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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up my EX-L yesterday (celebratory post will appear in 2002 forum tonight) and ran into a problem. I doubt this is because of the ODY but maybe one of you good people can help.

I took my Britax Freeway (I think - toddler seat) out of the old car and tried to install it in the van and the clip wouldn't grip the seatbelt. I tried a dozen times and no luck. Then I went to the other side and had the same thing happen. THEN...I tried to put it back in car #1 and the same thing happened! Now I'm pretty good at this car seat thing having done it a 3-4 times on a pair of infant and now toddler seats. 3-4 times is not often enough that it should wear out the clips but it is often enough that I know what I'm doing.

Could the seat belts be slippery?

I ended up installing the car seat in the middle of the 3rd row of the van using the lap belt and leaving the 2nd toddler seat in car #1 for fear that the same thing would happen.

Ideas/thoughts/advice/sympathy/scorn???

Thanks,
Dave
 

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Are you referring to the built-in seatbelt locking clips?

If so, they don't have to grip and hold perfectly. Their function is to keep the seat from slipping around and getting loose in every day driving. Under force, they will break or slip. In a crash, it is the retractor system in the seatbelt that hold the carseat. The only job of the locking clip (built-in or separate) is to keep things fairly tight before a crash.

Anyway, in the case of the Odyssey, you also have switchable locking retractor seatbelts. Pull the belt all the way out, then force it into the retractor as you put your weight on the carseat to lock it in place.

For more tips, see:

http://www.car-safety.org/odyssey.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, thank you! Our '89 Volvo doesn't have locking retractor belts so it wouldn't have occurred to me to try that. I still don't understand why the clips don't work but I suppose I don't really need to. Except - if I need to move the seats into another car I need to be able to attach them. I'll spend some time on that site looking for some ideas and post back if I come up empty.

Thanks again!
Dave
 

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Gettin (or is it got?) A Van -

If the Car #1 you refer to is your Volvo and it doesn't have locking seat belts, then you will need to use one of those metal clips that came with the car seat to secure the seat belt in the Volvo and make it tight, not the little plastic clip mounted on the side of the car seat. As Caviller says the plastic clip is just for positioning, but will not prevent the seat belt from extending in the event of an accident.

Please ignore the above if I read your first post incorrectly...

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Richard
2002 Granite Green EX-L
Splash Guards, Cargo Tray, Weathertech Mats
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Richard, I had a State Trooper who specializes in car-seat safety install the Britax in my Volvo and he said the seats were secure. The belts lock during a crash (or turn or when slowing for a light etc.)

Thanks
(oops - I forgot to sign-in under my new name, dmax)

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Dave

[This message has been edited by Gettin'AVan (edited 12-17-2001).]
 

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I stand corrected then
. I'm obviously not thinking of the same thing. I'm sure the State Trooper knew what he was doing.

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Richard
2002 Granite Green EX-L
Splash Guards, Cargo Tray, Weathertech Mats
 

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I may be overprotective, but if the belts in any car do not lock like the Ody's, I use Locking Clips - even in my Dad's Volvo. I find it's much better to be safe. Sometimes, for added stability, I would add one on both sides of the seat. It always makes me nervous when I am in a car with a child safety seat that is loose in any way. Can't hurt, either... P.S., my friend was told by a fireman who said he knew a lot about safety seats that it is preferable to have children above age four wear only a lap belt without any booster, since the shoulder strap could damage their necks by cutting into it on the side. Huh? So she actually does this with her five year old! I say, better secure and safe than sorry. (I am sure your State Trooper has much more expertise than this fireman, but what if something happened and the belts failed?)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by caviller:
The only job of the locking clip (built-in or separate) is to keep things fairly tight before a crash.
</font>
Caviller, so there's maybe a little intricacy of car seat crash dynamics that I didn't understand before very well...

In regards to the metal locking clips intended for use with car seat installations in cars with no ratcheting seat belt mechanism....

