Seat belts are crucial to the safety of everyone inside a vehicle. Every year, thousands of people are saved from serious injuries after an accident because they are wearing a seat belt.
It’s important to keep your seat belt working as smoothly as possible. Sometimes, dirt, grime, and other obstructions on the webbing and buckle can prevent the seat belt from functioning as intended.
If you’re having trouble with your seat belt buckle’s locking mechanism, there are ways you can try to fix it yourself. Read on for a complete guide on how to fix it.
1. Inspect The Buckle And Webbing
Before pulling out any tools or doing anything with your seat belt, you should thoroughly inspect it for damage. If there are any visible cuts or anything stuck on the webbing or tongue, such as crumbs, gum, or other debris, you should wipe it off with a cloth.
Any deformity in the seat belt tongue can cause the belt to latch improperly or get stuck inside the buckle. If the tongue does not lock perfectly into the buckle, it will likely need to be replaced.
2. Assess The Buckle
Over time, small objects can get stuck inside the seat belt buckle. It’s a little bit more difficult to look inside something with such a narrow opening, so you will have to use a butter knife or another similar tool to feel around inside. Try your best to drag out anything that you feel is stuck inside the small space.
For the buckle to function correctly, anything stuck inside it should be removed as carefully as possible without compromising the integrity of the internal structure. If you still can’t lock the buckle properly, a bit more complicated work is necessary.
3. Unscrew The Buckle
The seat belt buckle is usually screwed into the underside of a car seat. A simple flathead screwdriver should be able to release the buckle and give you unimpeded access to the narrow opening. Again, use the flat knife to dig around for any obstructions.
4. Open The Buckle
If you are confident of your DIY repair skills, you can take it a step further and carefully pry the buckle open to check inside. Be careful as you open the mechanism because springs and other small parts may pop out when you open it.
Once the buckle is opened up, you’ll be able to spot any problems with the locking mechanism inside. The three main components of a buckle are the springs, a cam, and the red push button. You can check if the cam is out of position or if anything is stuck inside one of the springs. Something as simple as cleaning out the spring may solve your seat belt problem.
5. Reassemble And Test Your Seat Belt
Once you’ve corrected everything you can, carefully reassemble the buckle and put everything back in its place. Double-check the crevices all around the seat belt to remove any remaining dirt or any other debris that may end up inside the buckle mechanism.
If all else fails, it’s easy enough to replace your old buckle with a new one. You can send in your buckle to professional seat belt repair services and get a repaired or brand new one back within a couple of days.
The seat belt buckle mechanism is not very complicated. Still, something as simple as a tiny bit of dirt, food, coins, paper clips, and other miscellaneous objects can interfere with its functionality. It’s important to clean the seat belt webbing with a cloth and to carefully dig around the belt buckle to dislodge anything that might be stuck in it.
If all else fails, professional seat belt repair services can solve the problem for you! Seat Belt Restore serves over 200,000 customers every year. We offer seat belt repair, SRS airbag module reset, seat belt webbing replacement, as well as custom colored seat belts. All repairs, resets, and replacements are done within 24 hours of receiving the damaged part. Contact us today for your repair needs in Westfield, MA!