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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 10-24-2005, 07:47 PM   #1
myfootsmells
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seat belt not retracting properly

2002 M3 and the seat belts dont retract properly. I have to feed it into the retracting mechanism before it starts winding the seat belt up. anyone experience this or have tips on how to fix it?

thanks,

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Old 10-24-2005, 08:29 PM   #2
Canuck330i
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Common issue - take to dealer to get it fixed under warranty
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:13 PM   #3
98-99M3
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i am the 2nd owner of my 330ci and i have the same problem with the seat belts, would i be able to take it to a bmw dealership and have them repalce it under warrenty?
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:37 PM   #4
01BMW3Coupe
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i'd ask the dealership too...mine was acting sluggish, from time to time a couple years ago. Also, the dealership might be required to replace all seatbelts, despite warranty coverages; Jaguar offers lifetime seatbelt replacement, so BMW might as well.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:47 PM   #5
///Mechanic
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I can tell you what a shop foreman would do.......get some silicon spray and spray down both sides of the belt......pull it all the way out as far as it will release. Work it back in so it retracts all the way, and pull the belt out and let it retract a few times to lube the roller. Its pretty common that the only thing wrong is a dry roller. If it works or even if it doesn't, take a rag and wipe the belt clean.
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:27 AM   #6
Canuck328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mechanic
I can tell you what a shop foreman would do.......get some silicon spray and spray down both sides of the belt......pull it all the way out as far as it will release. Work it back in so it retracts all the way, and pull the belt out and let it retract a few times to lube the roller. Its pretty common that the only thing wrong is a dry roller. If it works or even if it doesn't, take a rag and wipe the belt clean.
Thanks for the tip man!

Mark
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:34 AM   #7
chris_bmw330ci
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Originally Posted by Canuck330i
Common issue - take to dealer to get it fixed under warranty
i complained and they 'oiled it up', complained that it didn't work and they replaced the re-coil thingie, but it still doesn't work.

i think the real problem is two-fold: first, where the seat belt enters the interior trim, the thing that's suppose to guide the belt doesn't pivot like most cars....this allows the selt belt to bunch up and get stuck a bit. second, the 're-coil' thingie isn't strong enough to pull the belt in if it 'bunches up'.

it's just a poor design and i've given up trying to fix it. now i've gotten into the habit of leaving my belt 'rapped around' the side bolster of my sport seat. this helps prevent the belt from 'bunching' and also makes it easier for me to reach when i'm putting it on.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:25 AM   #8
Freddy330cic
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I do have same problem with my 330cic 2001 , the seatbelt does not retract and seems to be thick to the feed guide......if i help pulling it back it will retract fast to the tensioner..any help will be very appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:05 PM   #9
SizzlerMA
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I have the same issue on my 2004 330i with the driver's side belt. How did you resolve this?
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:15 AM   #10
gsbmw
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My car has the same problem. I haven't had time to tackle the issue on my car, but from experience with other cars, the cause is typically one or both of two things: (1) the seat belt itself has become dirty over time and has a buildup of grime which makes the seat belt less flexible, and (2) the lubrication in the tensioner spring has dried up (and probably dirty also) to a point that the spring is sticking to itself and therefore is not able to freely spin. Possibly also, the spring is just not strong enough anymore. If the belt is stuck, the tensioner may have to be replaced.

If you google around, you will find info about cleaning the belt. After removing the tensioner from the pillar, I just use some Dawn detergent in a bucket of relatively hot water (almost too hot to put your bare hands into) and scrub the belt on both sides with a nylon scrub brush. You may not think your belt is dirty, but you will be surprised when you see the water and how different the belt feels and flexes when you're finished (dry it well, like a couple of days fully extended, before rewinding). I have seen one video of someone just pulling the belt out of the car (tensioner etc not removed from car) and doing this sort scrubbing of the belt outside of the car.

Repairing the tensioner and lubing the spring is possible, but often it is just better to buy a new tensioner with belt. There are some places on ebay that will supposedly repair almost any belt tensioner for a reasonable price, but I have no experience with any of those places. Be VERY careful when installing a tensioner that you have replaced (torquing bolts, etc), since your life or someone else's may depend on it. If you aren't going to torque it to BMW specifications, or if there is any chance you may otherwise not install it exactly as required, just have the dealer install one of theirs for you.

Last edited by gsbmw; 02-11-2016 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:44 PM   #11
swordsman11868
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I used lemon pledge. Pulled the belt all the way out and lightly sprayed both sides about 6".

It helped.
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