Winter rubber floor mats are great tools for protecting your car or truck’s carpet from the damage that can be done by harsh, snowy and wet weather. Prevention is worth more than a cure, and this is especially true when it comes to keeping your vehicle clean. While your standard floor mats might do the job the rest of the year, the colder months call for additional heavy-duty service to do things right.
Form Fitted or Generic
There are two basic types of winter rubber floor mats:
1. Form-fitting mats, which are specifically designed for your vehicle.
2. Generic mats, which are cut to fit most vehicles.
Form-fitting mats offer the best protection, but they’re typically more expensive, which means many drivers choose to pick up a more generic option.
Some winter rubber floor mats rely on friction to stay in place. Factory floor mats – the ones you can buy at the dealership – are designed to attach to your vehicle’s floor tethers. Mats that hook up to the tethers are a good choice because less moisture and grime can get underneath them, and the tethers prevent them sliding around and potentially blocking the accelerator or brake pedal while you’re driving.
Floor mats should be installed in both the front and rear of your car so you don’t have to clean road salt out of the back at the end of the winter season. You can purchase most mats in sets of four, with cutouts available that cover the middle section or transmission hump, depending on how your car or truck is configured.
Cleaning and Care
Unlike fabric mats, winter rubber floor mats do not absorb moisture. Instead, they allow it to pool, where it will either freeze or eventually evaporate into the car’s cabin. If your winter mats have a tall lip (as most do, to prevent splashing onto the carpet), you may end up soaking your shoes, boots and the bottoms of your pants in road salt, which can leave a nasty stain. Regularly draining your mats of snow, ice and water will help prevent this build-up and keep you and your car clean.
When it comes to driving in snow and wet weather, it pays to take a few extra minutes to install heavy-duty rubber floor mats and protect your vehicle’s interior.
Check out all the body & accessory products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on a winter/rubber floor mats, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.