Is your seatbelt stuck? Seat belts are essential in a car, and they play a significant role in ensuring passenger’s safety.
Sometimes, the seatbelt can get stuck, and it is very natural to feel uncomfortable in a car with a stuck seat.
However small the safety component in your car might seem, ignoring is endangering your own life and that of other passengers.
So, how can you fix a seat belt that is stuck?
You can easily and quickly troubleshoot the problem without having to visit a car dealer.
Have you just discovered that your seat belt is stuck? You don’t need to beat yourself up.
This article will give you tips on fixing your seat belt without visiting a repair shop.
Why Do Seatbelts Get Jammed?
Your seatbelts can get jammed because of two reasons;
Firstly, it could be because the seat belt retractor is locked.
A retractor is a spoon-like device with teeth on its edges. It helps your car’s seatbelt to extend and retract with ease freely.
Sometimes you find your car’s seat belt locked entirely or having difficulty when trying to pull it out.
Here, you unlock the retractor by pulling out webbing from the car’s seat belt. After that, use a solid pull to open the seat belt, or you can use spin the spool using a screwdriver.
Secondly, your seat belts can get jammed due to dirt or grime accumulating on the seatbelt.
The dirt makes your car’s seat belt have slow retraction rather than the standard movement. You can fix this issue by cleaning all the dirt carefully from your car’s seatbelt to free it up.
How to Fix a Seatbelt that is Stuck
Your car’s seat belts are essential components for both your safety and that of your passengers.
Therefore, it is crucial to pay close attention to any slight change that the car may be experiencing and fix it immediately.
Do you feel stuck in fixing your car’s seatbelt?
Here are simple steps that will guide you in fixing your car’s seatbelt.
1. Check for Any Obstructions
When tiny objects invade any area of your seatbelt, they cause the seatbelts to get stuck. Thus, check out any tiny objects on your seatbelts and expose them.
For instance, a pin can fall into the seatbelt pillar loop after dropping on the seat. When the pin gets stuck to the seatbelt, it cannot function properly any longer.
If you are keen enough to run a visual check on the seatbelt parts fast, you will be able to expose any object of obstruction.
Thus, when you remove any obstruction object, you will have solved the problem if only the thing had not gone further to the seatbelt’s core mechanism.
2. Pull the Belt
Pull the seatbelt with moderate force to remove any small objects in its movement path.
Pulling the seatbelt lightly ensures that you don’t worsen the problem of the stuck belt, especially when it is mechanical.
If, after attempting three times, the seatbelt does not move, you will have to leave it and try finding another solution.
Thus, when you remove any obstruction object, you will have solved the problem if only the object had not gone further to the seatbelt’s core mechanism.
3. Unclogging the Seatbelt Mechanism
Often, cars get stuck due to cases that relate directly to a clogged mechanism. The seatbelt mechanism is complex and has few parts that move.
It has a spinning wheel gear that might get stuck due to being overused. When the mechanism is clogged, it makes it difficult to pull or retract a seatbelt.
Unclogging the seatbelt mechanism is very complicated compared to other methods, but it is doable.
Here are the steps to unclogging the seatbelt mechanism;
Remove the Side Panel
Since the seatbelt mechanism is under the side panel, you will have first to remove it.
So, move seats and anything that might block the side panel. Then use a screwdriver to loosen the panel and remove all the clips that hold it down.
After removing the clips, now use your screwdriver to remove the panel. If it is not too tight on the car, you can pull the panel with your hands.
Take Out the Mechanism
Here, you will need keys 10-14 mm to remove bolts that secures the seatbelt mechanism. Then open the mechanism by turning it on the side to reveal a plastic cap.
Now remove the pins holding the mechanism down so that you can open it easily.
Move the Gear Wheel
After opening the mechanism’s gear will, you can now unclog it by rotating your finger clockwise.
Now, if your wheel spins without any resistance, it means that your belt will not stick again.
You can pull the seatbelt to ascertain you have got a solution to your problem and then reassemble back everything.
4. Untangle the Seatbelt
To untangle the belt, do the following;
Uncover the Seatbelt
Open the seatbelt’s full length to gain a clear view of the belt to find any problem. Now, remove the plastic covers where the seatbelt has a retraction using a flat tool.
Then slide your flat tool, here you can use the flat side of your screwdriver under the covers and push it up.
Pull Out the Seatbelt
Once you gain access to the part of the seatbelt that is affected, pull it out completely.
Ensure the seatbelt does not retract using a clip and go through it slowly to find any tangles. Remove any small bits you find to make retraction possible and free the seatbelt.
Wash the Seatbelt
Because you have already removed your seatbelt, you can wash it to remove all the dirt accumulated over time.
Building up dirt is may not be the reason your belt was stuck, but it is now a great time to wash it.
To wash your belt; soak it in warm water with detergent, leave it for an hour, dry the strap using a towel and finally leave it to dry in the air.
Washing your seatbelt makes it smoother and move freely.
Test Your Seatbelt and Reassemble the Cover
After drying your seatbelt, attach it back to the mechanism and let it retract slowly.
Remove it once more and release it to ensure it goes back to the normal position. You will have fixed the issue if the seatbelt retracts without stress.
5. Change the Pre-Tensioners
The pre-tensioners are likely to have blown in case your car was involved in an accident before. Without them, the seatbelt remains locked.
Therefore, I would recommend you replace them completely rather than repairing them.
6. Detach the Auto-Lock Function
The auto-lock function is one of the most common causes for your stuck seatbelt.
However, it can be easily fixed by; unfastening the seatbelt and ensuring nothing holds it down, pulling out the seat belt as much as possible and finally allowing it to go back to the retractor other than inserting it back to fastening joint.
If the belt returns to its normal position after releasing, the problem is now solved.
However, if it just hangs loose without retracting, try one other five methods we have already covered.
Final Thoughts on Fixing a Seatbelt That Is Stuck
There are a few causes of your seatbelt getting stuck, as already covered in this article.
To understand how to fix a seatbelt that is stuck, ensure you follow the above guidelines step by step.
Also, taking good care of every car component will enable you to avoid seat belt tangle and any dirt that might accumulate in the seatbelt mechanism.
More often, doing a quick troubleshoot will show the cause of the problem. If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, you can look for an auto-mechanic.
However, if the seat belt remains jammed after doing everything, you will need to replace the mechanism.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.