What is a seat belt retractor?

Categories: DIY Auto Tips

Here is what various seat belt pretensioners looks like:

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Seat Belt Pretensioners Types:

A pretensioner is a device that is connected to the safety belt buckle, safety
belt retractor or/and and outboard lower safety belt anchor assembly. The pretesioner
tightens the seat belt during certain crashes. Pretensioners may deploy with
or without airbag deployment. Depending upon the vehicle, pretensioners may activate
in certain frontal, side, rear and/or rollover crashes. For some vehicles pretensioners
will deploy if the safety belt is buckled.


The buckle pretensioner uses a pyrotechnic gas generator to proper a piston that
is attached to the safety belt buckle with a cable. The cable pulls the buckle
down toward the seat tightening the belt.


The anchor pretensioner uses a pyrotechnic gas generator to propel a piston that
is attached to the outboard lower safety belt anchor assembly with a cable. The
cable pulls the anchor assembly down toward the floor tightening the belt.


The retractor pretensioner uses a pyrotechnic device that “backwinds” the retractor
spool tightening the belt. Use the same precautions you would for the other SRS
inflatable restraint components. There may be power to activate a pretensioner
for a short time after the battery is disconnected or the ignition is turned

There are 3 types of retractor pretensioners

  • Single Stage (1-Stage) has 1 plug connector
  • Dual Stage   (2-Stage) has 2 plugs connectors
  • Triple Stage (3-Stage) has 3 plugs connectors

1 Stage


2 Stage (Dual Stage)


3 Stage (Triple Stage)

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