Why Your Elantra Needs Floor Mats

The Hyundai Elantra is a long-running compact car built by the South Korean automaker since 1990. It is now in the sixth generation, which started in 2015. The early generations of Elantra mainly offered inline four-cylinder engines with standard choices between five speed manual and four speed automatic transmissions. The sixth generation features a turbocharged inline four option and transmissions include a six speed automatic or manual, or a seven speed DCT. The Elantra has long been one of Hyundai's most popular models, offering trendy styling and competitive gas mileage.

What Are Floor Mats?

Automotive floor mats are designed with the purpose to protect vehicle flooring from wear and tear, as well as dirt, debris and stains. The main job of floor mats is to keep the interior of the vehicle looking clean. Unlike vehicle flooring, floor mats can be easily removed and cleaned, or replaced with new ones when they become worn. Generally, floor mats are included with purchase of a new vehicle, but they may not be included if you buy a used vehicle or lease one. Floor mats come in a range of sizes, shapes and materials. They can be made of textile or rubber materials, among others. Hard mats might offer grooves or other irregularities to better trap dirt and water. Floor mats and floor liners are different items. The latter have molded edges that fit along the foot well walls. Floor mats have flat bottoms and fit between the flooring walls.

The main material options for floor mats are carpeting or rubber. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on the vehicle and what it's used for. Carpet mats typically have anti-slip backing, but not always. They can typically be matched with the interior of the vehicle and give a more refined look. They can easily be removed and vacuumed, but spills can cause unsightly stains. They will also wear out with time. Rubber mats are good for vehicles that see a lot of in and out in dusty or wet areas. They might be decorated with car logos, sports teams or cartoon characters among others. These type of mats can be removed and hosed off. Stains typically aren't a problem on a rubber mat. However, they do tend to show dirt sooner than carpet mats.

When produced by original equipment manufacturers (OEM), car mats must follow a strict set of guidelines. Some regulated factors include durability, heat performance and odor release among others. It's important to get floor mats that fit your exact vehicle as ill-fitting mats can pose a safety hazard if they slide forward and cover or get under one of the pedals. One high-profile fatal accident in 2009 was found to be caused by a vehicle fitted with floor mats meant for a different vehicle. The mats were not secured and slid forward, causing the accelerator to stick.

Different Types of Floor Mats

As you can see, floor mats aren't just places to put your feet, but rather they play an important role in keeping your car clean, looking good and also being safe. There are a wide range of floor mat styles available, but here are five of the main ones you might encounter.

1.Fabric

These are the cheapest and most widely available style of floor mat. They are typically constructed with a rubber back that keeps them from slipping and they come in a variety of colors and designs. Fabric mats are usually available for any vehicle size and are easy to remove and clean. However, they are rather flimsy compared to other mat styles and may not last as long.

2.Rubber

Rubber mats could probably be considered the top option when it comes to durability and longevity. Rubber mats easily stick to your flooring and won't slip if properly fitted. This type of mat will absorb water and dirt and keep it from reaching your flooring. The main disadvantage to rubber mats is that they're not particularly attractive and they show dirt and debris quickly and easily.

3.All-Weather Vinyl

This style of floor mat is made from thick, durable vinyl and has visible walled edges that keeps water, dirt and grime on the surface of the mat and away from your floor. The mats are typically designed with spikes on the back that keep them gripping the floor and not slipping under your pedals. Like rubber mats, they aren't all that attractive and will start showing dirt quickly.

4.Nomad Curly

This style of mat is similar to the mats you find outside of houses or businesses with curly, fuzzy bristles. These mats easily soak up water and grime, keeping it away from your flooring and feet. They don't show dirt as easily as rubber mats and don't need to be cleaned all that often.

5.3D Style

You'll find 3D floor mats at the higher price range and they have a premium look to them that immediately upgrades your interior. They're usually available in neutral shades like black and tan. These mats are constructed of a polymer material and they trap water, dust and dirt with grooves designed into the mat. However, they do not soak up anything so they will have to be cleaned on a regular basis. They are equipped with anti-skid backing, but still require occasional adjustment to keep them from slipping under the pedal.

The main thing to remember with any style of floor mat is to avoid universal fits and instead lean towards OEM mats that must fit strict criteria. Always get mats that fit your vehicle. It's important to replace old and worn mats right away as they will no longer protect your carpet from water and grime.

How to Clean Floor Mats

Even though floor mats are designed to protect your flooring from dirt, it's important to clean them regularly so that they will last longer. The first step to cleaning any type of floor mat is to remove them from your car first. Do not attempt to clean them while inside the car. If you have fabric floor mats, the next step is to vacuum all the loose dirt and debris from the surface of the mat. If the mat is wet, you might want to sprinkle baking soda on it to absorb moisture for about 20 minutes. You can also slap both fabric and rubber mats against a hard surface to remove dirt and dust.

For rubber mats, you can use a hose to wash off the surface of the mat. Don't wash the back end that goes against your floor. You can also use soap on rubber mats. A good mixture is laundry soap and baking soda. For carpet mats, you can usually use a carpet cleaner. Once the mats are cleaned, you'll want to dry them thoroughly before putting them back in your car. You can either hang them to dry in a warm area or use a blow dryer.

Visit hyundaioemparts.com to find genuine Hyundai floor mats and a full catalog of other parts and accessories. Enter your VIN, part number or keyword at the top of the site to search, or select your Hyundai's year and model from the drop down menu to browse. It's always important to replace worn parts and accessories with genuine OEM Hyundai versions and not low-quality aftermarkets. Keep your Hyundai Elantra looking good and running great with genuine Hyundai parts and accessories. If you need help finding parts or have any questions, our Hyundai experts are ready to assist.