Not Sure What to Do with Used Carseat

Updated on October 27, 2009
S.K. asks from Liberty, TX
7 answers

I have a Britax Marathon carseat that was barely used and is in near perfect condition. We had it at my in-laws for those occasions when we needed them to pick up our son from preschool when our twins were little. The problem is it is a 2003. We bought it new and I can't find the book on it so I'm not sure if it has expired or not. I didn't have any luck on the website. It said to refer to the booklet.

Does anyone know how long the Britax carseats can be used? I thought about selling it but don't want to put a child at risk.

Added later: I would happily donate it to a women's shelter. I know there are kids out there who aren't buckled in. I think I'd rather see a child in a used carseat than no carseat at all. I took the cover off to wash it and inspected the foam and it hasn't deteriorated at all. The straps are fine, no twisting. I just hate to throw it away. I guess I could call around to some shelters and get their input.


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answers from Dallas on

Stephanie~ Car Seats only have a 6 yr life span. You have to go by the Month and the year posted on the sticker on your car seat. Depending on the month, it looks like this is the year your seat expires.





answers from Dallas on

Someone may really need a carseat and cannot afford one for thier child. Maybe put it on Craigslist but let them know that due to the year the seat is considered expired. I have one that is expired but still in good condition so I use it for my youngest. It's not like it's bad milk or something. This could be a great blessing to a family in need, why destroy it if its needed? :-)



answers from Atlanta on

Donate it to a women's shelter.



answers from Dallas on

You could put on if you don't want to trash it. Someone might have a use for the seat cover or parts if it's too old to use as a carseat. There should be an expiration date on the label of the seat. Someone told me there are some places that accept old car seats to recycle too so they don't just go to the landfill.



answers from Dallas on

Even though it's nice and in good condition I would destroy it. Carseats "expire" because they sit in a car through all temps (think about how hot they get) and doing that for several years eventually compromises the structure of the plastics. Plus the straps and other things wear out get weak even if they look fine.

People that are in need of a car seat can get them free from lots of different organizations.

Also... fyi for you and anyone else - never buy or accept a used car seat. You never know for sure if they have been in a car involved in an accident or not. And once they have been in a accident exceding 10 mph OR where the door nearest the seat is damaged, they need to be destroyed. If you have an accident, your insurance should replace the seat. If not, some of the car seat manufacturers will replace them for you. We had an accident and our seat looked fine but when I later pulled the fabric off to clean it, you could see where the plastic bent on impact.



answers from Dallas on

you need to trash it, but CUT the straps and write damaged or something along those lines in a black marker on the shell so no one uses it...

edited to add: i can tell you have a kind heart and want to "help", but in this litigous society, you need to protect yourself from liability and destroy the seat. yes, there are people out there that "need" a carseat, they can get a new carseat free of charge from many different organizations. ANY used seat, whether expired or not, is not a good idea to give or take.



answers from Dallas on

I dont know about Britax in particular but I believe that all carseats are only good for 5 years.

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