Based on what you describle, if you use a locking clip to get the seat really tight... in a crash, the clip yields and you will lose all that preload during the crash. That means the car seat will move a little bit due to the added slack that comes from when the clip releases, and before the seat belt lock catches. This is especially true if the locking clip is placed far away from the buckle.... Is this analysis correct?

The implication is that in cars equiped with ratcheting seat belts, it's better to use the ratchet mode alone, even if your seat tilts a little (less that 20% of the carseat's base lifts off the seat). Using a locking clip only ADDS slack in this setup, relative to using just the ratchet mode.

Then with a latch system, you do not get this added slack/motion, only belt stretch, etc... and that is probably the best case...

I just want to make this very clear, because I know many people use the clips even though they have ratcheting belts, because they can get a "tighter" fit. But in a crash, they will do the opposite IN THIS SPECIFIC CASE because the clips pretty much always slip and/or break.

Just wanted to know. I have a locking clip in my Accord seat install AND I use the ratchet mode too, so the seat doesn't tilt and it FEELS nice and tight. If my above analysis is correct, I'm gonna take out the locking clip and cinch up the ratcheted belt more (as tight as possible), even if the seat tilts a little...


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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)

[This message has been edited by shindog (edited 12-17-2001).]
 

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Shindog-

Indeed, the standard metal locking clips are to be used on lap&shoulder seatbelt systems that slide freely at the latchplate (the part that goes into the buckle) and DO NOT have a switchable retractor mode.

As you said, these metal clips will not withstand crash forces, and will bend or break in a severe crash.

For the reasons you mention, these locking clips MUST be used on the side of the carseat near the buckle, preferably within an inch of the buckle. Used properly with a tight installation, very little slack will be introduced in a crash. Used on the wrong side of the carset, it is very dangerous. not only will the forces pulling the lap/shoulder sections be greater, but if the clip does brake it will be a dangerous flying object, and there will be significant slack introduced in the seatbelt leaving less margin of safety for the carseat passenger.

It is recommended that you use the locking retractor mode in place of a locking clip. In fact, some vehicle owner's manuals specifically mention this. If the seat tilts so far that less than 80% of the base of the seat is no longer in contact with the vehicle seat, then a locking clip may be needed.

Here are a couple great links on locking clip usage:

http://www.geocities.com/carseatinfo/lockingclips.htm

http://matlock.metatechnics.com/CPSafety/beltlocking.htm


Moonatics-

Using a lap belt only is definitely not a good idea. Lap-belt syndrome is well known in hospitals as a cause of severe abdominal and spinal injury. A properly fitted seatbelt (with or without booster) will NOT ride on the neck or tummy. The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and the lap belt on the thighs or hips.

See also:

http://www.carseat.org/Resources/boosters.htm



[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 12-18-2001).]
 

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Caviller,
Thanks for the clarification. I continue to learn from you and others about car safety issues. Appreciate it!


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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 
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I've always been under the impression that you have to use a clip on a three point belt. I have since taken the clip off my brother's Futura (5 pt) and got it very tight with nothing but the locked seat belt.

Did I install it right? (it doesn't move more than 1" in any direction).

Michelle

[This message has been edited by poodleluvr (edited 12-18-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by poodleluvr:
I've always been under the impression that you have to use a clip on a three point belt. I have since taken the clip off my brother's Futura (5 pt) and got it very tight with nothing but the locked seat belt.

Did I install it right? (it doesn't move more than 1" in any direction).

Michelle

[This message has been edited by poodleluvr (edited 12-18-2001).]
</font>

Sounds like you got it right. With the seatbelt locked, there is no need for a locking clip. A locking clip is only needed on 3-point belts with an automatic locking retractor (activates only in crash), and have a seatbelt that slides freely at the latchplate.
 
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Good. It's also easier to switch them around this way, and I have to switch out the Futuras (we have 3) at least twice a week. My step dad forgets to put a pull up on my brother or take him to the bathroom so car seats always come home soaked. And I have to deal with it.


Off to go deal with another wet car seat...

Michelle

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"Isn't it fustrating how mechanical items will suddenly work when you're trying to prove they're broken?"
 
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