Archive for category: Enhance

confessions of filthy car back seat - needs covers

Confessions Of A Filthy Car (The Nasty Seat Episode)

Parents. Pet owners. Tradies. We know we’re the worst of the worst when it comes to car cleanliness, right?

It’s not like we set out to have a stained filled car. We do clean it, pick up the mess, and wipe up the spills. It kinda just happens.

Our defense is “we’re surrounded by mess makers”. The kids, the dog, and the work-mate who eats his macky-dees burger IN THE CAR…!

But honestly. Up until recently, these truths didn’t really sit well with me.

My stance was “come on. Just look after your car, parent your kids, tell the pig (not talking about your kids anymore) to eat with his mouth shut. I dunno, be more human”…

But my-oh-my…. could I have been any more wrong?

As a parent myself, it all dawned on me pretty hard. One moment ignorant, the next I could see the light. Or rather, the stains.

Exceptions to the rule…

I get there are those out there that keep an immaculate ride. I salute them. So, no need to pile on to me about them… please.

And I get there are definitely times us parents, pet owners, and tradies can do better.

But for the most part, I believe the strains we put on our cars is mostly inevitable.

So let’s take a collective sigh about our predicament and consider ways to A) cover up the mess or B) even better… stop it from taking hold when it happens.

You might relate to this…

My family has a second hand Hyundai ix35 (small, cheap, SUV).

I have a 3 ½-year-old daughter that can spot a McDonalds sign faster than a South African cameraman can a cheating Aussie cricketer.

My wife (she normally drives it) is busy with a stressful job, does the childcare pick-up, and rushes home each day to get a simple meal going while I do a 1hr 20min commute.

We don’t leave food or anything nasty sitting around…

…we wash and vacuum our car on a semi-regular basis.

… sound familiar?

Anyway, on one fateful day — we still don’t know when — our little mess-maker spotted the golden arches on the way back from a late pick-up.

Mum gave in… it was late… better grab her a snack.

Then the aftermath...
(Best guess this is what sweet sauce looks like when it’s smeared all over and left to dry)

confessions of a filthy car ... the mess on the back car seat

 

My reaction
(Surrender. I’ll call it… Stains 1 – Factory upholstery 0)

confessions of filthy car frustrated by mess under cat seat

 

Now the thing that gets me the most is that we didn’t pick this up earlier.

Honestly, how does a slurry of sweet sauce sliding around the back go undetected for however long? You’d think that’s the kind of thing you see and remove on a semi-regular clean.

Apparently not.

And since we didn’t, it makes me think it was unavoidable. Like, if it didn’t happen now it was going to happen later.

And since it was unavoidable, how do I protect my seats in the future?

We can do this…

You’d know by now that FitMyCar is a car accessory manufacturer & retailer, so clearly there are ways avoid the stains.

So why didn’t I? The simple answer: I put it off. Maybe you can relate …

  1. I tend to put off a fix when it involves spending money
  2. The thought of giving up 15 minutes of my time to fit seat cover velcro or tie strips (stupidly) seemed a bit much; I mean that’s half a Netflix episode
  3. I didn’t twig onto a solution that might suit me more
  4. I’ve grown up being ‘cover averse’. (If you grew up with relo’s that put freezer bags over the remote control and leave the original plastic on their iPhone, you’d get what I mean). Slowly that’s changing, though…

Your options…

Seat Covers

They’re a tried and true solution that comes in a million different forms. You’ve got…

  • Generic covers. These aren’t made for your vehicle so typically look worse than a saggy tattoo, except you can remove them…annnndd you should.
  • Custom/made-to-fit covers. These are made specifically for your vehicle so you know some engineering has gone into them and your car will get a good fit.
  • Airbag safe seat covers. There isn’t a specific regulation or standard for what is or isn’t a deploy safe seat cover. Having said that, when this badge is shown it means the manufacturer has deliberately engineered the cover to have weaker stitching around airbag areas to allow for easier deployment.

Then there’s the variations…

Sheepskin Seat Covers
Sheepskin Seat Covers
  • Sheepskin seat covers. They come in two forms:
    • 1) Genuine wool seat covers. Needless to say, these aren’t cheap. You might find a generic “fitting” front set of Merino covers going for $300-$400 and a made to fit set for $700-$900. Wool is great for comfort and will look like new even after the 1000th time you’ve sat in them. There is a risk to them, though. Unlike synthetic materials, the actual fibre can be stained. Obviously, this impacts the look of your covers. To get around this speed hump, you could always buy a black set.
    • 2) Fake wool seat covers are cheaper than genuine wool and give you the same plushy look. Probably debatable if they feel the same as the real deal (we’d lean towards, no). Another downside is they might not retain and disperse heat like a proper set would. Summary, a compromise in quality but for the $$$ it’s a noble alternative.
Canvas Seat Covers
Canvas Seat Covers
  • Canvas seat covers are one of the hardiest materials going around. You can hit them with water or dirt and these bad boys will fight back harder than Will Smith himself. Perfect for tradies, growing families, and campers. Also comes with a generous warranty and fitment guarantee.
Neoprene Seat Covers
Neoprene Seat Covers
  • Neoprene seat covers are hardy too. They’re waterproof and feel a little bit like a giant wetsuit over your seats. Despite how that sounds, a neoprene seat cover is actually quite nice. It’s ideal for growing families, tradies and outdoor-sy (beach-loving) types.
Microsuede Seat Covers
Microsuede Seat Covers
  • Microsuede seat covers are typically designed to look much like your original ‘factory’ seats. This is a great option for those who prefer their gear to blend in, not stand out. They’re not as hardy as Canvas though, so think about where and how you use your car before you get this set. As with the above, a good set will be engineered to be UV / fade resistant.
Fabric Seat Covers
Fabric Seat Covers
  • Fabric seat covers are very similar to microsuede. They have the ‘factory’ look and similar warranties. Biggest difference is probably the feel. Microsuede has a suede-like feel. Fabric is slightly firmer to touch. Fitment is guaranteed on these.

