When it comes to floor mats in your vehicle, most people never think anything of it and generally stick to the factory mats that initially came with the car. It is not until the wet, slushy weather of winter arises that we wish we all had something a little better for our vehicles.
I will be the first to admit that when picking a quality, effective “winter” floor mat, they just are not as good looking as the carpeted type that came with the car. But if you want a good mat that does the job, for the most part they are not going to be the highlight of your vehicles interior. Believe me – trying to get salt stains out of your carpet in the good weather is a tough job (vinegar and a water mix helps remove salt stains).
The idea behind a quality winter floor mat is to catch and hold snow and slush that drips off your shoes and pants. What this means is that the mat needs to be designed in such a way that it will hold that snow and water so that it won’t soak into the rug below. This means that an effective mat for winter needs to be designed with edges and ridges that keep that snow and water within the centre section of the mat. The large ridges within the mat itself also need to be designed in such a way as to keep you feet and pants up and away from the water that accumulates after the snow melts.
Keep in mind when buying a ‘one size fits all mat’ (Stanley Mats), the size of foot well you are trying to cover. Many new cars with larger centre consul are larger than you think making the foot well small. A tape measure is a good thing to take when shopping for the right mat. Some designs allow the mat to be cut around the accelerator pedal to aid in the placement and fit of the mat. You must make sure if cutting the mat that the mat’s main holding basin is not cut when fitting it to your car.
Once you do find a mat that suits your need, make sure that it will grip your vehicles carpeting. Small tits protruding from the underside of the mat help keep it in place. The weight of the mat is also a factor in keeping the mat in place on your floor.
You may ask ‘Why is it important to have a good anchoring system for your mats?’ The answer is mats not anchored well can slide forward and in extreme cases get jammed within the accelerator pedal as happened in the United States a few years ago with several Toyota models. Water and ice buildup under the mats will also make them slide.
Now, if you are bent on getting a quality mat, purchasing one that is specific to your car is usually the best bet. Companies like Weather Tech and Husky Liners make vehicle specific mats for most popular vehicles. In addition, they also make matching cargo mats for the back of your SUV or Mini Van that keep water off them as well.
Keeping your carpets cleaner in winter makes keeping your car much cleaner overall; in addition it will help in the resale of your car when it comes to that time. Safe travels this winter season!
By Glen Konorowski