How to unlock seat belts when they are locked in a vehicle
The main purpose of seat belts is to protect all occupants in a moving vehicle from injuries that may occur in a crash.
Ways to unlock seat belts.
Why do seat belts lock?
Often this happens after an accident. Undoubtedly, they work and probably save you not only from injuries, but also save your life, well, they themselves fall into disrepair – more precisely, they are blocked. Accordingly, a person will not be able to detach the strap. So, what to do if the seat belt does not pull out? This is what we will talk about in this article, and also tell you how to unlock and repair it with your own hands.
Is it possible to restore seat belts after an accident
Almost all car owners after getting into a traffic accident face the problem of unlocking the seat belts. A device can also jam after a sudden braking (perceived as an accident). In some cars, after jamming the seat belts, there is no other way out but to cut the belt and release it (that is, they are not repairable, but only replaceable). But these are extremely rare cases. In most vehicles, such products are repairable, respectively – restorable. Note that in a collision with other TZs, as a rule, two squibs go off at once (i.e. both the driver’s and the passenger’s belts are blocked). If you were alone in the car during the accident and your belt jammed, we recommend checking the strap, which should protect your passenger in the front seat.
Other causes of seatbelt failure
In addition to an accident, a lockout can occur for the following reasons:
- The belt doesn’t retract back because the roller unit is worn or the temperature is too low,
- due to natural wear and tear of the products,
- jammed while trying to fasten it or after unfastening it
- the coil lock has failed.
How to unlock
Naturally, if the belt is jammed, it’s best to call in the professionals. But, if you do not have enough money, but have a lot of free time, and if you want to learn something new, you can perform this operation yourself. There are several options, which we will now share with you.
The bushing pyro cartridge.
- Initially, you need to remove the entire seat belt mechanism. In most cases, this does not cause problems. Although in certain cars, in order to remove this device, you will have to remove the front wheels.
- Now look for access to the squib (it blocks the whole system).
- With the mechanism in your hands, look for the spring. Carefully unscrew all the bolts to get it out (sometimes it can come out).
- Next, remove the belt and without twisting it – put it aside.
- After that you will see the squib shell, which you need to remove from the belt (use an asterisk wrench for this purpose).
- The next step: you need to remove the cover of the device (can be fixed not only with bolts, but also with sealant). We recommend that you use a box cutter in this case.
- In front of you will be a capron sleeve with six copper scraps (these are the ones that block the belt).
- These pieces must be removed. Do not touch the bushing.
- Install the squib in place and screw this device into the mechanism housing. It is important, before installing it in place, tighten the belt with your own hands – a few laps will be enough. Why do this? After such manipulations, the spring will loosen slightly.
- Install the spring in its place and fix it.
- The work is complete. If the strap still does not work, it will have to be replaced.
The toothed rack
Using a toothed rack, you will be able to unlock the belts if they are jammed after an accident.
- Dismantle the mechanism, then disassemble the tensioner.
- Disassemble the squib.
- Next you will see the toothed rack (it’s already broken, remove it and replace it with a new one).
- Your next steps: after removing the pinion, you will notice a lot of debris and dirt – you need to remove them.
- Reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly.
How to change the strap
In the event that the repair did not lead to the desired results, the seatbelt will still have to be replaced. And how to do it with your own hands, read below.
- First, disconnect the minus terminal of the battery.
- Using a wrench, unscrew the bolt that secures the belt at the bottom of it (located near the seat).
- Next, remove the bushing (this operation will move the strap slightly to the side so that it does not interfere with the next steps),
- Remove the upper as well as the lower “plastics” located on the post.
- Then you need to remove the top mount.
- Push the seat as far back as possible to remove the lower strap mechanism.
- After removing the old belt, install the new belt in reverse order.
Note that the replacement on the passenger seat is done in the same way as on the driver’s side. Of course, it is better if these operations will be performed by professionals in specialized car repair shops, which have many years of experience under their belt. Before repairing or changing the straps with your own hands, think carefully about whether it will be beneficial to you. Not having experience, to perform this operation can spend quite a lot of time (think maybe instead of “twisting” the car, it is worth working and not only “recoup” the money spent on repairs, but also make some money). In the worst case, you can “screw up” an already unpleasant situation even more, which will end up costing you quite a lot.
