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Discussion Starter #1
Our 2000 E320 just got both front seal belt mechanisms (the ones in the B pillar) replaced. The drivers' side had already been replaced in 2005. The only indication of a problem is a whining sound when pulling the seat belt out.

Dealer indicated we shouldn't just live with the noise, as it was coming from inside the mechanical housing and could indicated a dangerous issue. The replaced at no charge. No view on what the actual issue was.
 

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Hi, atabibia.

Interesting information, thank you for posting this.

My driver's side mechanism has been whining for some time, I'll be calling the dealer on Monday to see what's up with that. There's certainly no recall on it so maybe it's one of those quiet TSB things.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ikanoren said:
Thanks for highlighting.
Did your dealer elaborate on the implications of the said dangerous issue?
No elaboration, and I didn't have time to get to the bottom of it. However, after I said I could live with the sound, they were quite insistent that the location of the noise was coming from meant it could very well be a safety concern and I shouldn't ignore it. As noted they didn't have an economic incentive to say that.

I asked them to check the rear seat belts and they are OK now and never had a problem before either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
gregs210 said:
Hi, atabibia.

Interesting information, thank you for posting this.

My driver's side mechanism has been whining for some time, I'll be calling the dealer on Monday to see what's up with that. There's certainly no recall on it so maybe it's one of those quiet TSB things.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
Did you talk to the dealer? Any update that might be relevant to the forum at large? Thanks,
 

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I don't recall that there is a TSB for the seat belt but it's good to know if they are going to cover the replacement for it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
JOE55 said:
I don't recall that there is a TSB for the seat belt but it's good to know if they are going to cover the replacement for it for free.
I think they covered it in my case because it had already been subject to a warranty repair in 2003 (warranty expired in 2005).
 

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.. don't know if this will help, but I had my belt replaced during warrantee due to the high pitched squeal when pulling the belt out. The new one was quiet for a couple months, but the squeal came back, particularly in cooler weather. I saw an article in another car blog about a similar problem. The cure was to take off the plastic cover and grind off a bit of the inside plastic reinforcment so the belt did not touch it on its way through. It was vibrating like a violin bow on a string.. I have not gone in to make the fix, mainly becuase I'm not sure how the trim clips in, but it sure sounds like a logical approach. The noise is not mechanical- it's a screach.
 

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Hey, stebet, just wanted to extend a welcome to you from the forum. Please take a minute to complete your online profile re: vehicle and location, which can be quite useful.

Thanks for the tip on the squeal, I've been to bother with mine to see if the stealer would do them for free. But if it's going to come back what would be the point? :)

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Hi, atabibia.

Interesting information, thank you for posting this.

My driver's side mechanism has been whining for some time, I'll be calling the dealer on Monday to see what's up with that. There's certainly no recall on it so maybe it's one of those quiet TSB things.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
Hi gregs,
Did the dealer replace it free of charge? Mine is whining also! Is there a recall on this?
 

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Any new updates? My passenger's side belt has just started doing the same thing.
 

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my passenger belt just started squeaking as well. If this is truly a serious problem as in the title of the thread, i hope the thread starter can provide more details to help the community determine if they must be replaced.
 

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Can someone post a DIY for a possible fix as mentioned above? My estimate to replace the driver was over $450 by an indy I trust. Part is over $350.

I shot a ton of WD-40 and silicone down the opening and nothing.

I hear this noise in my sleep!!!
 

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(W210) Mercedes E320 CDI YEAR 2000 X reg (MANUAL AIR CON)
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100% will fix ur problem it did 4 me!!

Ok step1 pull the belt as far as it will come out.

Holding the belt put some talcum powder on the belt (on both sides, upper side and lower side)

Then release the belt and pull it out in out and in until the belt stops squeaking. Put more talcum powder if noise persists.

I did this and no more squeaking.

I used Johnson’s baby powder.

Then get a vacuum cleaner and get excess powder of your seat belt.
 

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What country are you in?

Our 2000 E320 just got both front seal belt mechanisms (the ones in the B pillar) replaced. The drivers' side had already been replaced in 2005. The only indication of a problem is a whining sound when pulling the seat belt out.

Dealer indicated we shouldn't just live with the noise, as it was coming from inside the mechanical housing and could indicated a dangerous issue. The replaced at no charge. No view on what the actual issue was.
Is this in the US?
 

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Ok step1 pull the belt as far as it will come out.

