Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Fixing seat belts that don't retract well

asked by on

How do you fix a seat belt that doesn't retract good enough?

Those things are just ratcheting devices. When you pull them up, there is no ratchet inside and it goes "click, click, click." Then, when you slam on the brakes, they’ve got a little swing with a little pendulum. When they lock like that, it locks the ratchet so that they don’t come on anymore.

Your retracting system is just wearing out. Sometimes it is from frayed belts. Look at the belt closely at its edges. If they are frayed, it’s going to be hard and it’ll retract badly because it’s old and worn out.

If it isn’t, you can actually take the whole thing off and take it apart. I’ve taken them apart. They’ve got springs and a ratchet assembly and sometimes the ratchet gears get rusty. You can lubricate them with a gear oil.

Sometimes the springs get worn, so you can just take them off and spin them around a little bit and then put them back tighter so that they are just a little bit tighter when you retract. You can try that. Of course, there are always junk yards. You can get a used assembly. The new seat belts cost 300-400 bucks or more. But, in the junk yard, they don’t cost that much for the used ones.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car has an electrical failure due to rain leaking inside, what do I need to repair?

This could end up being a costly repair unless the pigtail replacements for the wiring harness are available. First, the water intrusion has to be repaired. The water has to have been leaking inside the vehicle for some time or...

Q: I have 2016 promaster city I want to know how to silence the seat belt alarm

The seat belt warning will chime as long as you are not wearing your belt and the vehicle is moving. The procedure to disable the warning is similar in both vehicles you have mentioned. The best way to disable this...

Q: Rusty battery

The battery on these cars are sealed batteries and if you are seeing rust and corrosion in the battery box and on the battery then the battery is leaking acid and the battery would need to be replaced. The cables,...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...