Well, we have shared with you all the secrets of replacement and repair of belts. Now it’s up to you – decide, whether you can perform these operations yourself without professional intervention, saving money, or give your “four-wheeled friend” in the hands of professionals. In any case we wish you luck!
Seat belts were blocked after the accident: what to do and how to unblock them
The purpose of seat belts in the car is to protect the driver and passenger in a road accident. Because of the accident, the devices may become blocked, resulting in a person having difficulty unlocking the straps. To properly unlock seat belts and restore them to working order after an accident, read this article.
Can seat belts be restored after an accident?
The main components of seat belts
The need to repair and restore seat belts after locking is relevant to almost all motorists who have ever been in an accident. To certain situations, the seatbelt mechanism reacts like a car accident. It is either an accident and triggering of airbags, or just a high load on the device. At such moments, the squib built into the system is triggered. The device may also jam as a result of sudden braking.
If the straps are jammed and they do not work, then act in accordance with the design features of the machine. In some models of cars, the part is beyond repair and its unlocking is impossible. The car owner has no other choice but to cut the belt and install a new one instead. But in most vehicles, the products are repairable, their mechanisms can be repaired. Often in cars, in a collision, the systems fire both squibs on the front seats. So if you’re driving alone and there’s no passenger nearby, you should still check to see if the strap is working.
Other causes of seatbelt malfunctions
Strap locking can occur for other reasons:
- Natural wear and tear on the products. As a result of prolonged use, the strap stops retracting. This is due to wear and tear of both the strap itself and the locking mechanism or one of its elements.
- The strap does not retract due to low temperatures or wear on the roller mechanism.
- The spool lock is broken or the main unit has failed.
- The strap does not retract after disconnecting it or the strap is jammed as a result of trying to buckle.
User zhenya0164Wende in the video offers an insight into the process of unlocking the belt in the Chevrolet Aveo T300.
The first way to unlock: a squib with a sleeve
If the seat belts are locked, you can repair and unlock the devices yourself.
Let’s see how to do it, using a squib with a bushing:
- First, the removal of the lanyard mechanism is performed. Usually the removal process is not difficult, but in some cases you have to remove the front seats. When you have completed the disassembly, you can remove the strap with the unit.
- In the picture below, you will see the mechanism of the system. To do the unlocking, the first thing you have to do is access the squib mechanism. This is the component that locks the system, so it’s the one you have to work with.
- When the squib is in your hands, you will see a spring located on the device. There is a small cut on the body of the mechanism, in which a plate of the appropriate size is installed. The spring mechanism is then removed and the bolts that secure it to the device are unscrewed. When disassembling the spring can fly out, so we recommend to perform the removal carefully. Carefully remove the spring and set it aside. Do not remove or twist the strap afterwards. This will lead to a violation of the position of the structure, further restoration of the working condition will be impossible.
- After disassembly you can see the sheath of the squib installed on the strap and fixed on several screws. Usually there are three, but the number of screws may vary depending on the car model. Unscrew the screws using a star wrench and dismantle the squib.
- After that, the cover of the device, the activation of which occurred in an accident, must be unscrewed. This component is secured to the mechanism body with a large number of bolts (21 on average). In addition to the fact that the fixation of the cover is done with bolts, it is also fastened with sealing glue. To remove it, use a slotted screwdriver or a utility knife to remove the sealant. Be careful not to damage the housing.
- After removing the cover you will see a capron sleeve with 6 pieces of copper wire embedded in it. These pieces of wire are used to jam the axle that locks the belt. You have to remove the pieces. In safety systems, the capron bushing is also deformed in an accident. Be careful with this as you will need it to support and center the component. When you remove all of the remaining pieces of copper wire, it is possible to restore the seat belts to working condition.
- After that, the squib plate is mounted back on. You do not have to tighten all the screws, fix only those installed in the center and on the sides, this will ensure a secure fixation of the plate.
