How Long are Car Seats Good for – (complete Guide)

We all know that all best car seats, regardless of their model, will get expire eventually. So these car seats are good to use only for a limited period of time.

We know that you are worried about your expired car seats. Don’t be because there are lots of things that you can do with your expired seats. Have you ever looked at a car seat and wondered why the heck it has an expiration date?

Then don’t worries we are here to give an answer to your questions. In this article, we are going to tell you why car seats do expire and how you can dispose of then without causing any damage to your environment.

How Long Are Car Seats Good for

We are going to tell you about how to dispose of the old car seats and how you can trade them to buy a new one.

Every parent wants their children to be safe while they are driving, so in this article, we are going to tell you how to save your children from a terrible accident in the car.

First of all, we are going to tell you that why car seats do expires there are many reasons that may cause expiry of your car seat.

Why Do Car Seats Expire?

Do car seats expire? Yes, now we know that’s a slightly more complex answer. When it comes to your seat expiration dates, it’s much simpler just to brush it off like it isn’t a big deal.

However, there is an expiration date on your car seats, and it is there for a reason. You think that companies are squeezing more money then you are wrong; everything has to expire someday.

As odd as it seems, car seats expire for many numbers of reasons. There are a few factors in particular that are instrumental in determining that date.

Reasons behind your car seats expiration can be different, and in this article, we are going to tell you that why do car seats expire and what is the reason behind them.

How to Find Out the Expiration Date of car seats?

Regardless of the brand, you can able to find an expiration date right on the back of the seat this doesn’t mean that every brand has mentioned their expiration date on the back of the seat.

Recommended: Car Seat Accessories

Some manufacturers may also include the expiration date inside the seat instruction manual. Sometimes the date is typically printed on a sticker or is embossed on the back of your child’s car seat.

Every car seat has a different expiration date but typically range from six to 10 years.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t wait to get your seat to expire we recommend you to start shopping for a new one a month or so before the seat is due to expire.

Three reasons why car seats expire fast

Here are the three reasons why your car seats expire fast.

1. Temperature Exposure and Natural Breakdown

Most of the car seats are made from plastic shell, and we all know that plastic expands and contracts when plastic is exposed to hot and cold temperatures.

The car seat will stay in the car most of the time then these plastic seats being exposed to varying temperatures.

Another factor is the metal in the car seats and unseen rust. We all know that most frames are made up of steel or other metal. If these metals take rust, then you can imagine what happens to it in the event of an accident.

Of course, there are things that you couldn’t control, and this is exactly why car seat manufacturers give you these dates. These dates will provide you an idea of how long the seat will last, and around that time you should start looking for a new one.

2. Regular wear and tear

Let’s face the facts that car seats really take a beating. We all have kids, and kids can really get messy no matter how to stick your rules are about food and drinks in the car kids always find their way to spill food on the car seat.

These crumbs and juice can cause the seat webbing to deteriorate over time. To get most out of your child’s car seats, you can make sure to regularly clean and maintain it. We should make a habit to clean our family car twice a week.

During this time we should also clean the car seats padding as well. If there is a spill, we always make a point to wipe it up right away, but the seats will need a perfect and regular clean.

Here are some steps that we can use while cleaning our seats.

  • First, remove the seats from the car.
  • Then remove seat padding.
  • Wipe down the seats.
  • Wipe out the cup holders.
  • Wipe down the harness and buckles.
  • After all, this lets the car seats dry completely.

3. Safety Guidelines

As we mentioned to you before in order to keep up with changing guidelines, car seat manufacturers tweak their product regularly. This means they may retire certain seats out of the production.

Once your seats are retired, it is very hard to find a replacement part of that seat if something goes wrong. If you are lucky to find any replacement part of that seat how you able to fix it correctly will.

Older seats may come with outdated technology or may not have the most current feature to make your baby safe. In order to make your baby completely safe makers of car seats are adding new technology to their seats for safety purpose.

Smartphone adaptable: some car seats are made with smartphone adaptability that will alert you when you leave your baby in the car. This feature is an extra layer of safety to protect your little ones.

Patented technology: car seats manufactured are adding a new feature to your seats to make you safe. It’s better side-impact protection or shock absorption; car seat tech is changing day by day.

