seatbelt retractor

How to Replace Your Seat Belt’s Retractor: Our Guide

Drivers and passengers know that a seat belt can save lives. In fact, it is the most important safety feature in a modern vehicle, where even the airbag system only comes next to it. This is because your airbag won’t work as a cushion for your body during a vehicle collision if you aren’t first secured in place with a seat belt.

Unfortunately, seat belts can have some functional issues after years of usage. The chances are that they can’t seem to pull out because of two reasons: dirt or grime and stuck belts. When these happen, they won’t be able to ensure your safety and of your passengers’. As they can be subject to wear and tear in the long run, getting them repaired or replaced right away becomes imperative.

In this article, we will cover what it takes to replace your seat belt’s retractor. 

How to replace your seat belt retractor

A seat belt retractor consists of a spring, some gears, a sensor, a pyrotechnic explosive device. It is a safety mechanism designed to lock up during a vehicle collision or accident. If you want to replace it, here’s what you need to do:


  • Check your manual first to know what to prepare and how to proceed.
  • Be sure to prepare the following: a new retractor, screwdriver, and adjustable pliers.
  • Park your car in a flat, safe area where it’s easy for you to open your door and work on the seat belt.
  • Ensure you have proper lighting as well.

Actual replacement

  • Remove the retractor’s cover below the shoulder mount of the seat belt. 
  • Use your screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws holding the cover on.
  • Put the pliers on the retractor’s mounting bolt and turn them counterclockwise until they loosen the bolt, and then you can pull it out.
  • Remove the lower lap belt mounting bolt using the pliers and turning them in a clockwise direction.
  • Hold the retractor with one hand, pull it down, and turn off the free end of the seat belt.
  • Insert the seat belt into the new retractor by sliding it up towards the mounting point.
  • Replace the bottom belt mounting bolt and tighten it with the pliers by moving in a clockwise direction.
  • Replace the retractor adjustment bolt using the pliers to tighten it in a clockwise direction.
  • Realign the retractor bolt hole on the mounting bracket. Then, insert the mounting bolt using the pliers to tighten it. 
  • Replace the cover, insert the mounting screws, and use the screwdriver to tighten them.

There you have it! It is actually a straightforward and relatively easy process. However, if this is a bit complicated for you, it’s best to leave the retractor’s replacement to the experts.

Here at Seat Belt Restore, we provide seat belt replacement or repair service in the US at an affordable price!


At this point, you now know what it takes to replace your seat belt’s retractor. Be sure to consider all the practical steps outlined above. But if you still don’t know how to proceed, it’s best to leave its replacement or repair to the expert. At the same time, it’s best to work with a highly reliable seat belt repair shop to ensure that your seat belts are in top shape and working order!

As a leading after-accident repair company in California, we offer pre-and post-accident services such as SRS airbag module reset, webbing replacement, and seat belt repair. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

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