Installing a set of seat covers can take on a few different forms:

Seat Cover Clip Types
Seat Cover Clip Types
  • You’ve got Buckle clips. These are by far the easiest to fit and most secure option.
  • Velcro fitment is another good option but the jury is probably out on whether it is better than material ties. On one hand, it’s a neater solution but you can’t crank up the tension like you can with material ties.
  • Material ties can be tightened and tucked away out of sight.

Pet Seat Covers

Pet Seat Covers
Pet Seat Covers

Despite the name, pet seat covers are an excellent solution for a bunch of situations, not just pet owners. You could easily throw a cover over the back seat for the kids, under tools, or under the four-legged comrade, too.

It’s also a great option driver or front passenger. Yes, I said that. They’re easy to fold so you can go ahead and make it work for your setup. Versatility – check.

Another unspoken benefit is ease of installation.

Since you’re using buckle clips, it means you can click them into place – pronto.

Compared to seat covers it means less work, but on the downside, it also means less overall protection since it can only protect the section of the car you choose.

Summary: decide how much protection you need and make a call on which type of seat cover you need. Traditional Seat Covers are ideal for overall protection and consistent themed look. Pet Seat Covers are perfect for a wide range of lifestyles and can click in wherever you need protection most.

If you’re still wondering …why bother at all?

Protecting your car is important for a bunch of reasons that might apply to you.

For one, you might have an eye on the resale value of your car and need a way to maintain an unblemished look.

Two, you might want to cover a few sins from past owners, or like me, current owners.

Third, you’ve always had one so are comfortable going down this route.

Others still might be an ultimate pragmatist and figure buying a set of made-to-fit covers are cheaper than a whole new set of seats!

When seat covers aren’t a good fit for you…

It might come as a surprise for us to say this, but there ARE times when seat covers are not a good idea. They include:

  1. You own a car with leather seats. Covering up leather is like leaving the sunroof closed on a sunny day. It just shouldn’t be done. Unless you desperately like the look of fabric over leather I wouldn’t recommend it.
  2. You can’t find a set that actually fits your vehicle. They’re horrible.
  3. You expect them to fit tighter than a pair of Eddie Murphy’s jeans (reference below) from day one. A made-to-fit set will fit nicely but need time settle in. You are unsure though give us a call and we will assist, stat.

Final word on Seat Covers…

Get a cover for your car seats and save yourself the pain I had. Prices start at $89. Fitment is guaranteed and shipping is always free.

i own a dashmat get over it

Dash Mats Are Not Ugly. Get Over It Already.

We’ve all got that person in our life to tell us dash mats are “ugly” … they’re for “old people” … and gloats about the fact their 20-year-old dash never cracks. And you know what, good on those people. The rest of us, though, are faced with some obvious facts and that’s – 1. “no, they’re not ugly” and, 2. a plastic dash is likely to crack over time if we’re not smart about it.

Resale values are too important not to care about this stuff. Drivers all over the county are twigging onto it. And as a car accessories retailer that’s seeing it happen before our eyes, all we can do is tell you why.

Before we get down to it…

Full disclosure: I own one. I’m only 30. I even paid for it (and I work here). I’ve worked in some form of marketing and design for the last decade so have some idea for what works. And quite frankly, I don’t have a problem with them.

I’ll say it — I think dash mats work AND look great. You can say it’s subjective, of course, but mine is a perspective gained from keeping glare out of my eyes. So maybe stop squinting and check out the rest of this article for a more balanced view.

Prove us wrong, prove us right…

Haters. What annoys you so much about our glare-free life? Why can’t the words ‘dash mat’ and ‘good’ be used in the same sentence? Instead of just complaining, prove to us why we’re wrong. Hit us up in the comments.

Lovers. If you’re sick and tired of hearing that one mate rag you out in a whiny baby voice, this is your chance to prove them wrong. Share this article, tag them, and wait for the fallout. At the very least you’ll both get a good laugh. Promise.

The case for dash mats

Dash mats. You either love them or hate them. But you can’t deny they’re crazy good at protecting the dash from damage, guarding resale value, and blocking UV and sun glare.

It’s glaringly obvious

dash mat-side by side glare reduction
Dash mat side by side glare comparison. Photo was taken using the same camera setup and time of day.

The problem with an unprotected dashboard is it’s highly reflective. It’s a plastic right, so not much absorption is going on as you drive around town. As a result, extra strain is put on your eyes and visibility is reduced – yuck.

The first ‘fix’ would be to grab a pair of shades, right? … they’d get the sun out of my eyes. It’s a fair idea, but here’s why it’s wrong …

Dash covers help to stop light that reflects up from the dash, not straight at your eyes. That means unless you rock a set of oversized shades like a gansta rapper, you might be more affected than you think. And let’s not get started on people who a) don’t like sunglasses, or b) have an optical prescription but not the wad of cash needed for prescription shades…

This isn’t an old car problem either…

In the battle for driver visibility, modern cars can be worse. Have you ever noticed how some of the new cars on the road (think Honda CRV, HRV, VW Beetle…) have a wide dash?  Seems to be a catchy design feature. Not a clue why it’s happening. But what we do know is more surface area = more exposure to glare. So not a good thing.

