How To Quickly Repair A Sudden Seat Belt Malfunction (Part 2)

Seat belt malfunctions aren’t just an inconvenience, but they can also be a safety hazard. It isn’t secure to get in the vehicle when you know the seat belt isn’t working properly, as there’s always a chance of getting into an accident. Repairing these defects should be a driver and rider’s top priority.

Part one of this series had discussed why seat belts refuse to retract and the possible reasons behind it. Here, we’ll be going into detail about why some seat belts won’t pull out and how you can solve that. Keep reading to find out more!

Learning Why Seat Belts Won’t Pull Out

Much like with the retraction feature, your seat belt may not be pulling out due to the faulty retractor. It might be preventing you from taking the buckle and extending it to latch properly, which can be quite a pain. If this has been a recurring problem, you may want to consider replacing the retractor so you won’t have to go through the experience again. 

Another simple reason why your seat belt isn’t pulling out can be an accumulation of dirt. This could be on the belt itself, but it could also transfer to the retractor, or the latch of your seat. Regular maintenance would really help prevent any grime from collecting on any part of the car and improve the condition of your seat belt. 

Understanding Proper Maintenance For Seat Belts

If it’s been a while since you’ve tried cleaning your car, it might be due time to get the supplies out. Cleaning your seatbelt isn’t that difficult, as all you need sometimes is to spray some cleaner. Being a little more thorough with soap and water can be a tad more rewarding than just a couple of spritzes, though.

When cleaning the belt, pull it out all the way and clamp it to ensure that it won’t retract right away. Make small scrubbing motions along the belt and soak it as much as you can while being mindful of the car seat to get rid of the bubbles. Keep the clamp on for a few hours to allow the belt to dry before removing it for retraction. 

Fixing The Seat Belts That Won’t Pull Out

If the problem can’t be repaired with a few suds, you may have to do a lot more involved repair. The best course of action is to inspect and identify the problem while delegating any needed fixing to the experts. Here’s a short step by step on how you can do so:

  • Create slack. Because the seat belt’s retractor may be the reason behind not pulling it out, find an opportunity to create slack. This means to inch back the strap in order for it to go back to the retractor. 
  • Inspect the retractor. After feeding back the seatbelt, try to see how the retractor will respond and inspect what happens next. If you have to get a close look, you can opt to remove the paneling. 
  • Untangle the belt. If you find a twisted part of the belt that’s preventing it from being pulled out, work carefully to remove the tangle. You can handle and manipulate the retractor instead of the belt to fix the twists. 
  • Test pulling the belt out. Finally, try to tug the belt and attempt to pull it out again. If it still isn’t smooth or you can feel some sort of resistance, you can choose to contact a repairman or attempt to tug the belt back into alignment by its buckle. 


Retraction and pull-out problems aren’t the only malfunctions a seat belt can’t go through, but these two are the most common ones almost every driver will have to deal with at some point while on the road. Be cautious when you finally spot the defect and take extra care on fixing the problem so you can feel safe in your car again. 

Looking for a seat belt replacement in Westfield, MA? Safety Restore is a leader in seat belt repairs and replacements all around the world. Get in touch with us today!

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