How to Replace Damaged Seat belts?

Replace Seat Belt

Seat belt plays an important role in saving driver and other occupant’s life in road accidents. It holds the occupants in its place to prevent them from injury during road accident. Wearing seatbelt is not necessary for drivers only but for other passengers as well. Like all other auto parts, seatbelts also deteriorates with its age as well as use.

In case your vehicle has been involved in road accident, make sure you replace seats belts that you were using at the time of collision. One should never leave them unattended whenever they are damaged or broken because it will increase your chances of fatal injuries.

When to Replace Seat Belts?

Seatbelt seems perfect and in good working condition after road accident. But it is imperative to replace seatbelt that restrained you or other passenger in vehicle. While saving you in collisions, seatbelt stretches and lose tension in it. Sometimes internal mechanism in retractor also damages during a crash and belt stitching starts to rip.

Reusing damaged seatbelt is the riskiest thing while driving. Even if your seat belt has frays or tiny cuts, they should never be overlooked. You must replace such belts immediately.

Tools Required to Replace Malfunctioned Seat Belts

There are some tools which you should have to replace malfunctioned seatbelts. Removal of seat parts or trim panels is a part of replacement process. Bolts which secure attachments points to anchor seatbelts, bolt type and size vary from model to model. Following are the tools which you need to start seatbelts replacement process:

  • Tools for trim removal: These are used to loosen belt covers, close-out panels and trim panels.
  • Screwdriver: It is to unscrew trim covers.
  • Sockets and Ratchets: These tools are used to unfasten bolt-on trim parts and attachment bolts.
  • Torque Wrench: Its function is to tighten bolt according to given specifications
  • Flashlights: Its purpose is to brighten area under the seats to find hidden attachment points.

Make sure you consult your vehicle repair manual to determine the correct torque specifications for tightening belt attachment bolts.

How to Replace Front Seat Belts?

Nowadays all modern cars come with three-point seat belt harness. To remove front seat belts, you need to first replace the buckle assembly. It is a part of upper shoulder-belt attachment and lower lap-belt attachment. Third attachment point is latch assembly that is on the opposite side seat. Device known as retractors are also incorporated in seatbelts and are located behind B (Center) pillar of car. In order to reach retractors attachment points, you need to remove trim panels.

How to Replace Seat Belts

Trim-removal tools are the ones that will help you to remove trim panels. Take extra care when removing trim pieces and pry gently until you have located attachment clips. Now use trim tools to loosen these clips. You can use ratchet, screwdriver or socket to remove bolted trim pieces. Once you reach the attachment bolts, remove them with either ratchet or socket. Also remove bolts which are holding anchor side of seat belts with wrench.

Now that anchor side is loosen, remove it and replace it with new seat belt. After installing new belt, torque the attachment bolts according to instructions given in vehicle’s instruction manual.

Replacing Rear Seat Belts in SUVs

Rear seat belts in SUVs, trucks and passenger vans are installed just like front seat belts with the exception of shoulder-belt attachment. It is located in passenger compartment’s headliner. You need to remove your vehicle’s headliner in order to replace rear seat belts. While removing it, make sure you avoid damaging headliner’s fabric. It will spoil its appearance and cause it to sag.

Don’t try to remove seat-belt attachment from the roof of vehicle in case you are not sure of its process. Its better you consult a service-repair manual before starting removal process of seating belts to avoid damages.

Replacement Process of Rear Seat Belts in Passenger Cars

Seat-belt attachments are fixed under the rear-seat bottom in passenger cars. Here you need to remove seat cushions to install new seat-belts.

Push the rearward on the bottom center of seat. Doing so will release spring tension and then you can easily remove cushion from the vehicle by lifting the seat up. Once you have access to lower seat-belt attachment points remove damaged seat belts. Replace them now with new one but make sure you torque fasteners to proper tension.

By following above mentioned steps, you can easily replace damaged or worn seat belts. This will save your time and mechanic cost. You can also save your money by installing car stereo yourself. Properly functioning belts keep you and other car’s occupants safe in their seats in sudden crash. It is worth the investment to protect not only you but also those who are travelling with you.

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