Do Car Seat Bases Expire? Does It Matter?

Do Car Seat Bases Expire

Most parents generally know that their baby’s stroller and car seat has an expiration date, but may not be aware that the car seat base may expire as well. Undoubtedly, the car seat itself is already a huge investment so we often wonder if we can reuse the car seat base. If you’re wondering, “do baby car seat bases expire?” here’s the short answer first before we go into more detail below.

Do Car Seat Bases expire? Yes, Car Seat Bases do expire. If you buy both the baby car seats and the car seat bases together, then the car seat bases expire at the same time as the car seats. However, if you buy the car seat bases separately, then there should be a product info section attached that tells you the expiration date. Both the car seat bases and the car seats should be replaced if the vehicle has been involved in an accident.

In this guide, we’ll discuss why car seat bases expire. Since there are several different brands of car seat bases on the market today, we’ll also go over where you can find the expiration date on that specific brand. 

Do Car Seat Bases have expiration dates?

Yes, Car Seat Bases do have an expiration date. In fact, if you purchase both the car seat bases and the car seats together, then the expiration date for the car seat bases is the same as the car seats.

Regardless, we highly recommend that you still take a look at the expiration date on the car seat bases themselves since they could’ve been made at a different time than the car seats. The expiration date label can usually be found on the bottom of the car seat bases. 

This expiration date label is especially helpful if you happen to buy the car seat bases separately from the car seats. 

How long are Car Seat Bases good for?

Car Seat Bases are usually good for 6 years from the date of manufacture, however, some car seat bases brands are usually good for up to 7 years from the date of manufacture. 

How long does a Car Seat Base last? While most Car Seat Bases last for up to 6 or 7 years, we highly recommend that you take a look at the expiration label for your specific car seat bases brand. 

Why do Car Seat Bases expire?

Car Seat Bases expire for the same reasons that car seats expire – safety and their performance over time due to everyday wear and tear. 

Here are some factors that can cause the car seat bases to expire:

Car Seat Bases can deteriorate due to normal wear and tear

With time and after continuous use, the quality of the car seat bases will deteriorate. The car seat bases are usually made of plastic and over time, they will degrade and become weak. When this happens, the weak car seat bases will affect your baby’s safety.

Constant temperature change can affect Car Seat Bases

Some parents may choose to leave the car seat base buckled inside the car 24/7. During the summer months, when it can get up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit depending on where you live, your parked car can reach up to 138 degrees Fahrenheit! That is very hot. 

This heat can actually affect the plastic material used to make your car seat bases and further cause it to degrade. When the temperature changes between hot and cold from the summer and winter seasons, it can also affect the integrity of the plastic.

Frequent updates in safety requirements of Car Seat Bases

Car seat manufacturers are constantly updating their safety features to keep up with the latest rules and regulations. Therefore, your nearest store may no longer sell the older models of car seats and bases since they’ve become outdated. 

You can still use the older model of car seats and bases if they haven’t expired yet, but keep in mind that if you need to replace either the car seats or the car seat bases, that might not be possible since the older version may not be available.  

Before buying the car seat bases and the car seats for your infant, make sure you’re buying the latest model so that your precious baby is safe and secure. 

Regular changes in regulations

Lastly, the National highway traffic safety administration (NHTSA) along with the state government regularly updates the safety rules and regulations for car seat use. As a result, manufacturers must stay up-to-date and produce car seats and car seat bases that meet the requirements and regulations.

Keep track of infant Car Seat Base expiration date

Keeping track of the car seat base expiration date will help parents ensure their infants are safe when they are driving. The good news is that the most up-to-date car seat and base will offer your infant maximum protection which gives you peace of mind and allow you to focus on the road.

Each car seat base has an expiration date so be sure to check the date first before buying the product. Generally, car seat bases have a life of six years, but it also depends on the specific brand you have and the quality of the product.

Do Chicco Car Seat Bases expire?

Yes, Chicco car seat bases do expire. If you bought both the Chicco car seat bases and the Chicco car seat at the same time, then they will both expire at the same time. Chicco car seat bases usually expire 6 years after the manufacturing date.  

Simply look at the bottom of the Chicco car seat bases and you’ll find a white sticker label with the expiration date. There should also be a white expiration date label on the bottom of the Chicco car seat. You’ll want to check both the car seat and base since they may sometimes have different expiration dates. 

Chicco baby car seats are typically safe for infants who are 30 inches in height or less or up to 30 pounds in weight (whichever comes first).  As your baby grows to more than 30 inches or more than 30 pounds, he or she will no longer need the car seat base anymore. Your infant is ready to be in a larger seat. 

Be sure to register your Chicco car seat so that you stay up to date with the latest information and check for any recalls. 

Do Britax Car Seat Bases expire?

Yes, Britax Car Seat Bases do expire. Similar to the Chicco brand, if you purchased both the Britax car seat base and the Britax car seat together, then they both expire at the same time. You can expect the expiration date to be 6 years after the manufacturing date. 

It’s very easy to find the expiration date for your specific Britax model. Simply look at the white sticker expiration label located on the top back of your Britax car seat base. The expiration label could also be under the fabric if you don’t see it on the top back. 

Britax car seat bases are great for infants that are 32 inches or less and up to 35 pounds. To stay updated with the latest safety rules and regulations, you may want to register your Britax car seat.  

Do Graco Car Seat Bases expire?

