Winter Car Mats - The Sort of Protection Every Vehicle Deserves

Automotive maintenance has many layers to it. Most drivers know how to keep the engine in good condition, rotate the tires, and generally make sure that all mechanical systems are taken care of. However, car maintenance also means protecting the car’s bodywork and interior. 

Winter car mats are an essential but often overlooked part of this never-ending effort. Join us as we go over winter car mats, discuss why a heavy set of winter mats is important, and how it can help you protect your car. 

Heavy All Weather mats - The First Line of Defense 

Most drivers see their car as a personal cocoon that keeps them safe, completely protected from the outside world. We get in our cars every day, turn on the heat/cooling depending on the time of the year, and head to our destination feeling great in our cozy little microcosm. 

That cocoon we enjoy so much is far more fragile than most think. It requires constant care and maintenance, not only to stay on the road but also to stay structurally sound. If you live in the rust belt, you understand just how much of a struggle it can be to keep your car rust-free. Washing all that road salt from inside the wheel arches and from undercarriage is the only way to prevent your car from rusting away. 

Most drivers know this. That being said, most drivers stop worrying about bodywork maintenance the moment they enter their vehicle and leave their home. As it turns out, your vehicle requires protection from the inside as well. 

car floor mats hero

Protecting Factory Carpeting 

Driving during the summer takes away most of the worries as far as bodywork maintenance goes. The worst you can bring into the car is dirt or an occasional wet footprint from a puddle you just stepped in prior to entering your vehicle. That’s why we have carpet floor mats designed specifically for use in dry, hot weather. 

All of that changes once it starts raining or snowing frequently. Now, you’re no longer bringing in just dirt — you’re also bringing in dirty water or snow. 

Your car’s factory carpeting is there to protect the bodywork underneath. However, just like any other carpet, it will soak in any moisture you expose it to. Since cars are isolated microenvironment, that moisture tends to stick around for a long time before evaporating.  

If you were to drive your vehicle or truck during the winter and not use any floor mats, you’d most likely destroy your factory carpeting within two seasons. All that snow and rain would accumulate in the carpet material, then soak through the insulation, and finally reach your vehicle’s body. 

It wouldn’t take long for the carpets to be destroyed from all the water, salt, and other chemicals you’ve picked up on the streets. Then, if you don’t dry the carpets, all of that moisture and chemicals would start to work on your car’s floor panels. This is how you get rust in vehicles that aren’t even a decade old. 

A good set of winter floor mats solves this issue. Heavy-duty rubber compounds used to make these all-weather mats are capable of absorbing all the nasty salts, chemicals, and moisture that would otherwise end up on your car’s floor. 

Preserving Your Car’s Value 

One of the often forgotten benefits of using floor mats in your car is the fact that they preserve your car’s value. Seeing a clean set of well maintained heavy-duty mats in a car or truck will instantly make it more appealing to potential buyers. 

Quality winter mats will keep your carpet in pristine condition despite years of heavy use. As you can imagine, clean carpets will make a massive difference if you ever decide to sell your vehicle. 

How to Choose the Right Winter Car Mat? 

Finding adequate protection for your car’s footwells comes down to budgeting, for the most part. There are several different options on the market, each geared towards a specific price range. 

  • Universal rubber mats 
  • Car specific winter rubber mats 
  • Heavy-duty floor liners 

These are your options, arranged from the most affordable and least durable to the most expensive and longest lasting. Let’s take a closer look at each. 

Universal Rubber Mats 

Universal rubber mats are the cheapest option and one that offers the least amount of protection. Every footwell is different, which is why universal car mats rarely ever fit off the shelf. To make them fit, you have to modify them. 

Another issue with the whole universal design is the lack of a defined lip around the edge of the mat. Since manufacturers don’t know how much material you’ll take off, they can’t design a good lip. 

Pros

  • The most affordable options 
  • Easy to install and remove 

Cons:

  • Need to be trimmed to fit 
  • Offer limited protection 
  • Lack the raised lip around the perimeter to keep the water away from carpets 
  • Made of low-quality rubber 
  • Serious risk of spillage 

Car Specific Winter Rubber Mats 

Next, we have car specific heavy-duty winter rubber mats like the Ubermats. Since they are made to fit specific vehicle makes and models, Ubermats feature that pronounced lip, which prevents water or debris from spilling over onto your carpeting underneath. However, they have a limit in terms of how much saturation they can handle. 

This type of winter mat also comes with an advanced texture. Since each set of Ubermats is made to fit a specific car or truck, you don’t have to worry about it moving around as you drive. A floor mat that moves around as you drive is a safety concern. 

Pros

  • Made to fit specific vehicle makes and models 
  • Fairly affordable 
  • Reasonably durable 

Cons

  • Easy to overwhelm in heavy snow conditions 
  • Often lacks the raised lip around the perimeter of the mat
  • Risk of spillage 

Heavy-Duty Floor Liners 

Last but not least, we have heavy-floor liners. The floor liner is a car mat on steroids. These are made using custom-designed polymer compounds, which makes them last practically forever. Each liner is molded to fit a specific car or truck model, just like the custom floor mats we’ve mentioned earlier. 

However, there’s a difference — floor liners cover the entire footwell, not just the floor. That way, you’re getting complete protection of that whole area. Liners such as the Maxliner series comes with a lifetime, meaning that you’ll only have to buy them once. 

Heavy-duty floor liners are the most expensive option, but one that will keep your car protected no matter how severe the winters are in your area. 

Pros

  • Highly durable solution 
  • It covers the entire footwell 
  • Custom molded for each vehicle 
  • Complete protection against spillage 
  • Easy to maintain 

Cons 

  • Heavy-duty floor liners aren’t cheap

The Ubermats All-Weather Car Floor Mats

How to Maintain Winter Car Mats? 

Even though most winter car mats are durable, they aren’t maintenance-free. You still have to invest some effort into maintaining them. As far as universal and car specific rubber mats go, we suggest rinsing them at your local car wash when you wash your vehicle (which you should be doing more frequently during the winter). 

Don’t use any aggressive car shampoos or soaps on your car mats. Most car washes and shampoos feature aggressive chemicals designed to eat away at any contaminants that end up on your paint. Such chemicals will damage your car mats if given enough exposure. Instead, use mild soaps or simply rinse your mats with a pressure washer. 

As far as floor liners go, you can usually was them inside the car as they might be difficult to remove. If you use Maxliner’s products, you’ll find that they are easy to pop out. The same rules apply in terms of chemicals and shampoos — nothing too aggressive or acidic. 

Never Apply Trim Restorer or Similar Products to your Car Mats 

Cleaning the car mats often leaves them looking dry. If you’re the type of driver who uses car care products, you might be tempted to apply some of that glossy black trim restorer or tire shine on your mats. Don’t! 

Any product designed to give your trim a glossy finish will be slippery to the touch. The last thing you want is for your feet to slip around as you drive. Simply clean the mats and try not to expose them to direct sunlight too much. 

How to Find the Right Winter Car Mats for your Vehicle? 

To find the right set of winter car mats for your car or truck, head over to our online store. There you’ll find our vehicle selection tool. Click the drop-down menus and select your car’s year, make and model. 

Once it’s done processing your inquiry, our system will give you a list of products that match your vehicle. We are working on covering as many cars and trucks with our growing catalog of products. Not only that, but we’re also working on offering different options for your vehicle. 

If you have any further questions regarding our selection of winter car mats, feel free to get in touch with us. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the products in our current offering.