seat belt

What Do You Do With Seat Belts That Won’t Retract or Pull Out?

Accidents can happen while you’re on the road. And what’s standing between you and a grave injury is an airbag and a properly functioning seat belt. 

Just like any other vehicle part, seat belts may occasionally malfunction. When this happens, you need to make sure that you know what to do and how you can fix it.

Create Slack and Pull the Seat Belt

If you can’t retract the seatbelts, it may be due to twisted webbing. What you need to do is unbuckle your seat belt to create slack, then feed it back into the retractor, helping you produce a few inches of retraction. 

Now, extend your seat belt outward, eliminating the twist webbing. Look for twists in your seat belt’s pillar loops and even behind the trim paneling. If you’re having a hard time removing the twists by hand, you may use a flathead screwdriver to untwist it.

Remove the Trim Paneling

If needed, you can take out the paneling that covers the components of your seat belt. Doing this can help you remove the twists that are hidden below the paneling.

Remove Small Obstructions

Small obstructions such as dirt, debris, and dust can also create retraction problems. All you need to do is remove the obstructions and see if you can fully access the retractor. To avoid this from happening, you should make sure that you constantly clean the interior to prevent the same issue from happening again.

Test and Tug Your Seat Belt

Now, you may want to test your seat belt to see whether you can pull it outward. If you can’t, try to loosen some internal binding within the seat belt’s retractor. 

You can do this by firmly holding the seat belt’s webbing, giving it two to three shifts, and then forcefully tugging it. In this way, you can free the misaligned retractor and restore its functionality.

Some Other Common Problems of Seat Belts

Aside from the issues mentioned above, there are other seat belt issues you may also experience. Here are some of these problems.

Sticky Seat Belt Release

Over time, your seat belt’s release button may become difficult to release and become a concern for most motorists.

There are times when the seat belt buckle may become contaminated with dirt, any form of debris, and even sticky substances. When this happens, you may use an electrical contact cleaner or rubbing alcohol to remove the contaminants. 

Slow Retraction of Seat Belt

Sometimes, you may experience that your seat belt is slowly retracting. It may also be due to a twisted or kinked seat belt. When this happens, you may slowly pull your seat belt outward until it is completely extended. Then you may slowly retract the seat belt to its original position.

One main reason why this happens is that the seatbelts are old and become stiff as dirt and other particles accumulate, causing them to slowly retract. To help you fix it, you may use soapy water and slowly pull it outward to get rid of contaminants. 


Your seat belt is one of the most important parts of your vehicle that can save you from scenarios such as road accidents. So, making sure that it is in great condition is something you should prioritize. If you can’t do it by yourself and the issue seems to be too hard for you, then seek professional help right away.

Safety Restore is the world’s leader in post-accident restorations, specializing in seat belt repairs and airbag modules. Contact us today so we can help you with your seat belt needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.


Subscribe. We never spam.