Yes, Graco Car Seat Bases do expire. How long are Graco Car Seat Bases good for? Compared to other car seat bases brands, Graco car seat bases along with the car seat have the longest life – 7 or up to 10 years after the date of manufacture. 

So, when do Graco Car Seat Bases expire?

Graco car seat bases come with two types of reinformed belt paths that affect their expiration date. Some are plastic while others are steel. 

If you have a plastic-reinforced belt path, you can use both the Graco car seat base and the car seat for up to 7 years before having to replace them both. 

For parents who have the steel-reinforced belt path, you can use both the Graco car seat base and the car seat for up to 10 years. 

As usual, it’s best to double-check the expiration date by taking a look at the bottom of the car seat base. There should be a stamp with the “do not use after” date and next to it should be the manufacture date sticker label. 

 If you’re not able to find the expiration date there, the second-best option would be to take a look at the manual to find the Graco car seat base expiration date. 

The Graco car seat bases are perfect for babies who are 32 inches tall or less or up to 35 pounds. Be sure to register your Graco car seat to receive the latest updates. 

Does a Car Seat require a Base?

If you have an infant, you’ll need to get a car seat with a car seat base for your baby’s safety and comfort. So the rule of thumb here is that the infant car seat requires a car seat base. 

The car seat base is belted into the seat of the car with a locking clip or attached to the LATCH system. You can then place the baby car seat on top and click the car seat into the car seat base. The baby car seat is known as a bucket seat which can also act as a carrier. 

After several months or when your baby outgrows the infant car seat, you can remove both the car seat base and the car seat. In replace of that, many parents will choose to get an all-in-one or a convertible that buckles directly to the car itself and doesn’t require you to take it in or out as often as the infant car seat.  

In most cases and depending on the brand, parents can install the baby car seat without the car seat base by directly seatbelting the baby car seat to the car. 

Installing a Car Seat without the Car Seat Base

In most cases, you may not need to use a car seat base. The infant seat can be installed simply by using the car’s seat belt. In the US, baby car seats are manufactured with a belt path on the bottom. This allows parents to thread the car’s seat belt through. 

Since the infant seat needs to be buckled into the back seat of the car, you’ll want to make sure that the seat is stable. If the back seat of your car isn’t stable and can easily flap down, it can affect the infant seat. The seatbelt should be tight and sturdy to prevent the infant seat from moving side to side or back and forth.     

We highly recommend that you take a look at the instruction manual of your specific infant seat brand for more information.

What to do with expired Car Seat Bases?

Fortunately, many popular retailers like Target or Walmart will organize a car seat trade-in event that takes place one month of the year. During this time, you can trade in your old car seats and get a 20% off coupon that you can use for a new car seat, Car Seat Bases, strollers, and other baby gears.  

If during this event you’re not able to trade in your Car Seat Base, don’t worry. You can easily recycle the expired Car Seat Base since it is recyclable. Every state has its own recycling rules and instructions so check here to find out what you need to do depending on where you live before recycling your car seats and Car Seat Bases.

Do Car Seat Bases need to be replaced after a car accident?

Yes, if you were involved in a car accident and you had the Car Seat Base in your car, you’ll need to replace it. 

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highly recommends that parents replace both the Car Seat Base and the car seat after a moderate crash. Many manufacturers are more strict and advise that parents buy a new Car Seat Base after even a minor crash. 

It’s a good idea to contact the company of your specific Car Seat Base brand if you’re not sure whether or not to replace it after an accident. Alternatively, you can also take a look at the manual that came with your Car Seat Base and car seat.

After the car accident, you can also expect that your insurance agency will get involved. They can also inspect the car seat and Car Seat Base at the back of your car and give you advice and suggestions.  

Are all Car Seat Bases the same?

No, not all Car Seat Bases are the same. While many Car Seat Bases may look similar at first glance, there are a few details and specifications that aren’t easily recognizable initially. 

Depending on the specific brand you have and the manufacturer, you may not be able to use one brand’s car seat for another brand’s Car Seat Base. Before you do so, we highly recommend that you check with the company to make sure you can use different brands together.  

Importance of Car Seats

The car seat provides your baby with maximum protection while in your car. One of the leading causes of injury and death in infants and children is car accidents so it is required by law in the United States to have a car seat and Car Seat Base in your vehicle if your infant is inside.

Your child’s safety depends on the car seat and the Car Seat Base so it’s important to consider a car seat and base based on its quality.  The best car seat for your infant is one that fits the size and weight of your infant. Additionally, it should be comfortable for your baby. 

Here are some things to consider before buying a car seat and base for your baby:

  • Pick a car seat that meets or exceeds the safety standards.
  • It’s best that you learn how to install both the car seat and base before putting your precious infant in the seat. (Refer to the video above)
  • To double-check that you have properly installed both the car seat and base, you can visit your nearest inspection station. 
  • You can also ask the authorities to give you a helping hand, such as law enforcement, hospitals, health departments, fire departments, or a reputable safety group. 
  • Try not to use expired car seats or Car Seat Bases; it’s best to invest in a brand new one for your infant’s safety.

So, do Car Seat Bases expire?

As we can see, Car Seat Bases do expire. Depending on the specific brand you choose, it affects how long the Car Seat and Base will last. If there’s a car accident, always make sure to replace both the Car Seat and Car Seat Bases for your child’s safety and protection. 

If you still have questions or have specific questions, we highly recommend that you contact your brand’s company or manufacturer and gather all the important information on the product. Your child’s safety comes first and is the most important thing so don’t hesitate to take additional steps.