Seat Belt Type

Most cars have one of three type of seat belts fitted and by knowing which type is fitted in your car will help you know whether or not you also need a locking clip to get a secure car seat installation.

All cars registered since 1955 will have at least 2 functional seat belts installed in the rear seat.

Static Seat Belts
This refers to belts that need to be manually adjusted by sliding each part over one another to either loosen, or tighten the seat belt. Many cars have static lap only belts in the middle of the rear seats. We suggest using lap only belts to install car seats that also have a top tether, or along with a child harness.

Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR)
These seat belts retract automatically and have a lock system that activates when the seat belt is pulled on hard or in a sudden stop. They move freely once buckled up and do not prevent any movement while the passenger is using the seating position.

These seat belts do not stay locked when fully extended. A locking clip (built in/separate) works by clamping the lap and sash portion of the seat belt together by the buckle to stop excess slack and movement. They do a great job and do not need to be removed until the seat is removed.

Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR) belts
Newer seat belts function the same as the one above, but when fully extended from the retractor switch from an ELR to an ALR seat belt which works by stopping any more of the webbing from being pulled out, therefore it is "locked". To unlock this and resume use as an ELR seat belt the buckle must be disengaged and the webbing fed back into the retractor. This will allow the belt to flow freely into and out of the retractor.

ALR are belts also referred to as "restraint belts, or Switchable retractors". These belts are deigned to function as both a normal seat belt, that locks when pulled down hard on and they can also hold a car seat tightly without the need for a locking clip.

To know if your belts are ALR belts you can fully extend the belt, listen for the clicks and tug on it, or you can look for the white label attached to the bolted end of the belt (opposite the buckle). Seat belt

Belts that may not work with car seats
This includes belts that come forward from the seat bight (where vehicle seat back meets the bottom seat pad) and seat belts that are attached to door frame of the vehicle where the door opens.

Use the links below to find out more:

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| Essential information
| Find out what one is and how to use it
| Find out what to do with the tether strap and bolt
| Find out what to do with the tether bolt
| Lower tether system to use in place of the seat belt
| External link to technicians list by area
| Why wont my seat install correctly? Help!