Do Car Seat Bases Expire?

This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.

Car seat bases are a must-have accessory for parents who have young children (infants).

Car seat bases provide an easy and safe way to transport your baby in the car and can make traveling with a child much simpler. But when it comes to their lifespan, do car seat bases expire?

The answer is YES and here is what you need to know about car seat bases and their expiration dates.

How long a car seat base is good for?

do car seat bases expire
Gracobaby car seat base

Car seat bases expire and most brands in the market are good for six or seven years from their manufacturing date.

But if your manufacturer specifies a different time frame you should follow it to ensure your child’s safety.

It is important to check the expiration date printed on the underside of the car seat base for an accurate timeline.

Manufacturers are required to include the expiration date so parents and caregivers know when a base needs to be replaced.

How to check the expiry date of a car seat base?

Most car seat manufacturers print an expiration date on the bottom or underside of the base.

If you can’t find a date printed on the base, car seat bases come with an instruction manual that will have information about how long their good for.

Still not sure? contact the manufacturer for more information on their expiration dates.

Pro tip: Always check the expiration date before buying a new car seat base.

Why do car seat bases expire?

Car seat bases are made of plastic and other materials that can degrade over time. As a result, they become weakened and less able to protect your child during an accident.

The materials used in car seat bases change over time as technology advances and manufacturers comply with recent safety standards.

That’s why, replacing your car seat base every few years helps ensure your child is riding in the safest seat possible.

Storing your car seat base properly can help extend its life. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight as this can degrade materials over time.

With proper care, you can ensure that your car seat base remains safe for years of use.

Is it illegal to use an expired car seat base?

how long a car seat base is good for
Gracobaby car seat base

In most states, it’s illegal to transport a child in a motor vehicle without properly securing them in a car seat.

By using an expired car seat or car seat base, you risk putting your child in danger and could be subject to a fine or penalty.

They may not check the date of expiration on your car seat base, but the safety risk alone is reason enough to replace it as soon as possible.

Some manufacturers if not all may void their warranties if you use their car seat with an expired base.

What to do with an expired car seat base?

It’s important to discard expired car seat bases properly.

Your local municipality should have specific guidelines on how and where to recycle these items. Make sure you check with them before disposing of it.

Companies like Target often organize cars seat trade-in programs that give discounts towards the purchase of a new car seat.

It’s also important to note that expired car seat bases should never be given away or sold to another family. By doing so you could put an infant or toddler at risk.

Check my post here for additional information on how to safely get rid of your unwanted or expired car seat

Do insurances replace car seat bases after an accident?

Insurance companies may provide coverage for car seat base replacement following an accident.

Of course, this is not always the case. It’s best to contact your insurer or refer to their policy details for more information.

Some car seat brands may offer discounts or replacement programs for customers whose car seat base have been damaged in an accident. Check that out as well.

Wrapping Up

The takeaway here is that car seat bases expire. So, it’s important to check the expiry date of your car seat base as part of regular maintenance. 

Make sure you double-check before buying a new base, as expired car seats can put your child at risk of injury.

Also, be sure to store the car seat base properly and discard it according to your local municipality’s guidelines.

For more tips and guides about car seat safety, visit our car seat safety section.               

About Fatima Suliman

Fatima is the founder of Car Seat Parent and a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST). She's here to help parents keep their little ones safe on the road by sharing her know-how and experiences with safety car seats.

Leave a Comment