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Seatbelt problems
#1
Hi

I own a Berlingo First 1.6 hdi 09 plate.

A friend of my son who is a mechanic makes some extra cash doing home jobs. He done a pre-MOT check for me today and found a number of things wrong, but 2 things I am unclear on and need some advice from anyone who has knowledge of seatbelts?

1. He said the drivers seatbelt pre-tensioner is faulty and will fail. He explained there is a method which is used by pressing the release button and pulling the seatbelt at the same time, which they can tell if there is a fault or not. I didn't question it because I have no knowledge of it, can anyone advise if this is correct?  The seatbelt itself works fine, and I can plug it in securely and release it no bother so I wasn't aware there was any problem.

2. The rear centre seatbelt last year, failed the MOT because the seatbelt had retracted all the way inside the seat, as the piece of plastic which is situated at the top of the seat had broke off, and this then meant the seat belt was not prevented from retracting all the way inside the seat. The rear seats are always folded down because I have a dog cage in the back. It was not possible to pull the back seat upright as the seatbelt was locked in place inside the seat. I had to remove the seat altogether and open it up and then I was able to gain access to the internal mechanics of the seatbelt and get the seat up righted. What I did was to put a plastic food bag sealer, similar to a large clothes peg, onto the seatbelt which prevented the seatbelt from retracting all the way inside the seat again i.e. when the plastic food bag sealer hit the top of the seat, the seatbelt no longer could retract any further inside the seat. The car was then passed through its MOT. The mechanic said that this is an MOT failure and needs to be replaced, even though I explained to him what I have just described. What are anyone's thoughts on this?


The other things which are wrong is both front suspension arms need replaced as there is slight play in the wheels, also the OSF track rod end needs replaced and the OSF front brake line needs replaced. 

With this being a 14 year old car with 96K miles on the clock, I am wary of ploughing more money into the car, however that being said, I don't have the money to buy myself another car. 

Apart from the above, the rest of the car is sound for its age, the engine runs very well, brakes are good, tyres are new so excellent tread all round.

If I can find a way to resolve the doubt surrounding the seatbelts then that should save some money. I feel fairly sure the rear seatbelt isn't really an issue, but the drivers seatbelt pre-tensioner I have no idea how to check this myself.

Thanks in advance
Michael
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#2
There was a thread on here a while ago in which a member described using an MOT test station that only charged if the vehicle gets a 'pass' - if you can find one of those locally, why not take the vehicle there and get a bona fide assessment of what might fail or not?

On the issues of suspension arms, wheel play and track rod ends, these don't always mean an MOT failure - I think it depends on the amount of play.  On more than one occasion I've had advisories for these, but the weren't a fail because the play wasn't considered excessive. (Over time, of course, it might become excessive and result in a fail - but that might not be for a year or three).
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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