When to replace seat belts

belts

#1

Three questions, actually.
(1) When should seat belts be replaced? I have a '95 Miata (original owner). The belts are frayed (not just fuzzy, but with actual strings coming off) and discolored from the sun. I assume I need new ones, but I wanted to check…
(2) Can just the belt be replaced or do I have to replace the whole system, e.g. retractors, etc. How difficult would it be to replace only the belt?
(3) If I bought a belt kit from a cheap online outfit, is there any chance in hell that it would work properly and save my life?
Thanks!


#2

I would just pick up a set at an auto recycler (junk yard). It’s a lot easier to replace the whole seatbelt assembly since they just bolt on. The bolts are sometimes difficult to remove so you may need to use a 1/2 inch impact wrench on them. I would forget about replacing the belt by itself as well as ordering them online.


#3

I’d have to agree with missileman, and would also point out that to “replace only the belt” would require the stitching, dis-assembly and reassembly of the whole unit. I don’t think very many shops, let alone people, have that capability at home.

I don’t think I’d bother with any kind of “belt kit”, either. Although I don’t know which “cheap online outfit” you’re talking about. Sounds interesting, and I’d like to check them out. Post the URL, please.

Chase


#4

Belts that are in the condition described by the OP are definitely due for replacement.
However, before doing anything in regard to buying replacement equipment, I would suggest checking the warranty booklet that came with the car.

I suggest this because some car manufacturers–Subaru comes to mind–give a lifetime warranty on seat belts and related hardware. Just on the chance that Mazda has similar warranty coverage, I think that it would really be worth your while to check into the warranty coverage on this car.


#5

Thanks for the info. I called Mazda, and they refuse to replace them even after I tried to shame them by asking, “If Honda does, why not you?” They never answered that question – just said, “no, out of warranty.”


#6

Well, it was worth a try.