When it comes to do-it-yourself auto maintenance, many drivers will pay attention to parts like the engine or radiator - and these are no doubt important to how a vehicle runs. Ultimately, however, one of the most critical aspects of a vehicle is safety, and in an actual collision, the first line of defense is the seatbelt. Like any other part, seatbelts can get worn out and may require replacement over time. Fortunately, this is an easy project for drivers to do on their own.

Seatbelts can easily become chewed up or start to become temperamental. If you're having trouble pulling your seatbelt all the way across your body or the belt just looks like it's on its last legs, then it's probably time for a replacement.

If you can, try to go with OEM or factory parts for this replacement, as these will be guaranteed to fit your vehicle. If you can't track down the original seatbelts used by the automaker, then you can go with a universal seatbelt. If you do buy a seatbelt replacement for your car, be sure to keep the receipt - one size does not always fit all with these "universal" parts.

In general, this is a relatively easy repair to undertake, but drivers should be sure that they take care, as an improperly installed seatbelt can be very dangerous. How much work you need to do likely depends on your vehicle. Some cars have easily located bolts for the seatbelt system that can be popped off an easily accessed. Other cars may require that you take out the seat entirely or remove some interior paneling in order to access the seatbelt. On most modern vehicles, you won't have to take out the seat, because you'll likely be able to adjust it and move it so you can get to the seatbelt system.

Car seatbelts are known as a three-point harness. There's the high point above the shoulder, the belt buckle itself, and the point below the seat where the lapbelt goes. Essentially, you need to remove the mounting bolts in all three places to remove the seatbelt.

From there, it's simply a matter of taking your replacement belt and installing it exactly how you removed the seatbelt. Be sure to test your newly-installed belt and ensure that it fits right and works properly.