Car Seat Guidelines

Installation Tips

You’ve taken the first step toward a safer, happier ride for your child in purchasing a CYBEX car seat, so now it’s time to get on the road! This page will walk you through our car seat tips for safely and securely installing your car seat so everything from a quick errand to a family road trip comes with the peace of mind knowing your little one is protected and comfortable during the ride. Review our top car seat tips below.

  • Use only one method to secure the car seat (lower anchors or seat belt).
  • Always use the tether for forward-facing car seat installations.
  • Check the angle – many car seats have visible level indicators so you know if the car seat is positioned at the correct angle.
  • Ensure your car seat is secured tightly – when installed correctly, the car seat should not move more than 1” from side-to-side or front-to-back.
  • To ensure your car seat is properly installed, find a certified car seat technician:
  • Only accessories provided or approved by CYBEX should be used with CYBEX car seats. This includes infant inserts, harness covers, seat protectors, etc. Use of accessories or parts from other manufacturers could alter the performance of the child restraint.
    • Our team wants to make sure you are confident with your car seat installation. We offer free, live video installation appointments with one of our certified child passenger safety technicians on staff. Sign up for a 30-minute appointment to double-check your car seat installation or for assistance with a new installation.
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Car Seat Installation Tips FAQs

Can I install my car seat next to a side curtain air bag?

Generally, car seats and booster seats can be safely installed in rear-seating positions next to side curtain air bags. It is important to consult your vehicle owner’s manual to ensure there are no restrictions in the seating position that you want to use for your car seat installation. In addition to your vehicle owner’s manual, your car seat instructions will include detailed information about any air bag interaction concerns.

Is it okay if my rear-facing convertible car seat touches the back of the vehicle seat in front of it?

CYBEX permits contact between front vehicle seats and its rear-facing infant, convertible or all-in-one car seats. However, the car seat should not be wedged in and should be installed in accordance with both the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual.

Can I use a pool noodle to increase the rear-facing recline of my rear-facing car seat?

Rear-facing infant, convertible or all-in-one car seats must be properly reclined according to the level indicator provided by the car seat manufacturer. Many car seats come with adjustment mechanisms to attain the appropriate recline.
CYBEX rear-facing car seats do have recline adjustment mechanisms, however CYBEX does allow the use of a rolled towel or pool noodle to adjust the recline of a rear-facing car seat to meet the required angle as noted by the angle indicator, as outlined below:

  • Rear-facing only models: If the adjustment on the base of the car seat does not provide enough recline, store the adjustment mechanism and replace with a rolled towel or pool noodles.
  • Convertible and all-in-one models: The car seat must be adjusted to the appropriate rear-facing position. If more recline is needed the rolled towel or pool noodles can be added in addition to the recline mechanism of the car seat.
  • Always thoroughly review and follow the instructions that came with your car seat for complete installation information.

When I install my forward-facing car seat there is a gap with space between the back of the car seat and the vehicle seat. Is that okay?

It is okay to have empty space between a forward-facing harnessed car seat and the vehicle seat if you have followed the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and achieved a tight installation. If you are experiencing this situation with a CYBEX car seat and want to eliminate the gap, however, try one or more of the following:

  1. Remove the vehicle seat headrest, if approved by your manufacturer. Removing the headrest will often allow more of the car seat to be in contact with the vehicle seat back. Remember to properly store your headrest when it is removed. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions.
  2. Recline the vehicle seat, if approved by your manufacturer. Slightly reclining the vehicle seat back may allow more of the car seat to be in contact with the vehicle seat. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions.
  3. Use the car seat tether. If your vehicle has tether anchor hardware, you should always use a tether with a forward-facing car seat installation anyway. The tether can help improve the car seat’s performance in a crash.
Check your work. The car seat should not move more than 1” from side-to-side or front-to-back when checking at the belt path (the location where the seat belt or lower anchors are attaching the car seat to the vehicle).
Note: the base of the CYBEX Sirona S convertible car seat must be in contact with the vehicle seat. It is okay if there is a slight gap between the upper portion of the car seat and the vehicle seat.

When I install my CYBEX car seat in my vehicle, some of the car seat bottom hangs off the front edge of the vehicle seat. Is that allowed?

Generally, most CYBEX car seats allow approximately 20% of the bottom of the car seat to hang over the front of the vehicle seat. The majority of the bottom of the car seat (80%) should be supported by the vehicle seat. This applies whether the car seat is installed rear-facing or in forward-facing harnessed mode, and whether installed with the vehicle seat belt system or the lower anchor system.
There are exceptions to this general rule:

  • When a load leg is in use, it is acceptable to have more than 20% of the car seat overhanging the vehicle seat.
  • When used in booster mode, CYBEX requires the booster seat to be fully supported by the vehicle seat.
  • The CYBEX Sirona S convertible car seat has an overhang indicator that must be followed if the load leg is not in use.
In some minivans with optional second row center seats, you may find that the car seat bottom actually overhangs the side of the vehicle seat. In this situation, the same general guidance provided above applies—at least 80% of the bottom of the seat must be supported by the vehicle, with the exception of the car seats listed above.

The center seating position in my vehicle is narrower than the positions near the window. Can I use my booster seat in that position?

In many vehicles the center seating position is narrower than the outboard seating positions (near the windows). In most situations, you may use a booster seat in that seating location, however there are a few items you should consider. First, the vehicle manufacturer must not specifically disallow this seating position for car seat or booster seat use. Second, the location of the lap portion of the seat belt and the buckle should not be coming from behind or beneath the booster seat. It is okay for the lap portion of the seat belt and the buckle to be in direct contact with the booster seat. Finally, belt fit is the most important consideration for booster seat use. Always check your child for appropriate belt fit in any seating position where you use the booster seat.