Going without is not all it’s cracked up to be

cracked car dashboard
Cracked vehicle dashboard. Source: carcomplaints.com

Left exposed, your plastic dash is no match under the brunt of the day’s sun. To explain why, things are going to get a bit technical…

A common ingredient used by car/dash makers is a little something called plasticizers. It is used to help soften and shape the dash into the design they need. While it is a required ‘ingredient’ it can create a problem under of sunlight. Here’s how:

  1. Over a period of years …
  2. The sun beams down …
  3. Causing plasticizers (the softening agent) to evaporate
  4. As it evaporates, it leaves a milky film on the windscreen (more on this below) …
  5. And with a dashboard that’s at risk of cracking

Typically, this starts off with a hairline crack but can get nasty if not addressed as cracks widen. A simple google search will show how much cracks are talked out …

google search cracked dash fix
Google search: cracked dashboard fix

Quit crying over spilt milk

We all know the saying ‘don’t cry over spilt milk’; but what do you when your windscreen gets a milky film? Clean it, obviously. But did you know your dashboard is the root cause behind the problem? …

Here’s a hard to read paragraph from the good people at Monash University explaining how this happens:

“Milkiness in a windscreen usually occurs when the polyvinylbutyral layer separates from the layers of glass and starts to return to its original prelaminated state. When this happens the PVB layers starts to become opaque, making it difficult for the driver to see through the screen.”

Source: Monash University Accident Research Centre. Windscreens and safety: a review 2001.

In lay terms, as plasticizers evaporate a hard-to-shift milky film is left on the windscreen. This reduces visibility. A dash mat helps to prevent this by a) coping the brunt of the heat instead of your dashboard, and b) absorbing any gunk that might still come.

16 reasons to take the leap

What a dash mat will do for you

  1. Will prevent scratches. The dash is covered so, tradies, you’re all sweet; go ahead and throw whatever you like on it.
  2. Will stop cracks. Need an explanation? See above.
  3. Will reduce sun glare. Need an explanation? See above.
  4. Will reduce UV.
  5. Will protect your resale value
  6. Will cover up pre-existing damage
  7. Will prevent dulling.

What a dash mat won’t do for you

  1. Won’t need to be reapplied every six months. It’s set & forget kinda thing …
  2. Won’t block your de-mister or audio system
  3. Won’t slip around. Just use the Velcro to hold it down
  4. Won’t prevent air-bag deployment (when indicated)
  5. Won’t shrink or fade
  6. Won’t stop dust from falling. They’re good, but they’re not that good. You’ll need to vacuum it up like normal
  7. Won’t give up protecting you. They last a lifetime
  8. Won’t cramp your style. Choose from a variety of colours
  9. Won’t film up your windscreen. Need an explanation? See above.

Need more convincing? Read on…

Will it reduce glare all hours of the day?

Yes. But if you’re driving at sunset or sunrise, expect less protection. Since the sun is lower during these times i.e. shining directly into the car and not so much down onto the dash, your eyes will still cop a beating. Nothing a dash mat can do about that, unfortunately.

It’s about that shape, about that shape…

Is there a difference between a moulded and non-moulded dash mat? Yes. While both styles of cover will fit your make & model, there are some differences.

moulded dash mat vs non moulded dash mat
Moulded VS Non-moulded dash mat

Moulded

A moulded dash mat comes rigid and pre-shaped to your dashboard i.e. the dips and contours of the cover are visible right out of the packet.

The two types of moulded mats include one that has a hard/fibreglass style backing and one that doesn’t. Those who sell the hard backing would say it helps to retain shape over time. Those who don’t have the hard backing argue it’s intentionally designed to prevent scratches caused by a hard underside and to absorb film caused by degassing (if any).

While we do sell the moulded cover without a hard backing, our feeling is either type is probably OK to use. Our rationale for this is pretty simple – our customers don’t talk about it. No customer has EVER said they’re making the switch from a hard-backed cover to one without. Equally, they haven’t said they would buy if it came with a hard backing. This makes us believe there isn’t a significant benefit either way.

Non-Moulded

A non-moulded cover is not rigid and arrives flat out the packet. This style of cover will rest over the shape of the dash, typically using stitching along designated contour points to create a tight fit.

Which is better?

You could argue a non-moulded cover isn’t as a good as moulded since the latter is little more exact. But we’d argue the choice is more of an aesthetic one. Both will fit great. It just depends on the type of material you prefer since each type is synonymous with a particular material type. For example, carpet is typically moulded while velour is commonly non-moulded.

Material Types

All quality dash cover materials perform the function of reducing glare. The key difference then in selecting a cover material is the look.

Carpet

A carpet dash mat is easily one of the more popular dash cover choices. They’re a durable short-pile made from glare reducing fibres. They come in a variety of colours. To clean, you’ll need a vacuum.

Velour

Velour has a softer look and feel compared to carpet. To clean, use a dry cloth.

Suede

Suede also has a soft look and feel. To clean, use a dry cloth.

Colour Types

dash mat colours charcoal grey beige brown blue
Common dash mat colours: Black, Charcoal, Beige, Brown, Blue

Dash covers come in a variety of colours to suit the look of your vehicle interior. Common colours include black, charcoal, beige and brown. Since most cars coming out today have black or charcoal interiors, there should a colour to sit nicely in your vehicle.

A word of caution on colour types: a colour match is super hard to do. So when buying a dash cover, expect that your colour of beige or grey to very good, but not a 100% colour match.

Aftermarket vs OEM

There isn’t a great deal of OEM dash mats on the market. Those that are are commonly manufactured by aftermarket, rebadged, and then sold at the dealership. Because of this, there isn’t a comparison to make between the two, other than price. And on that front, dealer sold mats do come out on the high side. Surprise, surprise.

