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Why Do Car Seats Expire?...

03 March 2015, 02:15 PM

Do car seats expire? Yes, they actually do. Car seats, however, won’t suddenly deform or damage like a cheese sandwich. It’s a gradual process, and expiration dates are usually mentioned by manufacturers on a label/sticker or molded on bottom of the seat. Paying attention to seats expiry dates is one of the important recommendations of a car maintenance guide or manual. The infants’ seats have more complicated design and last for 6-10 years, while the simple boosters have average lifespan of a decade. There are several reasons why car seats need to be replaced after a certain time.

Why do car seats expire? Read on to know.

Technology improvement and safety standards change

Car seats technology has evolved with time. Vehicles, now, come equipped with more secure and technically advanced seats. For example, most existing cars seats are installed with lower anchor and tethers for children (LATCH).  Today, almost all the cars get LATCH as a standard feature. To ensure that your car seats match the updated standards, check its expiration date. 

Materials wear down

Car seats’ fabric or leather may tear or develop hairline cracks over time. The elastic of seat belts may get lose after years of usage and manual instruction or important labels may fade away.

Not about an expensive car

If you have an expensive car, it doesn’t mean that its seats will last for longer or won’t tear easily.

Miscellaneous reasons

  • If seats are exposed to sunlight, they might get damaged or their plastic might weaken over time.
  • If materials like drinks, food or cleaners spilled or used on adjuster, webbing, buckles or any other part of seats, they might damage them.
  • Material or plastic might degrade.
  • Heavy-duty or rough use might cause wear and tear.


  • Expiry date labels may fade away, fall off or become hard to read.
  • Car guide manuals may have been lost.
  • Details or history of car seats could be hard to check, if the car would have been crashed or met with an accident before.
  • Safety regulations or technology may have changed, so cross check it and replace your car’s seats if required.
  • The subsequent owners might not receive expiry detail of car seats.

Experts recommend that expired seats should be destroyed rather than keeping or giving them to others for reuse. Borrowing or buying of used car seats is highly discouraged. Used seats might not be safe, and cause some serious injuries or accidents.

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