Driving with a malfunctioning seat belt assembly is dangerous because it will fail to protect you in a car crash.
However, many car owners are reluctant to replace their seat belt assemblies because they don’t want to splurge on labor. Labor charges can run about 100 bucks per hour at a Mopar dealership. It’s understandable, but there’s a much more affordable solution: replacing the seat belt assembly at home. And know what’s great? It’s actually a pretty easy project, too.
Before we show you how to replace your seat belt assembly, let’s talk a bit about the symptoms of a defective seat belt assembly.
Symptoms to Look Out For
You may notice some of the symptoms of a failing seat belt assembly by chance, like when you buckle in. Or you can detect them during a quick inspection. Here are the most common telltale signs that your seat belt assembly needs to be replaced:
- Frays or tears in the strap webbing
- No or reduced tension when the top part of the strap is pulled
- Small items inside the buckle that prevent the latch plate from latching on correctly
- Failure to latch
Once you’ve determined that one of your seat belts needs to be replaced, it’s always better to replace it sooner than later.
We put together an overview of the replacement process. It’s based on the three-point seat belt for the driver’s seat in a Jeep Cherokee, but the steps are general enough to apply to some other Mopar models.
1. Order a Replacement Seat Belt Assembly
First, order a replacement seat belt assembly. You can get an OEM seatbelt or an aftermarket belt. We may be a little biased, but we would always recommend an OEM seat belt assembly over an aftermarket belt any day of the week. It’s because OEM seat belt assemblies come out on top in terms of:
You can read more here about all the different reasons OEM seat belt assemblies are the better choice .
If you’re looking to save a bit of money on an OEM seat belt assembly, you can check out our catalog. We offer wholesale pricing for genuine OEM Mopar parts, including seat belt assemblies.
Keep in mind that some seat belt assemblies don’t come with a buckle, bolts, or other components. Before purchasing a replacement seat belt assembly, make sure that it includes the parts that need to be replaced.
2. Reposition the Seat(s)
When you have your replacement seat belt assembly ready, reposition the seat(s) to make the removal process as easy as possible. The optimal position depends on the model. If you're working on a Jeep Cherokee, slide the seat forward as much as possible.
3. Remove all the Interior Trim Parts
On the Jeep Cherokee, you can pull these parts off. Doing so will disengage the plastic bolt covers.
4. Unplug the Electrical Connector (if Applicable) and Then Remove all of the Bolts and Plates
Behind the trim cover at the bottom of the seat belt (the point that’s connected to the floorboard) is an electrical connector. Depress the clips on it and then unplug it.
With a star screwdriver, remove the following bolts:
- Anchor bolt
- Upper mounting bolt
- Lower mounting bolt
There’s also an inner scuff plate, which is a plastic panel along the side of the door frame just below the upper mounting bolt. Use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry it off.
5. Remove the Seat Belt Assembly
When everything is loose and ready to go, pull the strap out through all of the openings.
6. Install the New Seat Belt Assembly
This step is done in the reverse order of removal. Basically:
- Put the straps through the openings exactly the way the old assembly was set up.
- Reinstall the inner scuff plate.
- Torque the anchor bolts as specified in the Seat Belt Installation Sheet for Jeeps, Dodge vehicles, and Chrysler 200 vehicles.
- Reinstall the interior trim parts.
- Move the seat(s) back to its original position.
Please contact us if you need assistance replacing your seat belt assembly. We’ll be happy to help you out!