I own a 1988 Dodge Daytona base and the drivers side seat belt retractor stopped working about a month ago. Is the problem mechanical and the whole unit needs to be replaced or is it a sensor problem and and the retractor itself is fine. I really do not want to purchase a complete system if I do not have to. About two years ago the seat belt light was periodically lighting up on the dash and I thought there was a problem with the buckle but that is fine, so I am guessing if the light appears that it is a sensor problem that may have caused the retractor to finally stop working. Thank for taking my question.
The retractor is mechanical. There's no sensors involved. If there is no hint of the belt trying to go back in, that would suggest the spring is broken. That would be very uncommon but would require replacement of the entire unit. A trip to the salvage yard would be in order. Or, something fell inside and is blocking the mechanism.
If the belt is just sluggish and will go back in with a little help, spray the belt and the top anchor the belt goes through with Silicone Spray Lube. You can get it by that name at the Chrysler dealer's parts department, or other auto parts stores. It sprays on like water, then evaporates quickly but leaves a bunch of "slippery" behind. I have to do this to my '88 Grand Caravan about once every other year.