There are many reasons that a car owner may find him or herself needing to buy a replacement front facing car seat and other safety gear for children, like a seat belt. For some, you might need to ensure the safety of your toddler while driving a convertible. For others, you might have recently experienced a car crash and need to replace your existing car seat or the seat itself. Perhaps you have a new baby and are just simply looking to install a new front facing car seat. Regardless of the reason, buying the appropriate replacement front facing car seats for your car and your child can be a challenge. This guide is designed to help you through the process.
There are several considerations that buyers must make before purchasing replacement car seats for a car. These include whether the seats will be automatic (powered) or fixed, and whether to buy the replacement seats new or used. Next, buyers need to take the time to properly consider the size of the seats about the vehicle, as well as consider the general issues with buying any aftermarket car or truck part. This guide will review all of these points, in addition to providing tips for the purchase of replacement front seats for your car.
When Should You Replace Your Car Seat?
It is important to know that most car seats need to be replaced if they were in a vehicle that experienced a crash, as crash forces can be extreme and strong enough to damage your child's car seat, even if you can't see the damage of the car seat with your naked eye.
Most people never even consider the fact that a car seat might need to be replaced regularly. When either situation or preference presents itself, it is helpful to know that buyers have a few basic decisions to make regarding those seats.
This decision, of course, includes characteristics such as color and material of the car seat. It is also important to factor in the weight and age of your child. The make and model of your car are equally important. The two decisions all car owners will need to make, however, involve the inclusion of power seats, and the choice of whether to buy replacement seats new or used.
Though the power seat has been available in high-end vehicles since the 1940s, even today most mid-grade and lower priced automobiles do not contain power seats. Loosely defined, a power seat is any front car seat that can be adjusted by a switch or joystick through the use of small motors rather than manually through the release of a lever. Generally, in addition to moving forward and back and adjusting the angle of the backrest, power seats can also be tilted. Most cars these days either offer six- or eight-way power seats.
Some People Cannot Buy Power Seats
Many people with traditional mechanical seats may wonder if, when buying replacement front seats for their car, it is possible to upgrade to power seating. However, while this seems like a simple task, it is pretty complex in its execution. This is because the addition of power seats requires an external power hookup into the car's main electric system which cars without power seating lack. Though this can be added, it is complicated and may involve more work and expense than is really worth it.
Some People Can Buy Power Seats
Therefore, the option of power seats is only available to those drivers whose cars originally had power seats in them. In this case, it is also possible to "downgrade" front seats to conventional, mechanical seats using the same rails as the power seats or through the purchase of a seat adapter. Most people choose this for budgetary reasons as power seats are much more expensive than mechanical seats.
Buying Used Seats vs. New Seats
One option that all buyers have is whether to purchase replacement front seats new or used. There are many benefits to both of these options which directly relate to the type of car owned and the purpose of buying replacement front seats in the first place.
When Buying New Is Best
Buying new replacement car and truck seats is the best option for people whose cars are newer and who are looking for upgraded seats. For example, drivers looking for bucket seats or a more racecar-like feel in the front of their vehicle will want to look for sporty car seats made exclusively for aftermarket purchases.
When Buying Used Is Best
On the flip side, there are some instances when buying used replacement front car and truck seats is the best option. First, individuals restoring old vehicles will find that used seats are their only option, which is because new seats would not be authentic and manufacturers may no longer produce the seats needed for the make and model of car. Second, those looking to replace their front seats on a budget or those who may be repairing a car damaged from an accident may find that looking for used seats through salvage yards and dealers who specialize in such products can save a lot of money.
Sizing Replacement Front Seats
After determining the type of seats to buy, car owners must then move on to considering the proper size of the seats for their car. There are two basic choices when it comes to the purchase of front seats, and that is to get seats that are custom fit for that particular vehicle or to buy an adaptor kit to fit the new seats into the car.
Buying Seats Made to Fit
Car owners who don't want to mess around with bolts, rails, and other small parts having to do with front seats are better off buying seats that are custom fitted to their particular vehicle. There are a few ways to accomplish this. First, buyers can contact the manufacturer or a dealer who sells their make of car directly and ask them to order the proper seats. The other option is to search for seats by using the make and model of the car as a base term. Therefore, online, make sure to search for "Nissan Maxima front seats" rather than "Nissan front seats" or merely "front seats."
Adapting New Seats to Your Car
An alternative to buying seats made to fit a make and model of car is to buy seats that can be attached using a seat adapter kit. This method is used by car owners who want to buy "racing" seats for their car as well as those who can get salvage yard seats for a low price. Seat adapter kits are often sold along with seats in the former case, but will need to be purchased separately in the latter.
General Tips for Buying Aftermarket Car Parts and Accessories
Any time a car owner buys aftermarket parts and accessories for his or her vehicle, there are important tips to follow, which is because, to save themselves legal issues, car manufacturers discourage this practice and warn that it may void a vehicle's warranty. Therefore, before purchasing replacement front seats or any aftermarket car part, make sure to heed the following:
Shop Only with Reputable Dealers
Professional auto parts stores, mechanics, and other outfits that specialize in car parts and accessories are more reliable than private individuals or big box stores that sell car parts alongside groceries. When online, look for warranties, money back guarantees, and certifications to help weed out good sellers from questionable ones.
Consider Resale Value
Obviously, one's car is a reflection of one's own unique personality. However, most people sell a car before it stops running, which means that buyers also need to look towards the marketability of any stylistic change they make to the vehicle. Fads like neon pink seats may seem fun now but can hurt a car's value in the long run.
Whether you plan on installing replacement front seats personally or plan to have it professionally done, this is a consideration that needs to be made before committing to purchase. For private installs, make sure that seats come with instructions. If taking the seats to a professional, discuss what parts and other items may be needed to reduce costs and avoid delays.
Consider Buying on eBay
One last option for those looking to save money on the purchase of replacement front seats for a car is to look online on eBay. Unlike physical locations or even private websites, shopping on eBay allows buyers the opportunity to look to multiple sellers for cost and product comparison in one, easy-to-use space. Those without an eBay account can sign up quickly and get right to the search.
Searching on eBay for Replacement Front Seats
Many of the tips contained in this guide can easily be applied to searching eBay for replacement front seats. However, there are some site-specific considerations that users should keep in mind. First, remember that general eBay searches can be initiated from any page on the site by simply typing search terms into the main search bar. Alternately, users may want to use the advanced search feature which gives them the ability to refine their results from the start.
Next, eBay contains products from all over the world offered by millions of sellers. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the buyer to make sure that he or she understands the terms that each seller offers and the details of the product under consideration, which is easily accomplished by carefully reading the product listing page as well as the seller's detailed ratings and feedback.
Many situations lead a car owner to the purchase of replacement front seats. However, whether these reasons are personal or unavoidable, considerations need to be made about those seats for the purchase to go smoothly. First, buyers must consider whether they will install power seats. Next, they must also consider the pros and cons of buying seats new vs. buying them used. Next, figuring out how to fit the seats into one's car is essential.
After all of this, a buyer is ready to look into the purchase of front seats for a car. There are several buyers' tips to keep in mind which includes buying from reputable dealers, considering a car's resale value, and considering installation as well as looking into the benefits of shopping with eBay. Buying replacement front seats for your car can seem tough, but with the right preparation it can be a simple and fun process.