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What is ISOFIX?

April 26, 2016

What is ISOFIX?

Iso-what? Have you ever wondered what ISOfix is? Probably not, unless you've purchased a child car seat before.

ISOfix is a system for attaching child car seats to cars. The system is made up of two small metal bars behind the seat of your car. If you put your hand in the gap between the cushion part of the back seat and the back part of the seat you might find the ISOfix points.

We find that European cars from about 2001 have ISOfix, then Japanese cars from about 2007, and Australian cars from 2014. It can vary from make to make, and even model to model though, so it's easiest to just check your car.
Child car seats that can be installed with ISOfix usually have to solid arms that connect to the metal ISOfix points in the car. There is usually also a third point of support, either a support leg that touches the floor, or a tether, which is like a piece of seat belt that hooks onto an anchor point on the back of the seat or in the boot of the car. The tether and the support leg have the same effect in the event of an accident, they will both stop the forward momentum.

The picture below shows the tether points in a Dodge Journey, but they can also be situated on the floor of the car, further up the seat, or on the top of the seat (so confusing right?) They sometimes have a picture of an anchor next to them, but not always. If you're unsure if something is a tether point check your car's manual, or feel free to pop into our store and we can check for you. Mistaking the something else for a tether point is one of the most common mistakes when installing a child car seat incorrectly.

Is ISOfix safer than seatbelt installation?

Yes, and no. Both methods of installing a car seat are very safe when done correctly, the main difference is that ISOfix is very difficult to do incorrectly, as there are usually guides that will turn from green to red when the ISOfix points have connected. Some seats also have lights or alarms which will sound if it's not done right.