Based on our online search, a dealer sold mat could cost you anywhere up to 20% more* than cover sold through us. This price excludes any applicable shipping costs you pay through the dealer.

At fitmycar.com, shipping is free.

*Vehicle prices found include Hyundai Tuscon RRP $87 and Kia Carnival RRP $78.75. All prices in AUD. Excludes any applicable shipping costs. Online search conducted February 12, 2018.

Not sure what aftermarket or OEM mean? Check out the article we wrote about aftermarket & OEM car mats.

Dash Mat Installation

Here’s how to install a dash cover in quick time.

Will a dash mat hinder airbag deployment?

These days dash mats are made with safety in mind. That means the area surrounding the airbag will be either cut out or include a neat slit to allow for airbag deployment.

Bonus safety tip you never asked for, but can’t do without

Ever had a passenger put their feet on the dashboard? I know I have. But after watching the video below I’ve quickly changed my attitude. The video demonstrates how much damage is done to legs positioned on the dash during a car accident.  Watch and share this, people.

Thoughts?

Do you still hate dash mats? Tell us why in the comments. Alternatively, are you loving the #glarefreelife? Share the love in the comments or share this post to poke the bear.

Looking to buy?

We’d love to help you find a mat that fits your car perfectly. Check out the dash mats for your vehicle by visiting our online shop and searching by your make, model, body, and year.

Fit My Car BMW X3 Car Mats

When Should I Replace My Car Floor Mats?

The average driver knows how to put their floor mats to work. We wear them down with our heel as we accelerate and brake; we drop dirt and liquid on them like nobodies business, and we do our best to kick them around the footwell. In short, our mats cop a beating from us every single day. The question is though, how much can they take before we need a replacement set?

11 Signs Your Car Floor Mats Need To Be Replaced

While the car mat is a humble part of the overall vehicle setup, it’s position so close to the pedals makes it an important accessory to get right. Big car manufacturers all around the world will go as far as to recall floor mats if there’s a problem because it’s a potential safety hazard. Again, it’s around your pedals people?! So in short, unless your issue is purely cosmetic and you A) don’t care, or B) don’t plan on selling your car, it’s probably time you took a second look at your floor mats.

To help, we’ve put together 11 solid reasons why you would consider changing your car mats. We’ve even included a little rating system to help you figure out which issues are ‘fix today’ kinda problems versus those that can wait a while. So check it out…

Reason To Replace Your Car Mats

How Urgent Is It?*

1.      The Heel Pad Is Lifting

If the stitching around the mat heel pad has come away, we recommend you replace the driver mat / set. This flaw is likely to catch your heel as you accelerate or brake and cause a world of pain for your ability to control the vehicle. Check out the driver experiences below.

Urgent Replacement

It’s a serious safety hazard which is why recommend replacing these mats urgently.

2.      Impedes Brake, Clutch or Acceleration Pedal

If your driver mat in any way causes a pedal to become stuck – change it. It can cause unintended acceleration and again stop you from having complete control of your vehicle.

In the U.S, Toyota recalled floor mats for this very thing not so long ago so you know it’s not something to ignore.

Urgent Replacement

It’s a serious safety hazard which is why recommend replacing these mats urgently.

3.      It Slips Around

A car mat that slips around on the driver side will cause an issue similar to the one above. It can impede the brake or accelerator and cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Usually, it’s a result of not having a retention system to hold everything in place or when some part of that system is broken e.g. the ‘ring’ or eyelet has broken off and ‘hook’ begins pulling on the carpet.

Additionally, mats that slip around a bunch also expose the under carpet to the damage the mat is designed to take. Check out the driver experience below.

Urgent Replacement

It’s a serious safety hazard which is why recommend replacing these mats urgently.

4.      It’s Worn A Large Through It

A hole in the floor mat is not only an aesthetic problem – it has the potential to create havoc on the road. You probably didn’t realise it, but your heel is often used to pivot backwards / forwards / sideways. Because of this, you want to avoid anything that can cause your heel to become stuck… you know, like a hole in the mat?!

Additionally, a hole in the mat will expose the under carpet to the damage the mat is designed to take.

FYI: A good set of aftermarket mats will help to prevent premature wear of the mats.

Urgent Replacement

It’s a serious safety hazard which is why recommend replacing these mats urgently.

5.      Isn’t Protecting Full Carpet Area

If you’ve ever owned a set of universal floor mats, you don’t need me to tell you they don’t cover the maximum amount of carpet.

A gap in coverage exposes your carpet to all sorts of dirt and liquids the car mat would have normally taken. This damage isn’t great for a few reasons. First, it’s much more expensive to go to a motor trimmer to replace carpet flooring of your vehicle than it is to buy a set of mats. Second, if you sell your car without mats you’ll have a nasty looking stain right there on the floor; not a great first impression for how you’ve maintained the vehicle.

Requires Attention

It could cause issues down the track if not addressed

6.      It’s Worn A Small Hole

Similar to the point above, you want to ensure the mat is geared up to protect the carpet area. A hole in the mat, will obviously work against this goal. So we recommend replacing the mats in near future to avoid funking up your vehicle carpet.

Requires Attention

It could cause issues down the track if not addressed

7.      Mould Is Present

Mould is a potential health risk to you and your passengers. The stuff is so nasty it can release spores into the air and trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions e.g. wheezing and coughing in even the most precious of cargo (our kids). We recommend replacing your mats sooner rather later, especially if passengers are particularly likely to experience poor health. If you’re not sure, speak to your local doctor.

Requires Attention

It could cause issues down the track if not addressed

8.      You’re Selling Your Car

Ever heard the saying, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression? Then you’ll know your car should be as presentable as possible before you put it on the market.

