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Mercury Tracer Automatic Seat Belts

Q. Hi, I was looking at your site because I have a problem with my car. I have what I think are called Automatic Seat belts. Well anyway they are the ones that slide, when you open the door. Just recently, since it has gotten cold the one on the drivers side has stopped working.

It won't go all the way to the end so the seat belt light stays on and the seat belt clicks. Whenever the seat belt stops working the horn starts to sound different. They only go bad together. The first time it happened the seat belt finally went all the way to the end and the horn started working. Do you think the problems are connected?

Do you have any idea what might be causing the problem? I have a 1991 Mercury Tracer, it is a manual, I don't know the engine size but I think my dad said it was a 4 cylinder, it has to many miles to count, it doesn't have ABS, but I think it has Fuel Injection, the A/C is broken and it has cruise control. I don't know what the other things are.

I would really appreciate it,

A. Automatic seat belts were a good idea in theory, but they fell short in application. When they work, they work well, but when they malfunction, a guy can go crazy trying to figure out what's wrong.

There are about eight limit switches and sensors in that system that can cause them not to work properly. Is the horn problem related? I don't see how. The two systems are not connected, yet it would seem when one stops working, so does the other. This would make me think that there is a short in the harness somewhere.

I wish I had a quick, easy answer for you, but this is something that would take a technician some time to locate.

Added 8/16/02:
Except for the horn I had this exact problem in my 1992 Ford Escort GT. I found that I had a tool in my owners book that could manually move the belt. After I moved the belt to the back position, the cheapest solution I found to this problem was to disconnect the wires so it would remain there permanently.

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