If you drive a car, you must be well aware of the issues faced in maintaining a vehicle. Particularly, if it concerns the safety of the individuals using it frequently, then you have to take much more care than needed. One such problem that you may encounter is that of seat belt retracting. A seat belt is a critical safety mechanism of the vehicle. It is perhaps infuriating and dangerous.
- Infuriating because you have to use your hand every time in retracting the seat belt
- dangerous because the seat belt won’t be able to hold back your body in case you encounter any accident God forbid.
It is a massive risk if you drive a car whose seat belt won’t retract properly. Foremost you have to find out the cause in order to reach the solution. There are several causes that can lead to seat belt not functioning appropriately. Some of the common causes may be as stated under:
- The seat belt material: The seat belt material may become stiff with time due to the collection of dirt on it. This dirt comes from contact with the human body and particles from the environment. With time, it becomes stiff, and the retracting mechanism is unable to function correctly.
- The seat belt loop: The loop functions to hold the seat belt over the individual’s body. Over time, due to muck, it becomes rigid and stiff, and the seat belt runs slowly.
- The seat belt retractor: The retractor is the mechanism responsible for pulling the seat belt. It is not so visible and not accessible for cleaning now and then. Hence, dirt gets accumulated in the seat belt retractor. The seat belt material also passes some dirt to the retractor with time. There are chances that the retractor is damaged with a period of time. In such a case, replacing the retractor is a suitable alternative.
These are the possible causes for your seat belt not retracting. Now that you know the reasons let us work towards fixing the issue. Below given are the steps to fix the seat belt that won’t retract.
How to Fix Seat Belt that won’t Retract
Step 1: Cleanse the Seat Belt Fabric
The seat belt has an abundance of gathered dirt that includes sweat and mud. All you need to do is cleanse it thoroughly. To do it, follow these instructions.
- Take a bucket and fill it with warm water.
- Add detergent to the bucket.
- Soak the seat belt into the bucket for about an hour.
- Rinse the seat belt.
- Squeeze the moisture out of it.
- Dry it with a towel.
Note: While doing so, be careful that you don’t dismantle the seat belt mechanism. And here you go! Fix the seat belt at its place.
Step 2: Cleanse the Loop
The filth on the plastic loop can be cleaned by using a wet cloth. However, if the car is old enough, the plastic loop might be damaged. If you see any breakage in the circuit, get it changed. If you are confident enough about its mechanism, you can do it yourself, and in case of any doubt, you can ask your serviceman to get it done.
Step 3: Cleanse the Seat Belt Retractor
The seat belt retractor is located either in the trim panel or under the seat. It depends on the front or back seat of the car. Reaching the retractor is like the tip of the iceberg. If you are well aware of its parts and pieces, only then proceed towards the cleansing work. If not, you can ask your car mechanic to do it for you.
Step 4: Change the Retractor if Needed
The retractor is an essential part of the seat belt- the one totally responsible for saving you during an accident. It consists of components such as spring, gears, sensors, etc. and is all devised in such a way that it locks you up to the seat and saves you from banding your head to the dashboard or glass. Each of the parts is liable to get damaged after some time, and the best solution in such a scenario would be to get it replaced. For this purpose, professional help is recommended if you are unable to help yourself with it.
Some simple steps, and everything is fine! Your seat belt is all set to get back at its proper functioning. Well, you may do it on your own or ask for professional help, but make sure you get it done. There should be no compromises at the risk of your life, as well as your loved ones. Now that you are sorted with this issue, you can drive without any hesitation or without getting infuriating or putting your life at risk. Enjoy the ride after fastening your seat belt.