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We have a baby due in less than a month. I just installed an infant car seat (with the assitance of a certified installer person) on my wife's Jetta. I have not tried it in my Passat yet.
1. Doesn't the Passat's center armrest in the back seat pose a risk? It could swing down in a crash an strike the child. I would imagine that you should not install the seat in the center.
2. What of the side curtains? The manual does not seem to think they pose a risk.
I will be installing a spare car seat base in my Passat once it comes in next week(again with the assitance of a certified installer person). I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts / experience?
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (JMBNaples)

Officially you shouldn't install a car seat in the center position. Most people do it anyway. Side curtain airbags will not hurt small children. They drop straight down at the window line, and are safe for all occupants. Rear side airbags are dangerous for children, that is why VW does not use them.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (Corradodrvrfnd)

quote:[HR][/HR]Officially you shouldn't install a car seat in the center position. Most people do it anyway. <snip>[HR][/HR]​
Can you cite the "official" source? Everything I've read (NHTSA) doesn't specify that shouldn't use the center. Also, I had my seat installation checked by the police, and they said center is best.


[Modified by VAB5, 5:06 PM 4-9-2002]
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (VAB5)

k, you called my bluff. My officially is deemed on the fact that the latch positions are only outboard, but upon further thought I withdraw that statement because there are upper tethers for all three positions, so that must mean that it is ok.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (JMBNaples)

JMB - We're expecting our first child in a few weeks...How did the installation of the infant carseat go? Did you install it in the center or on the side? Is the carseat base supposed to be completely fixed in place if properly installed, or does it wiggle around a little? Ours seems to be sliding from side to side, which can't be good.
Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (vchadaga)

The rear center arm rest poses as a risk. DO NOT install a rear facing infant seat in the center if there is a rear center arm rest. Otherwise, it is probably the safest in case of a side impact collision.
If properly installed the child seat should not move more than 1 inch on each side.
In case you didn't know, the rear seat belts in our B5.5s(someone needs to confirm this on our B5s and other car makes) have I think what is called automatic pretensioners (?). If I didn't get the name right, whatever it is, what is does is if you pull the seat belt all the way out, a mechanism will activate itself and once you start allowing the belt to retract back, you'll hear clicks. And if you try pulling the seat belt out again, it'll lock right away. The only way for the belt to return to normal is to allow it to fully return to its unused position.
Anyways, this function is useful when installing child seats. Run the belt properly through the proper guides on the child seat and latch it. Then pull the seat belt all the way out. Once it stops allow it to retract back. Make sure you hear the clicks. Try pulling it too to confirm you've activated that mechanism.
To help minimizae the child seat's free movement, push the seat down using your knee and help the seat belt retract more by guiding/pushing the seat belt back in.
Read the manual that came with the child seat. I've learned how to install them properly just through the manual.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (stockB5.5)

Geez. Some people will have a field day with this thread.
One, an infant seat should be installed in the center, regardless of whether or not there is an arm rest. If the seat is installed properly, the arm rest will not be a factor. The seat itself will sit high enough where the arm rest wont be able to come down. I have baby myself, and this was an issue with me too, in the beginning.
Two, the base should not move at all if installed properly. I had mine professiionally installed , and I stood there and watched him. Then I actually helped him, because he didnt weigh enough (he was probably 180 pounds). He wanted me to help him put all of our weight down on the base, in order to get the seat belt to its tightest point.
Three: You MUST use a locking clip. Dont rely on the pretensioners. The locking clip will hold the seat belt tight. Just allowing the seat belt to retract wont get it tight enough. If you can latch the belt into the latch easily, then you arent doing it right. You should brake a sweat doing this. If not, your baby isnt safe.
ALSO: Just reading the manual isnt enough. I thought I could learn how to install a child seat just by reading the manual. Well, I was wrong. My child was born, but I couldnt get the car in to have someone install the seat for me, so I did it myself.
Well, when I took the car in, I found out that the base wasnt installed correctly. The angle was wrong. He used those Pool Noodles things, three of them, taped together, two on the bottom, one on the top to get the angle right.
Take an hour out of your day, and have a pro do it. Thats why they are the pros....they go to a class every few months to get updates, and to practice with the newest technology in car seats.
Sorry for such a long post, but I had to correct the mistakes. When a babys life is in play here, wrong information needs to be corrected.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (e_andree)

I can't believe this is so complicated.
I went back and saw that the Passat's rear seat is at a sharp angle so the carseat base is not parallel to the ground unless there's something underneath it, which was part of the problem. I didn't know about the pretensioners, and I found the locking clip. After half an hour of wrestling with it, I've decided to take our Passat in to a professional for the carseat installation. (Which means someone besides the dealer, I'm assuming.) I'm sure the proper installation of the base is gonna do a number on the upholstery, but our baby's safety is paramount--which is why we got the car in the first place.
Thanks for the feedback.



