How to Install a Car Seat Properly

Are you aware there is a proper way to install your child’s car seat? Nancy goes through step-by-step the process to install #TheRightSeat as a part of National Child Passenger Safety Week.


Let’s see. You’ve made your car seat selection. You determine the proper direction for the car seat. You know what seat in the vehicle it’s going, and now you need to install it properly.

Hi, I’m Nancy at Kneble’s Auto Service center. Rear-facing seats are installed differently than front-facing seats. The difference in the installation is that rear-facing seats, they need to be angled properly on the seat. The proper angle keeps the child’s airway open and keeps the head positioned appropriately. The angle for rear-facing seats is positioned at an angle called a reclined angle and that is between 30 and 45 degrees. Now I know what you’re all thinking. How am I going to judge that? How do I know that? Well, I’ve got you and so does the car seat manufacturer.

On your car seat, depending on the manufacturer, it may have a level or it may have a marking as a guide to install the seat at the proper angle. Now your vehicle needs to be on a level surface when checking for the correct angle. Also, many rear-facing seats have a base or foot to help with this adjustment. Forward-facing seats, they’re positioned with the back of the car seat resting against the back of the vehicle seat and make sure the base of the car seat sits approximately 80% on that vehicle seat. Always check the car seat and the vehicle’s manuals, when installing a car seat.

Attaching the car seat to the vehicle can be done in one of two ways. Using the latch and tether system or using a seat belt system, it’s not recommended to use both. Always refer to the car seat manual and the vehicle manual to help, when using these systems. To test the success of your installation, your vehicle should not move more than one inch from side to side or back and forth, when you firmly grip at the belt path.

Boom, you did it, success. It’s recommended to keep your child in their car seat for as long as the car seat manufacturer recommends for that child’s height and weight. My daughter once reminded me that I put her in a booster seat before for the recommended weight because her twin sister got to go in the booster seat, and I gave into her, whoops, not something I would do today or recommend.

See you tomorrow at 12:30 for the final step of putting your child in the car seat the proper way. Thank you for watching.