Do-It-Yourself SRS Remedies: How to Repair Sagging Seatbelts

Posted by Artem Martynyuk on

Wearing a seat belt while you’re on-board a vehicle is the standard operating procedure, regardless of whether you’re riding an airplane or driving a car. Besides requiring you to do so by law, the two sashes around your body separate you from having minor discomfort over severe car collision injuries.

Like any component in your car, your seatbelts can experience wear and tear over time, even if your car hasn’t endured a car accident. Older seatbelts can start developing a delay in retracting, which can put you in danger. If your seat belt cannot hold you tightly during a collision, you’re at risk of suffering whiplash, concussion or even getting thrown off your seat. Thankfully, you can perform a DIY solution to get your seatbelt back in shape.

How to fix sagging seat belts

Not all car owners pay attention to their seat belts during cleaning, especially since interior components don’t get as dirty as a car’s exteriors. However, it can still build up dirt and grime over time, leading to several performance issues. Fortunately, the most common reason for seat belt retraction issues is mostly due to having a dirty seat belt and reeling mechanisms. Thankfully, you don’t have to break open your car to remedy the problem.

In this article, we’ll go over two potential methods that can fix your sagging seat belts.

Method#1 Cleaning the sash belt

First, get a deep bucket and fill it halfway with a clothing detergent and water solution. Afterward, pull your seatbelt as far as possible from the C-pillar and lock it with a binder clip to prevent it from retracting. Place a towel on your seat to cushion the bucket and avoid spillage. Soak as much of the sashes within the detergent solution and let it absorb the water.

After leaving it to soak for 20 minutes, you will notice that the soapy expel grime from the belts. Using a soft-bristled brush, scrub away the accumulated dirt until it’s completely gone from the sashes. Afterward, let the sashes air dry for a few hours, and be sure to wipe off any moisture with a dry towel before you retract it back to your car’s C-pillar. If all goes well, your seatbelt’s retracting function should work properly again.

Method#2: Cleaning your reel mechanism

If the sash itself isn’t the issue, you may have to inspect your reel mechanism for accumulated dirt. First, dismount the seta and remove the plastic panels that cover your car’s B-pillar. Gently lift the cover to expose your seat belt’s reel mechanisms. This component is usually held on by clops on both sides. Simply brush off the accumulated dirt with a soft bristle brush or use compressed air to low the contaminants away. Test your seat belt’s retractor if it maintains good tension and retracts normally again.

Keep in mind that it’s much easier to do this procedure for older cars with dismountable seats. However, most modern models have electric gadgets and sensors that can activate unintentionally. You must get a professional opinion from an accident restoration company to ensure that you won’t damage your car’s other safety components.


Your car’s seat belt is a vital part of your vehicle’s Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), which is why it’s necessary to maintain it. Assessing your SRS’ components, from airbag modules to seat belt sashes, will ensure that you’re heading to the road with your safety secured.

If the remedies above aren't enough to fix your seat belt's retractor problems, you may have a more complex problem at hand. Repair My SRS is an accident restoration company that offers SRS repair services in the US, such as seat belt retractor and seat belt pretensioner repair. Browse through our various repair services to see how well we can reinforce your vehicle's safety issues!

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