Lincoln Nautilus Manuals

Lincoln Nautilus: Child Safety / Installing Child Restraints

Using Seatbelts

WARNING: Depending on where you secure a child restraint, and depending on the child restraint design, you may block access to certain seatbelt buckle assemblies and LATCH lower anchors, rendering those features potentially unusable. To avoid risk of injury, make sure occupants only use seating positions where they are able to be properly restrained.

Note: Although the child restraint illustrated is a forward-facing child restraint, the steps are the same for installing a rear-facing child restraint.

Perform the following steps when installing the child restraint with seatbelts:

  1. Position the child restraint in a seat with a seatbelt.
  2. After positioning the child restraint in the proper seating position, pull down on the shoulder belt and then grasp the shoulder belt and lap belt together behind the belt tongue.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  3. While holding the shoulder and lap belt portions together, route the tongue through the child restraint according to the child restraint manufacturer's instructions. Make sure that you did not twist the belt webbing.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  4. Insert the belt tongue into the proper buckle (the buckle closest to the direction the tongue is coming from) for that seating position until you hear a snap and feel the latch engage. Make sure the tongue is latched securely by pulling on it.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  5. To put the retractor in the automatic locking mode, grasp the shoulder portion of the belt and pull downward until you pull all of the belt out.

    Note: The automatic locking mode is available on the front passenger and rear seats.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  6. Allow the belt to retract to remove slack. The belt clicks as it retracts to indicate it is in the automatic locking mode.
  7. Try to pull the belt out of the retractor to make sure the retractor is in the automatic locking mode. You should not be able to pull more belt out. If the retractor did not lock, unbuckle the belt and repeat Steps 5 and 6.
  8. Remove remaining slack from the belt. Force the seat down with extra weight, for example, by pressing down or kneeling on the child restraint while pulling up on the shoulder belt in order to force slack from the belt. This is necessary to remove the remaining slack that exists once you add the extra weight of the child to the child restraint. It also helps to achieve the proper snugness of the child restraint to your vehicle. Sometimes, a slight lean toward the buckle will provide extra help to remove remaining slack from the belt.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  9. If the child restraint has a tether strap, attach it.
  10. Before placing the child in the seat, forcibly move the seat forward and back to make sure the seat is securely held in place. To check this, grab the seat at the belt path and attempt to move it side to side and forward and back. There should be no more than 1 in (2.5 cm) of movement.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

We recommend checking with a NHTSA Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to make certain the child restraint is properly installed. In Canada, check with Transport Canada for referral to a Child Car Seat Clinic.

Using Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children

WARNING: Do not attach two child safety restraints to the same anchor. In a crash, one anchor may not be strong enough to hold two child safety restraint attachments and may break, causing serious injury or death.

WARNING: Depending on where you secure a child restraint, and depending on the child restraint design, you may block access to certain seatbelt buckle assemblies and LATCH lower anchors, rendering those features potentially unusable. To avoid risk of injury, make sure occupants only use seating positions where they are able to be properly restrained.

The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system has three vehicle anchor points.

  • Two lower anchors where the seat backrest and seat cushion meet, called the seat bight.
  • One top tether anchor behind that seating position.

LATCH-compatible child restraints have two rigid or webbing mounted attachments that connect to the two lower anchors at the LATCH-equipped seating positions in your vehicle. This type of attachment method eliminates the need to use seatbelts to attach the child restraint.

However, you can still use the seatbelt to attach the child restraint. For forward-facing child restraints, you must also attach the top tether strap to the proper top tether anchor if a top tether strap has been provided with your child restraint.

Follow the instructions on attaching child restraints with tether straps.

Installing a Child Restraint in a Center Seat

WARNING: The standardized spacing for LATCH lower anchors is 11 in (280 mm) center to center. Do not use LATCH lower anchors for the center seating position unless the child restraint manufacturer's instructions permit and specify using anchors spaced at least as far apart as those in this vehicle.

The lower anchors at the center of the second row rear seat are spaced 20 in (51 cm) apart. You cannot install a child restraint with rigid LATCH attachments at the center seating position. You can only use LATCH-compatible child restraints with attachments on belt webbing at this seating position provided that the child restraint manufacturer's instructions permit use with the anchor spacing stated. Do not attach a child restraint to any lower anchor if an adjacent child restraint is attached to that anchor.

Each time you use the child restraint, check that the seat is properly attached to the lower anchors and tether anchor, if applicable. Tug the child restraint from side to side and forward and back where it is secured to your vehicle. The seat should move less than 1 in (2.5 cm).

If you did not properly anchor the child restraint, the risk of a child being injured in a crash greatly increases.

Combining the Seatbelt and Lower Anchors for Attaching Child Restraints

When used in combination, you may attach either the seatbelt or the LATCH lower anchors first, provided a proper installation is achieved. Attach the tether strap afterward, if it is included with the child restraint.

Using Tether Straps

Many forward-facing child restraints include a tether strap which extends from the back of the child restraint and hooks to an anchoring point called the top tether anchor. Tether straps are available as an accessory for many older child restraints.

Contact the manufacturer of your child restraint for information about ordering a tether strap, or to obtain a longer tether strap if the tether strap on your child restraint does not reach the appropriate top tether anchor in your vehicle.

Once you install the child restraint using either the seatbelt, the lower anchors of the LATCH system, or both, you can attach the top tether strap.

Perform the following steps to install a child restraint with tether anchors.

Note: If you install a child restraint with rigid LATCH attachments, do not tighten the tether strap enough to lift the child restraint off your vehicle seat cushion when the child is seated in it. Keep the tether strap just snug without lifting the front of the child restraint. Keeping the child restraint just touching your vehicle seat gives the best protection in a severe crash.

  1. Route the child restraint tether strap over the back of the seat. For the outermost seating positions, route the tether strap under the head restraint and between the head restraint posts. For the center seating position, route the tether strap over the top of the head restraint. If needed, you can also remove the head restraints.
  2. Locate the correct anchor behind the gap cover for the selected seating position.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  3. Clip the tether strap to the anchor as shown.

    Lincoln Nautilus. Installing Child Restraints

  4. Tighten the child restraint tether strap according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If your child restraint system has a tether strap, and the child restraint manufacturer recommends its use, we also recommend its use.

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