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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

Luke Samuels

Luke is the Marketing guy at FitMyCar. He's been writing & selling stuff online since the day he got his licence to drive and despite a lack of taste in cars, he's managed to work in one automotive role or another for half his working life.

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