are tiny, and it can be challenging to see them correctly. Ensure that you carry a flashlight to help you see better.

Congrats! You are a step closer to making the chair recline correctly. Read further to finish your repair.

Some Safety Precautions to Follow When Fixing a Driver Seat Recliner

While repairing a driver seat recliner may seem like a simple process, it maybe not. Chances are while removing the car parts, it can activate the airbag system.

You can follow these steps to save yourself from trouble:

  • Firstly, disconnect the car’s battery to prevent the vehicle from operating during the fixing process.
  • Secondly, you’ll have to remove the fuse from the car. To do this, you can go through the instruction manual set by the manufacturer to know which fuse needs to be removed.
  • Thirdly, by using a flathead screw, remove the cover on the dashboard, and you’ll find a yellow wire.
  • Next, to prevent the sudden activation of the car’s airbag, you’ll have to disable the yellow wire as it’s used for the airbags.
  • Lastly, with the flathead screw, detach the lower panel on the steering wheel.
  • Congratulations! You’ve finished the repairs. Сheck out my other articles about driver’s seat recliner.

Are there any laws on reclining chairs in cars?

Although driving laws differ in different countries, a common rule that you will find prevalent in many countries is that you cannot recline the passenger’s seat while driving.

Typically, drivers don’t find it a disturbance to their driving if the passenger seat is a recliner. However, the law states that any obstacle-causing actions on the passenger’s side, including a reclined chair, are not allowed.

It is unclear what exactly causes the interference for the driver when the passenger seat is reclined. The law states that a passenger should always have their seatbelt on in the upright position when driving on the road.

The offender might have to chalk up a $337 fine if found guilty of trespassing under this law. The minimum amount of this offense caps at $2,200 if the case is taken to a proper courthouse.


How can I fix the driver’s seat if it is stuck?

To release the seat from the obstacle, try to exert extra pressure when pushing the chair back for the recliner position.

Typically, this situation occurs when the seat locking mechanism does not take place as smoothly as you would want. You can also apply some car lubricant to ensure the smoothness of reclining if you find yourself stuck in any position.

How does the recliner mechanism in a car work?

In most cars, the seat reclining mechanism comprises an arm and a base attached to the seat portion of the vehicle. This mechanism works via a rotating cam which is operated through a lever. This unit is linked mechanically to the rotating cam, which produces the cam rotation motion.

Why are car seats able to recline?

Contrary to popular belief, car seats are made to recline to ensure safety. The main reason is that the adjustment allows drivers to find the correct position when driving so that their driving motion is not disturbed by anything else.


A failed, jammed, or broken driver seat is a common issue that most people face, and if you’re not a technical person, it can also be overwhelming. However, following the simple guidelines mentioned above should help you if you’re looking for solutions to fix a driver seat recliner.

About Karen Miller

As an interior designer, I believe that living spaces should be welcoming and comfortable. When you walk into your home or office for the first time after it's been remodeled by me - all of those efforts are paid off with a sense of comfort in knowing how much care went into making sure every detail was attended too!

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