Car accessories are great way to sharpen up the look of your car’s interior or exterior and make it of more appeal to a potential buyer. A set of new floor mats then

Requires Attention

It could cause issues down the track if not addressed

9.      Your Drive A Commercial Vehicle

If you drive an UBER or Taxi, you know how important it is for your passengers to have a clean, enjoyable ride. A fresh set of car mats will help to give your passengers a good impression of the service you’re providing. Not only will it look great, it will also be free from any nasty smells built up over time.

Requires Attention

It could cause issues down the track if not addressed

10.   It Smells Funky

Your passengers may disagree, but if your car mat is on the nose consider giving them a solid clean or, if its beyond help, replacing the set entirely.

A horrid smelling car is never nice, so fix it. In saying that, it’s not a risk to your safety like some of the others on this list so correct it as your own speed.

No Rush

Good to rock’n’roll. Check out these at your own speed

11.   You Want To Freshen Things Up

For those who view their car as more than just a mode of transport, there is no better way to spruce up the car interior than a new set of mats. Not for everyone, but the option is there.

No Rush

Good to rock’n’roll. Check out these at your own speed

* About ratings. We’ve done our best to rate each issue according to our experience in the automotive industry and from experiences from around the web. Ultimately, however, we suggest you use your own discretion to assess the state and safety of your car/floor mats.

Issues Experienced By Drivers

Mat Stuck Behind Pedals

forum comment - car mat stuck behind pedals
(Forum Comment) Car Mat Stuck Behind Pedals. Source: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/gas-pedal-stuck-in-floor-mat-this-morning-110139.html

Lifting Heel Pad

forum comment - heel pad lifting on car mat
(Forum Comment) Heel Pad Lifting On Car Mat. Source: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5239430

Slipping Car Mat

What Should You Look For In Replacement Set?

Deciding which car mat is right for your car needs isn’t hard as long as you stick to these basic rules.

1. Fitment. Is it a match for your make and model?

Getting a mat that fits your exact vehicle is easily the most important thing you need to consider. Most of the safety issues described above were caused ill-fitted mats that were not cut with your car or safety in mind. OEM (genuine) and aftermarket alternatives are fine so long as it meets this criteria.

2. Retention. Does it come with the hooks needed to stop the driver side mat from moving up around the pedals?

Next, make sure your exact fit mat will hold in place on the driver’s side. The method used to do this will vary from car to car, but the basic setup will include post/hook and eyelet (see examples below). This will stop the mat from being kicked around the footwell and risk your accelerator getting stuck.

3. Durability. Does it come with any wear-through warranty?

Wearing a hole in your car floor mat will make it look nasty and expose the carpet underneath to damage. Not good. So by buying a car mat with a specific warranty for wear-through you will reduce the risk of wearing a hole within the usual lifespan of a car mat.

4. Cost. Is it a fair price for similar items on the market?

No one likes paying too much for their car mat; it’s part of the reason why people commonly buy accessories from aftermarket retailers like us instead of the dealership who usually charge more for a very similar item. So we recommend going to Google and searching for car mats for your make and model before you give your hard earned away.

5. Style. Will it look good in my car?

Most cars will look good with a set of black or grey mats, but if you want a particular binding or stitch colour you probably won’t be able to get that from the dealership. Instead, check out our website for mats that meet the criteria above AND can be customised to your taste (pssstttt…. we also do straight black and grey, too 🙂

About FitMyCar

Save yourself the hassle of shopping with the car dealer and head straight online to purchase made to fit car accessories for your make and model. Find floor mats, dash covers, cargo liners, ute / truck bed liners, seat covers, phone holders, first aid kits, and more, and get it delivered to your door. So say goodbye, dodgy sales pitch & suit. And hello to made-to-fit gear and awesome service.

Why shop with us? 100% Fitment Guarantee — Free Shipping — Extensive Warranties — Local Customer Service — Largest Made-To-Fit Library In Australia.

Find accessories that fit your make & model: shop now

driving-with-kids

Gear To Entertain and Protect Kids While Summer Driving

Are we there yet? I’m bored, Dad! No! I don’t want to sleep. *followed by pointless staring competition*

These are the words no parent wants to hear on a car journey. Why? Because we don’t need the stress and worry of unhappy kids. Call it parental guilt. Or choose to ignore it at our own peril. But travelling in a car with kids can be a nightmare; even a roadblock to us taking that family holiday. Unless, of course, we do a little prep!

Now the good news is, the kind of prep we’re talking about is the set and forget kind. It’s affordable. And will set you up for the coming summer. So lets a take moment to look at a few accessories that make holiday travel (and day-to-day family driving) easier all round.

Accessories for happier car adventures

Rear Window Screens

A shining midday sun through tinted and untinted car windows makes for sweaty, uncomfortable kids who struggle to nap. So when I came across this gem, called a Window Sox (yes Window Sox?!), it felt like a no-brainer. The packet says they reduce over 80% of cancer causing UV which is great. You get a pair; one for each rear window. And from an aesthetic point of view, these ones don’t seem to be the loose, flappy-in-the-wind kind so kudos to the Australian company that makes them.

The one catch is that you need a car that has frames around the window if you want to wind down the window (otherwise it will fly away in the breeze)! But not to worry. 99% of cars on the road have the necessary bits, so you should be fine.

Phone / Tablet Headrest Holder

In car smart device holders. This one almost goes without saying. Specifically, though, we’re talking about the kind that fix to the headrest posts of the driver or front passenger seat and provides a source of entertainment for rear seat passengers.

Netflix download* (save movies & television programs for offline viewing) and an ever increasing myriad of iTunes educational apps, make it so easy to keep the kids distracted on the road. So when someone suggested I get a holder to keep my device secure AND within eye view of more than one user at a time for our next trip, I jumped at it. Finally, no more begging the kids to share.

