How Do You Fix a Seat Belt That Does Not Retract?

To fix a seat belt that does not retract, remove the casing from around the retractor mechanism. Clean the retractor, and add silicone lubricant to get it moving smoothly again.

  1. Check the seat belt mechanisms

    Find your car manual, and look up the seat belt section. If your seat belts use pretensioners, do not attempt to fix them on your own; instead, take your car to a dealer or repair shop.

  2. Remove the seat belt retractor

    Pull the casing off the seat belt retraction system. If you are working on an exterior seat belt, pull the trim aside if it is blocking access. Do not remove the seat belt webbing in the process.

  3. Clean the seat belt retractor

    Use a long-handled scrubbing brush with fine ends or an old toothbrush to remove any dirt and debris from the retractor. If the mechanisms are sticky, apply a gentle cleaning solution to your brush, and use it to remove the residue. Wipe the area down with a clean cloth between scrubbing sessions to remove particles. Avoid damaging or saturating the seat belt webbing with the cleaning solution.

  4. Lubricate the retractor

    Apply a small amount of silicone grease to a long cotton swab or a thin paintbrush. Pull the nylon webbing aside, and apply the grease to the retractor mechanisms. To prevent further sticking, avoid getting the grease on the nylon seat belt. Pull on the seat belt to test the retractor.