You might be hearing this for the first time or this come as a surprise that why do car seats expire. Like other appliances or food substances, there is also a car seat expiration date.
As soon as it reaches this stage, the surface will start to deteriorate while the seat belts might not perform as expected. Besides, you might notice some rusty parts on it as well.
But surely, you might still be wondering do this happen. Well, here we will reveal to you why do car seats expire and where to check the car expiration date.
Reasons for Expired Car Seats
Although government does not have any laws that ensure expiry dates on seats, car seat makers provide these details. Most times, they have a car seat expiry dates of at least six years placed on their surfaces.
Now the question comes – why do car seats expire? Well, the following issues are due to many reasons.
1. Worn Out Materials
A large number of car seats feature plastic shells. As the car seat expiration date approaches, the materials become weakened by heat. Hence, if you ever encounter accident on the way, this seat can cause extra harmful effect on the body.
Car seats also have metal parts that can become rusty. You might even find it hard to see this part as they feature in hidden sections of the seats. If you have a road collision, this type of seating will not perform well.
2. Changes in Technology
As expected, the car seat industry spends resources on offering the best form of protection for passengers. They even come with designs that provide various life-saving features.
But since it’s a growing industry, they have not yet come up with the ultimate car seat. In the end, the seating might not perform as much as expected.
3. Unavailable Replacement Parts
When a company stops producing a particular car seat model, getting the replacement components of this vehicle becomes a nightmare.
It’s common to hear people complain and search on why do car seats expire Reddit site. Surprisingly, the affected seat might have exceeded the expiry dates by a few months. But since the manufacturers have stopped making such items, the absence of replacement parts might result in customers dumping the products.
4. Car Companies Stop Testing Old Models
After the launch of a particular model, car seat makers might abandon any safety tests for that product. In the end, they might have less data about how this outdated seating might turn out, particularly in road accidents.
5. Recalled Seats
If you use an older car seat model, it might feature in a recall program. Since you didn’t return the product for any reason, this could present many problems.
What’s the Lifespan of a Car Seat?
As mentioned earlier, many components of a vehicle have lifespans. But how long does it take before a car seat expires. Most models last as long as six years, while others offer ten years of service. But initially, companies offered lifespans of between five to seven years.
Even if government agencies suggest a maximum shelf life of ten years, its common to see models that exceed this period, to have a correct idea of the lifespan, you will have to head to the side or bottom of the seat and check the label.
How Do I Know When the Car Seat Will Expire?
Booster and car seats have varying lifespans. But generally, most makers offers shelf lives of between 4 – 12 years from their production dates. To have a clear picture of the time frame, you will have to check the seat on your vehicle.
On the seat/booster, you should find an attached sticker. If you look closely, the label will display the date manufactured, which you can use to calculate the shell life. But if the seating does not have a label, check the manual of the vehicle.
Besides, some models have “DON’T USE AFTER” signs stamped on their plastic shells. But if you cannot find or read the data through any of the earlier mentioned methods, consider dumping after using a few years.
So is it possible to find when do Graco car seats expire on or any other type? If you have these questions, check the following guide for a detailed guide on how to find the expiry date on many car seats.
- Britax: To find when do Britax car seats expire or the lifespan, check the white label on the top of the seat. You might have to beneath the fabric padding to see this item.
- Chicco: Check the back of the car seat. You will find a white sticker on the surface.
- Cosco: This brand has its date printed on the plastic shell at the bottom of the seating. However, some variants of sports labels on their backs.
- Evenflo: You can find the date on white stickers placed on the bottom or back of the car seats.
- Graco: This brand places the date on stickers at the back or underneath the seats.
- Maxi-Cosi: Look for the maxi Cosi car seat expiration date on the plastic case placed under the seat of the vehicle. If you can’t find it, check the white sticker at the back of the chair.
- Peg Perego: Check for a white label underneath the car seat.
- Recaro: Find a white label close to or under the fabric padding. You can even check for the label on the side of the chair.
- Safety 1st: Check for the date at the plastic placed behind the seat.
What Are the Signs of An Unsafe Car Seat?
Even if a seat has not reached its expiry date, it might look worn out. For instance, if you expose it to harsh weather or regular accidents, it would not have a full lifespan.
So it’s advisable to check the car seat for signs of failure. If you don’t know what to look out for, check out the following tips.
- Rusted metal components of the car seat
- Worn or slacked seatbelts harnesses or straps.
- Cracks on the car seat
Sometimes, car seat makers request for the return of defective ones, especially before the end of their lives. If your seat meets the criteria for the recall, send it to the company for a better option.
What Can I Do to an Old Car or Booster Seat?
If you have a worn-out seat, take it out from the vehicle and dispose it. You could also use the repurpose of the item or donate it to charity.
You don’t need to ask do backless booster seats expire. When you see signs of wear, disconnect any accessories, and dump in the trash can.
Is it Legal to Use Worn out Car Seats?
Apart from offering inadequate protection in accidents, worn-out car seats can get you into trouble with the law. After all, several states have regulations that guard against the use of such items. However, such laws do not have a definite interpretation.
For instance, Virginia has such laws that come with “proper use” clauses. With this feature, it’s possible to argue that old car seating does not fulfill the requirements of the Department of Transportation Safety. In the end, offenders might have to pay a $50 fine.
However, there are no clear cut rules concerning the use of defective seats. If you want to have a proper idea of the regulations, confirm from the local police or Child Passenger Safety technician.
With the above mentioned reasons on why do car Seats expire, you don’t have to ponder on this issue again. Several factors, including age, absence of parts, and recalls, determine the expiry dates on the seats.
Most models last for four to ten years — however, it’s essential to check for defects, especially before the expiry date. If you find any, dispose of the unit. We believe with this article, you now know why do car seats expire and how you check its expiration date.