Home Automotive AdviceVehicle Safety How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt – All The Different Ways

How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt – All The Different Ways

by Jordan Harris
How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt

Have you noticed that your seat belt is stuck and you learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt? If this is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic.

Getting everything sorted out in your vehicle should be a given. You don’t want something to be broken. Especially something like a seat belt that is of great importance. As they would say, safety is the number one priority and this should be the rule for you. You don’t want to drive in a death trap.

Safety features are not there for show and they have a good purpose. Many people are trying to look cool and not wear their seat belts and this is bad practice. A good practice is wearing your seat belt and making sure that you are properly secured.

I’m pointing this out because you never know when a dangerous situation can happen. There are a ton of people that don’t look where they drive and are careless. So, being prepared for a situation like this will be a complete lifesaver in some situations. No pun intended. That’s why we are going to explain to you how to sort these things out.

First, we are going to learn what are seat belts and a little bit about their history. Then we will learn the types, how they work, and the mechanism behind them. After, we will discuss the effectiveness and also how to fix a stuck seatbelt. Lastly, we will discuss the cost and how to get rid of the seatbelt light. So, if you want to learn something new, follow along.

What Are Seatbelts?

Seat belts as their name implies are devices that are mounted on the seats. But what type of devices they are, for comfort or the occupants’ safety?

The seat belts are purely designed for safety. They make sure that the driver and the occupants are well and protected all of the time while driving.

They protect the driver and the passenger to a great extent in major accidents as well as in minor ones. The seat belt works in a way that it holds you tight in case of a rapid movement of the body forward. They basically keep you in place.

Another way they protect you is in case of a rollover. If you are not buckled up, there is a high chance that you will fly off the window when the car rolls over. Resulting in death in most cases. But if you wear a seat belt, this chance of the driver being thrown out of the vehicle is really minimal.

Seat belts are keeping your upper torso as well as your lap in check. They don’t allow you to move around and make sure that you are well secured.

Old designs of seat belts were primarily focused on lap protection. But since the ’90s three-point seat belts have become the standard when it comes to seat belt design and they are still used to this day.

Seat belts are dependable, but can sometimes malfunction and cause some headaches and make you look online to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to cover that and more later in this article after we learn some of the history of the seat belt.

History Of Seatbelts

Now before we talk about how to fix a stuck seatbelt, let’s share a few words about the history of the seat belt.

Even though cars are with us for over 100 years now. Seat belts on the other hand are much older. They originate far in the 19th century where an Englishman named George Cayley has patented these seat belts to use them on his glider.

Since then they were widely used in airplanes, especially one-seaters and two-seaters that fought in WW1. But their use in cars was delayed a bit. This was the case because cars weren’t that fast as they are now.

How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt

There wasn’t a real demand and the idea of using seat belts in cars was even ridiculed in the ’50s when the seat belts were first introduced. Only 2% of the buyers opted to pay more for seat belts in 1956 on Ford cars.

And that was the case until the 80’s when seat belts became mandatory in the US. There were a ton of people who disapproved of this law for unknown reasons. But those were different times. Back in the day, even smoking was one of the coolest things until they realized the damage it does.

Similar to the seatbelts. It wasn’t a long time until people realized and said ”hey this stuff really works”. And the numbers even reinforced this. Since seat belts were mandatory a ton of lives were saved each year. Many people are around us because of these devices and that’s a good thing.

But how to fix a stuck seatbelt? More on that later, first we need to understand the different types of seatbelts that are around.

Types Of Seatbelts – How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt

Before we dive into answering the question of how to fix a stuck seatbelt, it is also worth noting that there are a couple of types of seat belts. They came in different styles in the past.

When they were firstly introduced in the 1950’s seat belts only used an overlap design. Which meant that the seat belt was only covering the lap and not the upper body. These belts are also known as two-point seat belts. These were not that effective and offered mild protection since the driver could still end up in the steering column if there was a case of an accident.

So, something had to be done and the three-point seat belts were patented in 1955. These three-point seat belts offered good protection for the upper torso as well. Making them extra good and reliable. But they didn’t make an impact instantly. It passed many years until the three-point seat belts became the standard. And these are the seat belts that we are using now.

There are also multi-point seat belts that are used in some racing applications. These are also known as race harnesses. Because they have multiple points where they latch and keep the driver nice and secure in the seat. Making the risk for injury minimal. But how do fix a stuck seatbelt? More on that in a bit after we cover how seat belts work and what is their mechanism of action.

