Why Does My Seat Belt Lock All The Time & How To Fix?

While going for a ride in a car, the seat belt gives the ultimate protection to you. And when it comes to safety, you never should compromise. The seat belt keeps you tight with the seat and saves you from dangerous injuries. 

Sometimes seat belts are jammed and suddenly locked. That’s irritating when it doesn’t come off smoothly. Locking the seat belt is a serious issue, and you must fix it as soon as possible. It is certainly possible to go to a service center to fix this issue. But you can also take care of it by yourself. Learn more about why the seat belt locks all the time and how to fix it. 


Why does the seat belt lock?

The seat belt is connected to a round-shaped divorce that is called a retractor. The retractor is designed like a spool with teeth on the ends. It allows you to extend or withdraw the seat belts smoothly. The retractors are designed to lock at some specific times, such as during accidents, crashes, or sudden hard braking. It locks the belt in that situation and interrupts expanding the belt further than it already is. 

This is a very simple lock but effective enough and it is tending for decades. Using this feature, the passenger remains in the seat during the serious momentum. You must realize that when the car gets a sudden hit like a snappy speed change, activate the retractor and lock it. 

If the retractor locks at normal driving speed, it is an issue to repair. It may happen for several reasons like lean forward too fast or lean and brakes together, the retractor engaged. Or the belt may twist behind the pillar trim. Sometimes when you try to pull on it, the belt locks up because of the sensitivity and calibration of the mechanism. Once the retractor is activated, the belt needs to be brought back before extending it again. 

How to fix the locked seat belt?

As we know why the seat belt is locked itself and you will now learn how to reactivate the retractor. There are two simple ways to follow. First, pull out the seat belt completely. Then give it one more yank with high pressure so that the belt can undo from the retractor. If the way doesn’t work, follow the next one. 

The second method is doing it manually. You need to bring out the retractor from the seat. Then use a flat-shaped screwdriver to spin the teeth of the edges manually. This will slowly retract back into the seat belt device. You may do this process four to five times. In this way, you can successfully unlock the retractor. 

If the retractor locks repeatedly, it may seem because of a faulty device. It will be better if you change the default retractor. Sometimes it can cause a severe incident of extreme conditions. In this case, while you don’t have enough time to escape, cut the belt for your safety. 

How to fix a jammed seat belt?

The seat belt can jam because of dirt and debris. So it needs to be clean from the webbing. First, retract the seat belts until they entirely come out from the device and make sure there is no more slack. Now you need to latch the retractor so that it doesn’t back into the machine while cleaning.  

Next, use a cleaner spray to tidy up the belt. Choosing a fabric or carpet cleaner will be more effective. If you don’t have the cleaning spray, then use regular detergent with hot water. Then apply the mixture using a brush until there is no grime and debris in the webbing. If the dirt is hard and doesn’t come up with brushing, then soak the webbing in a bucket with soap and hot water. Reply to the process until the dirt wipes it out. 

Leave the webbing for enough time to completely dry it. After thoroughly drying, retract the seat belt back into the mechanism. 

While fixing the locked seat belt, it would be better if you clean the webbing. So there will be no chance of a jammed seat belt. It lessens the possibility of having a locked retractor. 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

  1. How does the seat belt work?

The seat belt works to tight you in place during an incident. The webbing is connected to an auto-lock reflector that locks the webbing in the same position if there is any sudden change in the driving speed. This is how the seat belt protects you.

  1. What you should do when your seat belt locks?

If the seat belt is locked during serious conditions, take a sharp cutter and cut the belt for escaping. You should always store the emergency gear inside the car and in this case, the cutter is an essential tool to keep.

  1. How much do you need to pay to fix the locked belt?

Most car owners don’t bother to fix the problem themselves. If you take the car to the servicing center, you need to pay at least 150$ to 200$.

  1. How to fix a low seat belt retractor?

If there isn’t enough lubrication, it causes a slow response of the belt retractor. To make it fast you need to retract the seat belt as much as the mechanism allows. Next, spray some lubricant in the loop, aim at where the belt goes and then retract the belt. Repeat the process until the lubricant properly spreads.

Final Words

The seat belt is a protection gear to keep you safe in the event of an accident. So it is an essential need that the protective gear is working properly. If there are any kinds of locking or jamming that may cause serious damage, so always keep a cutter on the car for quick escaping. If you go to the servicing center for repairing it may cost you a lot of money. So why spend it; let’s try to fix it with the tutorial. Reading the fixing guide you will surely make it fixed.

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