1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Workaround
August 31, 2011
While Editor Jay devises a solution to the binding seatbelt, I used the headrest-workaround during my recent seat time in Project Miata. You hook a thumb under the belt and pull it to the back of your neck to create slack, grab the buckle and latch in, then slowly allow the tension to take in the slack. Slowly is the key word; too quick and the belt will bind during retraction. Suddenly you'll be straining shoulder muscles you didn't know existed trying to free it up.
Not ideal, but it'll work for now. Living with older cars calls for some improvisation, and our Miata still rewards you for thinking on your feet.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor