Frequently Asked Questions

We know the details can be hard. When it comes to the safety of your child, we want you to feel confident that you’ve got it all down right to the smallest detail. Car seats and strollers can be overwhelming, we get that, so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you don’t see your question below, or the words just aren’t clicking in this moment, we have videos walking through different steps and parts of our products here. We’re available to answer any specific questions by chat on MaxiCosi.com, text 812-652-2525, email support@djgusa.com, or call 888-521-6550.

Infant and Convertible Car Seats

Installation

Troubleshooting

Products

Infant and Convertible Car Seats

Installation

How do I know if the car seat is installed securely?

Carefully read and follow your car seat’s instruction manual and the vehicle’s owner manual for proper installation, and then test for tightness. With your weakest hand at the belt path, tilt and push the car seat forward and back and from side to side. Some "play" from front to back or about an inch from side to side is acceptable. The vehicle belt or LATCH belt used to secure the car seat should not loosen during this test. Get your seat checked over by a CPST in your area to confirm it is installed properly.

What is the LATCH system?

LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a universal system for installing car seats without using vehicle seat belts or extra parts (such as a locking clip). The LATCH system can only be used in vehicles that have the LATCH anchor bars installed and designated LATCH seating positions. Most vehicles manufactured after September 2002 are equipped with LATCH. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to see which seating positions are with the LATCH system.

How do I use the LATCH system?

The LATCH system can only be used in vehicles that already have the anchor bars installed in the vehicle seat bight. These anchor bars cannot be retrofitted into the vehicle. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to see which seating positions may be equipped with the LATCH system. The car seat is used with the LATCH system the same way as it is with the vehicle seat belt. The LATCH system does not, for example, allow an infant to be placed rear-facing in the front passenger seat with an active airbag. Please refer to your instruction manual for specific installation instructions.

Can I install my car seat with my vehicle seat belts?

All our seats can be installed with LATCH or with your vehicle’s seat belts. However, your child restraint must be tightly locked in place at all times. To determine if your vehicle’s belts are compatible with your car seat, check your vehicle owner’s manual section on vehicle seat belt use with child restraints.

How do I install my car seat with my vehicle’s seat belts?

To connect with vehicle belts, thread the vehicle belt through the belt path at the foot of the seat. If the vehicle lap and shoulder belts are attached, thread both through the belt path. Buckle the vehicle belt and adjust as tightly as possible by pushing down firmly on the seat while pulling up on the shoulder belt until the lap belt is tight. It is not necessary to make the seat completely immobile, but it should not move more than an inch or two from side to side.

Is it safer to use both the vehicle seat belt and the lower anchors to install my car seat?

Do not use both the LATCH belt and vehicle belt at the same time, with any Maxi-Cosi car seat. This changes the performance of a car seat and may be dangerous. Use one method or the other.

Do I have to use a base with my infant car seat?

A base is an accessory item and does not have to be used to install your infant car seat. In certain situations, you get a better fit without the base. For example, if your vehicle seats are very narrow or if you are using the seat for airline travel, you may find that you get a more secure fit by installing the seat without the base.

How do I install my seat for use on an airplane?

The car seat should be installed in the aircraft seat in the same way that it is installed in the vehicle with a lap belt. Use on forward-facing aircraft seats only and in a position where the lap belt can be tightened securely. It is always advisable to contact the airline prior to taking a car seat on board.

How long should my child remain rear facing?

Car seat regulations very from state to state – some even have specific laws regarding how long your child must stay rear-facing. Before making the switch, consult your local laws and talk to your pediatrician if it’s time to make the move from rear-facing to forward-facing.

Where is the safest place for my car seat?

The safest place for your car seat varies depending on your vehicle and the model of car seat. Verify with both your vehicle manual and your car seat manual.

What position does the infant car seat handle need to be in during travel?

Any locked position may be used during travel.

What is a tether and how should it be used?

The tether is a strap that originates from the upper back of a car seat and attaches to the tether anchors in your vehicle. The tether can greatly improve the performance of a forward-facing car seat and is only used for the forward-facing toddler position. We strongly recommend that you use the tether in the forward-facing position, whether you have installed your car seat with LATCH or with the vehicle seat belts.

How is the tether installed in my vehicle?

Vehicles manufactured after 1989 have pre-drilled holes but need to have the anchor hardware installed. Most vehicles after 9/1/99 have the anchor hardware already installed. Loosely attach the tether to the designated vehicle anchor (Consult vehicle’s owner manual for specific location) before threading the vehicle belt through the belt path on the child restraint. After installing your car seat securely, pull tether strap tight so there is no slack.

How should I tighten the harnesses?

Grasp the harnesses at the shoulders and pull upwards first. This ensures that the lower part of the harness is snug. Then, using the adjuster that comes with your car seat, remove all slack until the entire harness is snug.

How should I adjust the crotch strap on my car seat?

Check the instructions for your specific car seat to determine which adjustment positions are appropriate for rear-facing and forward-facing use. In general, thread the crotch strap through the slot closest to your child’s body, but not underneath your child. Check your instruction manual, as some models may use only the rear two slots for rear-facing infant mode.

At what level should the harness straps be for my child?

For an infant who is rear-facing, the harness straps should be even with or just below the baby’s shoulders. If the harness is above the baby’s shoulders with the straps in the lowest position, do not use the car seat until the baby grows into it. For a child who is in the forward-facing position, the straps must be even with or just above the child’s shoulders.

Can my car seat be in the reclined position when it’s installed forward facing?

Check the instructions that came with your convertible, forward-facing, or booster car seat. Every seat is different. You can find instructions for your specific seat here.

What is the proper recline angle for my rear-facing child?

When your car seat is installed in your vehicle and your child is secured in the car seat, the level lines on side of plastic shell must be level with the ground. Our testing has shown that the resulting angle leads to the best crash test performance, even for older and larger children, for car seats that have level line indicators.

How can I achieve the proper recline angle for my rear-facing child?

We work to ensure that our built-in recline adjustments accommodate common vehicle models as much as possible. If your vehicle seat is deeply sloped, you may need to place a rolled towel or foam noodle on the vehicle seat, where the vehicle seat cushion meets the vehicle seat back, so that the level line on the side of shell is level to the ground. For deeply sloped vehicle seats, this solution is common to most car seats on the market and is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Check often to be sure padding is still in place and the vehicle belt is tight.

Troubleshooting

How do I clean my car seat?

In an effort to save you time and effort, Maxi-Cosi fabrics are all machine washable and dryer safe. Wipe plastic, vinyl, and metal parts with a damp sponge or cloth. The harness system should be cleaned with mild soap and water. Wipe the outside of the buckle with a damp cloth. Do not lubricate the buckle or immerse in water. Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals on your car seat and do not dry clean. Use of cleaning agents such as these can damage your car seat and cause deterioration of the materials.

Is my older car seat still safe to use?

Check the expiration date sticker on your seat. Expiration dates may vary. Car seats past their expiration date are no longer approved for use.

Why do car seats expire?

We are always working to protect your children to the best of our ability and that includes always improving on our technology and designs. Older car seats don’t have the newer technologies we’ve developed, and expiration dates ensure the seats you’re using are the best they can be. In addition, car seats are used almost every day, so after a while the materials can wear down and not perform at the top of their game.

Do I need to replace my car seat after a crash?

We strongly recommend you replace your car seat after a crash, even if your child wasn’t in the seat when the crash occurred, or the seat doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage. Depending on the severity of the crash, the internal structure might be damaged in ways that aren’t obviously visible. If the crash is enough to damage the structure of your car it stands to reason that the same force would have an impact on the plastic of your child’s car seat. Always call your insurance after any accident.

What do I do with my expired car seat? What do I do with my car seat after a crash?

