SEAT BELTS Although seat belts are fitted to a car this doesn't necessarily mean that they are working efficiently or, indeed, that they are capable of doing their job when they are actually needed. This is why the condition of the seat belt is now included in the annual MoT test. There are some simple checks to be made on a regular basis to see that they are in working order. They are as follows:
1. Pull each seat belt against its anchorage to see that it is properly secured to the vehicle structure.
2. Examine carefully the condition of the webbing looking for cuts or obvious signs of deterioration.
3. Fasten each seat belt locking mechanism and then try to pull the locked sections apart. Operate the mechanism, whilst pulling on the belt to determine that the mechanism releases when required.
4. Check the condition of the attachment fittings and adjusting fitting on each belt for distortion or fracture.
5. As far as practicable check the condition of the vehicle structure around the seat belt anchorages - this will be best carried out from below the vehicle.
6. If the seat belt is of the retracting type, pull a section of the webbing from the reel unit and then release it to see that the webbing automatically winds back. Bear in mind that some inertia reel belts require some manual assistance before retraction takes place.