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- Check factory mats. Many factory floor mats now come with an eye and hook securement system to prevent the mat from moving forward and affecting the brake or gas pedal. Make sure that the eye (grommet) and the hook are in good condition. The eye will be on the floor mat itself, and the hook will be a plastic piece affixed to the carpeting under the mat. Make sure you keep the hook through the eye at all times to ensure that the mat does not move forward and impede your ability to brake or accelerate.
- Be ware of the backing. The backing on your floor mats is very important. If you flip that mat over, you should find a rubberized surface with extruded rubber nubs. Those nubs are significant – they’re designed to dig into the carpeting and prevent the mat from sliding forward or backward. If you notice that many of the nubs are missing (they can become brittle and break off over time), it’s time to replace those floor mats with newer options. When selecting new floor mats, opt for a set that has good backing to ensure that the mats stay in place.
- Check the fit. While you might think that one floor mat size will fit most cars, that’s not really true. While there are “universal” mats out there, it’s better to opt for a set that is made specifically for the vehicle you’re driving. A mat that is too large (for instance, using a truck mat in a compact car) can roll or slide, impeding your ability to brake or accelerate. Floor mats that are too small for your vehicle won’t offer the protection that your carpeting and floorboards need.
- Don’t simply throw them out. Given the ways that ill-fitting floor mats can affect your safety, you might be tempted to go without them altogether. However, that’s not a wise idea. Floor mats are used for good reasons. They offer important protection for the carpeting underneath your feet. For instance, when you drive, you place your toes and upper portion of your foot on the gas or brake. However, your heel rests on the floor. Over time, this will wear a hole in the carpeting. Floor mats protect your carpet from that demise. Additionally, a good set of floor mats will protect your carpet from dirt and water on your shoes and help keep it in good condition for years to come.
- Be careful when buying new floor mats. There will come a time when you have to replace your old floor mats. They do wear out over time, and knowing a few important tips will ensure that you get the right quality mats. First, go to www.automatstore.com to discover a quality mat that fits your car – you want to buy a brand that’s recognized for quality. You also want to ensure that the mats are constructed from sturdy material – good quality rubber and carpet are the hallmarks of decent mats. Check the back for grip before you buy, and if you’re buying carpeted mats, make sure you match the interior carpet color of your car.