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Old 11-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
Junkfood
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Question Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

The seatbelt retractor, on the driver's side, of my 2001 L300 is functioning slowly, or at times not at all. How do I access this retractor and can it be cleaned or repaired?


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Old 11-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

I second the motion on this one, both my cars have this issue. If there is something that can be done it would be great.

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

Did you try Googling 'repairing seat belt retractor' or some similar key words? Google came back with 713,000 results..............................

Just remember that inertia belts operate on the principle of a body that won't decelerate while the car stops during an emergency braking event. Sudden car deceleration as in a crash still allows a body to ".......remain in motion" and the seat belt reacts when a body tries to maintain forward motion, pulling the belt out immediately. This sudden acceleration of the seat belt from the retractor engages a mechanism to halt the belt from further travel, restraining the body from destroying the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, etc.. Hopefully an airbag is deployed at this time to cushion the head from meeting the steering wheel or windshield.

Be wary when making adjustments and test the belt before and afterwards. The simple test for inertia belts; yank the seat belt with a strong tug as quickly as possible (very fast). If done correctly, you're duplicating a body continuing to stay in motion as the retractor reacts and stops the belt from traveling. A second method would be to pull out the belt as if getting ready to buckle up but allow the belt to retract; allow the belt to develop slack and then quickly yank hard - this should lock the belt immediately, restraining belt travel. These two methods are the easiest way to test belt retractors as if in a speed related accident. Any adjustments made to the belt retractor should be tested afterwards to ensure the inertia mechanism isn't compromised - failure to heed this warning can or may result in disabling the inertia feature. At worst, inadvertently disabling this safety feature can result in no belt lock up during sudden stops at speed with the belt continually being reeled out - the body will continue to travel into whatever it hits..................instead of having the inertia mechanism lock the belt from further travel.

Just a heads up for anyone thinking seat belt repairs is a DIY thing without thinking of the negative consequences. The best case scenario is spring adjustment goes without issues and the retractor works as good as new with the inertia feature intact.

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Old 10-15-2018, 04:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

Here is a YouTube video all about this slow seatbelt retractor issue: https://youtu.be/8XL8QbooM84

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Old 10-15-2018, 12:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

Did cleaning your seatbelt correct the problem?

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Old 10-15-2018, 10:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

Hmm...Looking at post #3 it would appear that Junkfood revived an otherwise inactive thread. If the information added is good then it's always useful.

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Old 10-17-2018, 04:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lazy Seatbelt Retractor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkfood View Post
The seatbelt retractor, on the driver's side, of my 2001 L300 is functioning slowly, or at times not at all. How do I access this retractor and can it be cleaned or repaired?

It could be just really dirty from years of use. Mine use to do that until I pulled them all the way out as far as possible, did something to prevent them from retracting, soaked them each in a bucket of soapy water, then scrubbed and rinsed, using a towel after to get most of the water out of the straps. I left them pulled out while to dry. They looked & smelled great & work fine now.

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