Across the country there are trade-in and recycling programs that will deal with disposing of your car seat for you. If you want to recycle the seat yourself, there’s a few steps you’ll have to follow. First, remove all the fabric, padding, harness straps, and metal from the plastic seat. Discard the fabric, foam padding, straps, and mixed metal/plastic. The large plastic parts of the seat can be recycled after they have been marked as expired/unsafe.

What if my seat belts don’t stay tightly locked when the car is parked?

Many vehicle seat belts have a child restraint locking mode, which must be engaged when installing most child restraints. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific information on installing a child restraint in the selected seating position. If a locking mode is not available for that seating position, move the car seat to a different position or consult your car seat instructions for information on locking clips or available “belt lock off plates.”

What can I do to give baby’s head more support? Can I add a head insert?

Our Dorel car seats come with head padding for small infants. This padding is designed for and tested with the specific car seat model and harness system. If your child needs additional support, you may place rolled receiving blankets/towels along the child’s sides, after she is correctly buckled in. Additional padding may not be placed under your child or under the car seat’s harnesses.

What should I do if my baby’s head falls forward while seated rear-facing in the car seat?

Adjust your car seat to the proper recline angle, according to the level indicator on your car seat’s shell.

Where can I find my model number and manufacturing date and why do I need it to order parts?

The model number and manufacturing date can be found on a sticker on the side of your seat. It is important to have this information ready when contacting the Consumer Relations Department to ensure that the representatives can provide you with accurate information and/or correct parts that have been approved for use with your product.

Why won’t my child’s car seat buckle stay buckled?

If the latch plate does not remain locked, check for dropped food, sticky spilled drinks, dirt, leaves, etc. Clean with cotton swab and/or remove object with tweezers. Lock the latch plate into buckle until you hear a “click.” Pull up on the crotch strap to make sure the buckle is locked. If you cannot get the harness to adjust and remain tight with the buckle securely locked, do not use the car seat. Contact Consumer Relations at 1-800-951-4113.

Product

Are there any warranties for my car seat?

For information regarding warranty on any of our products, please click here.

How are Maxi-Cosi seats tested?

Maxi-Cosi car seats exceed all government safety standards for car seat safety. This includes major forward-facing crash testing requirements. But that is just the beginning. Our car seats are designed to protect during severe side impact crashes, those with vehicle intrusion. In those crashes, the car seat, and child occupant are struck by unbelievable forces. Forces that crumple the door and ram the steel structure into the interior of the car and into the occupant. Simulating that type of severe crash is an innovation in itself, allowing car seat engineers to develop life-saving systems like Air Protect.

How does Air Protect work?

Air Protect is a safety system designed to protect children in some of the most severe side impact crashes, those with vehicle intrusion. Side impact crashes are one of the most threatening for children, accounting for more than 30% of child crash fatalities. Air Protect helps to divert crash energy away from the child, releasing air on impact to immediately reducing impact forces.

What is Pure Cosi?

Pure Cosi is a collection of car seats that meet the FAA fire-retardant safety standards without using the chemicals that are common across all car seat manufacturers. Pure Cosi fabric is wool-free and flame-retardant chemical free. Pure Cosi is available in the Mico Max Plus Infant Car Seat and the Magellan Max 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat.

How tall is the Pria 70?

The main body of the Pria 70 is 25.5” tall. As a child grows, the headrest extends above the main body, growing to 30” tall.

How wide is the Pria 70?

At the widest point, the Pria 70 is 19.5” wide. The base of the Pria 70 is only 11” wide, making it easier to install on many vehicles.

To help check if my child will fit, how high are the harness shoulder heights and headrest on the Pria 70?

The TinyFit System has 3 harness shoulder heights:

  • 5" at the lowest
  • 7" in the middle
  • 9" at the highest

The TinyFit insert is about 16” from the seat bottom to the top of the head area. The top of a child’s head cannot exceed the top of the TinyFit insert. The main headrest -which uses the PerfectFit, no-rethread harness system- has the following shoulder heights: about 10” at the lowest, 11”, 12”, 13”, 14”, 15”, 16”, 17” and just under 18” at the highest. The top of the headrest is about 7.5” from the top of the harness shoulder position. The middle of a child’s head cannot exceed the top of the headrest when used forward-facing.
Please note: Harness heights are difficult to measure on any car seat. The shape of the seat and fabric padding can create variations in the measuring process. The above measurements should be a good guide, but you may find some variation as you take your own measurements.