How Do Seatbelts Work?

The seat belts work in an extremely simple way. The design itself is really basic and the mechanism is almost error-free. Even though, sometimes it knows to malfunction when there is a problem with debris and it can get stuck. Resulting in making you look online at how to fix a stuck seatbelt.

The core of the seat belt is the retractor that serves of activating the seat belt. There is a locking gear and an actuator.

When there is a sudden motion that is not normal, let’s say an impact. The actuator will react and release a claw that will block the seat belt and make sure that it doesn’t move from that position. And when this happens your seat belt is stuck and you cannot return it to normal condition. But how to fix a stuck seatbelt? More on that in a bit after the seat belt efficacy.

Seatbelts Efficacy

Seatbelts have great efficacy in protecting passengers from injuries. As the reports claim the seatbelts are reducing the chance for a serious injury by a half. Frankly, 50% is a relatively big percentage in protecting the passengers from serious injuries and death.

For best results, the seatbelts should be combined with airbags. The airbags will absorb most of the hit and will prevent injuries to the neck and face of the driver while the seatbelt will make sure that the torso doesn’t move a lot. This results in an improvement of the airbag efficacy by 40%. When the body is stationary, the airbag can do its thing and deploy as it should.

How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt

If the driver and passenger are not in that predictable space of action of these airbags, they can end up injured by the airbag itself. So, you need to be aware of these things and follow the procedures to get the most protection possible when it comes to the airbag system. Buckle up whenever you enter the car and don’t get away from your place.

You never know when an impact could happen and the airbag to deploy. But how to fix a stuck seatbelt? We will get there, let’s first take a look at the reasons why a seat belt might get stuck.

Reasons Why A Seatbelt Might Get Stuck?

Before we learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt, we first need to learn the reasons why a seat belt can get stuck in the first place. You need to learn the reasons and based on these reasons you may start looking for a solution based on your problem.

Your problem will be solved when you understand what is causing the seat belt to get stuck and then based on this information you draw your own conclusion and follow the right way of how to fix a stuck seatbelt that we are going to cover later in this article. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

1. Bad Seatbelt Retractor

One of the primary reasons why the seat belt can get stuck and make you start looking online on how to fix a stuck seatbelt is the bad seatbelt retractor.

As you know, seat belts are used daily and sometimes these retractors can fail and make the seat belt get stuck and stop working. It will basically get stuck in one position and you will not be able to remove it from this position.

Not an ideal situation. If the seat belt retractor is broken. You will have to rebuild your seat belt completely because this seat belt is stuck for good. You don’t want a seat belt like this, you want a reliable seat belt that will guarantee your safety and make sure that nothing happens to you.

So, when you notice something like this you need to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt and that is something that we are going to cover a bit later after we finish all of the reasons for a stuck seatbelt.

2. Twisted Seatbelt

The seat belt also can get twisted if it is not used properly. And if you retract this twisted seat belt, you can expect it not to work properly.

There is a high chance that the seat belt will get stuck at some point if it’s twisted. Some cars even have seat belt retractors that are covered by a plastic panel. So, good luck trying to untwist this seat belt.

In this case, you need to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt, and later in the article, we are going to explain to you all the different ways how you can perform this task.

3. Bad Seatbelt Buckle

The seat belt buckle can also malfunction and make you look online to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt. Sometimes the buckle can get stuck inside and also outside. It will not like to buckle and release whenever there is tension.

The buckle mechanism in both of these situations is probably the root of the cause. As you know, these mechanisms go through hell during their lifetime. They are often full of debris and food. So, it is relatively easy to start malfunctioning and making problems for you or other owners.

In this situation, the best solution is to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt and that is something that we are going to cover later in the article.

4. Car Was Previously In An Accident

Another cause for a stuck seat belt might be that the car was previously in an accident. As you know, when there is an impact the seat belt locks and then releases the tension. Then you cannot roll it back. It is stuck in this position permanently. Making it stuck and unusable.

The first thing, in this case, will be to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt. But more on that, we are going to cover in the following chapters. We will cover all the cases and elaborate on how you can get this problem sorted asap.

How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt 3 Ways

Now let’s get to the main point of this article and that is how to fix a stuck seatbelt. As we discussed above, there are several reasons why the seat belt can malfunction and get stuck and each of them has a different solution. So, based on the reason you search for the solution to the problem.

