Care Care | Seatbelt Maintenance

  • May 15, 2017

Seatbelts in their modern form have gone through a lot of initial development. Volvo was the first manufacturer to offer seatbelts as a part of standard equipment in all their cars in 1955 and was soon followed by other manufacturers globally. In India, a provision to fit seatbelts became compulsory in 1991 and factory fitted seatbelts for the front seats became compulsory in 1995. A seatbelt’s maintenance though is something we take for granted, as they are not used as much and are not known to go bad. Here are some tips that will help you keep your car’s seatbelts in top shape.

1. Cleaning seatbelts


If by chance you do spill something on your seatbelts and it leaves a stain, use mild soap and warm water when cleaning spills from the seatbelts. Do not use a strong detergent, bleach or dye, since these caustic fluids may weaken the belt's material and affect the seatbelts basic integrity. A dirty seatbelt may become weaker due to the gradual disintegration of its material.

2. Keep the buckle areas clear


Keep the buckle area clean and dry. Foreign particulates, dust and liquids can clog up the buckles and prevent them from doing their jobs properly. Also remember to squirt a dab of WD40 into your seatbelt buckles to keep them smooth and rust free. Older cars are prone to seatbelt holder failures due to fault springs inside the buckle assembly. If your car faces this issue, replace the buckles from an authorised service centre.

3. Replace your seatbelt if damaged or worn


If you find the stitching on the seatbelt to be coming off or the seatbelt itself facing wear issues, it is best to replace them as soon as possible. By design, seatbelts cannot be repaired. If they are damaged, especially if bits that hold integral parts like the loops that hold the buckle (which also act as a force limiter) are showing signs of stretching, it is best to change them as soon as possible. Remember to get them replaced only by an authorised service centre as the bolt used to fasten a seatbelt assembly to the body of your car and the torque to be applied on that bolt are very specific and are best left to professionals.

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