[Modified by vchadaga, 10:40 PM 12-15-2002]
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (vchadaga)

Yeah, most seats ARENT parallel. Thats what the "pool noodles" were for...to make it level. And yeah...it does leave an indentation on the fabric. But it will form back after the seat is removed.
And most likely, someone at the dealership will be certified to install the seat. Just make sure you watch how they do it.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (e_andree)

Another good tip is to use that grippy cloth used under carpets. You get more friction between the base and seat (esp. leather) plus it helps prevent cutting into the leather. The base should not slide around.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (rbusi)

A couple things: the newest car seat bases have a levelling adjustment which will take away the need for the pool noodles. We used a Graco "bucket" seat and base with our first kid, and I've since bought a second base so we can use it again with our soon-to-be second kid. The new base has this adjustment.
As to the locking clips, I went to a local installation clinic, run by the police, and they told me that if my seatbelts have the pretensioners, that the locking clips are not necessary. I've found (after a couple years of doing this, it's become old hat), that we can get the seat in MUCH tighter with the pretensioner than we can with the locking clip. It helps if someone actually sits on the seat while the other person pulls on the belt.
And everything I've read says that the center position is the safest, although if you have TWO car seats in the back, they're going to end up in the outboard positions. I just don't see how there's room to put one in the center and one in an outboard location, but maybe someone else has done this?
Now, my question: our older child is about to move into a booster seat, and we'll pass his convertible seat down to the new baby after she outgrows the bucket and base. I had the LATCH anchors installed, so as to make for the tightest and safest connections, but I haven't found a booster that installs with the LATCH system. All of them seem to just "free float" unless a child is actually in the seat with the seat belt buckled. Is this right? It seems like a hazard to have this loose object in the back seat during the 90% of the time the kid isn't in the car. Anyone found a booster that LATCHes into position? Thanks!
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (JMBNaples)

quote:[HR][/HR]We have a baby due in less than a month. I just installed an infant car seat (with the assitance of a certified installer person) on my wife's Jetta. I have not tried it in my Passat yet.
1. Doesn't the Passat's center armrest in the back seat pose a risk? It could swing down in a crash an strike the child. I would imagine that you should not install the seat in the center.
2. What of the side curtains? The manual does not seem to think they pose a risk.
I will be installing a spare car seat base in my Passat once it comes in next week(again with the assitance of a certified installer person). I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts / experience?[HR][/HR]​
do yourself a favor. go to your vw dealer and see if they have a certified child seat installer. at my dealership we have 4 certified installers.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (PiLL)

Last time I had the LATCH system installed (about a year ago) , there weren't many car seat manufacturer's who took advantage of this feature - there should be more now - COSCO has a couple I've seen.
For those worried about indenatations on the seat (leather or cloth), there are several manufacturers who make thick rubber mats to place between the seat and car seat.
Try Right Start ( www.rightstart.com</a> , <A HREF="http://www.rightstart.com/global/store/dept_summary.cfm?TID=01126704092163700217128912&Site=baby&TreeID=1078448&rs_section=Safety" TARGET="_blank">http://www.rightstart.com/global/store/dept_summary.cfm?TID=01126704092163700217128912&Site=baby&TreeID=1078448&rs_section=Safety ).
They've got all kinds of things like:
Seat Grabber:

Car Seat Belt Tightener:

Car Seat levelers for rear facing infant seats:




[Modified by karleric1, 9:27 AM 12-17-2002]
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (karleric1)

Seems like there is a lot of misinformation on this thread.
Every car seat is different. For some you have to use the clip in the Passat, even though the seatbelt in the middle has the switchable retractor (pretensioner is something entirely different). A good example is the Graco DX-5 (and its successors). They recently introduced a new model with a different belt path that does not pull up the end of the seat base anymore. That way you can use the seat belt with the switchable retractor.
The concern about the armrest should not keep you up at night. I think there is one car (name eludes me now) where the manual actually states that this may be an issue. Even in these cases we usually tell the parents what the manual says (they usually don't read it) and ask them if they want to install in the middle anyway (giving them all the statistics on the safest positions). I do not recall anyone wanting to go to the outside.
Having only outboard lower anchors has nothing to do with safety considerations by the car manufacturers but mostly with the unwillingness to spend an extra $10 per car to install the anchor. Presumably, it would also be hard to install the anchors in some smaller cars...
So, please read the seat manual and the car manual, try your best and then call your police or fire station and ask whether they offer child seat safety checks.
I have taken the training and been doing the child seat safety checks for about two years as a volunteer with the child seat safety group here. In that time I have maybe had less than a handful of correct installs.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
The only safe child seat is the seat that fits the car, is installed correctly and is used correctly every time the child is in it.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (TravelnBill)

Are you from Switzerland or just staying there right now. Go to the ADAC website ( http://www.adac.de ) and check their crashtest results. They did tests in 2001 and 2002. Maybe that will help you decide on the right seat. European cars do not have the switchable retractor (at least my parents' 200 BMW 5-series did not). Read the manual carefully and then try your best. If it is loose, then it is most probably not safe. More than one inch of side -to-side movement is acceptable, after that it becomes a safety concern.
Here is a website in German that will help you to get more info on the issues.
http://www.autocrashtests.de/kindersi.htm
Good luck.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (e_andree)

quote:[HR][/HR]Three: You MUST use a locking clip. Dont rely on the pretensioners.[HR][/HR]​
I didn't get a locking clip with my carseat. Where can I buy one?
I've searched for a locking clip online with no success. tia.
 

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Re: Qs re installation of infant carseat (VW Jetta GLS)

quote:[HR][/HR]Are you from Switzerland or just staying there right now. Go to the ADAC website ( http://www.adac.de ) and check their crashtest results. They did tests in 2001 and 2002. Maybe that will help you decide on the right seat. European cars do not have the switchable retractor (at least my parents' 200 BMW 5-series did not).[HR][/HR]​
I'm an American in Switzerland on a job assignment. I brought a car seat back with me last time I took a trip to the US. It's a Graco.
Our Passat apparently does have the switchable retractor.
Installing the seat wasn't that difficult. It was work, but not particularly difficult. The base has a level adjustment and the seat has a level indicator. I put all of my weight on the base and got it crushed down into the seat as much as possible. It is secure and is in the right position.
I'm not all that happy about the armrest. It can come down, but not into the car seat itself because the edge of the car seat stops it. I wish I could block that with one of those pool floats, but finding one in Switzerland in December is quite unlikely.
 
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