In the following few chapters, we are going to focus precisely on that and learn all the three ways that you can fix your seatbelt based on the problem. So, if you want to sort this problem asap, follow along.

1. If The Seatbelt Is Stuck Or Twisted

Let’s say that the seat belt that you are having is stuck and doesn’t want to move up and down. In this case, there are two chances, there is a bad seat retractor or there is a twisted belt. If the belt is twisted the seat belt will not like to move up and down.

Let’s say that it is the first problem and that is the bad belt retractor in play. If this is the case, you will need to replace the whole retractor unit along with the seat belt. You need to unbolt the seat belt from its place and remove it. Send it to a shop that is dealing with these types of work and after a few days or a week, you will have your seat belt back, working perfectly just as new.

If you have a twisted belt. You need to untwist it. But how to fix a stuck seatbelt? It’s quite simple, to be honest. First, you need to remove the plastic panel that covers the seat belt and see at what point it is stuck. Then, try to release it.

This can be a frustrating thing to deal with and can really piss you off, especially if it is twisted quite a bit. If the seat belt is too twisted and you cannot release it. The only way would be to send it to a shop that deals with these problems and tell them to fix them for you.

You might pay $200 for this job but it’s worth it in my opinion. In the end, you will have a perfectly working seat belt and you will not be looking online on how to fix a stuck seatbelt. But if there is another reason behind this problem. Move on to the next chapter.

2. If The Seatbelt Doesn’t Want To Latch

Now let’s see what you can do if the seat belt doesn’t want to latch or is stuck latched and you basically cannot escape the car. This situation nobody wants but it happens sometimes when the mechanisms are overused and worn out.

When the seat belt doesn’t want to latch then you probably have some dirt or debris inside of the buckle assembly. This can be a problem especially if you tend to eat in your car and bread crumbs can fall into the mechanism and prevent it from working properly.

If this happens to you, the only way around will be cleaning it with alcohol and cotton buds for cleaning ears. Make sure that you soak the bud and then remove all of the debris that is inside the buckle assembly. After cleaning the buckle, the belt should resume its normal work and latch.

If the belt is stuck latched and doesn’t want to unlatch, the only solution would be to find a way to escape from the belt and if you cant you will need to call someone to unbolt the buckle with a wrench or cut the belt. This is your last resort.

Then you will probably have to replace the belt buckle with a new one and continue using your seat belt. If not, you will not be properly secured and you could end up hurt in an accident. That’s why to learn how to fix a stuck seatbelt and make your life easier.

3. If The Seatbelt Is Locked Up?

If the seat belt is locked up and doesn’t want to retract. Then it is highly likely that you have been into an accident where the locking of the belt’s mechanism was activated and the belt sadly will not retract again unless it’s sorted out. In this case, you need to look for how to fix a stuck seatbelt and learn the companies that are working with seat belts.

After learning the companies that are working with seat belts you will need to remove and pack the seat belt. Then send the seat belt to them and tell them to refurbish the seat belt and bring the seat belt back to stock. After this procedure, your seat belt will be good as new.

Cost To Repair Locked Up Seatbelt?

We learned how to fix a stuck seatbelt. Now let’s see the cost to fix the seat belt if you cannot fix it by yourself. The cost to refurbish seat belts is relatively low. You can expect to pay somewhere between $150 to $200 per piece.

It doesn’t matter if the seat belt is stuck, locked, or worn out. These companies that are working with these seat belts will redo them completely and you will not have any future trouble with the seat belt again.

They also can change the belt design with color by your liking if you want to further personalize your vehicle and make it look unique and presentable. This will cost you extra but if you are a car guy and want something really good and unique, this might be the right option for you and your car.

Conclusion To How To Fix A Stuck Seatbelt

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to bad seat belts and how to fix a stuck seatbelt. First, we learned about seat belts and their history, later we covered how the seat belts function and their effectiveness in preventing injuries to the driver and the passengers.

Then we focused on the primary reasons for a stuck seat belt and these include a bad seat belt retractor, bad buckle, or a twisted belt.

Lastly, we learned how you can overcome your specific problem based on the reason for the malfunction. Even if you can repair the belt by yourself, some companies can do this work for you and for cheap.

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1 comment

Axel Ivan Rasmussen 04/10/2022 - 6:48 AM

I have a Citroen C2 2004
There is only 2 seatbelts on the backseat .
Can I mount a 3 seatbelt ??


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