Safety 101: Three Common Causes of a Slow Retracting Seat Belt

Posted by Artem Martynyuk on

We understand the importance of seat belts to our safety. It is why we take seat belt retractor repair seriously, but sometimes we do not know when it is time for us to take our car to the shop.

Garages that offer seat belt retractor repairs point out that one of the biggest safety concerns is a slow retracting seat belt. You should immediately fix it or take your vehicle to the nearest shop if you have noticed this. Although they have experts to fix this problem, you may be wondering why this is happening.

In this case, you should pay attention to this article. Here are some of the common causes:

Dirty Seat Belt 

Dirt and oil affect the tensile strength of seat belt webbing. It degrades the durability of your seat belt when it is exposed to heat, sunlight, and other factors. It is why you should clean your car often to improve the belt's tensile strength. 

A microswitch controls the seat belt retractor. When the webbing is stretched, it will activate the switch and pull back the belt. When the belt is no longer being removed, the microswitch will switch off, therefore starting the button. 

If you have noticed a slow retracting seat belt, pay attention to the microswitch. If the microswitch is dirty, it will cause the belt to malfunction. You have to clean it to make it work properly.

As time passes, you will notice that your seat belt retracts slowly, especially when you have given it a good tug. It would help if you immediately took it to the nearest shop. That is because the belt might be about to break.

Plastic Loop Makes the Belt Stuck

When you accidentally put the plastic of the belt with the wrong side facing up, it will cause the belt to jam in the vehicle. Although it is a rare case, recent studies suggest that the materials in the belt will deteriorate when they harden.

According to seat belt retractor repair experts, jacking up the plastic will weaken the strength of the belt's adhesive. In most cases, the belt will permanently fuse in the vehicle, easily causing the belt to malfunction. That is why you should be careful when using plastic.

Dirty Belt Retractor

If you have noticed a slow retracting seat belt, make sure to clean it right away. In most cases, dirt will build up in the retractor, which will result in a malfunctioning belt and a slow retraction. The belt will get stuck in some cases, while it will not retract properly in others.

If your car is dirty, you should also clean your seat belt. The belt will be filthy after a few months of frequent use. All car owners should wash their seat belts regularly because you can expect the belt to become dirty after a few months. 


If you have a slow retracting seat belt, you should inspect it immediately. If you notice that the belt is dirty, you should clean it as well. You can start by vacuuming the belt and applying a few sprays of soap. The belt will become clean and speed up its operation.  

As an added precaution, make sure to check your belt regularly. If you notice that it is dirty, clean it right away. If you see a tear on the strap, it would be best to replace it. It is prudent if you have a professional fix it for you.

If the seat belt issue is beyond your expertise, you should take your car to Repair My SRS. We offer seat belt retractor repair because we know the importance of seat belts, so bring your vehicle to our shop in Massachusetts now!

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