Adapters for Safety Belts that are Incompatible with Child Restraints | Belt-Shortening Clips


Belt-Shortening Clips

Some pre-1996 vehicles have lap belts that will not stay locked after they have been tightened. They may be in the front or the back seat. For these belts, the webbing of the lap belt is sewn to the buckle tongue; there may be no shoulder belt or one that is made of a separate piece of webbing.

To install a child safety seat, this type of lap belt must be shortened with a “belt-shortening clip” (BSC). The metal BSC is used to fix the length of the lap belt that has an emergency-locking retractor (ELR), the type that only locks during a crash. The clip takes all excess webbing out of the lap belt.

The manufacturers listed below made one or more vehicles that require the use of a belt-shortening clip to install a child safety seat. Some vehicles made by manufacturers not on the list also have belts that need this part. A belt-shortening clip from any of the vehicle manufacturers listed can be used on another manufacturer's vehicle; they are interchangeable. Use these part numbers to order the clip from the dealer parts department.

It is important but sometimes difficult to obtain the appropriate instructions. Belt-shortening clips sold by most vehicle dealers do not include belt-shortening instructions. If the package does not include instructions for using the clip to shorten a belt, look in the vehicle owner's manual. As of December 2002, the Toyota BSC was the only one sold with belt-shortening instructions.

Note: Many other pre-1996 vehicles require the use of a “regular locking clip.” This type of clip, which comes with child safety seats, is used on lap-shoulder belts made of a single piece of webbing with a sliding latchplate. The clip locks the two pieces of webbing together at the latchplate. (Newer vehicles are required to meet a standard for safety belts that will stay tight around a child safety seat without adding clips.)

Belt-shortening clips are the same shape as regular locking clips, but they are used differently and are much stronger. Some, but not all, BSCs are larger than regular locking clips. It is impossible to rely on markings on BSCs to differentiate them from regular locking clips. The only way to identify a belt-shortening clip positively is to obtain the clip in its original packaging from a vehicle manufacturer.

Warning: NEVER use the regular locking clip supplied with a child safety seat as a BSC. It could fail in a crash, allowing the child restraint to move forward dangerously.

Mfr.

Part Number for Belt-Shortening Clips (Part name used by manufacturer may be different)

Ford

F03Z-5461249-A (includes instructions for use as locking clip only; refer to vehicle manual)

GM

94844571 (no instructions included; refer to vehicle manual)

Toyota

73119-22010 (includes instructions for belt shortening)

Nissan

H8010-89970 (includes instructions for use as locking clip only; refer to vehicle manual)


Adapters for Safety Belts that are Incompatible with Child Restraints | Belt-Shortening Clips