How Long are Britax Car Seats Good For? – Explained
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on How Long Britax Car Seats Are Good For
If you have a small child, chances are that you use a Britax car seat to secure them when driving. But many people aren’t sure of when exactly this brand’s car seats are due for a change. So we decided to do our little part and research them.
If you have clicktight convertible car seats, they should last for more than ten years with good maintenance. Infant car seat manufacturers always put a tag with the manufacture date and the expiry date on the car seat so you can easily check yours for this label.
Although an expired car seat does not mean it is now useless, it serves as a warning.
With a few factors, you can easily judge the condition of most car seats, especially Britax infant car seats.
We needed to make sure the information we received was authentic. For this, we went through the Britax consumer services department page and got the information. But if you have a different car seat brand, these guidelines will still help.
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What Does the Car Seat Expiration Date Mean?
Let’s get one thing clear:
The fact that your Britax car seat is expired doesn’t mean it’s condemned. When Britax car seats expire, it means that the seat cover and some materials have reached their optimum use time and may start to deteriorate.
Car seats are usable for six to eight, even ten years from the date of manufacture. This means that if you’ve just found out that your Britax car seat has expired, you still have a bit of time to get a new one before the fabrics wear out and the tech is obsolete.
However, the car seat expiration date is not a marketing technique. When a car seat expires, it means that you need a new one because the one you have is technologically out of date and lacks many of the features the new infant seats have.
Moreover, the material put into the manufacturing of a particular car seat starts to deteriorate and will no longer be able to sustain a severe crash putting your child’s safety in danger. Not only that, but with the life cycle testing, the seat may no longer meet the government regulations and standards, so you will need to change your older seats.
Additionally, infant car seat technology is progressing every day. In the last ten years, there have been updates to car seat technology that allow children to stay in them longer, higher comfort settings, discoveries in fabric usage, and much more.
To make sure that your child’s car seat has a long service life, buy the Britax car seats manufactured recently. Although there is no law against the use of an expired car seat, you still need to get a new car seat to not put your child’s life in danger in case of a moderate or severe crash.
Do All Britax Infant Car Seats Have the Same Expiration Periods?
No, not all Britax car seats have the same expiration periods. Most Britax convertible car seats can last around six to ten years, but older models may last for shorter periods. This also applies to non-convertible car seats which generally expire more quickly. For example, the Britax B-safe 35 expiration period is ten years after manufacture.
But newer models have more extended expiration periods. The Britax Boulevard Clicktight expiration is ten years after manufacture. Similarly, the Britax Marathon expiration period is also ten years long. The Britax Pioneer expiration is a bit of an exception but it does last between seven to nine years.
How Do You Know if Your Car Seat Is Expired?
The easiest way to know if your car seat is expired is by checking the car seat base. Just turn over your infant car seats and read the dates on the sticker. But let’s say that the expiry date of manufacture is yet to come, but you feel like your seat doesn’t meet standards. There are several situations where this can occur including:
Let’s say you bought a car seat three years ago. But when you go to the market, the seats there are more advanced than the one you have in your car. With all the advancement, the world requires you to meet up to the standards it sets with the passing days. Your car seat may still work great but if it lags behind others technologically, it may be time to get a newer model. Furthermore, sometimes brands correct faults seen in older models in newer ones. New legislation may also come into play in your state, which may require you to purchase a new car seat.
Material Deterioration or Broken Pieces
If your car seat is broken or damaged in some irreparable way, you definitely need a new one. But if none of the pieces is damaged, but the material looks quite old and isn’t in good shape, you have to carefully assess its viability. Are the belts worn and fraying? Is the fabric tearing? Do the latches still hold properly? When you’re belt-positioning booster seats, are the straps still sturdy?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, getting a replacement might be a good idea to ensure your child’s safety.
Life Cycle Test Requirements
When a seat is made the seats need to survive the life cycle test and meet the requirements. The authorities carry out this test every year to not just ensure the product’s safety but to ensure that its quality is consistent.
