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?

A: Those things are just ratcheting devices. W...

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

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: It's been raining heavly, and now I've got water coming through the flooring in my car, I haven't passed my driving test yet so it

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle is likely going to need an inspection before knowing what the real cause of the water leak is. Rust can certainly accumulate on the bottom of the vehicle and allow water to...

Q: Replacing seat belts on a '95 Toyota Corolla

Anything that is bolt in there will work. I know for a fact that AutoZone sells universal ones if you don't mind having a belt that is not exactly like the ones in your car. It is just a lap...

Q: Can i bolt a sheet of wood underneath my car to prevent rust?

Hello, and thank you for writing in. Wood absorbs water, and due to that physical trait, you should not use wood to help prevent rust damage. This will instead hold the moisture close to the metal components and influence them...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.