Holding the belt put some talcum powder on the belt (on both sides, upper side and lower side)

Then release the belt and pull it out in out and in until the belt stops squeaking. Put more talcum powder if noise persists.

I did this and no more squeaking.

I used Johnson’s baby powder.

Then get a vacuum cleaner and get excess powder of your seat belt.
Wow, I may try this
 

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I will try it too, at this point I'll try anything! What could it hurt?
 

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Ok step1 pull the belt as far as it will come out.

Holding the belt put some talcum powder on the belt (on both sides, upper side and lower side)

Then release the belt and pull it out in out and in until the belt stops squeaking. Put more talcum powder if noise persists.

I did this and no more squeaking.

I used Johnson’s baby powder.

Then get a vacuum cleaner and get excess powder of your seat belt.
Didn't work. The sound is back after just two days. :crybaby2: I will try it again this time putting as much as possible on. Will post back if it does work.
 

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This is a long time in replying because I finally got fed up listening to mine. I didn't have the camera handy so you'll have to deal with rambling.

The issue in many cars is not the mechanism itself (unlike the OP). Rather, there is a reinforcing rib inside the cover (over the B-pillar) that contacts the belt. I think originally it had some sort of felt cover or something glued on it and as it wears off and the belt moves quickly over it (like you pull it out or lean over in the car), it generates a harmonic we hear as the WHINE.

To repair this, remove the cover on the B-pillar. You'll need to peel back the door seal at the top rear of the front door and the top front of the rear door to access the clips that secure the cover. Loubapache kindly posted the sheet from Alldata and I'm attaching it to this post as well.

Before you start, move the front seat on the side you're working onall the way forward and bring the seatback as vertical/forward as it will go. After the clips are out you'll be working from the back seat/floorboard area.

Once you have removed the clips (they are difficult to manipulate) then free the cover by tipping the top inward and lifting up. You won't be able to really remove it since the belt goes through it. Before you actually pull it away completely, take note of the upper mechanism for adjusting the vertical height and how it fits in the cover. This is the most difficult part of the reassembly, so you might want to take a minute or two and fiddle with it so you have at least a basic understanding of it.

About a foot up from the bottom of it you'll see the reinforcing rib, it runs perpendicular to the cover and is just molded into the plastic (the cover is plastic covered with the fuzzy interior "fabric"). You can try other things if you want, but I simply broke it out of there--eventually. Use a bit of care of course since you don't want to break the cover itself. (The first one I broke out by accident, I was trying to trim it so it wouldn't touch the belt and it started to crack across it's junction, so I just snapped it out.) The other one I grabbed the edge of it with needlenose pliers and flexed it up and down and it cracked at the junction on that edge, then I did the same on the other. Once the edges were free I just grabbed the middle part of the rib with my fingers and flexed it maybe two or three times and it snapped out.

That said, if you want to try and preserve the rib, don't just tape over it or something, because after time the belt friction will wear through the belt and then expose the adhesive, which could gum up the belt and may lead to a safety issue. I suppose you could try some 1200 grit sandpaper to polish it, maybe if it was smooth enough it wouldn't create the harmonic, but mine were both shiny from the rubbing and were still making noise. Or maybe the solution would be to rough it up so it's not smooth and shiny - probably 80-100 grit there if you want to give that a go. I'd be concerned with it wearing the belt, though; it's all a trade-off. ;)

Once you have snapped off the reinforcing rib, then reinstall the cover by sliding in the bottom first and then getting the vertical mechanism adjustment to pop back in. When it goes back flush hold the top of it and make sure the vertical mechanism works properly (three positions). Then reinstall the clips and the door seal.

The first side took me nearly 45 minutes, most of which was spent on fighting the little clips and figuring out what was actually causing the noise. The other side took maybe 15 minutes.

It is easy to figure out if this is your issue. With the cover moved a bit out of position, rapidly extend and release the belt. If the noise is still there, it's not the rib. However, do this only after you've done the same test with it fully in place so you get a better sense of where the noise is. Also, be sure you aren't causing a noise during this test by letting the belt rub the plastic where it passes through the cover. :)

Is the reinforcing rib important? Perhaps. But unless you have small kids that are kicking the B-pillar cover (or you manhandle it once you snap out the rib) I can't think of anything that would affect it.

In any event, it's nice to no longer hear that ANNOYING whine.

Take care and enjoy the quieter ride,
Greg
 

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