Seat Belt That Won’t Pull Out or Won’t Retract: Quick Fix

Seat belts in a car are one of the crucial parts of ensuring safety to its user. It is no less important than wheels, brakes, or steering. Because when you are driving a car, the possibility of occurring an accident is always high no matter how safe of a driver you are.

An accident not only causes damage to a car but can cost the life of the rider. Hence, a strong and properly operating seat belt and airbags are must-haves. Unfortunately, the amount of attention other parts get for repairing and maintenance, the seat belts are equally neglected.

But, the truth is, the seat belts can often get jammed or malfunction. If it happens in the middle of a journey, fixing it can be quite troublesome if you don’t know how. Therefore, I help you get prepared ahead of time here, I am going to discuss the ways to fix that the seat belt won’t pull out.

Parts of a Seat Belt

Before I move on to how to fix a seat belt that won’t retract, you must know the parts that seat belt incorporates. Though it looks simple, there are crucial units that attach individual elements to ensure user safety. As you scrutinize, there are five components that consist of seat belts such as buckle, latch plate, webbing, pillar loop, and retractor.

Now, let’s discuss what each component is used for.

1. Buckle and latch plate

The buckle comes with a latch plate. As you pull the seat belt to connect the latch plate with the buckle, it will lock in place with a snap. It will be strongly locked, but you need to unlock it manually.

2. Webbing

The seat belt is also referred to as webbing. The belt is made of polyester fiber and is strongly constructed so that it can withstand extreme shock. The webbing wraps around the rider to keep him secure in place during any sudden jerk or accident.

3. Pillar Loop

The pillar loop is fixed around the shoulder area. It keeps the seat belt in position, and the user can pull or retract it according to his comfortability. You will find diverse designs in the pillar loop varying different cars.

4. Retractor

The retractor has many responsibilities in functioning the seat belt. It works for locking the seat belt in a fixed position. You can also set it in an inward and outward position. However, it will set in place and lock the belt if there is an immense shock or accident.

How to Fix a Seat Belt That Won’t Pull Out or Won’t Retract?

Sometimes when the seat belt is sagging, or you have pulled the belt way too much, retracting seat belts becomes an issue. In that case, you need to check if the belt is twisted or the retractor is working properly. You may need to replace the retractor if necessary. In most cases, the seat belt won’t retract due to a twisted belt. In that case, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Unbuckle the seat belt. Then, slowly fix the belt backward.

Step 2: Then, pull the belt until it gets extended completely. You will know if the belt is twisted or not.

Step 3: Examine the belt to be sure if the belt is twisted or not. Carefully check the pillar loop and the belt behind the seat.

Step 4: If the belt still doesn’t retract, then the belt might need to be removed to fix the issue.

How to Fix a Stuck Seat belt?

Sometimes seat elts tend to get stuck. In most cases, it happens in the auto-lock seat belt system. In that case, how to unlock the seat belt! Here is the process:

Step 1: Unfasten the seat belt and check if you can move the belt freely.

Step 2: Make sure the belt is loose, and you can easily pull it forward. Then, set it back in the retractor but don’t fasten it.

Step 3: If the belt easily snaps back in the retractor, then you have already solved the problem. If it’s not going back in the normal position, then it must have got tangled. In that case, you need to follow the process of how to detangle the twisted seat belt.

How to Detangle a Twisted Seat belt?

Fixing a twisted seat belt can be a bit tricky, but you can do it with the right tools. To do this, you will need a screwdriver or flat head pliers, clamp, towel, warm water, and laundry detergent. Then follow the below steps.

Step 1: Using the screwdriver or plier, scoop it under the plastic cover where the belt retracts. Move it upward, and it will pop open.

Step 2: Pull the belt until it’s fully extended. Use a clamp to refrain it from retracting.

Step 3: Now thoroughly inspect where the belt is tangled.

Step 4: Sometimes, the seat belt gets stuck due to dirt or debris. Hence, soak the seat belt using warm water and laundry detergent.

Step 5: After a while, clean the belt with fresh water and dry with a clean towel.

Step 6: After the wash, you will notice how clean and glossy the belt is looking. Now feed the belt slowly and set it in the retractor.

Step 7: The belt should get detangled and move smoothly. Test the belt by tugging it upward and releasing it. It should automatically get into the normal position.

How to Fix a Seat belt Buckle that Won’t Latch?

Though the seat belt mechanism consists of a few components, if the problem is in the functionality, then fixing the issue can be a bit complex. Often you may need professional help, but the below steps might help you to do it yourself.

Step 1: The side panel is where the seat belt mechanism is set. You will find two panels at the bottom edge of the car. One is at the right, and the other one is at the center.

Step 2: Using a screwdriver or plier, you need to lift the clips upward. You will find a small screw there. Use the same screwdriver to unscrew it.

Step 3: Now, from the back seat of the car, remove the side panels to pull out the seat belt mechanism.

Step 4: As you remove the two panels, you will find the seat belt mechanism is securely attached with nuts and bolts. Unscrew them and remove the clip to pull out the mechanism.

Step 5: Now, it’s time to open the mechanism. As the mechanism is secured with pins and plastic caps, remove them using a hex key.

Step 6: As you remove the pins, you will see there is a small box with small clips. Unscrew the clips, and the lid of the box will open.

Step 7: As you open the lid, you will see there are tiny plastic pieces and a spring on the gear. Remove them.

Step 8: You have reached the gear wheel. Now, move the gear clockwise. You can simply do it using your hand. Slowly move it to remove the jam. Now check the belt is moving smoothly.

Step 9: If the belt is retracting freely, you just need to put the pieces, clips, and screws back to reassemble them as it was before.


There can be many reasons for seat belt issues. Mostly, the above-mentioned methods will help you resolve them. No matter how small or big the issue is, pay attention and address them as soon as you can; otherwise, it might cost you a big injury.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further information.

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