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  1. #1
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    Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    Help! I just bought a Britax Marathon and I'm totally confused about the warning in the "lap-belt installation" section of the manual: "Do not use this seat using a non-locking two-point ELR vehicle belt". Despite googling this for an hour, I still can't figure out what a "non-locking two-point ELR vehicle belt" is.

    I have a 1993 VW Golf, and the back seat middle position has the kind of lap-only belt that is slack when not in use (not the kind that retracts). Can I use this, or do I need to put the seat on one of the sides? I need to install rear-facing.

    Thanks to anyone who can shed some light!

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  3. #2
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    You do have a locking lapbelt--the latchplate itself locks in your car.
    It looks like this, correct?
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/inju...a/backlock.jpg

    As long as the tail and main belt run at less than 30 degrees to one another in and out, it should remain tight and locked. If you find that it's pulling loose or you can't get the tail and belt near flush, flip the male portion of the belt over (180 degrees) and you'll then have a negative angle. It'll be locked at that point.

    I believe that warning is in the manual because that specific (generally older) type of belt isn't compatible with the built-in lockoffs on the seat... But if you're confused, don't worry. You're fine using that centre seating position--just follow the directions in the above paragraph.

    -Nicole (in shock that someone read the manual that well..)

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
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  4. #3
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    An ELR lapbelt doesn't have a tail, it has a retractor. You pull it out and it does not lock (not a switchable retractor, ELR only.) If yours has a tail it is not ELR, by definition, because it does not have an emergency locking retractor, it has no retractor.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  5. #4
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    So, what kind of cars have lap belts like that? I have never seen one IRL...
    American mom in canada with 2 dds in MAs, one RF, one FF

  6. #5
    Moderator - CPST Instructor
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    In a '93, I would think that it has either a locking retractor or a lock latchplate (like the kind that Nicole/QuassEE linked). Either mechanism would do for installing carseat.

    If your seatbelt only has the retractor that only locks when you jerk it fast (ie. emergency locking retractor/ELR) AND the latchplate is sewn in (you can tell by the stitching to 'fix' the latchplate in place and it cannot move along the seatbelt webbing), then you cannot install carseat there w/o the aid of the Belt-Shortening clip. This is rare and only in certain types of older (older as in 70s-80s) vehicles.

    My '92 Honda Accord has a locking latchplate and ELR and I do install my Britax seats there w/o problem.
    Tam
    Certified Canadian CRS Technician-Instructor

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  7. #6
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    I actually knew off the top of my head what it had

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

  8. #7
    Moderator - CPST Instructor
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    Quote Originally Posted by QuassEE View Post
    I actually knew off the top of my head what it had
    I figured from your first post But I thought to practice what I learned from my last instruction on seatbelt and latch plate. What do you think?
    Tam
    Certified Canadian CRS Technician-Instructor

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  9. #8
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    Thank you so much for your responses!! Just installed it and my little guy loves his new ride

  10. #9
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    Quote Originally Posted by tcottawa View Post
    So, what kind of cars have lap belts like that? I have never seen one IRL...
    Really old ones.

    Sorry, I'm not sure off the top of my head of what vehicles came with lap only belts which had fixed/sewn on latch plate and only an ELR. Most of the time, when you come across a lap only belt on a retractor it's either an ALR or an ELR/ALR, but some of the older vehicles only had ELR lapbelts. I've never actually seen one myself.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
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    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  11. #10
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    Oops - one more question: should I be using the tether in the rear facing position? My Golf is one of the models with that bar that runs across the top of the trunk - will that work with the Marathon tether system? BTW - I am having the installation checked in a couple of weeks at a BCAA/ICBC clinic.

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Can I use my middle lap-only belt??

    That's a whole can o' worms there...

    You may want to read up on some of the debate that surrounds rear-facing tethering, and make up your own mind. Some people choose to do it, others choose not to. Absorb what you can, and ask any questions you may have about the information at that point.

    BTW, I'm in Delta if you would prefer not to wait for your local BCAA check event.

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

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