How to Assemble Car Seats

Written by louise harding
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How to Assemble Car Seats
Always save your infant or toddler car seat manual for reference. (viaje seguro 2 image by Lina Antony from

Car seats require more than just installation instructions. Sometimes cleaning is required and you must take apart the seat, removing the straps and liner. Once you've cleaned the seat, often you're left with a jumbled pile of parts. If you didn't note your seat's assembly, reassemble your seat by viewing the illustration in your instruction manual. All car seats are basically the same, but your model may vary slightly. Always consult the manual for your particular brand and model of seat.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Car seat frame
  • Car seat cover
  • Harness straps with buckle tongues (attached)
  • Harness clips
  • Metal junction plate
  • Harness buckle (attached to straps)
  • Harness adjustment strap (attached to seat frame)
  • Car seat canopy frame (optional)
  • Car seat canopy supports - 4 (optional)
  • Car seat canopy cover (optional)

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  1. 1

    Place your frame on a flat surface with the seat area facing up. Some car seat frames are plastic, while some are a combination of plastic and steel. Stretch the cover over the frame, aligning any slots in the cover with the holes in the frame. If you've washed the cover, it may be tight, but the fabric will relax over time. Pull the cover into position.

  2. 2

    Place the harness strap buckle tongues into the seat. Hold the loop ends of the straps (without buckle tongues) in your hand. Insert the buckle clips over the strap ends. Put the left clip part onto the left harness strap and the right part onto the right harness strap. Clip together the straps to make sure all of the buckle parts or clips are facing the correct direction.

  3. 3

    Determine the height slot necessary for your infant by placing your infant into the seat and determining which slot will allow the straps to comfortably rest over the child's shoulders. Push the loop ends (with no buckle tongues) through the appropriate height holes on the interior back of the cover and through the holes in the frame. Pull the straps through the frame at the back of the seat.

  4. 4

    Turn the car seat around so you're looking at the back that touches the automotive seat. Pull the straps under the manual storage slot, and hook the left and right strap loops to the hooks on the metal junction plate.

  5. 5

    Turn the car seat around with the cover facing you. Insert the loop end of the harness buckle strap into the slot normally situated between the infant's legs. Turn the seat over. Pull the loop end of the strap until the buckle hits the cover/seat. Pull this strap up and slide the loop over the third hook on the metal junction plate.

  6. 6

    Reach beneath the car seat cover, in the front centre, and find the harness adjustment strap that is riveted or bolted to the car seat frame. Pull this strap into the slot at the front, which usually has two rotating gears. Feed the loose end in and out of the gears.

  7. 7

    Buckle the seat and the harness clips to ensure all parts have been installed in the correct directions.

  8. 8

    Reassemble the optional car seat canopy by slipping the four canopy supports through the sewn casings with the hook ends outside of the canopy cover. Snap the centres of each support together forming two long supports. Pull the canopy cover into place. Hold the two right hooks together and snap them over the handle area designated for the canopy. Repeat for the left side of the canopy.

Tips and warnings

  • Many car seat companies offer free downloadable, printable manuals on their company web sites.
  • It is vital to the safety of your child to install your car seat properly. Always refer to the manual for correct installation into your automobile.

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