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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having trouble figuring out what to do about a proper seat for my son. I'll try to include all the information that might matter and hope the better informed people here can advise me.<br><br>
DS is about to turn 4 years old. He has been in his Britax Marathon since he was about 3 months old. The seat is not expired obviously, but it has seen some very cold new england winters and some hot desert summers. I don't know if that matters, but I know extreme temps make a difference in how quickly a seat will deteriorate.<br><br>
The Marathon is currently installed in a VW Jetta using the LATCH system. The problem is that DS weighs around 45 pounds, which I believe is over the limit for using LATCH.<br><br>
The Marathon has red clips to lock the seat belt when doing a belt installation. One of ours is broken. Big chunk snapped right off. I don't know when that happened. Is this seat no good for a belt installation now, without the locks?<br><br>
This seat has been great for us for 4 years. It's been in many different cars and on airplanes and crossed the country numerous times with us. I cannot afford to replace it.<br><br>
So, is there a safe way for us to still use this Marathon?<br><br>
And if not, what the heck do I put him in? There is just no way on earth I can afford another Britax. I've looked around a few stores lately and it seems the only 5-pt harnesses with high enough weight limits are wildly expensive, or a belt-positioning booster.<br><br>
He meets the bare, bare minimums for the booster (4 yrs, over 40 lbs) and is generally very good in the car-sits up, doesn't try to get out of straps, etc.. but I know the 5 pt is so much safer.<br><br>
So is it ok to keep using our Marathon? And if not is there some magically affordable (under $100, MAX) 5 pt harness with a high weight limit. And if that's another NO, what is the safest booster for him in my price range?<br><br>
Thanks so much for reading I really appreciate any help or direction you can give me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> We are expecting snow in a few days and I really want to get this figured out.
 

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Okay. this is my understanding...if I am wrong someone will correct me.<br><br>
You don't have to use the Lock offs with a britax seat, instead you can use a Locking clip. However you ONLY have to use a locking clip if your seat belts don't have Automatic Locking Retractors. These types of seat belts were made mandatory after I BELIEVE 1999. If your car does have ALR seat belts, you may find they don't lock reliably. If that's the case you can still use a locking clip. I don't know if Britax seats come with extra locking clips since they have the lock offs, if that's the case go to a local firestation they should have some for free.<br><br>
Denise
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both very much! I have so much on my plate right now I've been having trouble making any sense of this at all, even when it should be obvious <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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What year is your Jetta? That's the only info needed at the moment to make sure your seat belts will lock on their own. I'm fairly certain the model is new enough that all of them will have automatically locking seat belts. That means your Marathon is fine for installation with the belt. The locking clips are extra insurance in seat belts that lock on their own. They are needed in older vehicles where the belts don't lock on their own. To check your seat belts pull the belt all the way out then allow it to retract some. If it won't pull out further it's a locking belt. Or if it's a lap belt that has the belt loose on one end it should lock on the part that attaches the buckle. Again I really think the Jetta is a new enough model there shouldn't be any that don't have locking belts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's an '02, I don't have it here at home right now but I'm sure it won't be a problem. I just hadn't thought about it! Oops. Anyway it came with the Latch system in place so I can't imagine the seat belts don't lock. I hadn't thought beyond the fact that the locking clips are THERE, so I guess I though I *had* to use them. I only recently realized there were weight limits for the latch hooks, we've always just used that.
 

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My '02 has locking belts.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cutekid</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9881997"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Okay. this is my understanding...if I am wrong someone will correct me.<br><br>
You don't have to use the Lock offs with a britax seat, instead you can use a Locking clip.</div>
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AFAIK, the only Britax seat that can use a locking clip is the Regent. You cannot use one with a Marathon. From the Britax FAQ:<br><br>
"Q. Can a locking clip be used with a Britax child seat?<br><br>
A. Locking clips can be used with certain Britax child seats in certain situations. Refer to your child seat user guide to determine if a locking clip can be used with your Britax child seat.<br><br>
Locking clips are not recommended for use with Britax child seats that feature built-in lock-offs."<br><br>
You should be ablke to just lock the seat belt as mentioned above.
 

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I am going to have to do some digging. Since I have read in atleast one place..could hav been more that a locking clip is perfectly fine to correct issues like seat belt lift caused by the built in lock offs.<br>
Now if that is true why couldn't a locking clip be used in other instances.<br><br>
BTW< I have read on Message boards more than once of lock offs breaking and parents resulting to Locking Clips.<br><br>
??? hmmm..this little detail now makes a britax worthless to me. If the lock off breaks, you have an older vehicle with ALR or LATCH what good is it.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cutekid</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9886381"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">??? hmmm..this little detail now makes a britax worthless to me. If the lock off breaks, you have an older vehicle with ALR or LATCH what good is it.</div>
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Do you mean ELR? With ALR or switchable retractors you won't need to use the lockoffs. Britax will replace the lockoffs if they break (and I have had one break, but luckily it didn't matter to me because we have lightweight locking latchplates, and LATCH).
 

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oops got my stuff mixed up. Now, the fact Britax replaces the lock offs..as they should , is a good thing.<br><br><br>
Denise
 
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