Stuck Seat Belt




I have a 2003 Toyota Matrix and the front passenger-side seatbelt is stuck. I cannot even get it to reach over to buckle it in, much less fit it over any passengers. I took it to the place where I get my oil changed and they took the door panel off and told me the actual mechanism is broken. Today I stopped by the dealership and they said the part would be $150-$200 and the labor another $99. I really do not want to spend that much money on this thing. Does anyone know if other mechanics would be willing to replace a seatbelt mechanism, or is it too much of a liability? I stopped by a supply store and they don’t sell the part, so it doesn’t look like I could get a friend to do it for me. Are dealerships the only places that will fix seatbelts?

Thanks for any help!



Get a replacement from a salvage yard (automotive recycler).


No, the dealer in not the only place to fix it, but it is probably the only place to find the part. Besides a salvage yard, as Hellokit suggests.


Buy it from the dealer but your buddy can install it. A lot of salvage yards will not sell certain safety items like seat belts.


I have been told that as well. The liability if the salvage part is involved in a wreck, and fails, as salvage parts can fail, due to hidden damage, is simply not worth it to save someone the price of a new replacement part. A lot of tire places also will not sell used tires in apparent good shape, such as happens when a tire goes out and someone replaces them in pairs, for the same reason.

I thought someone said it might even be illegal to sell salvage belts, but since no one else thinks so, it must not be true.

If someone is short on funds in this limping economy, that is understandable. However, when one owns a car, any car, there is going to be a minimum cost to owning that car, based on mileage and circumstances. Short term frugality can be long-term disaster. So, it is easy to say that if one only avoids making correct repairs in safety areas because it seems like too much money in general, rather than being broke, the real question is should they own a car at all. A bit cruel, but people need to understand this minimum cost to own a car concept or they are going to be suffering a lot.

What are the figures? Like a thousand dollars a year for maintenance and repairs average once it becomes a truly used car? If you don’t do it, you will end up spending much more on a new car in the end.