Crooked Car Seat with Seat Belt Install

Allie's Mom

New member
We have a True Fit Premier C670 convertible car seat for my 9 mo old DD. My car (a Nissan Altima) has latch on the outside seats, but the manual says to not use the latch when installing in the middle seat. So, we installed with the seat belt, which has both the lap and shoulder portion. However, the car seat seems to be pulled up on the side that has the shoulder belt, and we are not sure how to fix it. Its otherwise tight and doesn't move more than an inch at the insertion point, but she looks crooked, so that can't be right (or safe). What are your thoughts?
 
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Judi

CPST/Firefighter
Make sure to pull from the latch plate side to tighten.

You need to use both lock offs.

You don't even need to lock you seat belt.

I gotta say though, good job knowing that you can't use latch in the center!
 

hrice

New member
I gotta say though, good job knowing that you can't use latch in the center!

:yeahthatlove:

And for reading your manual. That is awesome.

Since you are using the lock offs (and are required to do so) there is no need to lock the seat belt. If you leave the seat belt unlocked that will eliminate your tilt propblem. It is from the shoulder belt pulling up on the seat in locked mode.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
I agree with the others.

In addition, it's only unsafe if she's tipped more than 20 degrees. Otherwise it's safe, though it'll annoy you guys. :)

Wendy
 

owensmum

New member
Judi said:
Make sure to pull from the latch plate side to tighten.

You need to use both lock offs.

You don't even need to lock you seat belt.

I'm having a similar problem as the OP, and want to be sure I understand this correctly. I have a True Fit installed FF in the middle seat in a 2009 Chevy Silverado, and between the shoulder belt and the top tether (it goes through a loop behind the seat and is attached to the outboard loop), it definitely sits at a bit of an angle. I'm sure it's not more than the 20 degrees PP mentioned, but it still bugs DH (it's in his vehicle; the same seat in my car seems much more straight).

Anyway, since this seat has belt lock offs on the seat (those are the locks underneath the padding that clamp the seatbelt in place, correct?) does that mean we don't need to also pull the seatbelt all the way out to lock it?
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Right. In fact, The First Years would prefer you didn't lock the belt, if I recall correctly. I never did, when I was using the seatbelt to install. Locking it is what the lockoffs do.

Wendy
 

Judi

CPST/Firefighter
It also sounds like you may be over tightening the tether. Just take the slack out of the tether. It doesn't have to be a guitar string.
 

Pixels

New member
I agree with the others.

In addition, it's only unsafe if she's tipped more than 20 degrees. Otherwise it's safe, though it'll annoy you guys. :)

Wendy

Source for the 20 degrees? I've seen you say it, but I've never seen it anywhere else. In fact, it is contrary to what most seat manufacturers say (base of seat must remain in contact with vehicle seat).
 
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wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Source for the 20 degrees? I've seen you say it, but I've never seen it anywhere else. In fact, it is contrary to what most seat manufacturers say (base of seat must remain in contact with vehicle seat).

I've had seats tipped and the base in contact. Piper's was like that for years.

Anyway, it's on page 44 of the 2011 LATCH manual.

Off-center TAs

Some anchors are placed slightly off-center rather than squarely behind the seating position because of other equipment (speakers, brake light) in the area. The federal standard allows for TAs to be up to 20 degrees off-center from the middle of the CR.

2195533478_2fd23cf44f_z.jpg


All of those were installed with the bases flat on the seat. In fact, sometimes, due to the shape of the seat, it's the cause of the tipping.

Wendy
 

Pixels

New member
The tether anchor may be at an angle of up to 20 degrees from the center of the seating position. That has absolutely nothing to do with a child restraint that is tilting due to a crooked installation.

Yes, a seat can be crooked and still have the base in contact. My point is that the guideline the manufacturers use is whether or not the base is in contact, not some certain number of degrees. The amount that a seat can be tilted and still have base in contact will vary based on installation tightness, vehicle seat characteristics, and even the individual child restraint being installed.
 

owensmum

New member
Ah, OK, thanks! I hadn't read anything about them preferring that you not lock the belt. Maybe I missed that in the manual?

Judi said:
It also sounds like you may be over tightening the tether. Just take the slack out of the tether. It doesn't have to be a guitar string.

This is also something I wasn't aware of. We've always tried to get it as tight as possible. Good to know.
 

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