What to Do When Your Seat Belts Won’t Retract Properly

Posted by Artem Martynyuk on

Seat belts are a vital part of your car. Aside from your airbags, your seat belt is the only thing keeping you safe in case you are ever involved in an accident. This is why it’s imperative that you ensure that they are always working properly.

So what should you do when your seat belt won’t retract? This is a common issue that many car owners experience but have no idea how to fix. Ignoring it isn’t an option, as seat belts that won’t retract will do nothing when it comes to safeguarding your life in case of an accident. Luckily, this isn’t too complicated to fix. Here are a few things you can do when your seat belts won’t retract properly.

Fix the Panel and Winder

Most issues with seat belts stem from a jammed belt blocking system. While this may seem like a complicated issue to fix, it’s actually pretty simple as long as you follow our instructions.

First, you’ll need to take the panel off of the seat belt. Once it is open, just take the winder out as well. You should see a tiny plastic orb that is basically responsible for most of the seat belt’s functions. Your seat belt won’t retract if there are any issues with this orb. One common problem is that the orb isn’t properly lubricated. Just apply some oil to it and it should start working properly.

Clean Your Seat Belt

Dirt can also cause complications with your seat belt. I mean this shouldn’t be too surprising as a lot of dirt can accumulate on your seat belt. This dirt ends up jamming the seat belt and preventing it from working properly. In some extreme cases, it can even completely wear out your seat belt retracting system.

If the damage to your seat belt isn’t too severe, then you can fix this problem by simply cleaning your seat belt. You don’t have to overthink this as all you’ll need to do is to take a towel and a small towel and a bucket of water with detergent. From there just clean the seat belt and wipe it dry.

Slide It Up and Down

Lastly, sometimes the simplest solution is the best. If your seat belt won’t retract, you can try sliding it up and down until it gets fixed. Sometimes a seat belt might just be in a weird position that hinders it from retracting.

You’ll want to be careful when you’re doing this as you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t damaging the seat belts. You can pull hard but make sure that you aren’t breaking the seat belt even more.


We hope these tips prove to be useful when it comes to helping you deal with your faulty seat belt. These should be enough to address any minor problems that are plaguing your seat belts. If none of these tips work, it might be time to visit a seat belt retractor repair specialist as the issue is likely to be beyond your area of expertise.

For SRS repair services, work with RepairMySRS! We are an accident restoration company specializing in resetting SRS airbag modules and seat belt repairs on retractors, tensioners, and buckles. We provide our services nationwide using our bulletproof mail-in system, which guarantees a 24-hour turnaround! Contact us and get more information today!

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