So which smart device holder should you go for? I’m no expert, but I’d suggest one that tightly fastens to the headrest posts and has a strong magnet on the back. This will ensure your holder and phone don’t fall off when driving on bumpy roads.

Here’s the one I use. We haven’t had any problems with it.

*Netflix download tip: save money on your phone data plan by downloading the kids’ favourite movies & television programs from your home WiFi

Bumper Protector

As the family grows, the stuff we carry around in our cars grows too.

Going on a holiday doesn’t change that fact.

Boogie boards, prams, football boots, skateboards, school bags, sport equipment bags and the weekly grocery shop all get bigger with passenger numbers. The only problem with loading and unloading large and heavy cargo is the damage we put on our vehicles.

Scratches, chipped paintwork and scuffs are all too common on family cars. No blame on us though right, our kids are becoming more involved in extra activities AND there’s only so much one parent carry and still safely clear the sill of the boot. But of course, a future car buyer won’t care about our issues and will insist on knocking down the resale value of our car.

So with a small $$ investment, you can pick up this little guy —> It’s called a Bumper Protector and as the name suggests it is designed to defend the rear bumper of our cars against the damage caused by items going in and out of the boot space.

It’s easy to install via the little velcro strip on the back. To use it, simply pull it over the bumper when you need a little extra protection. Short on space? No stress. This little do-dad folds away neatly in your boot for easy storage.

First Aid Kit

As a Dad, I wear many hats. When someone gets hurt I become triage, nurse and a shoulder to cry on. But what do I do when someone cuts their knee on holiday when I’m far away from the normal bag of tricks I pull out from the bathroom cupboard? Easy. I go to my glovebox sized first aid kit and take out any one of the care essentials you’d expect to find in a proper kit.

Kids Sunnies

When I first had kids, I thought a pair of good UV / sun glare protecting sunglasses for children were going to cost me a fortune. Either that or buy a pair of nasty ones from the servo (don’t judge, kids grow up way too fast to spend a lot of money on something they’ll outgrow quickly).

I’ve learnt a lot since then 🙂 Now I know I can get a good pair from City Beach that will cost me less than $10. Uh, you can go right ahead and lock that in thanks, Eddie.

Floor & Boot Liners

In Australia, the beach is a fairly common holiday spot. We love our sunburnt country and the different adventures offered by our popular beaches. But when it comes to packing up the car and heading home, we don’t want to carry the sand around with us.

Sand that isn’t at the beach is evil. It’s sticky. It gets into the carpet. It’s a bit like a guest that doesn’t know when to leave.

For these reasons I decided enough is enough and started using one of the solutions we have here at FitMyCar that hates sand in the car as much as I do.  I could get a raised edge rubber-like mat for my car floor and boot for a reasonable price. Not cheap. But reasonable.

The benefit they give me? Well, my car is protected from all sorts of mess = sand, dirt, mud, pet hair, little oh-oh’s the kids make, and of course spills from just about any liquid under the sun.

Pro-tip: if you’re in the market for a floor liner or cargo liner, I would choose a moulded option that suits the contours and shape of the floor or boot space. It will look better AND help to protect all the nooks-and-crannies from damage.

Seat Covers

Kids make a mess in the car. No doubt about it. It makes sense then, that when kids spend a longer time in the car they make an even bigger mess. Food crumbs, drink spills, sticky lollies and “accidents” are a frequent part of travelling with kids.

So if you had the chance to put a protective barrier between the seats and the muck, why not take it up. It’s a no-brainer really, especially if you want to protect the resale value of your car.

There are quite a different types and styles on the market, which I won’t go into (it’d be a whole other article that might actually put you to sleep). But the main things to consider when purchasing a seat cover include:

  1. Style
  2. Protective qualities (is it water resistant?)
  3. Ease of installation (do you prefer velcro or ties?)
  4. Safety (is it airbag deploy safe?)
  5. Be prepared to pay a bit more. Cheap might not be the way to go for durability and safety

Pet Seat Cover

Holidays often include the family pet.

Family pets, often drop hair and other yucky stuff we won’t mention here if you know what I mean.

So do yourself a favour and get that mat you’ve probably seen all over our facebook. The one we have at FitMyCar could be folded in half so it fits the pet and kids in the back without a problem.

Dash Mats

It might be a bit old school (admittedly I don’t own one) but I have it on good authority from the guys at FitMyCar that dashboard mats are great for reducing the glare you get in your eyes.

Dashboard reflection is a bigger problem in newer cars than old. Vehicle designers are in love with the wider dashboard right now which means there is greater reflective surface area impeding drivers ability on the road.

You might have experienced glare in the eyes on a family holiday or when driving home following an after school activity. Generally speaking, dashboard glare is worse as the sun rises and falls.

The way to stop it is with a dashboard cover. The experts say all the anti-glare magic happens within the mat fibres but I won’t be giving you an explanation here. Just take their word for it.

 

So, do you rock a dash mat?

Did your favourite car accessories for family travel make the list?

If not, what car accessories make holiday travel easier for you?

Leave us a comment below.

Sun shining through car windscreen

A Safe Summer Driving Guide – Vehicle Accessories

Summer is one of the best times of year to hit the road and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re the camping type, a sports or boating enthusiast, a pet lover, or just going about your daily chores; the yellow glow of the summer sun has a knack of making everything better.

But there are some things you need to be aware of to stay safe and maximise the fun.

 … let me explain.

A couple of months ago, my wife and I decided to move out of our small two-bedroom home near Melbourne city in favour of a bigger, three-bedroom, home in the country.

