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Discussion Starter #1
My rear seat belts are showing signs of fatigue ... besides the slow retract which I got to live with ... the left rear belt is now stuck in retract position and can no longer be pulled out. I had this situation couple times before where I was able to jingle it and got it to release, but now even retracted all the way in (and I mean all the way, since I even unscrewed the mounting bolt on the truck floor to retract it as much as possible) it still won't release.

Euro Honda dealer price for this belt is out-of-this world (300€) ... and the US version is more reasonable ($150), but do you know if there is a way to fix this if I take the time to get to the belt retractor? Can the belt retractor be opened to unjam whatever is jamming the mechanism?

Thanks,

Vince.
 

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I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but here in the US anything related to seat belts is covered by the dealer for the life of the car. I had the driver's side belt replaced in my EM1 12 years after I bought it because it was starting to fray. That's when the dealership told me about this.

Scroll down to page 2. Again, this says US owners, but you could probably argue that a Honda is a Honda, is a Honda.
http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/CH0303/CH0303O00300A.pdf
 

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Do not mess with the seat belt retractors.

They have explosive charges in them, just like air bags. The purpose is to give the belt(s) a good solid tug during a collision to keep you from flying about the cabin. When you use the belts normally, for comfort they are too loose to really secure you, so enduring a major collision with the loose-but-comfortable belts will result in serious internal injury. The power retractors fix that.

I fear that vbourdin may be out of luck as far as warranties are concerned since it the E was not sold there, and repairs will be out of pocket. Also, I do believe the "lifetime warranty" is by U.S. statute, part of the laws mandating passenger restraint systems. So all bets are off in other countries.
 

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Not implying that they were activated... just sayin' there's a not-well-known hazard in there. Replacing the whole thing is fine, but muck around with the guts at your peril.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the inputs.
I ended up reaching out to the retractor (not completely removing the rear panel trim, thank god ....), removed it, and by just moving it around in the air I heard clicking and thing have come back into place it seems.

Put everything back and it's back to functioning correctly.

I love thinking that I just saved $100+ by just removing something and putting it back in!

Vince.
 

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There was glass in mine

I'll post my experience just in case this information helps anyone else searching through these threads:

My rear driver's side seatbelt was stuck in the retracted position. I unbolted the seat belt where it attaches to the floor to give it some slack and that didn't help. I unbolted the retractor and gave it some more slack and tried lots of different orientations and various jigglings and that didn't help. It still would only take slack in but wouldn't release.

I carefully popped one of the sides off (the one that has the small pink cover/box on part of it and the gears visible inside, not the one that looks like just a spring). *Don't lose the little center white gear if you do this. It's little and loose.* I removed the pink box/cover where the inertia weight lives and it turns out there were two very small pieces of window glass sitting under the weight and pushing it up which is what activates one of the two levers that lock the seatbelt. A while back my rear side window was busted out by a thrown rock or who knows what...anyway I guess we just haven't used that seat belt since then so we haven't noticed it malfunctioning.

Unfortunately I figured this out after doing things like pulling the cap off of the little plastic gears and moving them around to see if they were causing an issue....it was the glass under the inertia weight, not anything to do with these child carseat locking mechanism gears, and it took a while to get those back into the right position so in retrospect I wish I hadn't messed with them. Really it's not too hard to put them back in their correct position though...just took some patience and focus.

I hope this helps someone. If I had just removed the little pink cap and removed the pieces of glass that had fallen under the weight I could have put that cap back and been done with it. I wonder if anyone has ever had cheerios or a bunch of sand or some other foreign object fall in there and cause the same issue.

p.s. A couple of times the retractor dangled and swung close to the rear side window. I bet people have busted out their windows before while working on their rear seatbelt. Be careful.

Also, I have a 2007 Element and I'm pretty sure that on the rear seat belt assembly there isn't the explosive charge that someone mentioned. There are no wires connected to it or anything. Of course different years are different. I'm just saying that in my particular car's case there is no pre-tensioner attached to the retractor on the rear driver's side seat belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks ongaku for the warranty info.

