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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Default Proper Car Seat Installation

We are about to purchase Prius #2 and about to have Baby #1. In attempting the install of the car seat for baby #1 in Prius #1, we discovered the only way to securely install the seat is on a side seat in the back as the latches are not availabe in the center. What's worse is it can only be installed on the passenger side as I am too tall to put directly behind me without my knees touching the steering wheel. Before purchasing prius #2, we want to resolve our concerns. our biggest two concerns are:
1. with the seat on a side should we be concerned with side airbags deploying?
2. with the seat behind the passenger, does the vent that cools the battery in that location pose a threat (i.e. heat, explosion in accident, etc.) to a baby that would be facing the vent - we live in Arizona, so our batteries get HOT

Curius if anyone has addressed or resolved these issues? Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Proper Car Seat Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by PruisX2
We are about to purchase Prius #2 and about to have Baby #1. In attempting the install of the car seat for baby #1 in Prius #1, we discovered the only way to securely install the seat is on a side seat in the back as the latches are not availabe in the center. What's worse is it can only be installed on the passenger side as I am too tall to put directly behind me without my knees touching the steering wheel. Before purchasing prius #2, we want to resolve our concerns. our biggest two concerns are:
1. with the seat on a side should we be concerned with side airbags deploying?
2. with the seat behind the passenger, does the vent that cools the battery in that location pose a threat (i.e. heat, explosion in accident, etc.) to a baby that would be facing the vent - we live in Arizona, so our batteries get HOT

Curius if anyone has addressed or resolved these issues? Thanks!!!
What model of carseat do you have? I haven't had any problems installing seats in my Prius. (Either 'newborn' or 'convertable'.) I had the newborn one only in the rear center, but the convertable has been on the driver's side since my daughter got big enough to have it face forward.

It's true that there are only four LATCH positions in the car: one far left, one far right, one center left, and one center right. For the 'side' seats, you use the appropriate ones, far and center right or far and center left. For the center seat position, just use the center left and center right hooks. It works just fine.

Just make sure you do as the instructions say and put your own body weight on the carseat when tightening the LATCH belt, it will make the seat far more secure.

Owner of 'Eeyore', a 2004 Prius. Only took 2 days from start of search to delivery.

8 years of ownership, 115,000 miles, about 40 MPG average at present.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Default Graco

The seat is a Graco from the metro-lite package. We find that when we install in the center it wiggles more than it does in other cars (more than the recommended 1" each direction) - even if we attach to the end latches.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 11:11 AM
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Is it the generic Graco "SnugRide" base for all their baby seats? I just installed that one in the center of our back seat, and it fits nice and snug.

Like Evan said, use your own weight to bear down on the seat when cinching the belt tight.
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Default Proper Car Seat Installation

Prius X2: My wife and I ar ein a similar situation, so I can speak from experience. I went and talked with a car seat expert with the California Highway Patrol. The Prius is NOT set up to have a car seat installed with the LATCH system in the rear center seat - the latches are too far apart. You can, though, use the center seatbelt to install the car seat base. In fact, the CHP officer recommended this, as the seat belt is rated to a much higher amount of force than the belt on the LATCH system. In the end, we use the seat belt in the rear center seat for our son's seat.

Check with your local police department or highway patrol to get help installing it correctly. I followed the instructions for both the seat and the car and still didn't have it installed right the first time. It's an investment of your time that is well worth it. Alternatively, may stores that sell seats will help you install correctly.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Graco

Quote:
Originally Posted by PruisX2
The seat is a Graco from the metro-lite package. We find that when we install in the center it wiggles more than it does in other cars (more than the recommended 1" each direction) - even if we attach to the end latches.
We have the Graco Snugbaby in the center spot, no problems, doesn't move more than an inch and passed inspection. Put some wieght into it, and snug the belt strap on the LATCH belt.

Spike
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 10:10 PM
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Also need to consider different brand and model car seats. We swapped our seats to Britex after we had fitting problems with other brands. I parked outside the front of the store and tried various models.

Consumer reports does a good job of detailing the merits of various brands and models.

Dwayne
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Graco

Quote:
Originally Posted by PruisX2
The seat is a Graco from the metro-lite package. We find that when we install in the center it wiggles more than it does in other cars (more than the recommended 1" each direction) - even if we attach to the end latches.
That's the one we used. No problems at all. I used both the LATCH belt and the center seatbelt, though. (A little paranoid. I've relaxed a little since then.)

Owner of 'Eeyore', a 2004 Prius. Only took 2 days from start of search to delivery.

8 years of ownership, 115,000 miles, about 40 MPG average at present.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Graco

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehurtley
Quote:
Originally Posted by PruisX2
The seat is a Graco from the metro-lite package. We find that when we install in the center it wiggles more than it does in other cars (more than the recommended 1" each direction) - even if we attach to the end latches.
That's the one we used. No problems at all. I used both the LATCH belt and the center seatbelt, though. (A little paranoid. I've relaxed a little since then.)
I did that at first too, but when I took it in for inspection, I was told that was a no-no. I asked, they couldn't tell me why. I have looked at it, thought about it, and can't see a reason why. The belts don't seem to be anywhere near each other to interfere at all that I can see. But, I no longer do it, just in case...

Spike
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Proper Car Seat Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by garthg
Prius X2: My wife and I ar ein a similar situation, so I can speak from experience. I went and talked with a car seat expert with the California Highway Patrol. The Prius is NOT set up to have a car seat installed with the LATCH system in the rear center seat - the latches are too far apart. You can, though, use the center seatbelt to install the car seat base. In fact, the CHP officer recommended this, as the seat belt is rated to a much higher amount of force than the belt on the LATCH system. In the end, we use the seat belt in the rear center seat for our son's seat.

Check with your local police department or highway patrol to get help installing it correctly. I followed the instructions for both the seat and the car and still didn't have it installed right the first time. It's an investment of your time that is well worth it. Alternatively, may stores that sell seats will help you install correctly.
Thank you so much garthg! You answered some questions I've had about these car seats.

I always thought the LATCH was the hook in the back of the seat where you latch the top strap to. I didn't even know about those metal hooks to snap the car seat to by the bottom of the seatback until PriusX2 asked the question. I did a bit more reading in the manual and he was right, you can only snap the seat in on either the passenger's or driver's side, not the middle. But I always felt the middle was the best position, and I'm glad the car seat expert from the CHP agrees.

I installed it with a piece of cardboard underneath it, so the car seat won't dig into the Prius seat and leave permanent marks. I also have a towel underneath it too. But I made sure to get the belt as tight as I possibly could, so there really isn't much movement in the seat.
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