- Now you can screw the squib device onto the mechanism body. Do not forget that before the procedure of mounting the element with a spring, the belt itself should be wound by hands. A few turns will be enough for this, as the spring will be loosened after the repair manipulation. To ensure maximum force, it is recommended to rewind the device.
- Carefully mount the spring in its seat. Screw in and remove the plate that was installed to secure it. The unlocking procedure can be considered complete. If this task fails, the belt must be replaced. Check how it works after the repair. It is possible that the strap only works in an upright position after unlocking.
Insert the spring into the cut on the mechanism Using a star wrench unscrew the bolts on the squib housing Remove the cover and remove the remains of the sealant
Second alternative: rack and pinion
If the seat belts have been triggered in an accident and are now blocked, a special tool, the rack and pinion, can be used to loosen and unlock them:
- Remove the mechanism and carefully disassemble the belt tensioner. Secure the spring element in place so that it does not unwind during the work.
- Disassemble the squib unit. After that you can see the toothed rack. Its further use is impractical, because it is already broken. To restore the working condition, install a new part, which you have purchased in advance. Toothed rack can be different in its type, buy the one that is designed for a particular car model.
- After removing the gear mechanism, you will see dirt and debris on the inside. These are the products of wear and tear on the plastic components of the unit. Remove the dirt.
- Reassemble the mechanism in the reverse order. If the spring element is badly unwound, the seat belt is rewound with your own hands. After that, the spring is mounted on the landing place.
Using the example of the car Toyota Rav4 user zhenya0164Wende offers an insight into the process of unlocking the seatbelt.
How to change the seat belt?
If the repair of mechanisms did not give results, the only way out is to replace the belt:
- Open the hood of the vehicle and disconnect the negative battery terminal. This is done in order not to disturb the operation of the vehicle’s on-board computer. When the terminal is disconnected, wait at least one minute. It is not necessary to disassemble and dismantle the pretensioners, but when removing the coil, do not allow water or grease to enter the unit. Do not expose the pretensioners to excessive temperatures to prevent rapid failure.
- Use a wrench to unscrew the belt lower fixing bolt, it is located behind the driver’s seat. After unscrewing, remove the spacer sleeve and washer. This will allow you to move the belt sideways so that it does not interfere with further operations.
- Perform the removal of the lower and upper plastic components of the interior trim, which are located on the center column. The buckles of the product are removed from the special opening in the upper part. If the strap is installed cover, remove it. Usually the salon trim elements are fixed with plastic fasteners or bolts, it depends on the make of the car. Fasteners are disconnected carefully, do not allow them to break during removal. If the trim is attached to the bolts, unscrew them with a Phillips screwdriver.
- Remove the bolts securing the upper mount to the leveling mechanism. Then remove the component retainer buckle.
- Undo the connector fastener with the pre-tensioning mechanism wiring, use a screwdriver to do this. The connector with the wires can be disconnected.
- Using a wrench of the right size, unscrew the bolt securing the belt inertia coil to the car body. Dismantle the product. Decide what you are changing the strap for. If the component’s position adjustment mechanism has failed, unscrew the two bolts securing it to change it. Remove the device. If the problem is a broken lock, you have to dismantle the front seat to remove it. The seat is pushed back as much as possible, then disconnect all fasteners and unscrew the screws that fix it.
- Use a flat-tipped screwdriver to pry up the two fixing components that hold the pad holder mechanism in the front seat heating system. If the car is not equipped with the device, there is no need to disconnect anything. You have to disconnect the controller, which is attached in the seat area and is designed to warn the driver about driving with unbuckled belts. Depending on the car, the fixture may be located under the driver’s seat cushion. When the seat mount is removed, you will have no problem removing the retainer as well. Unfold this device, from the mount bring out the block with wires from the controller. Pull it toward you and disconnect it.
- Unscrew the bolt fixing the safety lock on the driver’s seat. Dismantle the unit with the harness that holds the wires. Install new seat belts with serviceable holders and locks. Follow the installation procedure in reverse order. On the passenger seat, replace the straps in the same way.
Video “How to unlock belts after an accident”
On the example of the car Mitsubishi Lancer channel v15402 offers in his video to learn the process of repairing and unlocking seatbelts.