One of the last components of a car that people think of in terms of maintenance is a seatbelt.
But this important piece of equipment can save lives even when all else fails on your car.
Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. Indiana-based seat belt manufacturer IMMI, offers the following inspection suggestions to make sure your vehicle’s seat belts are functioning correctly.
Webbing. Check for cuts, fraying or wear, especially in the buckle/latch area and the shoulder loop area and where the belt comes into contact with your car or the seat.
Buckle. Insert the latch and listen for the click. Look for visible signs of damage.
Latch. Insert the latch into the buckle. It must fasten smoothly and produce an audible click. Tug on the seat belt.
The belt’s retractor operation. When pulled and released slowly, the seat belt should spool out and retract without locking.
If you find problems with any of the four preceding inspection steps, it’s probably time to replace the entire seatbelt system.
Don’t forget the shoulder loop guide. The seat belt should move freely through the shoulder loop, and the shoulder loop should also pivot freely and be free of obstructions. Fix it yourself by adjusting the shoulder loop hardware and/or removing any obstruction.
Depending on your vehicle, there are other optional features a seatbelt may have that should also be inspected. When in doubt, take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic.
Douglas Auto, in Barrington and Crystal Lake, can inspect your car’s seat belts, make any necessary adjustments or replace them, if necessary.
www.douglasautomotive.com | 123 E. Virginia Rd., Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.356.0440