Has Mat? Hazmat

In the wet weather months, many drivers rely on protective mats to keep moisture, grime, ice, and snow from making a mess of a vehicle's interior. However, your vehicle’s mat could become hazardous if you don't follow some safety precautions.

There are a few things to avoid with your vehicle's mats in the driver's footwell.

1) Make sure your mats aren't creating a safety problem by jamming the pedals. One way this can happen is by a driver buying an all-weather floor mat and putting it on top of another mat. Stacking the mats can make them sit up too high on the floor. One result can be a jammed accelerator that causes the vehicle to speed up and stick. Another result can be an obstructed brake pedal that prevents the driver from stopping. Experts say don't stack mats, period.

2) It's also important to make sure any mat is affixed to the floor, so it doesn't slip into spots it shouldn't. Nearly every vehicle manufactured for the last 15 to 20 years has mounting clips just in front of the seats, front and back. The driver’s location is clearly the most important. Factory-made mats attach to these clips in order to ensure they are placed properly. Use these features. They could save your life.

3) It is best to have mats that are designed especially for your vehicle since they are contoured correctly for the pedals. Using ill-fitting mats can cause the same problems as stacked mats.

Keep in mind that if you have loose objects rolling around in your vehicle, especially under the driver's seat, a hard turn or stop can propel those forward into the driver's footwell. Something could get stuck under the brake pedal and prevent you from stopping or stick between the accelerator pedal and the floor or carpet.

If you have any questions about which mats will work best for your vehicle, ask your Service Adviser for some recommendations.

Eureka Brake & Automotive <br/>707.443-2122 <br/>www.eurekabrake.com

Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant