How to replace front seatbelt on 1996 – 2004 Volvo S40,V40

by: Alexandra M.

This is a guide of how to replace the drivers seat belt. This is only a guide and I would advice caution when attempting to follow my instructions, as there is a pyrotechnic device at the bottom part of the seatbelt mechanism which is meant to be activated in case of an accident.

Even though we will not be disconnecting any of the SRS cables, I would strongly advice disconnecting the battery and waiting for at least 20 minutes before you start. Also make sure that you have the Stereo security code handy before you disconnect the battery.

First thing to do is to undo the two screws on the drivers trim and lift it up carefully.

Also remove the rear passengers door trim

You need to remove this plastic trim. Easy to take out. There is one clip on the top right hand side of it which releases very easily. See also next photo. Do not remove the screw hoplding the seatbelt yet. We will do so later on.

Remove the lower plastic trim first. release the lower part first and then wiggle it out.

Undo a bit of the inner door seals on both the drivers and rear passengers door frames (see photo). Be a bit careful with the top grey plastic trim. If you just pull it, you may break the plastic clip holding it. The way to remove it is to push gently the lower part towards the front of the car (see arrow) and it will come of the clip. Then move it slightly downwards and take it out. check the next two photos and you will see what I mean

Remove the metal clip from the car frame and put it back in its place on the upper grey trim. You will need to push the two ends of the clip so it is released from the frame

And now the fun bit. You can either remove the whole unit and take it indoors and change the seatbelt, or follow my instructions below. I found this to be easier and faster. Pull out the seatbelt all the way out. When doing so, try to have the part highlighted in the green circle (oval) facing the way I have it on the photo. You will have to pul out the seatbelt from there. The spring mechanism needs to be secured to this position. To do so, I used some electrical tape. I used 3 bits and the mechanism was not moving any more. Use you common sense when doing so and be careful the tape comes undone. If this happens, you will have to rewind the whole rotating mechanism and you will not know how far to go. So whatever you do, make sure you secure it properly. See also next photo of how I secured it.

Once secured, pull out the seatbelt and slide off the pin which is securing it on the rotating spring mechanism. See also next photo

Before you pull out the seatbelt, feed the new seatbelt though the upper plastic trim and have it ready to be fitted to the rotating mechanism.

Pull out the old seatbelt and immediately feed the new one through the gap and secure it with the pin. In order to feed the new seatbelt in, you will have to rotate the spring mechanism about 90 degrees. If you have taped the mechanism the same way I did, it should be able to move in one direction only.

Undo the bolt (size 14 socket), remove the old seatbelt and put the new one in.

Job done. Well you need to put everything back together in the reverse order.


This tutorial was contributed to by it’s author “gatos”. Original posted in Volvo Owners Club Forum


The instructions in this tutorial will work in the following models / years:

– 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Volvo S40
– 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Volvo v40