I forgot to mentioned that I ended up pulling (partially) out the side cover and unscrewed the retractor, once freed up, somehow it worked fine again, and I just had to put it back in place.
They do however show some signs of fatigue, and it might come in handy to use the lifetime warranty to get them replaced in the near future ...

Vince.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Ok, so my rear left seat belt finally gave up. It just won't unlock anymore, no matter what I do, shake it, blow air in it, etc ... so I bought a new one.

Problem is .... I just spent 2 hours trying to put it in place and the new one also exhibits strange locking behaviors ...

According to the installation instructions, there is indeed a range of mounting angles where the belt will lock, and a +/- 15 degre angle where the belt should release.
Unfortunately once in place, the belt will lock, although the tilt angle appears to still be within the 15 degree range.
The belt will only release when it is dead vertical, and unfortunately the mounting position is not vertical.
See attached pic, sorry in French.

I must be doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out. Do you guys have any tips experience with this seat belt?
I understand there is a child-seat mechanism with extra clicks, which I now master, but is not the problem I am having.

I was also afraid I ordered the wrong side, but no, I order the L for left on the driver side (in the US ...).

Going to Barcelona Saturday for the holidays and would need this done before :x please!

Thanks,

Vince.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quick update .... since the new belt just would not cooperate (locking) once installed (or slightly tilted), last night I decided to screw around with the old belt and tried to pull it apart ...
Well, all it took to fix the darn thing was to take out that little pink plastic cover (which houses the inertia weight as described by Ongaku earlier), and check that it moves around freely (there might have been some dust, or what not, although I did see anything falling out), and I put it back in and now the belt operates fine again (including locking when titled some degrees).

So I now have a brand new possessed spare belt, which I still wonder if it is really the one for the driver side...

Vince.
 

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I'll post my experience just in case this information helps anyone else searching through these threads:

My rear driver's side seatbelt was stuck in the retracted position. I unbolted the seat belt where it attaches to the floor to give it some slack and that didn't help. I unbolted the retractor and gave it some more slack and tried lots of different orientations and various jigglings and that didn't help. It still would only take slack in but wouldn't release.

I carefully popped one of the sides off (the one that has the small pink cover/box on part of it and the gears visible inside, not the one that looks like just a spring). *Don't lose the little center white gear if you do this. It's little and loose.* I removed the pink box/cover where the inertia weight lives and it turns out there were two very small pieces of window glass sitting under the weight and pushing it up which is what activates one of the two levers that lock the seatbelt. A while back my rear side window was busted out by a thrown rock or who knows what...anyway I guess we just haven't used that seat belt since then so we haven't noticed it malfunctioning.

Unfortunately I figured this out after doing things like pulling the cap off of the little plastic gears and moving them around to see if they were causing an issue....it was the glass under the inertia weight, not anything to do with these child carseat locking mechanism gears, and it took a while to get those back into the right position so in retrospect I wish I hadn't messed with them. Really it's not too hard to put them back in their correct position though...just took some patience and focus.

I hope this helps someone. If I had just removed the little pink cap and removed the pieces of glass that had fallen under the weight I could have put that cap back and been done with it. I wonder if anyone has ever had cheerios or a bunch of sand or some other foreign object fall in there and cause the same issue.

p.s. A couple of times the retractor dangled and swung close to the rear side window. I bet people have busted out their windows before while working on their rear seatbelt. Be careful.

Also, I have a 2007 Element and I'm pretty sure that on the rear seat belt assembly there isn't the explosive charge that someone mentioned. There are no wires connected to it or anything. Of course different years are different. I'm just saying that in my particular car's case there is no pre-tensioner attached to the retractor on the rear driver's side seat belt.
I bet you that's my problem. My window had been busted up about a year ago but now my seat belt is locked up. Tonight I'm going to open that pink cap and take a look to see if any glass fell in there.
 
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