Since moving we hadn’t had the time to stop and lap up the new surroundings (which is ironic since that was one of the reasons behind our move) so we stopped, opened the weather app on our phones, and to our delight found the forecast for the coming weekend was sunny.

Good so far, right?

Well anyway, the weekend rolls around and we throw our 2-year-old daughter gently place our 2-year-old-daughter in the back seat near the window and set off on our adventure.

We had a bunch of fun. This is me and my kid at Lake Wendouree, Ballarat at the END of what was a hot day.

Luke by Lake Wendoure, ballarat

 

But my child also experienced a fair bit of discomfort with the sun shining on her face during our drive.

No doubt you’ve experienced something like this before, too?

… you’re driving along and notice your kid(s) sweating up a storm in the back?!

Or for yourself, endured the unpleasant burn a steering wheel gives after a long period of being parked in the sun?

Well, with more days of 30+ degree forecast in some parts of Australia (that’s, over 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the U.S. folks), the team at Fit My Car thought we really should write up our top tricks and tips to have fun and stay safe on the roads this summer.

 

Vehicle Accessories: Here’s our list of must have’s / do’s …

 

Free

Park in the shade

Well, duh?!

The enemy of every parked car is the summer sun.  And although it is common sense, one of the first things you can do to keep your car cool is plan your daily trip around an undercover car park, or find a spot under the shade. This is especially important during the hottest times of the day (between the hours of 1pm – 3pm) where the UV rays and position of the sun make for an unhappy car and driver.

You could also shop or explore for a shorter period and thereby reduce the amount of sun exposure your vehicle has, but its summer, right?! So just enjoy yourself.

 

Use your sun (head) visor

The sun visor is one of the only remedies to the dawn and (especially) the dusk sun. During those times of the day, the angle of sun will cause sunlight to shine more directly through the windows/windscreen and into the vehicle and make it difficult for you to see.

So in short, pull down the visor to increase the level of visibility you experience.

Pro-tip: unhook one side of the visor and swing it around to stop glare hitting the side of your face. You’re welcome.

 

Cost you a little

A good pair of shades

If you need to drive for a long period and or find yourself driving during dawn or dusk, a pair of sun glasses can help to significantly reduce the amount of strain on your eyes. It can be subtle or more extreme, but the glare of the sun shining:

  • directly into your eyes,
  • from the road,
  • from other cars,
  • from the dash,
  • and even from the dash reflecting onto the windscreen (common in newer vehicles),

…will bring about some dreaded ‘eye squinting’. The squint you experience (especially on longer drives) is part of the reason why you might feel more tired than usual even though all you’ve been doing is sitting on your backside.

 

Window ‘Sox’ and Screens

Well-fitted window sox are an absolute life saver for every parent looking to protect their child from unnecessary heat and discomfort in the backseat. Most people who own a good one will tell you they reduce glare coming in from the rear side windows, are super practical on long drives, and can be the difference between 0 and multiple car seat nap times.

To fit one into any vehicle is easy. Simply roll down the window, slide the protector over the window like a glove and wind up the window again…. voilà!

Pro tip: if you’re looking buy, avoid going too cheap; it’s likely that the material quality isn’t great which will result in that ugly, flapping in the wind type effect.

 

Dash Mats

Dashboard mats and covers have been around for decades and for good reason … they reduce glare! As mentioned above, glare will hit your eyes differently during different times of the day as the sun rises and falls. The effect of which is different levels of light hitting down on your vehicle dash and back into your eyes, making it harder to see.

Another factor can even the type of car you drive. In some newer cars, for example, the width of the dashboard is wider which means the total reflective surface area is greater.

More Reflective Area = More Glare

Pro tip: when choosing a dash mat, opt for material with less* highlights (fibres that look shiny) as these little suckers will also reflect some light from the sun.

*dash mats are made of a synthetic material, so just about all mats will have ‘shiny fibres’ in them. The benefits of synthetic include a lifetime guarantee against shrinking and fading, but there will likely be some shiny fibres in there too. So if you’re looking at buying a dash mat, the one with less shiny fibres will be your best bet.

 

Bumper Protector

If you own a set of golf clubs, are a parent/carer with a pram, or own any other large object that frequently goes in and out of a car boot… sit up and take notice.

There’s a great little product out there to help you stop your bumper from getting scratched. It’s called a Bumper Protector and as the name suggests it is designed to defend your vehicle’s rear bumper against damage from items going in and out of your boot space.

Here’s how it works: the product is relatively small and folds away neatly in your boot for easy storage. When you need to add / remove luggage or cargo, simply extend the mat out over the bumper (takes 2 seconds) to form a barrier between the bumper and the cargo. The upper-side of the protector will allow you slide the goods in and out, while the rubbery underside will protect the vehicle.

This little wonder is handy all year round, but may be even more so useful during summer when outdoor activities and social events really start to kick off.

 

Cost you a bit more

Tinted windows

When you bought a car you’ve no doubt be given a slew of add-ons and options at a cost. It’s a sales pitch, and the temptation is to tune out because in the digital age we already know what we want, right?

Pro-tip: Don’t tune out!

Tinted windows are a handy way to reduce the impact from the sun.

More specifically, the tint can help to decrease some UV light from entering the car, thereby increasing the level of protection against cancer. According to a recent article from the Cancer Council Australia, tinted windows are a recommended product for people who drive often (like sales people and truck drivers) so if you spend a quite a few hours in your car each week, tinted windows may be worth checking out.

 

Boot/Cargo Liner

A good boot liner is a bit like a government spy – it has multiple aliases and each identity has a knack at getting the job done.

