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When I install my car seat using the lap and shoulder belt, the seat easily rolls over onto its side. I have a sliding latch plate with a switchable retractor. I think the issue is the sliding latch plate. Even with the retractor locked, the latch plate allows the car seat to rotate because the latch plate itself does not lock.

The LATCH system is not an option for this vehicle and car seat combination. The seat sits directly on the anchors causing them to become unhooked.

How can I keep the car seat from rolling over when installed with the lap and shoulder belt?

Update

I have the car seat properly installed with the seat belt now. The fix was simply putting a towel or pool noodle underneath the car seat.

I hadn't tried the towel before because I didn't seem to need it to adjust the angle. It turned out it was necessary to level out the surface the seat was sitting on as my car's seat (the seat actually part of the car, not the toddler car seat I'm installing) has "indentations" along the side that allowed the seat to rotate.

  • In case it matters, I have a Safety 1st guide 65 seat and a 2013 Prius C. – cledoux Jul 26 '15 at 3:55
  • In our Prius, we installed the car seat in the middle (using one LATCH hook on either side) which gives a little bit more room around the sides of the seat itself. Just a thought, not a full answer, but it might give you some options :) – Acire Jul 27 '15 at 20:07
  • @Erica That's a good suggestion, but unfortunately not possible for my situation. I have two seats installed in the same car, so can't use the middle. – cledoux Jul 28 '15 at 16:40
  • I'm having the exact same problem with my car seat(Safety 1st convertible)!! No LATCH option in my car either. It's in tight except when pushed from the opposite side of the buckle. It rolls onto its side. Did you figure it out? Would a locking clip help? I think I'm going to go to a fire station to see if they can help! – user19952 Nov 24 '15 at 15:49
  • See updated question. – cledoux Nov 24 '15 at 18:22
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You might find that a local dealership or hospital has trained staff that can demonstrate installation. We purchased a similar seat at a discount through a program at our hospital and received mounting instructions from their staff.

I had a similar problem recently when trying to mount that seat without using the latch system. Turns out there are 2 belt paths, one for forward and one for reverse. I was mounting the seat reverse and using the forward mount belt path.

Make sure you are using the right belt path, it should be marked on the side. Regardless of latch or belt, at both the hospital and car dealership training they recommended putting cut up swimming pool noodles under the seat to get it to level with the level line marked on the side then kneeling on the seat while tightening to ensure the seat is firmly in place. I don't fit to kneel so I push down with one hand and tighten with the other. Other approaches are described with video here: http://thecarseatlady.com/rear-facing-installation-tips-tricks-and-videos/

  • I checked I was using the correct belt path before installing. Odds are I'm doing something dumb. I'll look into the dealership or hospital as suggested. – cledoux Jul 28 '15 at 17:26
  • Everything is working now, but not entirely sure why. I did use a large towel (no pool noodles on hand) this time, so maybe that fixed my problem. – cledoux Aug 5 '15 at 18:18
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If your car seat is properly installed, it should not be rolling over at all. There should be no give in the vehicle strap that allows the seat to come loose enough for the seat to tip.

Your problem may be coming from not switch your seatbelt over to Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR) mode from Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) mode. To do this, after you've threaded the belt through the seat and buckled it, extend the remainder of the the belt from the shoulder. Then, feed the belt back in. If you need it to be tighter than how it automatically feeds, pull up from the buckle.

If you still have issues, your car seat model should have included a locking clip. See the seat's manual for proper installation instructions, but also note the manual says that the locking clip may not solve all issues.

If you're unable to install the seat properly in your car with reasonable ease and assurance of safety, then you need to return that model and/or find a new car seat.


While I was able to find specific information for your products, this answer should still be useful to a wide variety of users, as the types of parts your products use are fairly common. That is, ALS seatbelts, rear-facing car seats where LATCH isn't possible, etc.

With that in mind, let's look at the user guide for your model of car seat (Safety 1st Guide 65):

Switchable retractor
These vehicle belts switch from ELR to ALR (Automatic Locking Retractor). You must have the vehicle belts in the locking mode to use them. Follow the instructions in the installation sections.
ALR (Automatic Locking Retractor)
These vehicle belts lock after pulling the webbing out and letting the vehicle belt go back into the retractor an inch or two. Follow the instructions in the installation sections.

Vehicle Latch Plates
Check the Latch Plates
Grasp the tongue portion of the latch plate (the part that goes inside the buckle) and pull straight out, inline with the vehicle lap belt. If the latch plate does not slide up and down the vehicle belt, you have a locking latch plate. You should not need to use a locking clip. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual.

If the latch plate slides up and down on the vehicle belt, and you have an ELR retractor, you MUST use a locking clip to install the child restraint. You may not need to use the locking clip with a switchable or ALR retractor. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual.

Safety 1st Guide 65 user manual

And here's the information from your 2013 Prius C Owner's Manual:

Installing child restraints using a seat belt (child restraint lock function belt)
Rear facing Infant seat/convertible seat
STEP 1 Place the child restraint system on the rear seat facing the rear of the vehicle.
STEP 2 Run the seat belt through the child restraint system and insert the plate into the buckle. Make sure that the belt is not twisted.
STEP 3 Fully extend the shoulder belt and allow it to retract to put it in lock mode. In lock mode, the belt cannot be extended.
STEP 4 While pushing the child restraint system down into the rear seat, allow the shoulder belt to retract until the child restraint system is securely in place.
After the shoulder belt has retracted to a point where there is no slack in the belt, pull the belt to check that it cannot be extended.

2013 Prius C Carseat Installation

  • The retractor is locked. That is not the issue. The belt is also as tight as I can get it. Yet the shoulder belt still pulls up on the seat, causing it to tip over. Odds are I'm doing something dumb. I'll take another look when I get the chance. Little one still hasn't outgrown infant carrier, so that's safely installed until I can get the convertible figured out. – cledoux Jul 28 '15 at 17:16

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