The objective of this procedure is to show you how to check the condition and security of automotive seatbelts. Any seatbelt that has been involved in a severe impact may have been weakened and should be replaced.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
- Check the condition and security of automotive seatbelts.
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
- Many vehicles have additional motorized mechanisms to help the seat belts operate. Always ensure that manufacturer's instructions are followed when lubricating and servicing these types of units.
- Any seatbelt that has been involved in a severe impact may have been weakened and should be replaced.
Part 2: Step-by-step instruction
- Check anchor points of seatbelt
There are three anchor points on “lap and sash” type seatbelts and two on “lap only” type seatbelts. First, check the side anchor bolt that holds the buckle end in place. Make sure it is sound and secure. Next, check the security of the bolt on the retractor housing. This is usually located near the bottom of the door panel next to the seat. Above the retractor is the upper anchor bolt. These bolts are sometimes adjustable in a slider unit. Check that this is also secure.
- Inspect seatbelt for fraying or wearing
Examine the seatbelt material to see if there is any fraying or excessive wear. Check the seatbelt label for an expiry date. If the belt is past it’s use-by date, then report this to your supervisor, as the belt should be replaced.
- Check seatbelt retraction
Pull the seatbelt out slowly to check for smooth action. There should not be any sticking, which might indicate a faulty retractor. Do this three times to make sure that it is consistently smooth in operation.
- Check seatbelt locking
Pull the seatbelt out quickly to see that it locks and releases. The belt should lock when pulled suddenly, which is vital during emergency braking or collisions.
- Check retractor operation
If the belt does not retract smoothly, remove the retractor housing and test it again. If the belt now retracts smoothly, then the retractor housing may need to be replaced. When the retractor is tilted beyond 45 degrees, the belt should remain locked. If the belt fails to function correctly, report it to your supervisor.