Accidents are an unpleasant but frequently unavoidable aspect of time spent behind the wheel of a car. While some people may drive their whole lives without having a single fender bender, the vast majority of drivers have been involved in at least one accident.
As most people are aware, in such instances, a properly working seatbelt and airbags are generally the only things separating the occupants of a car from serious injury. Like every other vehicle component, seat belts will break down from time to time.
Here are five easy tips to fix your seatbelt that won’t retract:
1. Check for a Stuck Switch
One of the most common causes of a seat belt that won’t retract is a stuck seat belt switch. The switch is located under the seat in most cars and routinely wears out due to the constantly shifting weight of the seat and the friction of the seat belt rubbing against it.
Over time, the switch’s button can become worn with repeated use and no longer detect when the seat is occupied. If the switch is stuck, your belt will read the seat as empty and not retract.
Thankfully, the switch itself can be replaced. A mechanic or do-it-yourself-er with a bit of time can replace the switch. Some cars, however, have keys to the button or have a microchip-based immobilizer that prevents unauthorized replacement.
2. Look for the Presence of Rust
The most common cause of seatbelt failure is when rust builds up on the belt. Several different factors can cause this, but it most frequently occurs when the belt is left exposed in a hot, humid environment.
Rusting against a belt can make it impossible to operate. In most cases, this can be alleviated by cleaning the belt of rust and applying a thin layer of silicone spray. However, if rust is too severe, you may have to replace the belt entirely.
3. Determine the Right Seat Height
Another common problem with seat belts is when the seat heights in a car have been adjusted; sometimes, the belt’s retractor mechanism cannot be adequately calibrated. If the seat is too close to the steering wheel, for instance, the seat belt will not be able to retract.
4. Inspect the Assembly
There would be problems with a seat belt assembly, mainly if the belt has been replaced. While most seat belt assemblies are relatively easy to remove and replace, there are some problems you may encounter. In some rare cases, the assembly will be too damaged or too difficult to return, and the entire seat belt will be replaced.
5. See if the Parking Brake is Set
In some cases, a seat belt may not retract due to the parking brake being set or not being put at sufficient strength. Make sure to check the parking brake and apply it firmly.
A seatbelt that won’t retract can be a severe safety concern. Preventing a safety hazard should always take precedence over your comfort while driving. If you are experiencing problems with your seat belt, it is essential to have it fixed as soon as possible.
However, if you cannot fix the problem, you may need to bring in a professional.
Professional seatbelt replacement and repairs would mean hiring Safety Restore! We are the world’s leader in post-accident restorations specializing in seat belt repairs and airbag modules. Contact us now!