These were the few safety guidelines on how you can make your seats safer than ever.

The Importance of a Safe Car Seat

We get it having a kid in a family can get pretty expensive. Talking about to buy a new car seat can certainly give any budgeter about of panic.

We all know that car seats can get very expensive, but you have to buy a car seat for your little one so he can be safe while you are driving.

Everyone wants to keep their children safe on a road trip. So try to buy car seats with the highest safety feature so you can drive without getting worried for your kid.

Be sure to adhere to any height and weight guidelines to ensure your child will be properly protected in the event of a car crash, when your child is in rear-facing car seats when top of your child’s head is less than one inch below the top of the headrest it’s time to upgrade your car seat.

Always check the manual of the car seats before buying it.

What you can do with the expired seat

Once your car seat is expired there are few options that you can use after your seat is expired you don’t have to throw your car seat in the trash. Here are the most common and simple ways to dispose of an expired car seat.

Trade it in: Big box stores like target will typically hold trade-in events throughout the whole year. You can always trade your expired car seat to get a discount on a newer seat. These stores used these expired seats to make new seats.

Give to car seat techs for demonstration: They use this expired car seat to test their new technics on these seats to make more safety improvements. Expired seats can come in handy for this as long as they are intact.

Recycle if able: We all know that car seats are made of plastic they should be able to be broken down for recycling. If you don’t have a recycling facility near you that accepts car seats, then go and them as soon as possible.

Because these seats are also made with metal and metal take rust we easily and rust is very dangerous for human skin, it can cause cancer and many other diseases.

Break down for trash if unrecyclable: If your seat is in bad shape and you can’t find a recycling facility near you, then it may be best just to pitch it. Write expired with a permanent marker on your seat and cut the harness straps before you throw it out, make sure that no one grabs it to reuse.

Because after expiry date these seats can be very dangerous for anyone so make sure to tear them into little pieces that no one able to reuse it.

Follow one of these steps after your seat is expired.

Three reasons that require a replacement car seat

Most of the time, it is very hard to realize that your car has been expired or not only by looking at it. If your car seat shows visible signs of tear or missing parts, then you will clearly notice that something is not right.

If your seat doesn’t show any of these signs, then you should always look at the white sticker placed somewhere on the seat which can provide details regarding the product fabrication date, model number, serial number, and the expiry date.

On the other hand, certain situations can affect how long car seats are good for here are three where you can replace a car seat.

After a major crash: Some safety seats are built to withstand vehicular crashes. But when a car hits the force generated during the car crash can be extreme enough to damage even the most durable models.

Sometimes the cracks on your seats are not visible to the naked eyes. That is why your highway police recommend you to buy a new car seat if your current one is involved in an accident.

You reached the weight limit: Car seat testing takes the weight of the car seat and the passenger in the account. There are some seats which have a weight limit if you exceed that limit then you seat will start to get a tear.

For example, uses a 77 lbs.’ 10-year old dummy to crash test seat with 65-80 lbs. Limit while seating with a 50-65 lbs. The weight limit is tested using a 62 lbs — 6-year-old dummy.

When you keep using a seat whose limits are below your weight, then you are walking into dangerous territory.

Manufacturer Recalls: We know that all your seat in the market has gone through rigorous testing under federal standards. But even so, a part of the seal may fail after it has gone in the market.

Sometimes if your luck is not with you at that day you may get a defected seat with manufacture fault then you should call to it company service and change your seat before it gives any damage to you or your children.

How to get a new car seat?

Now you have learned what that date on the car seat means, now it is the time to start looking for a new one, changed your seat as soon as possible after expiry date because expired seats are not safe for you.

Unless your current car seat is still in great shape with years left before the expiry date of your car seat, as we told you before you can do many things with your expired seat, but the best option is to trade that seat to get a discount on the new seat.

This way you can get a fair deal on a new seat.

Bottom Line

Even through all manufactures write the expiration date on the car seat they are making many of our customers are still very shocked to know that these items have an expiration date.

This happens because most of the people associate the concept of expiration date with foods and other items that we consume.

But the truth is that when it comes to your safety and well-being, we are capable of doing everything that will keep you safe, including spending a good amount of money on a new car seat.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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