When Do Car Seats Expire?

When Do Car Seats Expire?

Yes, Car Seats Have Expiration Dates

It's not a myth, some urban legend parents swap tales of over coffee in the kitchen at playdates - the seat you have sitting in your car at this very moment will expire. You might be asking - why would a car seat expire? It's not a carton of milk or a can of soup - it shouldn't go bad, right? But just like that carton of milk, your car seat is only good up until a certain point.

Is my older seat safe to use?

It all depends on if it’s expired or not. Seats are only safety tested for the expected lifespan of the seat – once it’s past that date, there’s no guarantee the seat will function the same as it did for the rest of its lifespan. Once a seat hits its expiration date, it’s time to discard and purchase a new seat. Be sure to check the date before you install the seat!

What’s wrong with my older seat?

Repeated use: Your little one is, presumably, in and out of their car seat every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Over time the materials deteriorate, constant impact of heat, cold, sun, age, and just constant use can make seats unsafe to use.

Improved technology: Technology is always advancing, and safety standards are always changing. A seat that you purchased seven years ago only has the safety tech from that time and was tested for the standards of the time – we’re always learning more and more about how to better protect your little ones.

Discontinued: Once a product has been discontinued, it becomes more difficult to get replacement parts – companies won’t continue to manufacture replacement parts after a seat has been discontinued.

Invisible damage: Over time there might be missing or damaged parts that you can’t see with the naked eye – internal mechanisms that have broken or fallen off, but still impact the integrity of the seat.

Little girl helping her parent buckle her into car seatLittle girl helping her parent buckle her into car seat

When do car seats expire?

The specific expiration date of a car seat varies from car seat to car seat. Lifespan’s differ depending on numerous different things, but the expiration date is easy to find either on the car seat itself or in the manual. Maxi-Cosi expiration dates range from eight years to twelve years, depending on the product.

Maxi-Cosi Car Seat Lifespans

Mico 30 = 8 years

Mico Max 30 = 8 years

Mico Max Plus = 8 years

Pria 85 = 10 years

Pria 85 Max = 10 years

Magellan XP = 12 years

Magellan XP Max = 12 years

Pria 3-in-1 = 10 years

Pria 3-in-1 Max = 10 years

How do I know if my car seat has expired?

Most car seats have a sticker on either the back or bottom of the seat with the date of manufacture or expiration. Maxi-Cosi products have a sticker on the back of the seat with the date of manufacture on it – to find out when the seat expires, look in your manual for the lifespan of your seat.

What do I do with an expired car seat?

Dad placing infant car seat with baby in the carDad placing infant car seat with baby in the car
If you’re recycling your car seat by yourself, make sure that it cannot be used – ensure that someone can’t come along, pull the seat right out of the bin, and put a child at risk by using an expired car seat. When getting rid of your seat, remove the fabric from the plastic, cut the straps, and detach as many parts as possible – make the seat impossible to put back together again. If you don’t want to deal with removal yourself, some stores like Target have trade-in programs at specific times of the year, offering a discount on a new seat with the disposal of an old one. Depending on where you live there are recycling programs to help you dispose of your car seat properly. If you have to dump your expired car seat, don’t worry, there are other fish in the sea!
Check out our choosing a car seat guide to help figure out what your next seat should be.
Copyright © 2020 Maxi-Cosi