Ok, so that was a bit dramatic but my point is boot liners’ also go by multiple names. You might have heard of …

  • Cargo Liners
  • Tub Liners
  • Bed Liners

And each of them (because they’re all the same thing) will protect your car boot against spills, dirt, pets, and whatever else you can throw at it. It will also protect your cargo from damage caused by slipping around in the tub as the rubber like material provides some grip to the cargo above it.

Typically this type of product suits trades people (carpenters, plumbers, plasterers etc) and the DIY crowd. However in reality it suits anyone who has vehicle tub (or bed, for the U.S. folk) and require some form of cargo protection.

Pro-tip: if you’re in the market for a cargo liner, choose a moulded option that suits the contours and shape of your boot area. Doing so will ensure a better a look AND help to protect all the nooks-and-corners of your boot against damage.

The Hudly Kickstarter Aims to Bring the HUD to Every Car

The Heads-up display is now fast becoming standard in some higher-end car models. Some cars have the display built into the gauge cluster or on a display in the centre console. But not all cars, especially models that are a bit older, can have this technology.

Enter Hudly.

Hudly is a heads-up display module that can be attached to most cars. The components of Hudly are the projector and a glass optical combiner which the projector displays information to. Hudly can interface with the car’s diagnostics system via the OBD-II (on-board diagnostics) port to display speed, fuel consumption and car temperature readings. The projector is powered by the cigarette lighter socket.

projectoruse

Hudly also interfaces with your smartphone. It can display directions if you are using Waze or even text messages and emails. Hudly is compatible with both iOS and Android apps and uses the hands-free functions. One of the main goals of Hudly is to have safer streets where drivers are not using their smartphones while driving. With Hudly, you can read text or view Waze without having to take your eyes off the road.

One cool feature of Hudly is that the information on the display is visible in any lighting condition. The projector has a built-in light sensor that detects how much ambient light there is and will adjust the brightness of the Hudly display. The display will work in very bright sunlight and will not be distracting when used at night.navier_webpage

Hudly is currently having its Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $100,000 before it begins production. The Kickstarter campaign has already gathered $29,848 as of writing with 23 days more to go. For a price of $199 during the campaign, you will receive your very own Hudly unit by December this year. The best part about it is that they will ship your Hudly unit anywhere in the world.ulysse_webpage

If you are interested in the Kickstarter campaign, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ericshun/hudly-full-color-heads-up-display-for-all-cars-and

Images via Hudly

Top Car Accessories Every Driver Needs

Every driver has his own preference of car accessories whether for travel or cruising around the city. We compiled a list of essential things every driver needs on and off the road.

Car Cover

Protect that ride, when your not riding in it. Every car needs a cover especially for those cars that cannot be parked under a roofed garage. It will protect your car from the elements as well as the occasional bird droppings. If you don’t drive that ride everyday, put it under a cover. That bit of bird poo will destroy your paint in less time that it takes you to notice its there. Covers come relatively cheap and in all shapes and sizes. 

Floor Mats

Car mat

Your car floor takes a good beating from your footwear. To protect your car floor from the dust and debris that your footwear carries into your car, get a good set of car floor mats. They are available for most makes and models in the market. They also add the benefit of customising your car interior with the available colours and materials for your custom floor mats. Some even have designs and trims to choose from. You can choose your car model to see our available floor mats.

Dashboard Mats

Keep your dash looking brand new with dash mats.
Keep your dash looking brand new with dash mats.

Dash mats protect your dash from the sun and also from spills from food and beverages. It will help your dashboard last longer and also adds another level of customization. They also come in a host of materials and colours to accent or compliment your car interior. Dash mats also help eliminate the glare from your dashboard when the sun is shining brightly at mid-day.

Seat Covers

Protect your car seats with seat covers.
Protect your car seats with seat covers.

Those factory seats won’t last very long against stains and debris, especially when you have kids who love to order drive-thru meals and consume them inside your car. Protect your car seats with seat covers that are detachable and can be cleaned. You have a choice of materials from soft suede to luxurious leather. They can come fully customised too with a host of colours and trims.

Car Charger

We have a lot of gadgets that need charging. A good car charger will help you power gadgets especially on those long journeys. Look for those that have docks so that your phone is safe when you hit potholes or speed bumps. You can also opt for those universal chargers that can accommodate any mobile gadget that needs charging.

Jumper Kit

You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting for someone to give your car a much-needed jumpstart. There are a lot of jumper kits around that are portable, lightweight and easy to use. A good set would include all the necessary cables and a good battery. This will save you a lot of time and cash because those roadside assistance companies charge huge sums just for a simple jump start.

Cup Holders

Don't spill your coffee in the car!
Don’t spill your coffee in the car!

Love your Latte in the morning or a big soda? Better get a good set of cup holders for your car. The OEM cup holders do not fit all cup sizes so better get a set that can adjust to the cup size. This also helps protect your interior from spills and splashes. You don’t want to be cleaning that suede floor after you spilt your coffee on it now do you?

Toolbox

Always be prepared, especially on long journeys. Make sure you bring a good toolbox with you inside your car. A toolbox should have a Jack, a set of wrenches, screwdrivers, cables, and all the other things you need to do a little DIY fixing. You can add a tow cable into the mix if you need a tow or help someone out.

GPS

Get directions to your destination.
Get directions to your destination.

Never get lost again by having a trusty GPS system with you at all times. Whether it’s for looking up hard to find places or mapping the best route to your destination, the GPS will help you with it. There are a number of selections from mobile phone based GPS or your built-in SATNAV system. Just be sure you have one on your car.

There you have it, some essential things to have in your car. If you have an essential car accessory that is not on this list, please leave a comment on this article. We would love to hear from you. Stay tuned for more car tips!

Goto Top