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seat belt

4 Common Seat Belt Retraction Issues and How to Fix Them

A seat belt that does not release is not unusual. Below, you can read about how to untangle a stuck seat belt and some of the most prevalent issues that cause it to become trapped.

While a twisted seat belt is frequently the origin of the problem, it can also signify a more serious condition about your vehicle’s integral features.

How to Fix a Jammed Seat Belt

Try the following if your seat belt is stuck. Note that you should only attempt these measures while the car is parked and not moving.

First and foremost, you should unbuckle the seatbelt. Allow a few inches for it to roll back.

Next, slowly remove the seat belt to prevent the auto-lock function from engaging. Make sure you’re not yanking too forcefully or hastily on the seat belt.

Check to see the seat belt is not twisted when you pull it. If that is the case, unravel the seat belt as you remove it.

A jammed seat belt may be untangled using these steps. If these instructions do not work, you may be experiencing one of the issues listed below.

Potential Issues Why a Seat Belt Won’t Retract or Release 

Here’s a rundown of the most typical issues that keep your seat belt from retracting properly.

Faulty Seat Belt Retractor 

It’s possible that the seat belt retractor is damaged and needs to be replaced. The seat belt retractor is the mechanism that allows the seat belt to be rolled in, which then retracts the seat belt.

Replacing the retractor and belt with a new pair is the right approach to remedy a damaged seat belt retractor.

Twisted Seat Belt

To ensure that the seat belt is not twisted, you may need to remove the plastic trim. It creates resistance, making it difficult for the retractor to draw the seat belt back.

The seat belt frequently twists behind the plastic panel or trim, and you cannot see it until you remove the plastic trim. The B-pillar, which connects the front and rear doors, is covered by the same trim.

You must first remove the weatherstrip before taking out the panel. Pull off the B-pillar panel next. The panel is frequently pressed and held in place using clips rather than screws.

Check your car for screws that hold the panel in place since particular Honda and Toyota models may have them. If the belt appears to be twisted, turn it back to its original position.

Replace the trim and check to see whether the seat belt issue has been resolved.

Age of the Seat Belt

The seat belt may become stiff, owing to filth and grime as the automobile ages. As a result, the retractor has a much tougher time retracting the belt.

Spring with a Bad Retractor

Weak springs cause seat belt problems. One of the most prevalent reasons behind seat belt difficulties is the weakening of the seat belt retractor spring over time.

Due to this, the belt will go back once the spring within the retractor diminishes.

You will have to remove the seat belt from the retractor entirely and manually rotate it to tighten the spring and correct the issue. You should then have your seat belt reinstalled on the retractor.


A variety of factors can cause a jammed seat belt. In most circumstances, a simple troubleshooting session will fix a minor issue at the base of the problem. If you don’t have the knowledge or skills to operate your seat belt retraction mechanism, take your car to your local auto repair shop.

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