How do I clean my car seat?

If your car seat cover is beyond help, our Care Center can help you replace it. Give them a call at (800) 951-4113.

Booster Car Seats

Is a booster seat really necessary? My child is six years old. Aren’t seat belts sufficient?

Boosters elevate children so that safety belts designed for adults will fit correctly. The lap belt should fit flat across a child’s upper thighs (not across the soft abdomen, which is more likely to be injured in a crash than bony structures like the pelvis). The shoulder belt should cross snugly over the chest and the middle of a child’s shoulder. This positions the vehicle seat belt to be effective in a crash and make the child more comfortable.

When should my child be moved to a booster seat?

Check with your pediatrician as to when they think it is safe for your child to start using a booster seat. Also, some states have laws specifically regarding booster seats so make sure you’re following those regulations. All our seats come with height/weight maximums, so once your child has outgrown one of the two, they have outgrown their car seat.

How will I know when my child no longer needs a booster seat?

Check with your pediatrician as to when they think it is safe for your child to stop using a booster seat. Also, some states have laws specifically regarding booster seats so make sure you’re following those regulations. All our seats come with height/weight maximums, so once your child has outgrown one of the two, they have outgrown the seat.

My child has outgrown his booster seat. Is it safe for him to ride in the front seat?

Different states have different laws regarding appropriate age for sitting in the front seat. Check with your pediatrician and your local laws to determine when is the right time for your child to ride in the front seat.

Strollers and Travel Systems

Can I fold my Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller when the seat is facing me?

No, the Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller should always be folded when the seat is road-facing.

Can I carry the Maxi-Cosi Zelia seat in the lie-flat position, by holding it from the bumper bar?

No, it is not recommended to carry the Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller seat in the lie-flat position by holding the bumper bar. It should not be used as a carrycot.

How do I clean my Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller?

The Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller comfort cushion and cover are removable, machine-washable, and dryer safe. The rest of the fabric is not removable - this needs to be washed with water, soap and a sponge.

Is the Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller compatible with Maxi-Cosi car seats?

Yes, the Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller is compatible with Maxi-Cosi car seats using adaptors, and the Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller has a lie-flat position which makes it a stroller adapted from the birth of the baby.

Can I fold my Maxi-Cosi Adorra stroller when the seat is facing me?

Yes, the Maxi-Cosi Adorra stroller can be folded both with the seat facing the road or the parent.

What are the acceptable configurations for my Maxi-Cosi Lila stroller?

You can convert your Lila stroller from a single to a duo by adding either a second seat or a Mico infant seat. The front seat must be forward-facing, but the rear seat can either face you or the world.

I have twins, can I use my Maxi-Cosi Lila with two infant seats?

The Lila is not compatible with two infant seats – the possible configurations are two stroller seats or a stroller seat and an infant seat.

What is the right age for the Lara Ultra Compact stroller?

The Lara is to be used once your child can sit fully upright. The Lara is not compatible for use with an infant seat, so it cannot be used before then.

Can I fold the Maxi-Cosi Dana For2 stroller with adaptors for car seat?

Yes. For your ease of use you can fold the Maxi-Cosi Dana For2 stroller keeping adaptors on the stroller.

Can I use Maxi-Cosi Dana For2 with only one Maxi-Cosi car seat?

Maxi-Cosi Dana For2 is modulable, you can use the Maxi-Cosi Dana For2 stroller with 1 or 2 Maxi-Cosi car seats.

Can I use the baby car seat Dana For2 stroller without the covers and seat backrest?

No, for the reason of stability you should keep the covers and the seat backrest when using with Maxi-Cosi car seat.

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