Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Automatic seat belt

I have a 1994 nissan sentra with a frayed front driver shoulder belt. Does anyone know where I would be able to buy a replacement online? I can’t find one anywhere. Or any solutions how to fix would be appreciated.

If it is not at the dealer, you may need to resort to a salvage yard. I’ve done that before, but salvage yard belts in good shape still tend to be filthy and in need of some serious cleaning. I had to replace the belts in my wife’s car after the dog decided they were fun to chew on. The only option was a salvage yard, and I found a set in good shape. But, they were dirty as all get out, so I had to soak them in a good but mild de-greaser (I used Simple Green diluted), then let them soak in a rinsing bath before I was ready to install them.

Visit the dealer, it may be covered under a lifetime seatbelt warranty. Never owned a Nissan (likely never will) but Honda and Subaru have lifetime warranty on seatbelts.

If the dealership and the junkyard don’t pan out, you might consider installing a racing harness and possibly a racing seat for additional protection. Those automatic seat belts from that era were the result of the automotive industry’s lame effort to meet the federal government’s “passive restraint” guidelines. Personally, I feel safer with normal three point seat belts than those automatic seat belts, even with the lap belt fastened. Some auto parts stores carry racing harnesses and racing seats, or you can find them online.

They are covered for life, problem is they are already trying to give me the run around saying they are not. Called the dealer asked to make sure and he said that fraying isn’t covered, which is a lie. So I called Nissan HQ they said bring it down with the warranty manual and talk to them because they cant access a 94 manual.

The even bigger problem is that I need the belt in order to pass the safety so Im basically stuck towing it around, by the time I pay for a tow truck there and back to hopefully get it inspected then again to install the parts I may as well hit up a junk yard or as whitey says put in a racing seat/harness as the lowest quote from a tow truck for 100 there and back.

Well I will keep looking to see if I can find a part online until I can hit up a junk yard tonight or tomorrow, thanks for the advice on degreasing them as well bustedknuckles.

Also I found a passenger side shoulder belt on ebay the other day anyone know if I could just use a passenger or would it not function properly putting it on the drivers side?

You said the belt was frayed, not broken. But shouldn’t you still be able to drive the car? You can not pass inspection until it fixed so if the dealer can fix it at a fair price just do it and hope to get a refund from the manufacture. Also I had new seat belts put in by an automotive interior shop.

sorry I guess I should have mentioned that the reason I cant drive the car to the dealership as it doesn’t have a current valid safety, so its not currently legal to drive.

I recently purchased it so once the vehicle changes ownership I need to have it re inspected. It failed the safety inspection due to the seat belt (sucks because its litterally a few hairs fraying off the side) so I must replace before im even able to drive it. I don’t think it would be a good idea to drive without plates to the dealership and I cannot even get a temporary insurance sticker because it failed a safety so they wont issue one.

by the time I pay for towing to have it inspected then home, and thats assuming they honor the warranty. (I have read a few stories on various different forums about how many trips they make to the dealership before they finally fix it) then tow it back to the dealership when they get parts in then tow it to the safety inspection then pay 50.00 for that etc the car isn’t even worth it in my eyes. it was just suppose to be a cheap junker (I paid 400 for it) that’s why I was hoping to be able to find a shoulder belt online somewhere. but ill check a junk yard if not ill have to figure something else out.

And installing a new seatbelt system would be nice but then again im probably looking at paying more then what I paid for the car that’s why Im trying to go the cheap route.

Wow. What state do you live in? I thought, you had to have insurance to title/register, and you had to have title/registration to inspect–you’re saying you have a vehicle titled in your name without insurance??

I’ve insured vehicles I didn’t even own yet! (Heck, I’m driving one now that she signed the title, but I won’t make it to the notary until tomorrow…got the insurance TODAY and hid nothing from my agent.)

I grew up on the correct sequence: 1. insure vehicle, 2. title/register vehicle, 3. inspect vehicle. I did not even realize that insurance companies wouldn’t write a policy until you’re inspected…Double- and triple-check with you ins. carrier…that sounds bizzarre.

Also…I asked if the Sentra had airbags as an option because, if it does, the mounting brackets are likely already there! (It’s cheaper to build the body for all possible options than add in mounting for seat belts or a/c systems that only some of the cars are equipped with.) Given that the '94 body style also includes 91, 92, and 93, you could pick up a 3-point for ANY of those years to work. (Actually, the B-13 Sentra is STILL SOLD in Mexico as the “Tsuru”…you could likely get a NEW belt from Juarez or Tijuana!)

P.S. if you think the seat belt webbing is fundimentally sound, and you got burnt on a judgment call, you could look for an inspection-rated shop that isn’t quite as hard-bottom as the last one…probably your cheapest option!

@Pulse: A little online checking shows you could get an aftermarket 3-point and mounting bracket for $150-ish, mailed to your house in three days or so.

Or, you could have your car towed across creation in search of a working, vintage, inferior auto belt setup.

The only real question is: how anal is your home state about requiring you maintain the inferior OEM belt setup vs. the 3-point?


  1. Automatic seat belts were a stop-gap regulation put in place before driver’s-side airbags became mandatory. You could have either an airbag (with normal seatbelt) or no airbag (with auto seatbelt).

  2. Standard 3-point belts are safer and better than auto belts (provided you wear 'em.)

  3. Fortunately the only vehicle I owned with the idiotic automatic belts was a 1991 Mazda RX-7 that I purchased in 2001. A couple of weeks later the fuel gauge was at 1/4. I was on my way to National Guard drill and decided to fill up. I pulled into the station and realized the filler was on the passenger side. I circled and got the pump on the correct side. I then realized I didn’t know which of the 2 levers opened the fuel filler door. I opened the driver’s door enough to look. Of course the automatic shoulder belt went to the forward position across the back of my neck then pushing my uniform cap off my head. The very patient attendant commented " I guess this isn’t one of your best days". I hated those stupid belts!

  4. Any vehicle I ever owned or drove that was equipped with seat belts they were used by myself and all passengers before the vehicle was started. The automatic belts were desirable after mandatory seat belt laws with the young, immortal anti seatbelt crowd. They appeared to be belted to the police without the hassle of holding their 3 point belt in their lap without it being buckled! I hate being that callous but sometimes I feel these aspiring Darwin Award winners should exit our gene pool.


Im actually from Canada. But yes I can change title of the car before I register/Insure it, I just cant reg/insure until I have a valid safety.

Im not 100% on the air bag I will let you know this evening, but that would be nice if I can just swap it out with a 3 point belt. Im not a big fan of the automatic myself so that would be a big plus.

Im also not 100% about how they are about OEM but when I checked the safety inspection guide for my province it only states to reject if: seat belts are missing, webbing is frayed, split, torn; belt buckles do not operate properly; belt anchorages or mounting surfaces are weakened, damaged, deformed, missing.

it sucks too because its literally like a tiny tiny fray maybe a fraction of an inch into the belt and an inch or 2 long. I have been considering taking it else where maybe I can get it passed as is. ill take a pic tonight. at work on my break at the moment.

Oh ok. Different laws for different countries, I guess. It’s a bit different down here…I was told not to even bother transferring the title until I could show coverage in effect.

Good luck!