All car seats need to meet the criteria; if they fail, the manufacturers will publicly categorize them as expired car seats, even if they were brought to the market recently. So you need to register your seat to the manufacturer at the time of purchase to keep yourself aware of any news from them.
If you lost the label with the manufacture date by any chance, you could call the Britax Consumer Service Department (BCSD) to get all the details regarding your car seat.
Is There a Britax Car Seat Base Expiration Date?
Many of us buy car seat bases apart from the ones that come with the car seats. The reason might be different, but it serves the same purpose. The bases that come along with the car seat expire when the Britax car seat expires. As for the ones that you buy separately, they have their own expiration date. You can usually find it on the sticker or tag on the base.
To give you a general idea of the expiration date of car bases, the majority of the Britax car seat bases have a lifespan of around six years. But there are others too that have a long life of around nine to ten years. But, like the seats, the bases can also need replacement before reaching their expiration date because of the same factors that affect the seat.
What to Do When a Car Seat Expires?
Now that you know when a car seat expires, what happens when you’ve got an expired car seat on your hands? Can you keep it? Should you throw it away? And if you do throw it away, what’s the best way to dispose of it?
There are some options you can consider while disposing of a used car seat. Here are some ways you can get rid of an old car seat.
Hand It Over to Child Passenger Safety Technicians
Let’s say you have a car seat that is past its expiration date. It still has a usable life but you do not trust it to protect your child. You don’t want to throw it in the bin, nor can you keep it for your other children. In such cases, you can hand it over to the Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPTs). These technicians are experts in child seats and can use the seats that have reached their expiration date.
There are many ways they can use them. They might give it to the manufacturers that will crush down the seats and use it in the industry for several purposes. They can also use them for training purposes.
Many people join the Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPTs) team every year. The team needs a lot of equipment to train these people. So the car seats you give to these technicians will be used for such purposes and will not go to waste.
Dumping the Seats in the Bin
In some cases, the seats expire and are not in good enough condition to give them to the Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPTs); what will you do with the seat then? You’ll probably throw it in the bin. But what if someone takes it out and sells it further? Or it somehow gets separated and reused? A child’s life can be at risk. So how can you throw the seat in the bin in a way no one can use or sell it?
The answer is pretty simple. You need to be a tad harsh with the seat. All you need is a knife or scissors and a permanent marker. Start by cutting all the webbing, and then on your car seat shell, write in bold letters that the seat is not suitable for use or just write that it is an expired seat. There you go; your seat can now be safely thrown away.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know if my Britax car seat is expired?
You can check the Britax car seat expiration on the label under the seat cover. This will only tell you about the manufacturer’s guidelines, but you need to consider the other factors that can lead to the car seat expiration.
How long is a Britax marathon car seat good for?
A Britax marathon car seat is good for around six to ten years, and this period is from the date of manufacture and not the date on which you bought the car seat. So make sure to check the manufacture date and not the date on your bill.
Can you use a baby car seat after five years?
Whether you can use a baby car seat after five years varies from brand to brand, therefore you need to check the details of the brand you intend to buy. But generally speaking, you can use a baby car seat after five years. However, you should take a careful look at the manufacturing date to ensure that the car seat was made fairly recently. This way, you can be sure that the car seat is still safe.
Why do car seats expire after five years?
Very few car seats expire after five years. The majority of baby car seats expire after six to ten years because of several reasons. These include material deterioration, technological advancement, and changes in life cycle test requirements.
Now you know exactly how long Britax car seats are good for. More than that, you also now know some criteria for determining your car seat’s serviceability and when you need to change it regardless of the expiry date. You also now know how to properly dispose of a car seat or give it away to those who can better use it.
When it comes to children, you need to take all the safety measures so your child or children are as safe as possible. Seat belts can save one from damage in a crash by up to 50%. But Britax car seats provide safety up to 54%. So make sure to keep a check on the expiration date and make the necessary changes or adjustments in time.
Last Updated on March 26, 2023 by Danny Reid