Car mats: choosing the right one
Buying your car mat
How do you maintain your car mat?
A floor mat is an accessory made of rubber-reinforced fabric that protects a vehicle’s carpets from dirt or wear and tear. It is as much a practical accessory as it is a possibility to personalize your vehicle. There are all-plastic versions for extreme or intensive use or velvet versions for more comfort.
Car manufacturers all offer mats that are referenced according to their models, offering the advantage of being designed and cut to the exact shape of the passenger compartment. Otherwise, you can buy the universal mat that best suits your vehicle. To find out how to clean it and which car mat to choose, read the rest of this post.
Car mats: Choosing the right one
Carpets can be purchased individually, in sets of two (front or rear) or in sets of four (front and rear).
The driver’s mat is recognizable because it usually has a reinforced piece of fabric or rubber at the center that protects the mat from the driver’s action on the pedals (which causes more friction in the heels). It is advisable to use thick or plastic reinforcements for their resistance.
The passenger mat is usually as large as, if not larger than, the driver’s mat because it is not limited by the mechanics of the pedals. It has no central reinforcement.
The rear mats are smaller than the front mats. They are rarely cut symmetrically except in the case of universal mats purchased off the dealership.
Buying your car mat
A floor mat is an important part because it will wear out in place of the vehicle’s interior carpeting. Replacing a floor mat costs between $5 and $70 (not including luxury ranges), which is still much less than the replacement cost of a standard carpet.
A carpet purchased at a dealership, theoretically adjusted for your vehicle, will allow for an exact fit. This means better surface protection, unlike a universal carpet, which can leave unprotected areas exposed.
In both cases, it is advisable to choose a safe and reliable fastening system that allows the floor mat to be secured to the vehicle’s carpet (or any other attachment point).
Depending on the manufacturer, there are various versions, ranging from plastic hooks to magnetic stitching and Velcro/scratch systems.
The attachment system is an accessory for passenger carpets, especially in the case of original carpets that fit and hold relatively well on their own.
This is not the case for the driver. A floor mat must be secured to the floor to prevent the mat from being pulled up while driving and becoming trapped under the pedals, leading to extremely dangerous situations where the driver is distracted or unable to operate the clutch or brake.
The choice can also be made on the quality of the mat:
– Carpets are more presentable but more difficult to maintain.
– The plastic versions are very resistant and easy to clean but noisy and less comfortable.
– The thickness will theoretically guarantee a better life span even if in absolute terms only the driver’s carpet is really subjected to heavy stress.
Making the choice of an important investment by buying a mat from the vehicle manufacturer will guarantee good longevity and a standard renewal.
Since it is known that passenger mats wear out less quickly than the driver’s mat, choosing low-quality mats or universal models can be an interesting alternative if you are on a budget.
How do I maintain my car mat?
Plastic parts or all-plastic carpets should be cleaned with water or a special cleaning agent.
Window sprayers are often used as all-purpose cleaners, but they are alcohol-based and can – in time – dry out and damage the plastics.
Caution: Sprays for plastic or dashboard are not intended to clean but to revive, and will mostly leave a greasy layer for a shiny effect. Although the result is aesthetic on a dashboard, they will make the carpet slippery and therefore dangerous. There are non-greasy versions available, but again, be careful not to use them anywhere other than on the dashboard.
The carpet parts of the mats should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner and a brush to facilitate the removal of dust. They should also be dusted outside the vehicle beforehand.
In case your carpet is very dirty, especially for light colors, there are additional stain removers that can be sprayed or dry cleaned.
Generally speaking, as is often the case in cleaning, the longer you wait to clean them, the more dust and dirt will become encrusted – regardless of the quality of your carpet.
If you still have trouble choosing the right car carpet, you can get in touch with Rivero Auto Interior and request a free quote. They have a wide range of car carpets to fit vehicles of any make and year.
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