Like your other investments, your car needs to be brought in for maintenance every so often. You’ll probably focus on the mechanical operation of your vehicle and the engine, but you’ll also need to pay attention to your safety equipment—namely, your seat belts. It’s crucial to ensure they’re working correctly, so it pays to have them checked every six months, especially since it is the most regularly used piece of equipment in your car.
Seat belts play a vital role in saving lives. Almost 65 percent of people killed in auto accidents weren’t wearing their seat belts, underscoring the importance of wearing one at all times. Additionally, most of those killed were in the 16 to 25 age group, which is the same demographic associated with the highest number of drink-driving offenses. Here are some tips to help you maintain your seat belt:
Use a Proprietary Cleaning Product
When you clean your car, you should also clean your seat belts to make sure they’re free of gunk and grime, mainly when they’re used on bare skin during sweltering hot weather. However, it’s essential to use a proprietary cleaning product that is strong enough to clean but not so caustic that it corrodes or frays the seat belt straps or buckles.
Check the Tension
When you bring your car for maintenance, ensure that the mechanic inspects the tension. It must comply with regulatory safety standards for it to continue being safety equipment. Check the adjustable straps and ensure that you can move and adjust them easily to suit passengers of any height.
Review the Baby Capsule Restraints
Another essential part of your seat belt attachment is the part that contains the baby capsule restraints. Only a specialist should take care of this aspect, as a poor fitting system can endanger your baby. Ensure that it properly fits so that it works as intended.
Sometimes, your seat belt is beyond repair, requiring a complete replacement. If the straps become frayed or do not travel easily through the buckles, it’s time to replace them. The auto mechanic can offer recommendations, but it’s best to bring it to a seat belt repair service for their specialist opinion. Doing this will also give you the chance to replace a faulty buckle, which can impair the safety of your seat belt.
How to Shine Your Seat Belts
Part of ensuring your seat belts are in good condition is to shine them. To get started, pull the seat belt until it’s completely out and use a clamp to secure it. Use a fabric-cleaning solution to spray the strap, then use a stiff brush to scrub the belt. Go back and forth over the belt in the same direction the fibers face, ensuring you don’t lift them. Avoid moving in circles.
If you’re trying to scrub out a stain in the belt, consider using a stronger solution. You can also mix an all-purpose cleaner with warm water in a 3-parts to 1-part solution. Take your scrub brush, dip it into the solution, then scrub it over your seat belt. Make sure not to soak the belt in water since it will take a longer time to dry. Additionally, avoid retracting the seat belt until it’s fully dry to prevent mold and mildew. If you’re trying to clean a seat belt with a foul odor, use warm water and baking soda. Once you’re done, run a dry towel back and forth over the seat belt to absorb some of the water and allow the seat belts to dry overnight before retracting them.
Your seat belts are arguably the most critical piece of safety equipment in your car, so it will be worth it to pay attention to them. By following these tips, you’ll take good care of your seat belts and ensure they’re in good working condition.
Safety Restore is the leader in post-accident restorations, specializing in car seat belt repairs and airbag modules. We also offer webbing replacements and instrument cluster repairs. Contact us today to save big on repairs!